Author Topic: Steering Wheel Wobble a Gen 3 Curse?  (Read 513 times)

CrispyCracker

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Steering Wheel Wobble a Gen 3 Curse?
« on: May 21, 2018, 12:02:55 PM »
Posted this on a FB and on the Expedition Portal Mitsu sub-thread but I'm adding it here also for the perspective of the ADD locals:

I've now had my Gen 3 for roughly six months. I've thrown thousands of dollars at it: timing belt, water pump, pulleys, plugs, wires, coil packs, new radiator, repainted panels, double-din stereo, spare, trunk liner, etc. etc. Goal, like most in here, is to set up a dependable cross-country vehicle for the family. The EP locals have been great re: dispensing advice and encouragement freely. But here's the deal: IT'S BEYOND AWFUL ON THE HIGHWAY.

Backstory: when I bought the truck it had 285/75/16 retread tires on it that I was confident were the source of a pronounced steering wobble at speeds from 50mph or so and up. So I bought new 265/75 KO2s, new 1mm offset wheels and paid for balancing and alignment. No dice -- still had the crazy shakes. So I had two separate local mechanics look over the suspension. Their verdict: lower tie rod ends needed to be replaced and boots on two CVs were torn but other components seemed OK. So I paid one of them to tackle the tie rods and boots and then spent $250 on a road force balance just last week. And...the crazy vibration remains. If anything, it's worse, with the steering wheel wobbling back and forth in my hands like an orbital polisher.

Given the rave reviews Gen 3s get among the overland crowd I'm almost ready to count myself unlucky and accept that the truck will be limited to a local life. But then I remembered reading posts from Expedition Portal and Facebook members revealing that they've struggled with steering vibrations, as well. So now I'm wondering if these trucks are just intolerant of tires and suspension parts that push them more than a few degrees away from stock.

I'd appreciate new opinions/perspectives on this. I'm supposed to leave with the family on our annual summer vacation in two weeks (long drive from FL to NC) and at this point the truck is an unhealthy roster scratch. I will not risk their safety so I'll likely use our rode-hard but dependable Grand Cherokee. I'm willing to throw a wad of dough at the Monty one more time before we leave but I'm at my wit's and wallet's end. What would you recommend? New CVs? Examine steering components? Wheel bearings? Rotors?

Thanks for any related thought and input. I really like the Monty and it's an enormous letdown to have its potential limited by this maddening and elusive problem.

https://youtu.be/Eul0qh1Zb-g
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 12:33:40 PM by CrispyCracker »

TOASTY

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Re: Steering Wheel Wobble a Gen 3 Curse?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2018, 01:46:40 PM »
Gen 3's are sensitive to this sort of thing, i just fixed one with the same problem. Aftermarket wheels without proper centric rings or wheelspacers without centric bores. Despite what the internet says Gen 3's most definitely are hubcentric. The one I just fixed had .040" runout at the wheel center and it had perfectly balanced tires. It shook like crazy, now it does not and all i did was make the wheels near .000" runout manually.

MrGalantguy

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Re: Steering Wheel Wobble a Gen 3 Curse?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 05:03:21 AM »
Curious...do you have the stock wheels? Maybe slap those back on and drive it up to speed where you start to feel the vibration and see if it replicates.
-1998 Montero (Winter package & Adjustable suspension)
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-1991 Galant VR4 1948/2000
-1996 Galant 4G64t 5spd
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CrispyCracker

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Re: Steering Wheel Wobble a Gen 3 Curse?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2018, 08:27:36 AM »
MrGalant, I have the stock wheels but I recently removed the tires (285/75/16 Treadwrights) which I'll be selling separately on Craigslist. When that combo was on the truck it had the shakes, also.

MrGalantguy

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Re: Steering Wheel Wobble a Gen 3 Curse?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2018, 09:17:25 AM »
I replied to your thread on Expo.

I would thoroughly look at all your UCA and LCA bushings and related linkages that haven't been replaced. I would also to maybe take it to another reputable shop or even Discount Tire to rebalance your wheels and tires. Typically they have up to date balancing machines and they torque the wheels to spec rather than a impact gun with x2 hits.

Also I mentioned do you notice any weired smell and/or uneven brake wear? Calipers that stick can cause vibration around the MPH you are experiencing it.

« Last Edit: May 23, 2018, 10:24:32 AM by MrGalantguy »
-1998 Montero (Winter package & Adjustable suspension)
-2002 Montero Limited
-1991 Galant VR4 1948/2000
-1996 Galant 4G64t 5spd
Owner of: Nostalgic JDM
Facebook: Nostalgic JDM
Business Instagram: @nostalgic_jdm407
Personal Instagram: @itsaboutfam