atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#4648: Well, ruled out some bits and pieces today

So after going to get Interstellar and stuff, I tore into the Jeep's front end, intending to find the f-ing problem with it so I can finally get rid of that f-ing shimmy.

Took the wheels off and everything.

Starting with the left side, I found that the tie rod end boot was split. No problem, thought I! I have some spare boots and a grease gun, and I even have cotter pins! I can do this!

Got everything apart--incidentally, from watching Wheeler Dealers I learned that if you put a hammer on one side of a tie rod or ball joint, and whack the other side, it comes loose neat as you please, and that technique works a treat and 10,000 times easier than using a pickle fork--put the new boot on, put it all back together, went to get the grease gun...yeah.

I found the grease for the grease gun, but not the gun itself, not even after a lot of searching. Argh etc.

I actually have two grease guns, at least theoretically; I could find the large diameter one, for which I didn't have any grease, but not the small one for which I did have grease. Argh etc.

...so I hopped on the bike and ran to the parts store, for grease and another pack of boots, figuring that if one was bad there was probably at least another bad one somewhere.

Got it filled with grease, also greased the top ball joint. My attempts at finding play in the ball joints yielded no fruit, nor was there any obvious play in any of the tie rod ends. So once I was finished on the driver's side, I moved to the other side.

Same story: no play in anything, tie rod end boot split, so I pulled it apart, put on a new boot, and greased everything.

Then I turned my attention to the track bar, which is the other probable culprit for the death wobble. I realized that I could pull one bolt out and get a look at the condition of the axle end of the thing, and then I could also wiggle the bar around and see how the frame end feels.

Getting the f-ing bolt out was an exercise in frustration. There's a nut inside a box, but it's not attached, so if I broke the bolt I wouldn't be cussing too much, so off I went. Some PB Blaster and a little patience got everything loose, but then I could not get the bolt out of the damned bushing.

But eventually I did, and I noticed that the bolt was indeed smaller than the inside diameter of the bushing. The threads are 3/8" but the shank was smaller, which was something I recalled reading about. Deciding that I'd replace the bolt, I cleaned up my mess, and as I was finishing that Mrs. Fungus got home. I greeted her, then hied myself to the hardware store for a new bolt.

$2.20 plus tax later, I got home and set to work again...only I could NOT get the damned holes to line up. With the light failing and temps falling, I decided that I'd research the solution to my problem and give 'er the old college try tomorrow, especially since Mrs. Fungus was waiting for me to make dinner.

Had a brief chat with Og, and he suggested that I use a come-along to pull frame and axle into alignment. That should not be difficult to manage, so that's what I'll try first.

All told, then, what I managed to do today was to eliminate--again--the entire front suspension as the source of my woes. If replacing this bolt doesn't fix the problem--and to be honest I'm not sure it can--then I'm going to be back at square one.

On the plus side, getting the front end greased and those split boots mended is still a very good thing to have gotten done, so regardless it will not have been a complete waste of time even if I do still have the wobble.

So now I'm going to go watch Interstellar. Whee!
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