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WTF is going on at FCA?

Discussion in 'Mopar / FCA News' started by aldo90731, Jul 20, 2020.

  1. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    I wouldn't say my JL has "zero handling issues," but they are tolerable.

    Some of the other JLs I test drove weren't so lucky.
     
  2. Adventurer55

    Adventurer55 Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be the Ram 2500. It would have a live axle upfront, but it may still a belt driven pump.
     
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  3. codypet

    codypet Well-Known Member

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    What's interesting is that the way everyone it describing the steering on the JL/JT sounds exactly like my 85 Voyager. I'm wondering if that might be a good move over for me. I wouldn't notice the vague steering because I'm used to it. That said, I understand what you guys are saying. Its unacceptable for a vehicle with 35 years of innovation to still feel the same.
     
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  4. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Nope. I've driven many old minivans. If the components in the front end are good it's nothing like the steering issues I see in my Gladiator (and mine is mild). The minivans always had good directional stability. I don't get that feeling at highway speeds in the Gladiator.
     
  5. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    Yeah, I also drove my parents’ 1996 and 2006 Dodge Caravans; JLs are nothing like that.

    Those vans had a decidedly FWD feel: they went straight...to a fault. JLs don’t know where is ahead, left or right.
     
  6. CherokeeVision

    CherokeeVision Well-Known Member

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    As most of you know I have driven XJ's since 1989. Obviously many sets of tires in that much time.
    Some have ridden softer, some harsher, some had better traction, some worse.
    Only on my current set of tires, Cooper Discoverer At3 did I notice a steering issue.
    When I got the tires I noticed the steering felt twitchy.
    Over all these years of XJ ownership I learned that 28 to 30 psi provided the best handling and tire wear. I also used a B.F. Goodrich weight/tire inflation chart as a guide.
    Door sticker says 33 psi.
    When I got the Coopers I decided to go by the door sticker and set inflation at 33 psi. Steering twitch.
    By lowering the tire pressure down to my normal 28-30 psi the steering twitch disappeared.
    I was surprised that small of a change in pressure had such a dramatic effect.

    It would be interesting to see a breakdown of tire brand, tread type and size as it relates to complaints about steering.
    Then see if changes in tire pressure has any effect on one, several or all tires when it comes to steering.
     
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  7. Zagnut27

    Zagnut27 Jeepaholic

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    The way it’s described, it sounds like a creaky uhaul truck we rented. I had to continually saw back and forth with the steering wheel to keep it in a straight line. Afterwards, driving my wife’s Encore, I was still sawing the steering wheel back and forth and my wife thought something was wrong with me. Lol.
     
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  8. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I’ve seen people airing down tires on the Gladiator forum as their cure (to pressures below the recommended psi). Let’s remember the Ford Explorer/Firestone controversy where a difference of 4 psi (30 recommended by Firestone, 26 by Ford) likely contributed to the tire failure rate. Lower pressures make the tire run hotter.
     
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  9. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    The closest vehicle I can compare the feeling with was the fleet of 200k+ mile Ford Econoline vans where I used to work. I never drove one with less than 200k miles, but I assume they had to be better than this well worn fleet.
     
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  10. gforce2002

    gforce2002 Well-Known Member

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    That kind of sounds like my ‘16 Renegade actually. The steering on that was twitchy and got worse if they were even slightly overinflated. I do remember my ‘95 Cherokee being somewhat similar.

    This is probably is kind of the opposite of twitchiness (or oversensitivity). It actually feels like the steering linkage is loose and requires significant input off center to respond at all. Also, holding it still allows that same looseness to let the vehicle wander off course one way or the other depending on surface irregularities or wind. It requires constant, fairly large inputs to keep it in the lane.
     
  11. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    The tire specified by Ford had a "C" heat range. That is the lowest heat range rating available. If that tire was heavily loaded and hot, it failed. I know of no one using that heat range today.
     
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  12. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    The crap-tastic OEM tires on my Gladiator were only heat range B.
    But many of the Gladiator trim levels have LT tires which are not required to be rated for heat ranges. This lowering air pressure idea is a dangerous game. I can watch my replacement LT tires (from a Wrangler Rubicon) obviously heat up more (at recommended pressure) because there is a 4-5 PSI increase in pressure on the display between a cold tire and one running at 70 MPH on the interstate. With other tires, it's only a 2-3 PSI increase.
     
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  13. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Another thing to keep in mind, the common tire size was reduced on JL/JT.
    The common Sport 17" tire on JK was 255/75/17. On JL/JT the common 17" Sport 17" tire is 245/75/17. That means 150-200 lbs less maximum capacity per tire which can be exacerbated by running the tire at low PSI - so there's less margin for error.
     
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  14. CherokeeVision

    CherokeeVision Well-Known Member

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    Yes. That is why I used a tire chart from a tire company as an aid in setting my XJ tire pressure. The XJ is much lighter than a BOF Explorer.
     
  15. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    If that is the optimal pressure then why did the Jeep factory engineers recommend a higher pressure?
    Could the problem really be a flaw in the Cherokee front suspension?
     
  16. Dave Z

    Dave Z It's me, Dave
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    That was a long time ago, and the answer is they wanted the Explorer to have a smoother ride, so they let pressure out of the tires...
     
  17. Powdered Toast Man

    Powdered Toast Man Move along, nothing to see here

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    I've driven those! The E350 cube van? I've never driven a Wrangler but if that's the comparison all I can say is, yikes.
     
  18. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    They are truck tires and Have a "Load Index Rating" which takes heat into consideration. That said, it looks like 36 psi is recommended for the LT245/75R17 on the Patriot and minimum mfgr. rating is 35. They did not want to be caught below mfgr ratings like Ford was.
     
  19. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Yes, but does a particular LT tire meet minimum standards (as a heat index C passenger car tire does) or does it excel (as a heat index A would).

    People are running these tires at 32 PSI on Wranglers and Gladiators to improve steering. That’s dangerous. FCA needs to step up and fix the underlying issue.
     
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  20. WXman

    WXman Active Member

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    They called and said they will order a timing cover because they think that's the culprit after testing with dye in the oil. Parts are 5 days out, but labor is an additional day or two because a lot of the diesel engine has to be removed including fuel lines, injectors, etc.

    The reason I gave this engine a chance is because FCA insinuated that with Gen 3, all the problems from Gen 2 were fixed. This one will be reliable. In the last 30 days I've seen Gen 3s getting everything from new long blocks to CAC hoses to timing cover leaks on various forums and social media groups. It's really sad.

    I can now say that I won't be keeping this truck long term. It's under warranty for 100k which is great, but it just doesn't instill confidence in me when I go on camping trips. In fact, the guy who had his engine replaced at 3,100 miles was on a camping trip towing a large camper when his blew. I realize things happen, but these VM engines seem to be perpetual nightmares.

    I wish I'd kept my Gladiator. Hindsight is 20/20.
     
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