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Thread: Does your lifted TJ wander all over the road?

  1. #1
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    Post Does your lifted TJ wander all over the road?

    I went and drove a '98 Sahara this afternoon with a RE 3" lift and 33" BFG MTs. This is the first lifted jeep I've ever driven, and it seemed to "walk" back and forth on the road quited a bit. It wasn't too bad but was definitely noticeable. Is this common on all lifted jeeps with mud tires, or is it something that an alignment would fix?

  2. #2
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    There are several factors that apply here. Tire balance, alignment, control arm bolt tightness, trac-bar bolt tightness and steering linkage. If any one of those things is out of whack, you will experience behavior like you mentioned.

    I'd say it is common, but easily remedied. The higher you lift, the more difficult it becomes though.
    Jon AKA MTMAN72, AKA The Man With The Plan
    '98 TJ lift, winch, tires, skids, axles, traction, blah, blah, blah.
    AIM: JBMtman72
    (o[[[[o)

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    Wait till you add a locker!

    Seriously though, it boils down to the stuff mentioned above, couple with being a shortwheelbase, high center of gravity vehicle.

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    I've forgotten how easy it is to drive a non-lifted Jeep. The new ZJ that I got drives so strait, I can almost let go of the steering wheel without filling my shorts!

    Yes, lifted TJ's will handle much different from a non lifted TJ. It's the name of the game. You do put up with some wandering though.

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    Depends. A bad alignment could be causing the behavior you're talking about.

    One thing I've noticed even with my 2" lift is that, as you lift, you loose more and more of the steering system's tendency to return to center (straight). My TJ now will stay turned in a given direction and want to drift that way if I don't manually steer it back to center, even though my alignment is fine. I'm not sure how to fix that; if an aftermarket steering stabilizer reduces that effect, or if perhaps there's just nothing to be done about it.

    I don't think you're going to be able to lift any kind of vehicle without it affecting ride/handling...just something to get used to. Not all of the effects are "bad" - many will just be new behaviors to become familiar with. Others that are considered bad can probably be fixed with time and money.

    Jeff
    '78 CJ5

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    I have the same problem.... i got a ter adj track bar i have to mess with it to get it perfect... after that i will get an alignment.. that might fix it... my jeeps wanders bad it got a 4 in procomp but i trashed the crap they gave me for my steering anyone got any ideas on what else to check
    98 TJ sport,
    Borla Header and Catback
    4" procomp springs 3/4" coil spacers
    AA SYE, Tom Woods Drive Shaft
    1" M.O.R.E MML and BL
    4.56's d30/35
    35" mtr's

    2001 Mustang Cobra
    Nitto Drag Radials
    http://members.aol.com/pyro55btz/myhomepage

  7. #7
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    Mine doesn't wander a bit. The Rubicon Express Long Arm kit rocks.



    ------------------
    Tighty Whitey Jeep

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    RCH

    I think the tire width has more to do with this than the lift, although the lift does account for some of it.

    12.5 tires are going to find more grooves in the road than stock and therefore pull it to either side.




    ------------------
    2oo1 Sarhara
    Hot-Die Forged 6061-T6 Aluminum - Corrosion Resistant Entry Guards
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  9. #9
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Nate:

    RCH

    I think the tire width has more to do with this than the lift, although the lift does account for some of it.

    12.5 tires are going to find more grooves in the road than stock and therefore pull it to either side.


    </font>
    Ah, but young grasshopper forgets about steering linkage and trac-bar angle. W/ the TJ's inverted "Y" steering linkage, the increased angles creat poor steering, and wandering. So, as you increase lift-height, you increase the angles of the trac-bar and steering linkage. So, unless you build a custom steering set-up, lift hieght will affect handling.
    Jon AKA MTMAN72, AKA The Man With The Plan
    '98 TJ lift, winch, tires, skids, axles, traction, blah, blah, blah.
    AIM: JBMtman72
    (o[[[[o)

  10. #10
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    so if the front axle is not perfectly centered it is possible that wandering will occur.
    98 TJ sport,
    Borla Header and Catback
    4" procomp springs 3/4" coil spacers
    AA SYE, Tom Woods Drive Shaft
    1" M.O.R.E MML and BL
    4.56's d30/35
    35" mtr's

    2001 Mustang Cobra
    Nitto Drag Radials
    http://members.aol.com/pyro55btz/myhomepage

  11. #11
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Seth:
    Mine doesn't wander a bit. The Rubicon Express Long Arm kit rocks.

    </font>
    ditto

    ------------------
    01 TJ sport with some stuff

  12. #12
    Registered shuml's Avatar
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    I have 4.5 RE and 1.5 body lift and 35" tire. On a flat level highway, I can let go my steering wheel for more than a minute wiht any problem. My TJ treks very well. As other mentioned above, many things can cause this problem. IF everything checks out OK, then you should look into caster angle. Most likely you you don't have enough caster. Go to your trusted alignment shop, check caster to you if you can get close the 5 to 7 degree. Good luck.

    Later,
    Linyee

    ------------------
    2000 TJ Sport, 5sp w/Dana44, Dual tops and Doors
    Mods: Digital Tire Gauge.
    For Pic's, check link below:
    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=915578
    2000 TJ Sport, 5sp w/Dana44
    Mods: Digital Tire gauge for now, but mine is the best. :walt:
    Rare digital tire gauge pics, click here :laugh:

  13. #13

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    Slightly contrary to factory specs, try setting the toe in to 'ZERO' degrees.

    It made a big difference to the way my lifted Jeep handled!

    (Now I can drive it with one hand, versus two, see-sawing back and forth down the road.)


    ------------------
    '98 Black TJ, 3" Rusty's Lift, RE Adj. Trac Bar, 1" BL/MML, 33" General Grabbers, Cal Tops PickUp Top, WARN XD9000i Winch & some MUD
    2000 XJ: Dried mud color. 3.5" RE Lift, 32" Goodyear MTRs, homemade rocker guards, trimmed fenders/bumpers, tow hooks, attractive woods pinstriping/beauty marks and BigAir Remote CO2 System.

  14. #14

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    I don't know what you mean; mine drives like I'm in a porsche.... I mean "on" a Porsche

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    Featured Rig
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  15. #15
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    Lifting messes up caster, nothing you can do about it, long arm or not.

    ------------------
    '98 TJ Sport, 33x12.50 SSRs, dual ARB's w/ 4.56, high pinion 9" rear, 4.3 Atlas II, Tom Woods shafts, Warn hubs & HD shafts, mostly R.E. lift about 4 inches, 1 inch body lift, York, welder, HS 9500i, custom over the knuckle steering, AGR steering box, pump, and cooler, spare everything, too many custom skids, bumpers, cage stuff to mention, some minor engine mods.
    "Your Jeep smells like a sweaty horse." - "Get me out please, I'm upside down, I smell gas." - "Please back down, I don't want to go over again." - "You told me I could start to panic when this happens."

  16. #16
    Registered shuml's Avatar
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lucy's Driver:
    Lifting messes up caster, nothing you can do about it, long arm or not.

    </font>
    No sure why you said nothing you can do?? I am sure you know there are ways to get caster under control.

    Later,
    Linyee



    ------------------
    2000 TJ Sport, 5sp w/Dana44, Dual tops and Doors
    Mods: Digital Tire Gauge.
    For Pic's, check link below:
    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=915578
    2000 TJ Sport, 5sp w/Dana44
    Mods: Digital Tire gauge for now, but mine is the best. :walt:
    Rare digital tire gauge pics, click here :laugh:

  17. #17
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Lucy's Driver:
    Lifting messes up caster, nothing you can do about it, long arm or not.

    </font>

    There's an uneducated answer. Do you know WHAT caster is???

    On the TJ, caster is complete adjustable using upper front control arms.

    Gotta love the internet.


    ------------------
    Tighty Whitey Jeep

  18. #18

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    RCH,

    It could be a tire or lift problem, but it could also be that you are not used to driving a Jeep with coil springs.

    When I drove a TJ (stock) for the first time, I felt like it wandered a lot too. It was kinda squishy feeling. I realized that it was just the fact that coil springs allow more sway left to right that leaf springs do. My old Mustang GT with coil springs also had a squishy feeling.

    ------------------
    2000 TJ Sport, 4" ProComp with 1" winch spacers, 33" ProComp MT's, EZ Locker up front, Trac Lok in the rear, cut/tap SYE & CV shaft, custom side bars, custom bumpers,Warn XD9000i
    www.txjeep.com
    Yahoo! Messenger ID: txjeep1
    2000 TJ Sport, 4" ProComp springs with 1" spacers, Tera arms, 1"MM lift, 1" BL, 33" BFG AT/ko's for every day use, 33x14-15 Boggers for the trail, EZ Locker up front, D35 & ARB in the rear, Moser shafts, custom truss, cut/tap SYE & CV shaft, custom side bars, custom bumpers,Warn XD9000i
    www.txjeep.com

  19. #19
    Registered shuml's Avatar
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Seth:

    There's an uneducated answer. Do you know WHAT caster is???
    On the TJ, caster is complete adjustable using upper front control arms.
    </font>
    Hmmmm...I almost tried to say something like that. But then I think I am going to give Driver the benefit of doubt. May be he actually mean "camber" rather than caster.

    Later,
    Linyee


    ------------------
    2000 TJ Sport, 5sp w/Dana44, Dual tops and Doors
    Mods: Digital Tire Gauge.
    For Pic's, check link below:
    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=915578
    2000 TJ Sport, 5sp w/Dana44
    Mods: Digital Tire gauge for now, but mine is the best. :walt:
    Rare digital tire gauge pics, click here :laugh:

  20. #20
    www.stu-offroad.com Stu Olson's Avatar
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    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by HAPYMUDY:
    Slightly contrary to factory specs, try setting the toe in to 'ZERO' degrees.

    It made a big difference to the way my lifted Jeep handled!

    </font>
    That was done on my last alignment....setting the toe-in to zero. I found that it handled worse than before the alignment. It is now much more prone to drift around in the lane and is very affected by the rear Detroit. When I had some toe-in (previous two alignments), shifting the Detroit on the road did not nearly affect the vehicle's handling.

    I'll be setting the toe-in to about 1/8" when I get a bit of time on a weekend. I am expecting it will be back to normal after doing that.



    ------------------
    Stu's '98TJ Sahara
    Detroit Locked & Loaded
    www.stu-offroad.com
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