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WTF is going on at FCA?

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

  1. gforce2002

    gforce2002 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely agree. The root cause of this is NOT an alignment problem. The alignment may be what allows it to wander, but it does it because there is too much play in the system. Anyone who has experienced this problem would not attribute it solely to alignment. From everything I have read/watched/experienced with the problem, I think it's a cumulative effect of loose tolerances in sometimes one, but often several steering/suspension components. That would explain why some fixes work for some but not for others. Still others appear to need several things fixed. Whether the issues are from poor quality control or just flat out bad engineering is the question.
     
  2. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

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    Jeep Gladiator Sport shows .20 +/- .20 which means that 0 caster is in tolerance. That is a prime candidate for wandering. The wheels have no self centering at 0. You can have a tight steering gear and it will still want to go where the bumps of the road tell it. Positive caster tells the steering to go to the center.
     
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  3. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    This is not accurate at all. (And it doesn't matter what uninformed people attribute blame to.)

    Even if the two front wheels were completely disconnected from each other (as they would be in a shopping cart), if you give the wheels a high degree of caster, both wheels will stay straight until a SIGNIFICANT force is applied to turn them. As soon as that force is removed, the wheels will return to being straight. What ever they are mounted to who go dead-ahead most of the time, and "disconnected" is as loose of a steering system as you can get.


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLbs8kBXgrw


    Please go out and look at your vehicles and watch how the tires move and maybe try looking at a technical manual...
     
    #283 Jerry Simcik, Aug 8, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
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  4. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    That is absolutely pathetic. The only reason I can think they would to do that is due to alignment of the front driveshaft?

    0 caster is simply NOT ACCEPTABLE for a high-speed, road-going vehicle... As you state, it's going to wander NO MATTER HOW TIGHT THE STEERING SYSTEM IS... If I owned on of these, I'd be looking for a caster kit (eccentric bushings) or adjustable control arms that let me correct this...
     
    #284 Jerry Simcik, Aug 8, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2020
  5. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Seriously? For Gladiator, The 0.2* +/- 0.2* is the TOE spec. Caster is 5.35* to 4.8* depending on model, and is +/- 1* but must always be 4* or greater.
     
  6. gforce2002

    gforce2002 Well-Known Member

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    Have you actually driven one of the vehicles with this problem? If not, you really don’t know what the problem is.
     
  7. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've driven numerous vehicles with poor caster. This is VERY WELL UNDERSTOOD ISSUE. Caster creates a self-centering force, and thus resists "wander." (NOTE: Wander and "following the uneven surface of the road" are NOT the same thing... Increasing caster increases feedback from the road, so if the road is uneven, you'll know it - this is a good thing. You want to be able to tell what the road conditions are so that you can adjust your driving accordingly.)

    This issue has been present far longer than just the existence of the JL, it affects ALL vehicles, and there are numerous other resources explaining the same issue and prescribing the same fix.

    For example: https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/why-your-steering-wanders-seems-loose-445430/

    For another example: E350/E450 Handling Problems are caused by too little + CASTER (at http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php?topic=40337.0 )

    Go read just about any suspension engineering guide/textbook if you want more details.

    A good alignment costs $100. Why not try it before you get in a wreck or spend FAR MORE THAN THAT throwing parts at your new vehicle that won't actually change anything... After you try it, then you can tell me I'm wrong...
     
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  8. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    That makes a LOT more sense. I should have double-checked the other user's figures. 4 - 5 degrees is pretty common, I'd say, but you could handle more. (The L-cars have roughly 9 degrees of caster, for example...) I don't think you'd have an issue running these at 6 - 7 degrees.
     
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  9. Tony K

    Tony K Active Member

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    Boy are they ever. Even a 12 year old JGC like mine with the MB OM642 TD is a mess to work on, especially if anything isn't just right. One thing I've learned about modern stuff, is if you have any power condition issues - bad battery in particular - it will go on the fritz, even if it seems like it should be fine. The other is any issue with air intake integrity will potentially create similar conditions. If I knew two weeks ago what I know today about this thing, it would likely already be back on the road.
     
  10. jerseyjoe

    jerseyjoe Plymouth Makes It

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    1964 my friend inherited his dads 54 with powerflite It was transportation with poor gas mileage but he had fun stopping the car by putting it in reverse, it would come to a slow stop, did not hurt the car!
     
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  11. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Back to the steering problems. My Gladiator was the worst on the drive across Pennsylvania to Carlisle. It was pretty hot that day.
    Now there's a new TSB dated 8/10/2020 that specifically mentions the problem is worse in hot weather.
    From the TSB:
    SYMPTOM/CONDITION:
    The customer may describe one or more of the following:
    • Steering wander.
    • Vehicle has a lead/pull to the right or left.
    NOTE: The lead/pull will be more noticeable in hot ambient temperatures.
    • Steering feels like it has excess play.

    There are three new steering box part numbers (not revisions like AE) for JY, JL, and JLU.
    There are also new steel bolts to replace aluminum bolts for the box to frame.
    There is no new software mentioned with this TSB, only a direction to make sure the vehicle has the latest EHPS software.
     
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  12. Powdered Toast Man

    Powdered Toast Man Move along, nothing to see here

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    It makes you wonder how these things never got caught in testing. Did no one take the pre-production models out for a rip on the highway?
     
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  13. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Looks like the dealers that acknowledge the TSB exists are saying parts availability is "mid-September" or later. There is some debate if the new steering box is aluminum or steel.

    I probably need to get mine to the dealer and get them to document the issue so I can be in line for parts. I was going to wait for the first oil change, but with 1500 miles in 4 months that can be a while.
     
  14. aldo90731

    Staff Member Level III Supporter

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    What are they saying, that hot weather makes Jeep parts soft...? :D

    Somehow that doesn't inspire much confidence.
     
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  15. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    I re-read the TSB. It's poorly worded. I can't tell if they are replacing aluminum bolts with steel bolts or an aluminum steering box with a steel steering box.
     
  16. MJAB

    MJAB Well-Known Member

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    Probably will be a steel box. I don't see many dealers technitian use torque wrenches, as they should always do, ... otherwise in few time You'll see cracked box mount points of the steering box.
     
  17. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Since there are reports of the frame flexing where the box is mounted, hopefully it is a steel box and that will brace the frame from flexing.
     
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  18. Jerry Simcik

    Jerry Simcik Well-Known Member

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    All of those symptoms can be reduced by INCREASING CASTER...
     
  19. valiant67

    valiant67 ...

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    Yep, I suppose they never thought of covering up poorly designed parts by changing alignment specs and probably making the sometimes dead spot on center even worse.

    How high should they go? 6*, 7*, 8*?
     
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  20. page2171

    page2171 Well-Known Member

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    You could treat the symptom, or fix the problem. If I was going to buy a Wrangler, I would hope that FCA fixed the problem.

    Again, if the problem is as simple as the alignment setting being wrong, and this problem is still happening nearly three years later, then FCA is either incompetent or doesn't care. Neither of those options are good.
     
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