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70k JKU - things to check before new tires

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70k JKU - things to check before new tires

Post  CrawlingForward on 2/14/2014, 12:22 pm

Ok, so the Islander is about to turn over 70k this week and I've already got a new set of MTs to throw on, as this set is *just* about finished.

However, the existing set has a little bit of scalloping and it currently has a bit of steering wheel wobble.

So before I put on brand new tires, I want to make sure that there's no parts needing replacing that will ruin brand new tires.

Anything that I should check specifically? Track bar? Ball Joints?

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Re: 70k JKU - things to check before new tires

Post  Mark on 2/14/2014, 2:41 pm

You've got it Geoff, Ball joints, tie rods, Track bar, Sway bar links, control arm bushings and Shocks.
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Re: 70k JKU - things to check before new tires

Post  CrawlingForward on 2/17/2014, 12:00 pm

Awwwwwcrap.

Dianna got minor deathwobble on the way to work this morning.

Time to start checking.


This is my first time doing this.  What should I start with and where should I go from there?

Do the "observe while turning the steering wheel test"?
How do I check balljoints? (I've only done it with the knuckles removed.)
Shocks I just check by seeing how they absorb bounce, correct?  Nothing special there.

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Re: 70k JKU - things to check before new tires

Post  Mark on 2/17/2014, 2:48 pm

sounds like a track bar bushing or tire balance, those are the usual culprits ,Believe it or not low tire air pressure can contribute to it also.
Place a floor jack under the axle tube as closes to knuckle as possible and lift the tire 2 inches or so off the ground,
then using a 3 or 4 foot bar pull up on bar and then let pressure off.

If a ball joint is bad tire will move up and down,(and possibly clunk) or tire might pull in and out at bottom or the top.

Tie rods,,place a pair of channel lock style pliers between top of tie rod and the nut/stud end and see if you can squeeze pliers and watch if the tie rod collapses ( it will ) but you can see if one is worse than the others.

And YES ,,Do the "observe while turning the steering wheel test"?
Also wheel left to right (short 1/4 turn quick strokes left to right) and observe track bar at both ends takes two persons to do that it might clunk if bad or you might see a sloppy bushing// also observe the track bar mounting bolt for looseness.
Keep us posted as to how you make out.
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Re: 70k JKU - things to check before new tires

Post  CrawlingForward on 2/17/2014, 2:56 pm

Mark wrote:sounds like a track bar bushing or tire balance, those are the usual culprits ,Believe it or not low tire air pressure can contribute to it also.
Place a floor jack under the axle tube as closes to knuckle as possible and lift the tire 2 inches or so off the ground,
then using a 3 or 4 foot bar pull up on bar and then let pressure off.

If a ball joint is bad tire will move up and down,(and possibly clunk) or tire might pull in and out at bottom or the top.

Tie rods,,place a pair of channel lock style pliers between top of tie rod and the nut/stud end and see if you can squeeze pliers and watch if the tie rod collapses ( it will ) but you can see if one is worse than the others.

And YES ,,Do the "observe while turning the steering wheel test"?
Also wheel left to right (short 1/4 turn quick strokes left to right) and observe track bar at both ends takes two persons to do that it might clunk if bad or you might see a sloppy bushing// also observe the track bar mounting bolt for looseness.
Keep us posted as to how you make out.

Awesome, thank you!

I also noticed some left over concrete-like mud clumps stuck in the wheels at lunch today, so there's a possibility that might be part of the most recent problem, but I still want to check everything out before throwing on the new tires!

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95 YJ, 2" BDS w/ 1" shackle lift, 235/85/16 BFG ATs on Cherokee Icon wheels, SYE w/ Tom Woods Driveshaft, 4.88 Ford 8.8, locked/locked
2010 JK Unlimited, Islander Edition

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Re: 70k JKU - things to check before new tires

Post  AquilesT on 2/20/2014, 4:26 pm

This is a great explanation of the front end as well as a step by step guide to diagnosing front end issues.
Death Wobble/front end checklist
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