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Old 07-14-2008, 03:58 PM   #1
78cj5raider
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Default 78 cj5 steering problems

i have a 1978 cj5 with a 4 inch pro comp lift with 33x12.5 tires. when i pin the throttle it pulls to one side, and when i hit the brake it pulls to the opposite. this also happens when i hit a bump. my mechanic says that it needs a track bar, but the 78 didnt come with them. is this my problem? if so where could i find one. if not how do i fix this probelm
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:15 PM   #2
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Drop pitman arm?

Alignment check?
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Old 07-14-2008, 04:30 PM   #3
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I already checked those and there both good
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:03 PM   #4
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did this problem start after the lift was put on? and did they start at the same time? The pull from acceleration would make me think the rear axle is not straight with the frame ( called thrust angle ), the pull when braking generally means that the brake on the opposite side of the pull isn't working.
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Old 07-14-2008, 06:21 PM   #5
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did this problem start after the lift was put on? and did they start at the same time? The pull from acceleration would make me think the rear axle is not straight with the frame ( called thrust angle ), the pull when braking generally means that the brake on the opposite side of the pull isn't working.
It also sounds like a variation of bump steer. When braking, the front suspension would dip down similar to hitting a bump or dip in the road. When under acceleration, the front suspension would lift similar to bouncing up after hitting a bump.

Of course it could be a result of the rear axle not being held tightly in position, kinda like what you said, only under acceleration the right side would shift forward with the drive wheel, and perhaps under braking it would shift back to the rear. I'm not sure of the braking part, but I have driven a pickup with a loose rear end, and it would sling the rear of the truck across the center line when I punched the throttle because of the torque of the drive wheel pushing the axle crooked.

Take my opinions with a grain of salt, as I'm not much of a mechanic. I try to think things through logically with what little I know, and sometimes I'm right, other times I'm way off.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:05 PM   #6
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thanks for the reply's but the front axle move side to side about 4 inches also what can i do to fix this problem. i'm pretty sure that this is the main cause of the problem. the problem started after i put the lift on and i had it realined.
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Old 07-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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thanks for the reply's but the front axle move side to side about 4 inches also what can i do to fix this problem. i'm pretty sure that this is the main cause of the problem. the problem started after i put the lift on and i had it realined.
The whole axle housing, wheels, brake calipers, everything moves 4 inches side to side?!? Dude, that's not right.....that's not even safe! Maybe someone else can shed some more light on that and how to fix it, I wouldn't know where to begin, sorry.
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Old 07-15-2008, 12:17 PM   #8
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you need to take it back to whoever installed that lift and have them check it over, and be carefull that dosen't sound safe AT ALL. I find it very hard to believe that it could have been aligned with something that loose, the only thing I can think of, off hand would be the shacklels.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:59 AM   #9
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Maby shackel bushings my CJ reacted that way the shackles have mulitple holes in them so I put a pice of box tubing cut to fit tite in the middle holes with another bolt that helped but I ended up puting in poly bushings later that fixed it!
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:17 PM   #10
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I was thinking the spring shakel bushings also. Check the condition of them and if they are poly or rubber. retorque them to 65 foot pounds if they are rubber.
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:17 AM   #11
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I was thinking the spring shakel bushings also. Check the condition of them and if they are poly or rubber. retorque them to 65 foot pounds if they are rubber.
Did you install a drop pitman arm. Check to see if the drag link is as close to level as possible. If a drop pitman arm was not installed the drag link is preloaded to one side and will cause the problem you describe. I had bad bump steer on mine. I bought a new steering box(repacing the 29 year old one) and it completely corrected the problem. now mine drives like a new one. good luck.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 78cj5raider View Post
i have a 1978 cj5 with a 4 inch pro comp lift with 33x12.5 tires. when i pin the throttle it pulls to one side, and when i hit the brake it pulls to the opposite. this also happens when i hit a bump. my mechanic says that it needs a track bar, but the 78 didnt come with them. is this my problem? if so where could i find one. if not how do i fix this probelm
CJ5 has leafs, where did a mechanic come up with a track bar? 1st, don't take it back to that dude. My olde' cj 5 would TORQUE upon acceleration and try to rip the clutch bracket off the frame. If this thing has new springs installed, verify the installation was correct, there is a front and rear to EACH spring, also, if I remember correctly, the front and rear springs have different compression rates.

[thanks for the reply's but the front axle move side to side about 4 inches also what can i do to fix this problem. i'm pretty sure that this is the main cause of the problem. the problem started after i put the lift on and i had it realined.]


You should not have that much lateral travel, the play appears to be from the shackle installation. Weld a cross support on each. I reversed the shackle position on mine from the front of the spring to the rear of the spring, this simple mod stiffened up the steering substantially. Second, check the geometry of the steering link; there should be no more than 10 to 12 degrees from the tie rod to the pitman arm. As the angle increases, the effect of worn parts is exaggerated, exponentially.

Last edited by davet1960; 09-04-2008 at 03:58 AM..
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Old 09-05-2008, 12:44 AM   #13
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One last thing have you checked the frame around the steering box to see if it has any cracks.
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