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Advise on steering/handling upgrades please

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Advise on steering/handling upgrades please

Old 04-02-2019, 10:44 PM
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Default Advise on steering/handling upgrades please

Been a while since I've posted here. You all were a ton of help summer before last when my daughter and I built up her dream XJ. She's been happily abusing it ever since, including a 6000 mile road trip to Alaska. She's coming home with it for just a couple days the week after next, and she's telling me the tracking/handling has degraded a bit and there's a hint of death wobble occasionally. A mechanic told her that the steering gearbox seemed to have too much slop, so I plan to get a rebuilt one to swap in. Hopefully that will improve things. What else do you all suggest? Keep in mind I've only got a couple evenings with it so not much time for anything major, but in addition to the steering gearbox are there particular simple swaps or upgrades I can do so she tracks truer and straighter on the highway and death wobble hints are eliminated? I won't have time to diagnose anything, I just need to get the parts now and be ready to dig in when she gets home.

By the way, it's a '95 Country, 4.0, automatic, 3" lift via the normal lift kit stuff with 31's, but no mods to steering/handling stuff.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
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Old 04-02-2019, 11:07 PM
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If it still has factory steering the v8 zj steering is a direct swap with a lot more beef. Make sure the track bar bolt is tight and if it's still a factory track bar or probably wouldn't hurt to throw in an adjustable track bar. Almost any front end joint or bushing could be the cause of the death wobble.
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Old 04-03-2019, 06:44 AM
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Don't get a rebuilt box from a parts store anyway. they all seem to be junk.

Get your eyes on it first. Have her turn the wheel back and forth while you watch for looseness in the steering.

No matter what, tighten the track bar bracket bolts to the frame.

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Old 04-05-2019, 04:13 PM
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Thanks guys.

Satrica, you say "the v8 zj steering is a direct swap". Do you know this for a fact? Have you done this swap? Absolutely nothing else has to change; brackets, pitman arm, steering column, nothing? Also, how does an adjustable track bar help with wobble/tightness? Assuming the original track bar is tight with good bushings and alignment is spot on, how does the adjustable fix problems?

Cruiser, thanks for that great picture. Good reference to know what I'm dealing with. While your advise to "get your eyes on it first" is good advice, like I said I've only got 2 evenings with this beast, maybe a couple hours per evening. I won't have time to do a bunch of inspection, then round up parts, then install parts. I need to have needed parts in hand when she arrives. However, it's possible I could round up more than is needed then return what I don't use for refund (like, maybe, an adjustable track bar once I understand how that might help things).

Thanks, keep the ideas coming!
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:15 PM
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The steering box is a bolt in.
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Old 04-05-2019, 04:21 PM
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I will say again, even though many disagree with me. But stay away from heim joint solutions. They end up being a pain in the rear for one of two reasons. One is that heims wear out and have to be replaced regularly. They are exposed and you will find most of them are weaker than a tie rod end. Second, many of them raise the drag link to above the pitman arm. This in many cases leads to death wobble you will not be able to correct unless you make the same amount of adjustment in the track bar to return the track bar to parallel with the drag link. As far as "loose" steering box goes, there is an adjustment on the top. If there is still adjustment left in it, just do it and it will tighten it up. Just don't make it so tight that it becomes stiff to operate
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Old 04-06-2019, 09:49 PM
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Zj v8 steering is a direct swap.

Moog part #s
Tie rod:
Ds1312
Es3096L
Es2079S

Drag link is basically the same as xj but I changed it with
Ds1238
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by wristwister
Thanks guys.

Satrica, you say "the v8 zj steering is a direct swap". Do you know this for a fact? Have you done this swap? Absolutely nothing else has to change; brackets, pitman arm, steering column, nothing? Also, how does an adjustable track bar help with wobble/tightness? Assuming the original track bar is tight with good bushings and alignment is spot on, how does the adjustable fix problems?

Cruiser, thanks for that great picture. Good reference to know what I'm dealing with. While your advise to "get your eyes on it first" is good advice, like I said I've only got 2 evenings with this beast, maybe a couple hours per evening. I won't have time to do a bunch of inspection, then round up parts, then install parts. I need to have needed parts in hand when she arrives. However, it's possible I could round up more than is needed then return what I don't use for refund (like, maybe, an adjustable track bar once I understand how that might help things).

Thanks, keep the ideas coming!
I have used the v8 zj steering in the past. I now have a cav fab cross over steering kit which also works well, but for a mild rig v8 zj steering is all you need. There are numerous references saying it's a direct fit if you don't believe me, you can google it and find multiple links about it. The reason I said the adjustable track bar is the fact that a worn out track bar can cause wobble issues and if you're going to replace the track bar you may as well replace it with one that is the correct length for your lift. Yes a factory replacement would be just as tight, but an aftermarket adjustable one would also recenter the axle.
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Old 04-07-2019, 10:53 AM
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The steering box is a bolt in. I've done them a few times.
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