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The ruts are driving my Jeep

Discussion in 'Jeeps' started by unit28, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    So, I'm driving in snow going down the road, and I am being pulled
    around like I am not ...driving sober, but I am white knuckling it.

    my tires are 235/75/15
    88 YJ

    ruts, prolly 2-4" deep.

    I slow way down on the 2 laners, it's rediculous.
    I feel like driving with a bag over my head.

    This is happening in any type of snow too.....what's up?
  2. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    driving in ruts

    i don't know what you have or other equipment you have ,but it sound's like you need larger steering stabilizer.:salute:
  3. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    trailmaster 4" lift, and single stabilizer
    auto trans
    front sway bar/ rear bull bar disconected
    one rear shock fell off somewhere between TX and Minnesota, prolly down in KC
    I drive with 4HI when below 55 in snow

    In the winter I coat everything with PB blaster to keep the rust at bay.
    This thing wil turn so sharp when I want to, front tires will hit the leafs
  4. wild bill

    wild bill PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,239

    tire grabing

    i think dual stabilizer's would be a help with larger tall tire's ,they grab more of the rut's i don't know if their is any way of hooking up the sway bar's but that would be a drastic help .Skyjacker Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit, Jeep CJ, Jeep Wrangler YJ, 1942-95
    Skyjacker Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit, Jeep CJ, Jeep Wrangler YJ, 1942-95
    Click to enlarge
    Our Price: $115.95
    Part Number: 7200
    Manufacturer: SkyJacker

    Jeep CJ & YJ 1942-95 Skyjacker Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit. Each kit comes complete with all necessary brackets, hardware and polyurethane boot to protect against the elements.

    Note: Dual Steering Stabilizer will only work with a 4" lift kit.http://www.shopjeepparts.com/skyjacker-dual-steering-stabilizer-jeep-jeep-wrangler-194295-p-764.html
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  5. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    I dont mean to be a snot... I gather you are from Texas?, are you new to driving in snow? Cause your experience sounds normal for driving in rutted snow. I dont know what you call a bull bar. If you mien a track bar it will make a big difference also. Also check F end loose tie-rod ends and or play in the steering box can exacerbate the wondering. The less the tread the more the wonder. Ive never had a vehicle that didn't wonder in rutted snow. The shorter the wheelbase and the lighter the vehicle the worse the wondering.
  6. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    yep, I was for 40 years. I have been driving in MN snow for 5.

    I know it's not normal the way this rig gets pulled in ruts. I am talking cheesy ruts too. Not hardpacked either because I always beat most of the traffic and plow trucks going to my routes.

    Driving the Buick is much different. as in no problems.
    Other traffic normally is wizzing by me, this thing gets scarry sometimes.

    I don't have near as much control compared to when it's dry out. When it's dry out, I throw the 33"s on it. And then the only issue is being blown around by the wind..LOL

    everything like Tie rods are good, no play in anything
  7. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    It has to do with the short wheel base and lack of weight my 90 XJ even with 500 lbs of tools in it wanders all over the place if there is more than 3-4 inches on the ground it has a 3" lift with 30" tires at first i had the sway bar disconnected that was down right scary once it was hooked back up it got better i know that JCWhitney sells extended quick disconnect sway bar links for lifted jeeps for about a buck and a quarter good investment if its your daily driver.
  8. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    Thanks everyone. dual stabiliser will be added too. Wish me luck on getting a plow, I have grown old of pulling a thrower around. Oh well, at least it's warm on the inside....:)
  9. tjthorson

    tjthorson Senior Member
    from IL
    Messages: 126

    Check the toe on the front end. if its toe'd out - it will enhance the "wandering" when it hits the ruts.

    Wide tires also enhance that effect.
  10. unit28

    unit28 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,634

    but the snow isn't hard packed, if that matters.
    And I pull the swampers off in the winter.
    The tires, either summer or snow are wearing evenly. Have been on the same sets for 3 years now.

    Maybe I should look for a 79F250 4x4 and grab the 60 off the back for weight/strength
    Just trying to make this a feasible snow fighter instead of a mama's boy.
    I am taking it one step at a time addressing the basics.
  11. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    A dana 60 is a little overkill for the stock drive train a dana 44 out of a wagoneer or a wrecked tj with the rubicon package might suit you needs better. the 60 has an 8 bolt pattern and your jeep has the 5 on 4 and a half then you all ways need to factor in regearing new perches and shock mounts as well as driveshaft mods. Check out jpmagazine.com for good axle swap ideas.

    one more thing when you lifted the front axle did you use shims at the axle to compensate for drive shaft angle? if you did it will reduce your caster and give you that nice wandering feeling been there done that. Hope this can help.
  12. glfredrick

    glfredrick Member
    Messages: 33


    But, taking into consideration a couple things about your Jeep...

    The dual steering stabilizers are just a band aid for a larger problem. They will help, but a properly designed suspension won't need them.

    You mention lift. On a Jeep a 4" lift will effectively change the caster and camber angles on your front axle. The cure is difficult. It means cutting off the axle brackets and re-locating everything to set it back into factory specs. Only a qualified fab shop can handle that sort of issue -- and they do it all the time -- my son owns Moab Off-Road in Louisville, KY, and they build a LOT of radical Jeep vehicles. (http://www.moab-offroad.net/)

    You mention sway bars disconnected -- BY ALL MEANS get them hooked back up for street use! Get a set of quick disconnects and install them. They allow you to pull a pin when you want the articulation off-road and still have the benefits of sway (actually, anti-sway) bar for street use.

    You mention a missing rear shock. Get it fixed. In fact, repalce the entire set. Trailmaster is not known for selling really high quality stuff and yours is probably worn out and inefective.

    Last, as is typical on many lift kits on Jeeps, the short arms used change the entire front end geometry. Instead of allowing the axle to float up and down when going over bumps, EVERYTHING is transferred into the body because the arms are now pointing downward at too great an angle. This is a very common issue, and it is solved by switcing to a long-arm lift kit. Hold out a ruler. Hold it straight out. Move the end up and down. It is easy. Now, point the end toward the ground. It no longer goes exactly straight up and down -- now it points all the up-travel into the rear arm mount and pushes the entire body up and down. It also destroys mounts, shocks, etc.

    The rear Dana 60 isn't going to help you at all... First, it is WAY too wide, and unless you are willing to also swap out the front axle for a full-width axle, you won't be happy at all with the results. There are a lot of Jeep axle options -- this is a well trod path -- just do some research first. Check with the guys at Moab (link above -- and they have a forum where you can ask questions) then go from there.

    Oh, my experience? I've been doing the off-road thing for over 30 years, and am a co-founder of The United Christian Off-Road Alliance (www.ucora.org). I've built many a truck or Jeep and travel all over the nation doing off-road events.

    Here's a pic of my latest build -- what used to be an 86 Ford Ranger... :D

  13. MJD82

    MJD82 Member
    Messages: 54

    ahh but the thing is he said he had an 88 yj which means he has leaf springs on all four corners not coils so there is no change unless there are angle shims on the axle perches but you bring up a good point with handling he could do a shakle reversal and this would help stability
  14. theplowmeister

    theplowmeister 2000 Club Member
    from MA
    Messages: 2,617

    HAY.... I have a Dana 60 in my jeep :D dynatrac made it and they made the axles to fit the jeeps 4 1/2 X 5 bolt pattern. I got a reverse cut D60 so my R drive shaft is almost strait, even with a 4 1/2 lift

    The 88 Jeep had both a sway bar and a track bar, if either is missing it will make a big difference in wondering. especially if its lifted without a track bar.

    when most people lifted the YJs they took off the track bar. Big mistake if its a daily driver.
  15. glfredrick

    glfredrick Member
    Messages: 33

    Whoops... Missed the YJ part.

    In that case, I'd be looking at longer shackles with worn bushings, missing track bar (as indicated above) and also check around the frame where the steering box bolts on -- they LOVE to rust or otherwise tear the frame in that area.