Steering stabilizer

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Johnzi10
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Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Sun May 02, 2021 9:02 pm

Just put bilstein shocks on, what a difference from the old Monroe gasmatics! Still have a slight vibration and figure I’ll start with the OE looking stabilizer. Stock height, any recommendations?
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
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Stuka
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Stuka » Sun May 02, 2021 9:12 pm

Well, before you just go replacing parts, what is vibrating?

A worn steering stabilizer can allow for a shimmy to get into the steering wheel, but the stabilizer isn't the cause. Its most likely an out of balance tire or an alignment issue.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
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riozilla
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by riozilla » Mon May 03, 2021 5:27 am

I’d also replace your lower steering column bearing if it’s old or original.

When I rebuilt/replaced my entire lower steering system (trying to tighten it all up), I deleted the rag joint and went to a Borgeson lower steering column with u-joint, replaced my power steering gear box (and power steering pump) and then still had an annoying vibration so replaced my steering column bearing assembly with a cheap crown part and it still was not good, so I upgraded to a much higher quality Wolff Engineering bearing assembly and it was night and day better in terms of tightness and no more vibrations or shimmy coming through the steering wheel.


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Johnzi10
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Mon May 03, 2021 9:42 am

The stabilizer looks really old, so I will replace it just because. Then if vibration still there, I will address steering. Any recommendations for a source?
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
1989 Grand Wagoneer my Covid mental health medicine

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Stuka
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Stuka » Mon May 03, 2021 11:19 am

Johnzi10 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 9:42 am
The stabilizer looks really old, so I will replace it just because. Then if vibration still there, I will address steering. Any recommendations for a source?
I would still like to know when the vibration happens, and where do you feel it?

Is it speed sensitive? Is it only in the steering wheel, or is it in the seat, etc?

And for sure, you can replace the worn out part. But before you go on replacing everything, its best to localize the issue.

Oh, and riozilla above stated he removed the rag joint. This will give better steering feel, but it will actually increase the vibrations felt in the steering wheel as part of the reason the rag joint is there is to help isolate the steering wheel from the gear box. It does also have some flex to account for chassis flex and such.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by sirrus » Mon May 03, 2021 12:59 pm

My 2 cents on the subject - I replaced both steering stabilizer and rag joint on my GW.

Old rag joint was cracked/torn and I wanted to keep steering feel. I used rebuild kit from BJs, they also sell complete coupler (for 1974-76 and for 1977-91) if you don't want to mess with old one. IMO, buying complete coupler is not worth it unless your is broken, it is 3 times more expensive ($75 vs $23 for rebuild kit) and it's not difficult to rebuild. Rebuild kit might also be available at your local parts store, if you don't want to order online

My old steering stabilizer had couple dents, leaking and bushings were almost gone. Used BDS NX2 (also from BJs), it's probably a bit of an overkill for my stock rig, but whatever. No hardware is included, so you'll need to reuse stock stuff. It definitely improved steering - driving on washboard dirt roads became less scary. Keep in mind that not all Jeeps had that stabilizer and a lot of people drive fine without it for years - it's not crucial part of steering, but IMO having it makes steering nicer.

And x2 on what Stuka said - it's better to figure out source of vibration first (especially if it's not the stabilizer) and fix it. I can imagine that extra vibrations would shorten the life of new stabilizer and it's bushings.
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Mon May 03, 2021 2:31 pm

Vibration is in front drivers side at 50 to 55. New shocks cleared up 90% of it. I had the wheels refurbished and they mounted and balanced all 4.I feel safer driving on the expressway now. How do I test for rag joint?
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
1989 Grand Wagoneer my Covid mental health medicine


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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Mon May 03, 2021 2:34 pm

I ordered team gw stabilizer and upgrade sway bar with new bar, links and bushings. I’m not just throwing parts at it, want to do things once and not worry about it again.
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
1989 Grand Wagoneer my Covid mental health medicine


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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by sirrus » Mon May 03, 2021 3:23 pm

There is no specific test for rag joint - just examine it for cracks, tear.

If it looks even remotely like this, I’d change it

Image
Sometimes we reinvent the wheel not to have more wheels but to have more inventors

1988 Grand Wagoneer - AMC 360 with ProFlo4 MPFI, TF727, NP229 and lots of relays and other electric upgrades :)
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Stuka » Mon May 03, 2021 3:27 pm

Johnzi10 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 2:31 pm
Vibration is in front drivers side at 50 to 55. New shocks cleared up 90% of it. I had the wheels refurbished and they mounted and balanced all 4.I feel safer driving on the expressway now. How do I test for rag joint?
I would almost bet money your tires are out of balance. Thats a very typical speed for it to happen. The steering stabilizer and other stuff you got won't have an effect on that if its a tire balance issue.

I would go to a tire shop and have all four tires spin balanced, and make sure the air pressure is equal on all of them. Also check the wear pattern on them. An alignment issue can cause bad wear which can also cause tire vibrations.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Mon May 03, 2021 4:11 pm

I’ve come to the same conclusion that I need to have tire balance checked. I’m pleased overall at the Jeep’s ride for a 31 year old brick. I’m a Jeep dealer and normally drive a new Grand Cherokee. Takes me back to cleaning up new Fury III ‘s in 76. Weighty, heavy ride with a fingertip effort to steer. I see so many mods that improve the GW’s on this forum and am torn between the “stock” condition of mine and improving the technology for better performance/reliability/mileage. The passion members have for there Jeep’s is interesting and infectious.
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
1989 Grand Wagoneer my Covid mental health medicine

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Stuka
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Stuka » Mon May 03, 2021 5:25 pm

Johnzi10 wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 4:11 pm
The passion members have for there Jeep’s is interesting and infectious.
Indeed!
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


77Chief77
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by 77Chief77 » Tue May 04, 2021 12:30 pm

In some cases, loose or damaged front end components or engine/transmission mounts can cause vibration. Do not overlook engine accessory mounts and drive belts as well. All of these components may cause vibration to appear at either end of the jeep. When diagnosing a vibration condition, if the actual cause is not readily apparent, all driveline components should be checked before making repairs. Summed up from the service diagnosis manual regarding vibration. Best of luck in tracking that sucker down!
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Johnzi10
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Wed May 05, 2021 11:36 am

So, having tires balanced, the shop that redid the rims put stick on weights where caliper stripped them off first time I drove it. So new weights in proper position should help. Will drive shortly. Checked rag joint when up in the air and has some play. Will replace it!
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
1989 Grand Wagoneer my Covid mental health medicine

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Stuka
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Stuka » Wed May 05, 2021 12:22 pm

Johnzi10 wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:36 am
So, having tires balanced, the shop that redid the rims put stick on weights where caliper stripped them off first time I drove it. So new weights in proper position should help. Will drive shortly. Checked rag joint when up in the air and has some play. Will replace it!
I have had the same issue. Not a lot of caliper clearance with the stock alloy wheels.

I have also had weights (edge clip on style) hit the TRE, but thats normally caused by loose bearings.
2017 JKU Rubicon Lifted and stuff
Pevious Jeeps: 1981 J10, 1975 Cherokee, 2008 JK, 2005 KJ, 1989 XJ


77Chief77
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by 77Chief77 » Thu May 06, 2021 1:08 pm

Johnzi10 wrote:
Wed May 05, 2021 11:36 am
So, having tires balanced, the shop that redid the rims put stick on weights where caliper stripped them off first time I drove it. So new weights in proper position should help. Will drive shortly. Checked rag joint when up in the air and has some play. Will replace it!
You might already know this but when you remove the rag joint, don't forget to see if the gearbox shaft has any excessive play in it too.
1977 Chief, Wide Track, 360, TH400, QT


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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Thu May 06, 2021 7:14 pm

Thanks for the heads up! How much movement is excessive? I figure there is a bit of play, but don’t know for sure.
2020 Cherokee Limited v6. Wife’s Jeep
2002 Grand Cherokee Laredo Daughters Jeep
1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
1989 Grand Wagoneer my Covid mental health medicine


77Chief77
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by 77Chief77 » Fri May 07, 2021 3:33 am

My new Redhead gear box, which is basically a USA remanufactured gearbox and is rebuilt better than the regular auto parts store gear boxes, only had a tiny amount of play. If I had to guess the amount of rotation, I would say 9 to 14 thousands of an inch of play.
1977 Chief, Wide Track, 360, TH400, QT


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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by Johnzi10 » Fri May 07, 2021 8:50 pm

I’ll have to google that, thanks
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1998 XJ Cherokee “the Ghost”
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Re: Steering stabilizer

Post by tgreese » Sat May 08, 2021 6:23 am

The steering gear can be adjusted to reduce rotational play. The instructions are in the various TSMs. There are two adjustments: the tightness of the steering shaft end bearings (end play) and the tightness between the pinion shaft and the worm (gear mesh). These must be done in order. You need an inch-lb torque wrench and some way to attach to the steering shaft. The procedure is supposed to be done on the bench.

There exist online instructions that tell you to adjust the gear mesh without first adjusting end play. The TSMs emphatically warn against this.

Regarding steering "stabilizers," Jeep calls this part a steering damper. That's what it does - it adds damping to the steering, and can prevent (damp out) mild resonant vibrations at specific speeds. Does not do much more than that. back in the day, Jeep delivered the '72 and '73 CJs without a damper. Some of these Jeeps demonstrated a mild wobble at boulevard speeds, that could be felt through the steering wheel. The solution was a damper. Not sure what the history of these on FSJs is, but eventually all the Jeep vehicles - CJs included - got them from the factory. Your banged-up OEM damper probably works as well as it needs to, and I suspect you won't notice a lot of difference if you replace it.
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