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79 CJ5 steering issues

Discussion in 'Jeep CJ' started by Jason B, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Jun 11, 2017 at 2:12 PM
    #1
    Jason B

    Jason B [OP] New Member

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    Jason
    Shepherd Mi.
    Vehicle:
    1979 base model CJ5
    Spring over lift, Warn lock outs.
    Pulling my hair out trying to trouble shoot my stearing trouble. The bump stear is so bad the jeep changes lanes on its own over 30mph. I've checked and rechecked everything. No slop in the gearbox, everything North and South of the gearbox seems fine, i honestly can't figure out where the wondering stearing is coming from. The only thing I can find is the front spring bushings are worn out. Can this make stearing that sloppy?

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  2. Jun 11, 2017 at 6:52 PM
    #2
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Bob
    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    2" Superlift kit. 315/ 70/17.
    Just my thoughts. But yeah. Bad bushings will throw you all over the road. I'd start there. Relatively cheap to replace. And go from there. And based on your pics. They look shot. Go with polyurethane. They'LL last longer.
     
  3. Jun 11, 2017 at 8:03 PM
    #3
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Peter
    Houston
    Vehicle:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    Bump steer is caused by too much angle in the draglink. Meaning you have more than 3in of lift and have not installed a dropped pitman arm, or you have like 7in. of lift and only a 4in dropped pitman arm. The increase angle in the draglink causes your steering wheel to turn when the suspension compresses when going over a bump on the road and is real bad when hitting a series of dips. If you hold onto your steering wheel tight you will actually force the tires to turn back and forth while driving. Is this what you are feeling?

    If you are just having wondering or I like to call it hunting that could be warn parts. Tie rod ends, ball joints and spring and hanger bushings.

    By the way those shackles pictured don't look stock. They actually look custom made and look longer than stock, but I can't tell because they whole shackle is not pictured. Can you please shoot me a pic of the whole shackle and post it. This might be your issue.
     
  4. Jun 11, 2017 at 8:11 PM
    #4
    jeepinghillbilly

    jeepinghillbilly Well-Known Member

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    99 TJ locked/locked, 4" lift, 1" body lift, skids and more skids, geared 4.88s, super shorty sye, all Rockmen adjustable arms, D44 rear, D30 front, all disc brakes, AX15 manual 5 speed, waren winch, currie tie rod, a drop down tail gate and heater relays upgrade to keep my heater switch from melting lol, and lots more stuff. 79 CJ5 with 4.0 swap
    I agree with Peter, something doesn't look right at all with those. Is that a lot of space around the bushing or just the angle of picture? And the ends dont look round?
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  5. Jun 11, 2017 at 8:20 PM
    #5
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    2" Superlift kit. 315/ 70/17.
    Yeah....that's what I thought. Something didn't look right. And yet I read it's your lift your pittmans. whatever. You guys have more experience than I do. Whatever. Bad bushings???? Whatever.

    I had a bump steer issue. Had an alignment done 2 weeks ago. . Just a 2 inch lift. Mechanic suggested a duel stablizer set up. Finally did it this weekend. Bump steer issue gone. Ride is so much better. Highway speeds, mall crawling speed. OMG. So much better.

    Just my experience.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
  6. Jun 11, 2017 at 8:25 PM
    #6
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
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    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    Is the jeep in the profile picture the jeep you are having trouble with? It looks pretty tall and you springs are not arched very much. Does it have a Spring over axle conversion? Shoot pictures of all of your front suspension. Pan out first then move in and take closer shots. Lets see how you are set up. Shoot pics of the steering knuckles where the Tie rod ends connect. I would like to see a pic of how the springs sit on the axle, and also a pic of the shackles please.
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  7. Jun 13, 2017 at 6:56 PM
    #7
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Peter
    Houston
    Vehicle:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    Hey Bob you are right about the bushings. When they dry out and waller out they will let the jeep hunt and drift all over the place. Hard to tell from his pics but it looks like he as some custom made shackles that are really long and they will accentuate that hunting and drifting when the bushings are worn. These old CJs did not come with steering dampeners (stabilizers). As you said he would probably benefit from adding one especially if he is going to go with larger tires 32s and up.
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  8. Jun 13, 2017 at 7:07 PM
    #8
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    2" Superlift kit. 315/ 70/17.
    I'm not very familiar with CJs. My Bosses daughter has a 90 YJ. I know the suspensions are very similar. I looked at hers and her shackles don't look like the shackles Jason pictured. And as OFFGRID stated. They do look longer or custom. Being that I'm not that familiar with CJs. I'm sure other members such as OFFGRID and HILLBILLY can offer more help.
    Is it possible for Jason to add a steering stablizer? I'd have to look at 90 YJ to see if it's possible.
     
  9. Jun 13, 2017 at 8:36 PM
    #9
    Jason B

    Jason B [OP] New Member

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    Shepherd Mi.
    Vehicle:
    1979 base model CJ5
    Spring over lift, Warn lock outs.
    Hey guys, so sorry it took so long to reply, forgot to pay the phone bill, Lol. Here are some more pics of the setup. It does have a spring over lift, other than that, and lockouts, the drive train is stock as far as I know. Yes this is the jeep in my profile pic. I don't currently plan on adding bigger tires, or doing any other mods to the drive train. It runs great for its age. I got this jeep from a relative, he hired somebody to do the lift for him, i do know it had this stearing issue before it was lifted. Why they didn't correct it I don't know. Anyways, just want to say thank you for all the help, this is my first jeep, so I'm kinda in unfamiliar territory, Lol.



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    Last edited: Jun 13, 2017
  10. Jun 14, 2017 at 1:37 PM
    #10
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
    Vehicle:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    [​IMG]

    The above picture is a pretty good setup for a spring over axle lift on a CJ. See that shiny new bar I would consider getting a drag link like this from Rocky-road.com, but do this last. I'm afraid that your passenger side steering knuckle has been drilled out for the custom made spacer for your draglink (I would really like to see a picture close up of that. turn the tire to the right for that shot please). Let see if we can get you driving straight. I would like to see a couple of close up shots where your draglink attaches to the steering knuckle. Your shackles are so long that they are putting so much stress on the rubber spring bushings likely causing most of your drifting and hunting. The longest shackles you would want to run are 5.5" measured from center of bolt to center of bolt which is 2.5in over stock giving you about 1.25in raise. I have a very similar setup on my CJ and I run 5.5in YJ shackles from Rocky-road to go with my stock 5leaf YJ springs. Your shackles look to be at least 7in +, Hard to tell.

    Your front spring pack. Please measure the width of your front springs. Are they 2in or 2.5in wide? 2in means you're still running CJ springs. 2.5 in means you've been converted to YJ springs. This will make a difference when ordering bushings.

    As Bob mentioned earlier, the first thing I would do to straighten the steering is to replace the bushings. The Polys he mentioned earlier are very stiff and are great for tightening up the steering. My jeep is mainly a trail rig, but I do like to run around town in it, so I run factory style rubber bushings. They will allow the springs to flex more offroad, but you sacrifice drivability just a little bit. It looks like someone has already added a steering stabilizer as Bob suggested. Another biggy is ball joints. I would strongly consider replacing the ball joints. Jack the front end up. take the front tires off. try turning the steering knuckles left and right by hand remember to have the key in the ignition or the steering wheel lock may be on. If this takes only very little effort then you likely need new ball joints. I like Moog, but they are expensive. You can get other brands really jeep a usautoparts.net , and partsgeek.com Lastly I would consider getting new tierod ends. You have a heim joint on the draglink at the steering knuckle. Those are bullet proof providing that the spacer on the knuckle is stable. If there is no movement on the custom spacer then you may not need the Rocky-road draglink.

    In conclusion:
    1. Do you have YJ (2.5") springs or CJ (2") springs in the front?
    2. Order 5-5.5in front shackles (based on What springs you have) (summitracing.com)(Morris4x4center.com)(quadratec.com)
    3. Order Bushings for both the springs and the shackles (again based on the springs you have).
    4. Strongly consider ordering new ball joints and tierod ends. (partsgeek.com or usautoparts.net)

    Lets go from there. The above should fix your problem.
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  11. Jun 14, 2017 at 6:19 PM
    #11
    Jason B

    Jason B [OP] New Member

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    Jason
    Shepherd Mi.
    Vehicle:
    1979 base model CJ5
    Spring over lift, Warn lock outs.
    Here are some pics of the drag link setup, and the rear shackles, which are the same as the front shackles. Measured the shackles, they are 7 inches from bolt to bolt. Would you recommend replacing all 4 of them?
    Measured the springs, they are 2 inch, so still CJ springs.

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  12. Jun 14, 2017 at 6:53 PM
    #12
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    Jersey Shore, NJ
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    2" Superlift kit. 315/ 70/17.
    Once again. I learn a few things. Thanks Peter.
    BTW. I admire how clean the belly of your jeep is. I always cleaned with one rule. If I can see it. I clean it. My JKs not as clean as yours. But I do my best to keep it clean.

    Jason. OFFGRID has some great ideas and a awesome plan to get you wheeling straight down the road again. I would take his advice.
     
    OFFGRID likes this.
  13. Jun 14, 2017 at 7:33 PM
    #13
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Peter
    Houston
    Vehicle:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    Yes I would replace all 4 shackles. The rear springs I believe should be 2.5 inches wide. I say this because it is important to specify front or rear when ordering shackles. They are not YJ springs. Each leaf is thicker than a YJ leaf which is why CJs are significantly rougher than YJs, and why many switch to YJ springs. YJ springs are direct bolt on in the rear, but you have to replace the front hanger and shackle for the YJ springs to fit in the front. If you are on a tight budget you could probably cut 2inches off (1 inch at each end) the shackle and drill new holes 5in. apart center of bolt to center of bolt and that would work just as well. Those shackles look well built, but they are long. If you are ordering shackles, I have found that when they advertise 2inches of lift height, many times they mean the shackle is 2 inches longer giving you and actual lift of 1in. which is what you want. You have to call the manufacturer and ask them. I have sent an email to warrior products asking them this very question. Ill post their answer when I get it. The front and rear rubber bushing kit are $21 and $29 at Morris4x4center.com The Polys are a little more.

    That spacer looks crazy sketchy with all of the washers and spacer etc. That steering knuckle was most likely drilled out to accommodate the bolt going through. I can't imagine that it has enough leverage to turn those tires without giving. This will relate in unresponsive steering when trying to drive. When you shorten the shackles take all of those washers out of the spacer to the drag link. This might cause a little bump steer. You'll have to wait and see.

    One thing at a time:

    1. Shorten the shackles and replace all of the bushings.
    2. If ball joints are bad replace them.
    3. Replace the 2 tierod ends to the centerlink and the 1 tierod end that attaches to the pitman arm (they are cheap and an easy way to eliminate a symptom of poor steering.

    This should fix most of your steering troubles, but I suspect that spacer to the draglink on the knuckle is causing significant issues. To fix that you will need to order a complete high steer kit (a ton of work and expensive) or order a zlink drag link like the one above from Rocky-road. In order to replace the draglink you will have to replace that passenger side steering knuckle because it probably has been drilled out straight when the factory one had a tapered bore hole. These knuckle are a cheap when purchase used on ebay, junkyard, etc. make sure you get the right year or your hubs won't fit.

    get back to us if you have any more questions. Good luck and have fun. I love working at the puzzles that Jeeps give us.
     
  14. Jun 14, 2017 at 7:35 PM
    #14
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
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    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    Hey Bob. That is not the bottom of my jeep. I used that pic from Rocky-road's site to show the Z-link draglink. Mine is almost as clean though. Nothing worse than having dry mud and sand dropping in your eyes when under a jeep.
     
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  15. Jun 14, 2017 at 7:46 PM
    #15
    JKBob 25

    JKBob 25 Well-Known Member

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    2" Superlift kit. 315/ 70/17.
    Ahh dude. You almost burst my bubble and image of you. Lol. Some thing told me you have that same, well kinda OCD that I do. Lol. If I can see it. I clean it. Lol. As I stated in another post. Your still one of my Jeep heros. Lol. Sorry if I misunderstand you at times. My bad.

    Can't agree more. The puzzles that Jeeps give us.

    Short story along that line. Ran into a friend I haven't seen in a while. I had just bought my JK. He was looking at buying one too. But another friend told him, have you noticed Jeep guys are always working on their Jeep. This "truck" is trouble free. Told him, we're not fixing our Jeeps, we're not repairing our Jeeps. We're either upgrading them or just working on them because we want to because we're bored. Lol. He ended up buying a used JK. Now he gets it. Lol.
     
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  16. Jun 14, 2017 at 7:47 PM
    #16
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
    Vehicle:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    Jason I really like those tires. Super Swamper Thornbirds if I'm not mistaken. They are great all around tires. Great in the mud, sand, snow, and on pavement. Too expensive for me though.
     
  17. Jun 15, 2017 at 10:10 AM
    #17
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
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    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    JKBob 25 likes this.
  18. Jun 15, 2017 at 10:22 AM
    #18
    OFFGRID

    OFFGRID Well-Known Member

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    Houston
    Vehicle:
    1979 Jeep CJ7, 258, TH350, NP208
    Howell fuel injection, header, HEI distributor, TH350, NP208, SOA lift with YJ springs in the front & GW springs in the Rear. AMC20 with G2 1 piece chromos trussed, Dana 30 with G2 chromos and 760x ujoints and MM Stainless Hubs, Geared 4.56. Tom Woods shafts, Metal cloaks, Caged, 37" Toyo MTs.
    I just noticed that your draglink has heim joints at both ends. You don't need to replace the draglink tierod end, because you don't have one. That is a very well made draglink, but unfortunately it is designed to work with a sprung under jeep.
     
  19. Jun 1, 2018 at 5:51 PM
    #19
    Scott21

    Scott21 Member

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    Too much shackel lift. Geometry is off. I don’t go over an inch of shackle lift. Then I gain I like to keep them looking stock.

    Scott

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