I’ve found a pot hole to run over at high speed and am sad to report that tightening up the front suspension bolts did not fix the problem. My death wobble remains and it’s just as scary as ever. After many discussions and a little research, I’ve decided to throw more parts at the problem. A visual inspection revealed that my stock steering stabilizer has taken a bit of a beating, so I’ve decided to upgrade it with a Fox Racing 2.0 Evolution Steering Stabilizer. And while I was swapping the steering stabilizer, I picked up TeraFlex‘s Steering Stabilizer Relocation Bracket to rotate the new shock up about 90 degrees to help keep it out of harms way.
But why stop there? To continue my shopping spree, I ordered the f911 hardware kit from Synergy Suspension. There’s quite a bit of back and forth online and amongst my Jeep group as to whether there’s any value to the grade 8 bolt upgrade, but if there’s even a little play in the steering components that I can tighten up, then I’ll call this kit worth the cost.
Replacing a steering stabilizer is a whopping two bolts and install of the shock relocation bracket is pretty straight forward as well. You want to start by removing the old steering stabilizer bolts, there’s one on each end. At that point you should have the steering stabilizer off and a loose bracket on your tie rod that you can’t quite pull off. It looks something like this guy below…
The Teraflex instructions tell you to use a larger pry bar and pray it apart. I spent quite a few minutes prying and swearing at that damn bracket with little to no progress. In the end, I grabbed two adjustable wrenches and clamped them on to the ends. The small wrench (attached to one end) pressed against the frame while I was able to easily pry open the other end using the larger wrench applying more force using leverage. Trust me on this one, just use the wrenches and skip the pry bar for this step.
Just in case you can’t figure out what to do with the long bolt that came with the kit, it replaces your stock track bar bolt using the OEM nut. If you are on level ground and the axle is in jack stands, you can probably pull your old bolt and squeeze in the new one with out the need to realign anything. Make sure to tighten that bolt down pretty snug since it’s holding both your steering stabilizer and the track bar in place.
All that’s left to do is measure the distance of the shock extended and compressed. There’s a 7.125″ travel to the shock, so you’ll want to mount the clamp on the tie rod at the midpoint when the wheels are straight which is 3.5625″. Just like the instructions say, don’t fully attach the shock to the track bar bolt until the very end as you need to compress the shock a bit to get it to attach. It’s much easier to do with the clamp already attached on the tie rod. Tighten down both ends and stand back to admire your handy work!
The shock looks very nice and it’s really eating up a ton of bumps to smooth out my steering wheel. That’s good since that’s what I bought it to do. The bad… this Fox shock is pressurized which means it’s natural state is that it wants to stay extended. That’s a fantastic trait for a shock that you’d use for your suspension because the weight of the vehicle will center it. That same trait is terrible for a steering stabilizer since the shock is constantly trying to extend itself. This over correction manifests as a steady pull on the steering wheel to the left no matter how dead on your alignment is. This shock would be great in a dual steering stabilizer set up so that they can push against each other, but as a single shock… I’m afraid this guy is coming off the rig and back to the store. The folks at Teraflex actually confirmed that they used to have this issue with Fox shocks but it has since been cleared up if I use Fox’s 980-986 steering stabilizer. While tempting, if I’m gonna pull parts off of a fresh install and to redo it, I think I’m gonna pony up the extra coin and go for a dual steering stabilizer kit. Stay tuned sports fans!