I'm a Wanderer (2015 JK that is wandering)

A2112Priest

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So, 2015 JK w/~119K miles - MT, lifted ~3 or so, 35' GY KO2 tires on Moto something rims.
Prior to having some suspension work done, so stiff it rattles your teeth or tooth loose but she tracked great, one hand driving....now, white knuckle.
Work performed by a reputable Jeep shop; Geometry bracket for CNTL Arms, Bilstein shocks installed (nicer ride now and not as stiff), new ball joints (all of them--synergy I think).

After this work was done it was down right dangerous...I mean DANGEROUS. So i brought it back to the shop, they agreed it was squirrely and we installed a 1 ton steering kit (tie rod and drag link). Now it's ~80% better but not great...

I've read there are A LOT of possibilities everything from tire pressure (I need to check and possibly lower) to ball joint (done). I am bringing it back to the shop today and have them check it out again but would like some suggestions.
Are the steering gear boxes notoriously bad on the JKs?

The CTNL arms / bushing / bolts all look good, accept grease and are tight
The 35' tires are on 18' rims (NOPE, PO did that...WTH???)

Steering damper is new and may be impeding the steering wheel to not come back to center quickly enough -- stock one was fine but I do prefer a little less aggressive return

Whatchya got? Thoughts?
 
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A2112Priest

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Forgot to mention -- Front end alignment was done...I'll check real quick for the numbers and post 'em here...
Don't have them in the JK but I'll get them when I get to the shop...
 
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IndominusHuman

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Forgot to mention -- Front end alignment was done...I'll check real quick for the numbers and post 'em here...
Don't have them in the JK but I'll get them when I get to the shop...
I am not saying this is the case with the shop you went to, but some shops don't know how to set up 4x4s correctly as far as alignment. If they do a lot of off-road vehicles running bigger tires and they install lifts, they probably do, but worth thinking about.

As far as a steering stabilizer (dampener), if a vehicle is set up correctly its not needed (its still nice to have). They just tend to mask problems.
 
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A2112Priest

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So, the test drive happened...suspect a bad ball joint...??? Synergy -- new joints w/ a bad one. We'll see!
 
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A2112Priest

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I am not saying this is the case with the shop you went to, but some shops don't know how to set up 4x4s correctly as far as alignment. If they do a lot of off-road vehicles running bigger tires and they install lifts, they probably do, but worth thinking about.

As far as a steering stabilizer (dampener), if a vehicle is set up correctly its not needed (its still nice to have). They just tend to mask problems.
Good point. There is a possibility that the geometry brackets are not the right ones... So PO installed a lift but there is no part number / indicator of what type and what amount of lift. I've read so many conflicting comments on how to tell how much lift. Stock springs were supposedly 8' and any amount over that is the amount of lift...I've also heard, no that's not true...gotta measure distance between axel housing and frame...etc...etc....etc....
He did look at it and commented that it may not be the right one. These guys are pretty reputable, from what I've heard, and they pretty much only work Jeep repairs and customizations. They're closed on the weekends but he asked if I could bring it by tomorrow for him to look at...
 
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IndominusHuman

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Good point. There is a possibility that the geometry brackets are not the right ones... So PO installed a lift but there is no part number / indicator of what type and what amount of lift. I've read so many conflicting comments on how to tell how much lift. Stock springs were supposedly 8' and any amount over that is the amount of lift...I've also heard, no that's not true...gotta measure distance between axel housing and frame...etc...etc....etc....
He did look at it and commented that it may not be the right one. These guys are pretty reputable, from what I've heard, and they pretty much only work Jeep repairs and customizations. They're closed on the weekends but he asked if I could bring it by tomorrow for him to look at...
If that shop has a good reputation from people you know I would trust them. Are you running stock steering setup?
 

IndominusHuman

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I am right now (321's but have plans for 456's). 6th gear is about useless even here in FL!
I mean your steering setup. Tie rod and drag link.
My Jeep would shake at about 75 and above and then would somewhat wander or get pulled hard. Upgrading the tie rod and drag link helped.
 

IndominusHuman

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After throughly reading your first post I would say it would have to do with the caster from where they put the lift on. You said it tracked great until they put the lift on and then it messed up. Did you get adjustable control arms with the kit?
 

Chris

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I wouldn't run Synergy ball joints, those things are pure garbage.

I think your issue has to do with caster though. You should post up the alignment sheet so we can all see the numbers.
 
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A2112Priest

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Copy all the above... I'll be dropping it off today (hopefully / maybe) and i'll ask for the aligment sheet...Odd..every aligment I've ever gotten the shop has provided me with the sheet but this one...What should the caster be?
 

cpwolf

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I would agree on 2 points
I’d use Spicer U Joints and ball joints when possible.

Caster getting fixed makes a HUGE difference. My son’s 08 Jk, we got Core 4x4 upper fronts and they made double adjustables, and I dialed in the Caster from 3.5 to 6.5 or 7 (dam If I can’t remember Exactly).
100% corrected, drives like a car, 2” suspension lift, 1” BL and 35” Mud BFG’s
 
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A2112Priest

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Gotchya...I'll be looking for the 6'ish dimension... I hope we can get this figured out... But it aint my first rodeo... I do miss the simpleness of the old CJ7 I had...
 
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cpwolf

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Gotchya...I'll be looking for the 6'ish dimension... I hope we can get this figured out... But it aint my first rodeo... I do miss the simpleness of the old CJ7 I had...
Ha, my 78 CJ5 drove like I was in Hurricane. At all times.

One question, what is the “Geometry Bracket” for control arms? I’m not familiar with the need?

I put adjustable control arms to dial in anything after lift.
 
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A2112Priest

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The Geo Brackets (due to lift) put the control arms back to original spec (or alignment with the drive train. Essentially, it lowers the control arms to put them in line.... I have adjustable control arms but with the lift, they were at a pretty steep angle...
 

cpwolf

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The Geo Brackets (due to lift) put the control arms back to original spec (or alignment with the drive train. Essentially, it lowers the control arms to put them in line.... I have adjustable control arms but with the lift, they were at a pretty steep angle...
Fair enough. I have not heard of anyone needing to do that on a 3" lift, but fair enough, granted I've got an 05 and 08, so I may be in a different setup.
 

cpwolf

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I'm not completely sold on the need for them...I won't be surprised if they aren't part of the problem...
Good call, I would think Adjustable CAs would deliver what you need in the stock location.....then adjust the Caster to 6 or 7 ish (not every setup is the same, and it could be that 5 dials it in, not always an exact science)
 
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