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Lifted XJ Cherokee with 40-50 MPH Shimmy

XJ Cherokee

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4 replies to this topic

#1 Aaronreed1

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 01:01 PM

I have a 1999 jeep cherokee XJ I bought it a month ago and it was lifted already. It has a 4.5 rough country lift. UCA, LCA and track bar are adjustable. I recently had an alignment and replaced UCA forward bushings, re-adjusted all the heim style joints, replaced ball joints and sway bar bushings.

 

My main three current problems:

 

1) I still have a wheel hop/ gallop in the front at 40-50 mph. Coasting to slow down and it goes away or accelerate through it and it goes away. It was what's considered the death wobble before I inspected, adjusted, replaced things and had an alignment done. Vibe is worse when turning but road condition does not seem to matter as to when the vibration happens.

 

2) Now the rod end from drivers side that connects to the drag link rubs the steering stabilizer bolt heads and rubs on the passenger side quick disconnect for the sway bar at normal ride height. As well as the quick disconnect welded bracket at max turn. At full front suspension droop I can not turn right because same rod end contacts about half the sway bar quick disconnect and stops all motion of me turning the wheel to the right. I will attaché a few pictures to help.

 

3)  My driver's side "frame" piece moves separate from radiator support beam... If that makes sense. The steering box does not flex separately from the wall and the aluminum bracket behind it is intact. I have seen a track bar brace that connects at the drop bracket and goes under the oil pan to passenger side. Do you recommend one brand over another to alleviate this issue? And or does anyone still make a steering box brace that connects the steering box at the drop arm to the passenger side via a brace? I assume this and the steering linkage rubbing is where the continued wheel bounce is coming from.

I have been in contact with a few local shops and all either try and sell me what they personally prefer and or their shop carries or don't seem to know how to help.

The first two are at full droop suspension. Rest are normal ride height.



#2 Moses Ludel

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Posted 28 June 2014 - 03:20 PM

Aaron...I do want to see your photos.  Please take a set of photos that will illustrate each of your concerns and problems.  Include droop and static curb height to narrow down the issue.  Clear photos will provide info I need to comment on these concerns.  Sounds like you have a safety and handling risk.  Send as many photos as you want.

 

If you're having any difficulty attaching photos, simply click on "More Reply Options", you'll see the provision for attaching photos.  I'm looking forward to reviewing your photos, let's get this lift kit and other modifications sorted out.

 

Quick question:  What size tires, wheels and wheel backspacing are you running on the Cherokee?

 

Thanks!

 

Moses



#3 Aaronreed1

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:04 PM

Ok I should have updated the question prior to uploading it here instead of copying and pasting it. I have since replaced steering setup up front with a Rusty's offset steering. Not the best I know but half the price of a currie and so far no issues with steering besides a popping noise when backing up and turning. I assume I just need to get under there and double check the rod ends seated properly. I eliminated the death wobble...... BUT still have a shimmy at 40-50 then goes away if I continue to accelerate.
Recently to fix death wobble I replaced bad RH/LH ball joints, UCA axel side bushings and adjusted the lowers and body side uppers. I have a rough country lift so I could tighten them up and adjust the slop out. The guy who installed the lift that I bought the jeep from literally installed the lift but that's about all the thought process he put into it. It has a fresh alignment and I replaced the trac bar with a rubicon express that has the cross bar for attaching the left and right side of frame., installed sway bar link extensions on the axel side. And yet still I have a shimmy?......... Straight line, in a corner, smooth or bumpy road. Same result. 40-50 front starts to gallop. Never gets any worse.
Tires are BFG mud 33x12.5x15 I believe it's a 4in offset.

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#4 Aaronreed1

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Posted 29 June 2014 - 10:07 PM

The photos are from before I did the maintenance to fix what I could. Oh also food for thought.. One issue with my death wobble was the passenger side spring was not seated in the pocket correctly. But still have the 40-50mph shimmy

#5 Moses Ludel

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 04:58 AM

Aaron, does this shimmy continue once it sets in?  Or does it go away after 50 mph?

 

This could be a tire issue.  I would have the wheels and tires spun on a motorized balancer.  Check for out-of-round, radial run-out and signs of belt separation.  Belt separation, rim run-out or severe imbalance could set this thing off.  Also, I'd like to know what degrees of caster this front end now runs.  From the alignment, please share the specs.

 

Death wobble, in my view, is either bona fide ball joint or tie-rod issues, caster angle (not enough positive degrees) or steering linkage issues.  You've pored over the steering linkage and replaced the ball joints.  When they did the alignment was this a 4-wheel "thrust" alignment or simply a toe-set?  Reputable shops provide a printout of the results.  I'd like to see the caster, camber, toe, SAI and thrust specs.  You could have a rear axle shift or thrust issue.

 

Let's eliminate possibilities, beginning with the tires and wheels.

 

Moses





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