Project Built to Cruise

Page 3


Previous Update

 Last week I had fabricated a mount to hook up the steering stabilizer.  At the axle end I was able to re-use the mount I cut off when I was re-working the track bar mount.  I chose to hook the other end of the stabilizer to the tie rod and came up with a two piece bracket that I made from a pair of 1 5/8 two piece shaft collars, a shock mounting stud and two small pieces of steel (to tie the shaft collars together).

The steering was working nice but after two off-road trips (Crown King and a Table Mesa night run) things started feeling loose again and I experienced a really nasty front end shimmy around 50-55mph.  I did re-torque everything a week ago and the castle nuts were loose.  Upon closer inspection there was again movement at the ball joints that came with the TeraFlex high steer kit.

The culprits ended up being the washer supplied with the kit, as you can see in the second picture they were caving in when the nut was tightened.  I also dragged the tie rod over a rod the previous evening which must have bent the washer further.  These washers really should be hardened, they looked to be grade 5, way too soft for what they were supposed to do.  I replaced them with some grade 8 washers, if those aren't hard enough I will order some hardened washer from Mcmaster Carr.

Another addition was a removable rod that braces the track bar mount to the opposite frame rail.  This may seem like overkill but when wiggling the Jeep back and forth it looked like the stock mount flexed a bit.

Checking for clearance front and rear with the suspension articulated I noticed I was not bottoming out on the bump stops and the rear shock gets really close to the exhaust when that side drops out.  The shock isn't a big concern but it would be nice to ensure that the suspension bottoms out on a bump stop and not the fenders.

Thanks to a cylinder bracket given to me by Jack I have a way to air up my tires after a run.  I am utilizing the nitrogen tank that I have setup to charge my coilovers.  Might as well put it to some use......

Also mounted a pair of rock lights next to the rear tires.  At one point these were on my 3 seater buggy, then they resided in a garage cabinet for a few years.  Again, might as well put them to use.  I wired them up via a relay which is activated along with the front driving lights.  After one night run I am glad I installed these as they really helped visibility.  I can see adding one more out back for those times when you have to back up in the dark.

Update 7-22-08 -Finally installed the gas tank skid plate I had been tripping over for the past to months.  

Also went ahead and ordered some fresh rod ends and seals for the track bar I made.  I found the seals at Speedway, hopefully these will keep most of the dirt and grime out of the rod ends. One thing I did notice is that you can't use a high misalignment spacer with the seals since they have a small washer bonded to the rubber.  

On another note I have been fighting a front end wobble that seemed to changed from good to worse at seemingly random intervals.  After going thru all the death wobble checklists I could find and not changing the symptoms had about given up until a few weeks ago when I drove home without airing up the tires.  All of a sudden the wobble was gone.  So add air pressure as one of the things to check if all your front end components are tight and in order.  After some experimenting I have found the turning point seems to be around 17psi.  If I fill the front tires any more than that the front end wobbles from 50-60mph with higher air pressures resulting in death wobble.  At 16psi everything is happy.  for reference this was discovered after I had a full alignment done (which included adjusting the upper control arms to get the camber in spec) and I had the tires re-balanced.

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