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Jeep Cherokee Grand Cherokee Steering Stability and Suspension



  • 1995 JGC, full time 4wd, 5.2L V8. On very tight turns at low speed, such as going into or out of a parking space, there is a grinding and thumping problem with the front end at full steering lock. I figure that this is caused by the "inside" front wheel being forced to rotate the same as the "outside" front wheel, and the inside tire is not happy about this. The car has full-time 4wd. I've greased the front end and checked the front axle fluid level. Any ideas on a fix?
  • These Jeep Cherokees are infamous for their death wobble. I have owned 6. Once you add any lift to your cherokee or oversize tires (31 inch) you assure that you are going to have death wobble. The absence of an actual frame unibody construction makes it diffcult to assure a smooth ride with an elevated suspension/larger tires. It should be noted that the Jeep Cherokee is superior in it's 4 wheel drive with it's Dana axles but the trade off is it's inferior handleling. it is definitely worth the trade off as the Cherokee is supreme in snow. Try rotating your wheels and/or balancing tires, but be advised that the only way to avoid death woble is to stay with factory lift and tires.
  • rt25rt25 Posts: 2
    Sorry for the slow response. I was fine with the trackbar fix for awhile, until I hit one really, really bad angled seam in a bridge. Voila, return of the deathe wobble. I tried fixing the ball joints (upper and lower) as well as the front wheel bearings. This reduced the severity, but it was still there. What seems to have finally fixed the issue was replacing the tie rod ends from the pitman arm, the drag link and the inner and outer tie rod ends (I went ahead and threw on a new steering stabilizer when I was replacing the drag link as well). In the stock XJ steering you have these four tie rod ends and I think all that play adds up. Everyone's mileage will vary and there never seems to be one simple fix. Sometimes it can be bad shocks too (I replaced those too, watch out for frozen bolts in the rears). But the biggest change seemed to come from replacing the tie rod ends in my case. Good luck with your fix!
  • Hi there.

    We bought a 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee and now that it is cold in the morning the power steering is going out intermittently. Our local mechanic said something about "morning sickness" but everything I've read about that says it is a transmission problem, not steering.

    Does anyone have any experience with this??

  • My 2004 JGC has beat me to death since the cay I bought it. It has 38,000 miles on it with factory Goodyear tires.
    Any suggestions for a smother ride, tires, shocks, if so what kind?

    It has never been off-road.
  • gytgyt Posts: 1
    It sounds to me like it is a bad wheel bearing, which are generally cheap to buy, but labor will most likely cost more than the parts.
  • mimi139mimi139 Posts: 9
    I have a 2001 GC Laredo. I had a slight vibration when driving as well as noise coming from breaks sounding like clank clank noise. I just had my front brakes done and the right front axle replaced on the jeep. The service man told me the vibration and clanking noise is coming from the universal joint but then he checked it Monday and said I have to replace the front drive shaft. He said this would resolve it. So I went to get a second opinion and surely I do need to replace the front end drive shaft. However this service station did not charge me the gentlemen put grease into the shaft and told me to drive around and if I continue to hear the noise when I brake then it is not coming from the shaft itself. It is very frustrating. I thought it was my rotors before I got them replaced on the jeep last week. I went into an empty lot and drove in circles to the left and right for a few minutes. It appears turning to the right there is a thumping noise but to the left it is normal. Someone has recommended me to change bothe front hub bearings as I allowed them to take a ride on the highway there was a humming noise coming from my right front wheel. Help this clanking noise is frustrating. I do tend to buy a used drive shaft wchich is cheaper then the dealer cost of over $500 for the part itself. Any feedback will be appreciated greatly. :(
  • mimi139mimi139 Posts: 9
    :confuse: :confuse: :confuse: :(
  • kjintfkjintf Posts: 1

    I am new to this forum and hope I can get some advice
    Purchased My Jeep Overland new it now has 63K miles
    Guess it's not a lot for a 10 year old vehicle

    During slow left turns mostly in parking lots I feel a shutter in the steering wheel and hear a clunk / chrunch noise from the front end. Checked all tie rod ends they are tight and look good.

    Any and all suggestions for a fix would be greatly appreciated
  • bigfella1bigfella1 Posts: 1
    Hi all,

    i recently purchased a 2002 grand cheroke limited. has about 150,000km on the clock and i have a steering problem with the car....intermitently it will not turn left. i can turn the wheel to the full lock position when turning right but when i go to turn left it is as if the steering jams up. i then have to turn right and then back to the left and it will go all the way. makes a shocking noise as well. also a rattle noise is heard from the r/h/f at 50km-60km an hour.

    does any of this sound familar to anyone? thanks.
  • tuggajbtuggajb Posts: 646
    and you are still driving this on the road as we speak

    pray tell me where os can stay away from there till you get it fixed
  • Hey bigfella

    I have an 03 and have the same problem. In the morning, or when I first set off after it sitting for awhile, when turning left only it feels like the wheel is stuck on something...then it breaks free and all is fine. Also, when making left turns only, it will squeal 90% of the time.

    My Jeep guy says that the only thing to do is replace the steering box. I haven't done it yet but I will eventually. The problem is only an annoyance right now so I'm not in a big hurry to spend the $$.

    I know this isn't REALLY an answer but I hope it helps. Most people think I'm crazy when I tell them it only happens when turning left.
  • bad460bad460 Posts: 2
    ball joints are alot of the problem,and the sterring shock is good to check as well. But make sure to check the trac bar for play... this part should have no play in it....
  • bad460bad460 Posts: 2
    yes morning sickness is a term we use in the shop for a tranny that wont go right away in the morning or cold. and yes it has nothing to do with your steering..if you are hearing a squilling noise when this happens it most likely is a belt tension problem..if not some of the early power steering pumps have a pressure valve in them that can fail in cold conditions and intermitantly..
  • I have a 2006 and it happens in hot or cold weather. The longer it sets the worse it gets. I waited until it was happening more often before I took it to the dealer. After I dropped it off, it did not do it at all. Dealer let it set for 4 days, i went and drove it with a tech, and still nothing. They called later that day and said they had found metal shavings in the power steering system. they replaced the power steering pump and the rack and pinion. I picked it up and it was noise / vibration free for almost 2 days.

    Has anybody actually had this issue fixed?
  • i have tried everything to get rid of this death wobble i will try the 7/16 bolt and drill out the bushing insert i hope this will work thanks for the info
  • Just a Note: Don't drill out the Bushing any larger than you have to, you want a snug fit.
    Also make sure you use a Grade 8 Bolt.
  • brunsbruns Posts: 1
    I first thought of the hubs disengaging when you say clunk but if you have an overland they dont disengage i believe, if it has quadra-trac, make sure your not in part time or Low. Thats the biggest misconception. Hear are some tips for common maintenance areas that can cause issues that may seem mechanical. Change the Transfercase fluid and filter (every 30,000) since your always in 4wd, make sure make sure! make sure!! your front differential is completely sealed-i learned that the hard way when i found out the fluid had been replaced with water over the years and corroded the gears as well as no protection from each others contact. Even if it is sealed to spec water will still get in, so it should also be replaced every so often (40,000), with removing the entire case and removing ALL fluid and shavings. Add power steering conditioner and check the steering stabilizer as well as all the control arms to be connected correctly. Grease the contact points. Try to determine where the noise is coming from, whether the very front of the car, a little back or directly below the drivers seat.
  • "replacing all steering parts": does this include all four ball joints. This is a major problem with Jeep. The front end may feel tight until you drive. Replacing upper and lower ball joints can be the biggest problem solver out there. Within this procedure you can check wheel bearings, and both front axle shafts for looseness. There are bearings in the axle shaft that can cause this problem. Use a good part CROWN parts are the best, you pay more but last longer than OE parts from dealer.
  • I have replaced all the tie rods myself as well, this tightened up the front end like a brand new vehicle steering. I still have a slight drifting occurance to the right when driving on slightly angled roads. if street is angled left or right that is the way it goes. i have not replaced ball joints or wheel bearings this is next on the list of things to do.
  • Check your panhard rod. What you are describing is what I know as "bump steering." When the bushings go bad, you will experience this.
  • ive got a 2002 grand cherokee awd.. when i turn left and somtimes right i get a bad vbration.seems when its cold not as bad but when its warmed up its terrible.the wheels also skip like there trying to catch up with each other.Going straight it drives fine. 4 wheel drive seems to work good in low and i think in high also.could it be the fluid in the transfer case or mabey the trans fer itself. any suggestions.Been fighting this for a year.
  • jclerkjclerk Posts: 2
    2002 jeep grand cherokee, after warranty expired (of course), in 2006, experienced steering problem, turning right, no problem.
    Turning left: vibration, noise. Steering fluid in the reservoir was blackish.
    Dealer $400 for new steering box, and $400 labor.
    Been running fine since.
    Dealer said life time warranty; meaning don't have to pay out of pocket for the same repair twice. But dealer has gone out of business since.
  • had same problem with my 02 cherokee. I was changing everything because it had 75-80k. Found out by luck it was a caliper getting hung-up. The friction after driving and depending on your speed, it would vary on vibration. Drive for 20-30min and lift the jeep, rotate each tire. My front right tire would not budge. This only takes a few minutes and would have saved me soo much time trying to find.
  • I'm new to the forum and a first time Jeep owner. I always try to buy American first and was happy that my wife and I agreed on the Overland Grand Cherokee which we purchased yesterday. She wanted to buy a Nissan Murano but I persuaded her to get the Jeep which admittedly wasn't very hard after driving the Grand Cherokee and experiencing the Overland interior. Less than 24 hours after our purchase we were driving into to work together, I made a right turn applied the brake and heard a loud popping noise coming from the front end. A short distance later I repeated the maneuver and again the popping sound. We took it to the dealer who claim they've never experienced this issue with the new body style. They are working on it but honestly admit they don't know what's wrong at this point. Has anyone out there experienced something like this and have any idea what might be wrong?
  • If a dealer tells me that line one more time, I would probably choke him. Typical and common to defer until warranty expires. If this is a new vehicle, take it right back, dump it on the service manager's lap, tell them this is a hidden defect and if they can't get it fixed you want another vehicle within [x] days period.

    These days no customer deserves anything less than perfect off the lot. Accept nothing less. The customer is not supposed to fix issues with new vehicles, that's why dealers have franchises and get paid profit when they sold it to you.

    If it is used, then you bought the problem. Good luck and don't back down.
  • buck53buck53 Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 GC Overland too and mine started to do the same thing a few days ago. I would describe the sound as a crunching/grinding sound from the left front while making slow, sharp left turns. Mine has about 59,000 miles on it. I guess I don't drive a lot either. Did you ever pinpoint the problem? I'm not sure if it is a wheel bearing, CV Joint, failing Viscous coupling or something else.

    I appreciate any info.
  • I have a 98 grand cherokee 4.0 4x4 and have had the death wobble. I replaced the lower control arms, steering dampener shock, and the inner tie rod end. The death wobble is dead, i killed it. i suggest replacing your lower control arms, especially if they look dried up and cracked. Hope that helps you out a little. I just went with the stock replacements. they're about $50 a piece.
  • pjdmillerpjdmiller Posts: 4
    Well, I finally tried the suggestion of the Akebono calipers and new rotors. I had the original Jeep problematic Teves calipers which were so bad and those problems are well written on the web if you have them. I have a 99 Grand Cherokee Limited V8 that would start to shake when applying brakes AFTER the brakes warmed up. In other words, driving out cold it was fine then after a run in the city or on the highway, brake application would pulse and the front end would start to shake so badly that you actually had to ease off on the brakes.

    I went the local parts store here in Calgary and bought two front rotors, Akebono calipers and new pads. I pulled off the old rotors and calipers (calipers went back as exchange cores). The mating surface between the new rotor and hub was rusty and uneven. Chrysler data says it must be smooth and even so I took air tools with wire wheels and cleaned them for hours so that there would be less wobble possible between the rotor and hub mating surface.

    The new setup is fantastic. My braking pulse is gone. My front end shimmy is gone while braking. The old original Jeep calipers showed signs of seizing part way and dragging. The best part is mileage went WAY UP. We previously lived with about 450km on a tank (yeah, we got used to it over the years) and after the new setup, we get close to 750-800km per tank. Huge difference.

    My only leftover complaint is that a bump in the road still causes a minor rattle in the steering wheel. I have the original steering damper and have bought a Moog replacement which I will install (About $50 from Amazon). I will be pleased to report the difference, if any. Also, I inspected the rods and ball joints as best I could and did not detect any play. The only other place might be the pitman arm but I'm going to wait until I replace the steering damper since that is pretty easy. Hope this helps.
  • kmc8kmc8 Posts: 1
    Just recently (in 100+ heat) my steering has become squeeky and stiff--does ok driving straight--steering fluid didn't help-WHAT IS THIS problem indicative of? I'm afraid to drive it-upon start things are rattling in front end in addition to steering now. :sick:
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