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Jeep Cherokee Grand Cherokee Steering Stability and Suspension

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,562

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  • OK just finished doing this to my 1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I would get the death wobble as I rounded a corner above 50 miles/hour or so and the jeep would hit a pothole or road surface change (like on an overpass). Terrible wobble that won’t stop unless you slow below 40 or so! I fixed it after reading the posts here. I did encounter some problems and here’s my two cents to add to make your process even easier than mine.

    The guy who posted about replacing the stock bolt with a 7/16” bolt is right on the money. The housing that the stock bolt goes through has too much slop. Mine wasn’t wallowed out or anything, it’s just a bad design. A 7/16” diameter bolt fits perfectly. Ordered my bolt online from McMaster-Carr. Grade 8 Alloy Steel Hex Flange Cap Screw 7/16”-14 thread, 3” length. Unfortunately, they only sell them in a 10 pack. That was about $12 total. Their part # for the bolt is 92316A656. Here’s the problem I encountered though. That bolt has to go through the track bar bushing and that IS NOT 7/16” diameter. The previous guy said “drill it out”. Not so easy. Extraordinarily hard tempered metal. All my bits (went through 3 of them til I quit that approach) just made smoke and heat and began to melt the rubber. If you can do it that way, good on you. But there’s an easier way. Take the track bar to a machine shop if you don’t have a press. Have the bushing (the rubber part, the hard metal bushing inside of it and the thin metal shim ring on the outside) pressed out. Cost me $10. Go to NAPA and buy just the track bar bushing (NAPA part #274-9213). Cost me $17.69 with tax. It’s a “problem solver” bushing. Consists of two polyurethane/rubber halves and a metal bushing sleeve. Turns out the sleeve is 7/16” inside diameter! No drilling. New bolt fits perfectly. Solved my problem!!

    The only other thing I would add is about the nut that goes on the back of the bolt. The stock bolt is actually tack welded to a Z-shaped tab that is perfectly ergonomically designed to help you get it back together. It’s in a really tight constricted space. You’ll see. Here’s what I did: I took the factory tabbed bolt and re-threaded it to 7/16”-14. Wasn’t hard. Did a little internet research on tap & die drilling. Drilled it out to the proper pre-tap diameter (memory fails what that diameter was, sorry), then used a 7/16”-14 tap to cut new threads. If you don’t want to bother with that, I’m sure a machine shop would do it for you too. Maybe weld your own tab to a 7/16” nut, that’d work too. I’m also sure that you could just put a regular old nut on the back but it will be a PITA getting it started and tightened.

    Good luck. Thanks to all those who posted before me. Helped me diagnose and solve my problem. Just wanted to pay it forward and add some things that will make your fix even quicker and easier.
  • bihontebihonte Posts: 1
    have a 2004 cherokee also doing the same thing started researching the internet;Auto Recall Date: 03/10/2003
    Vehicle Component: STEERING:GEAR BOX (OTHER THAN RACK AND PINION)
    Estimated Vehicles Affected: 286
    2004 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE Defect Summary:
    ON CERTAIN SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES, THE POWER STEERING GEAR MAY CONTAIN AN IMPROPERLY FORMED SPACER CLIP, WHICH COULD DISLODGE WITHIN THE STEERING GEAR.
    Defect Consequence:
    A DISLODGED CLIP MAY CAUSE INCREASED STEERING EFFORT, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
    Remedy:
    DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE STEERING GEAR ASSEMBLIES. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN ON MARCH 12, 2003. OWNERS WHO TAKE THEIR VEHICLES TO AN AUTHORIZED DEALER ON AN AGREED UPON SERVICE DATE AND DO NOT RECEIVE THE FREE REMEDY WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME SHOULD CONTACT DAIMLERCHRYSLER AT 1-800-853-1403.
    Notes: DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORPORATION, C12
  • I just bought a 2000 jeep grand cherokee lerado from my uncle and replaced the driver side tie rod end that connects to the pittman arm. The passenger side uppers and lowers tie rod ends were replaced last year. For some reason the steering is tight and will not starighten itself out and return to center. There is some slop in the gear box. I have heard it could be ball joints, but i am not sure. Any suggestions???
  • Hey guys, to all who read this...IT'S THE DIFFERENTIALS....MINE DID AND DID UNTIL I CHANGED THE DIFF FLUID!!! IN MINE THERE IS 75-140 AND ALSO LIMITED SLIP ADDITIVE..THATS THE PROBLEM...THE CLUTCHES AND GEARS IN THE DIFFERENTIAL ARE GOING NUTS WITHOUT THE PROPER LUBE/OR CLEAN AND FRESH LUBE... I have a 2003 GC Overland...mine requires 75-140 and also limited slip additive...IF YOURS REQUIRES LIMITED SLIP ADDITIVE I PERSONALLY RECOMMEND GETTING THE LIMITED SLIP ADDITIVE AT THE DEALER...the limited slip that comes in some brand fluids wasn't sufficient for my jeep...it continued making the horrible noise when turning...after I added the limited slip lube I bought from the dealer...case closed...no noise...NOTHING...after a couple of figure 8's in a parking lot that problem is long behind me...I hope this helps someone...I came across and article just like the one i am typing now and thats how i discovered how to fix mine...seems common...
  • I have a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo. I have read several posts about the death wobble. It first acted up on mine on the interstate in New Jersey and I was on the inside lane and couldn't stop, couldn't get over to the side. Very scary, very dangerous. We took it back to the used car dealer and he replaced sway bars, shocks, everything he could think of and it kept happening, hit a bump or go over 55mph and it shakes like hell. People pulled over behind us to tell us our tires were dancing all over the place. They replaced about everything you could imagine with no success. Then I read somewhere that the brake rotors are crap and they get easily warped. Had them checked, sure enough, warped. Replaced rotors and no more death wobble. I end up replacing rotors on this jeep more than you would normall think to as once they wear down a bit, they overheat and warp. We replace rotors about every two years and no death wobble. Should have been a manufacturer's recall and fix for this, but not. There was lots of recalls for fixes, gas tank sensor, shifter linkage, and others. Hope this helps someone.
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