Death Wobble from power steering conversion

csd1982

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So I had to pay a shop to do my Fj60 power steering conversion as I don’t have time. It was a kit from Iron Pig. My fj40 has had a SOA for years and I have never experienced death wobble. Holy crap I thought my steering blew up when it happened on the way home from the shop. There was also a loud banging sound from the engine bay. I pulled over and it happened again 1/2 mile later. Luckily I was very close to home as the 20 mile drive from the shop was good until the end.

I don’t know anything about the shaking but I knew the loud knocking was not right. I noticed the jackass shop forgot to weld a small bearing to where the steering column comes out of the fire wall. So now the steering column shakes and bangs loud against the fire wall. The directions on the iron pig website list the step to weld the bearing to support the shaft.

So my question is, would that loose steering linkage cause the death wobble?

see video

 

csd1982

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Why do you think that loose wouldn't cause a wobble in the steering?
I don’t know, that is why I ask. I never experienced the death wobble before and I googled causes and it say steering. So before I argue with the mechanic that did this job I want to get feedback from others here.
 

csd1982

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Wow, scary welds, that will definitely cause death wobble! More about this competent shop?? They let that leave the shop!!!🙄
Yes i just looked again at the welds. There are 3 connections that required welds. Two of them are average welds I could have done that does not even go all the way around. But the weld at the top by the fire wall is a joke. It is only about 1/4 the way around and there is 2 inches of wire on the weld...I know he was training new guys but they were crap.
 

whitey45

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Well, steering is a great place to train welding🙄, you could have died on the way home!!!!! Please let everyone know what shop this is!!’
 

csd1982

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I also rebuilt my knuckles myself as I installed 4.88 gears and ARBs. After I had the death wobble issue there was a good amount of grease on the back side of the knuckle ball. It was not runny and I did not see an gear oil. But it was a few big clumps. Could that have been due to the death wobble?

I have wiped down the balls now and then I turned the wheel a few times back and fourth. There is just a little bit of grease film over the knuckle ball now.

does this look ok? I probably put more grease in the knuckle then needed. I read that can blow out seals but maybe the excess is working it’s way out...

8D11EEEF-A2B2-469E-B837-FFF2306DFE2F.jpeg
 
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Rebuilt knuckles and followed the fsm using the special service tool? Or tossed a bearing kit in it? Koyo or timkin knuckle bearings? Check ubolts, spring bushings, tie rod ends, wheel balance/ straightness and lastly toe and lastly caster degrees. Wheel bearings also. There are soo many variables that it gets overwhelming. Just start a list , go thru it slowly and eventually it will be safe. First thing is to grind the welds off the column and install the correct bearing in the bottom of the steering shaft Cruiser Outfitters - http://www.cruiseroutfitters.com/powersteering.html
 

lcwizard

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death wobble is usually either alignment or tire balance. If the tires weren't swapped and the front end shaking occurred after the conversion, it's more than likely a toe in adjustment. Loosen the tie rod end clamps, rotate the tie rod one turn and go for a drive taking a pipe wrench or vice grip along. If the wobble gets better or goes away
you're on the right track.. If it gets worse, rotate the tie rod back to it's original position and go one more turn in that direction and drive it again.

As for the bearing column, that's a stupid mistake. You don't need anything fancy. A flanged wheel barrow wheel bearing with a 1 3/8" ID and 3/4" OD will slip into the
steering column tube. Unfortunately you'll need to cut the weld holding the u-joint on to slip the bearing over. The bearing will go between the column tube and the
cup that the column sit it on the inside of the cab so you'll remove the four small bolts at the base of the column, separtate the tube from the cup, tap the bearing in place and reassemble . The steering shaft cup ( for lack of a better description ) will hold the bearing in place, sandwiched between the square flange on the column and the cup itself
If this were mine I would not have welded that top u-joint. You can get u-joints that use set screws which you can drill deep into the steering shaft. With the u-joint welded it's difficult or worse to service the steering

Amazon product
1623598514029.png
 

csd1982

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Rebuilt knuckles and followed the fsm using the special service tool? Or tossed a bearing kit in it? Koyo or timkin knuckle bearings? Check ubolts, spring bushings, tie rod ends, wheel balance/ straightness and lastly toe and lastly caster degrees. Wheel bearings also. There are soo many variables that it gets overwhelming. Just start a list , go thru it slowly and eventually it will be safe. First thing is to grind the welds off the column and install the correct bearing in the bottom of the steering shaft Cruiser Outfitters - http://www.cruiseroutfitters.com/powersteering.html
I was going to maybe buy this


the knuckles rebuild was a full rebuild with a kit from cruiser outfitters. I did it about 6 months about and that is not the issues with the death wobble as I have drove the fj40 man times at high speeds and no issues till this shop did the power steering conversion. I was just wondering if the grease on the back of the knuckle ball is excess or not anything to worry about
 

65swb45

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Simply find a way to grab the steering shaft where it enters the steering box and see how much it moves before the pitman arm follows.
With power steering, it is important to do this with the system pressurized, as the tolerances change under pressure.

The scariest ride I ever had in my FJ45 was the day I drove it home with my new power steering conversion. The Napa rebuilt box was clearly marked on the sector adjuster with‘warranty void’ ink.

I decided my life was worth more than the warranty, and since I was intimately familiar with the components being a steering box rebuilder myself, I would reset the tolerances under load.

Problem solved.😉
 

lcwizard

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I was going to maybe buy this


the knuckles rebuild was a full rebuild with a kit from cruiser outfitters. I did it about 6 months about and that is not the issues with the death wobble as I have drove the fj40 man times at high speeds and no issues till this shop did the power steering conversion. I was just wondering if the grease on the back of the knuckle ball is excess or not anything to worry about
That just costs a lot more than the bearing and you'll still need to cut the weld at the top u-joint to install.
Here's a pic of the steering shaft with the bearing installed. The thing you notice is that you can't see the bearing

583201820318482851.jpg
 

csd1982

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That just costs a lot more than the bearing and you'll still need to cut the weld at the top u-joint to install.
Here's a pic of the steering shaft with the bearing installed. The thing you notice is that you can't see the bearing

View attachment 2703278
where did you order that u-join to? The one in your picture has set screws on both sides? Also do you feel with just set screws you don't need any welds? By un-joint has set screws and they were welded on both flat sides of the shaft
 

lcwizard

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The stock steering shaft is a 3/4" smooth. The input shaft on the steering box is either 13/16 or 3/4 depending on the year.
What falls in between those two depends on what you use for a steering shaft from the firewall down. Jegs has a reasonably
priced collapsible piece....
 

rockcod

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I also rebuilt my knuckles myself as I installed 4.88 gears and ARBs. After I had the death wobble issue there was a good amount of grease on the back side of the knuckle ball. It was not runny and I did not see an gear oil. But it was a few big clumps. Could that have been due to the death wobble?

I have wiped down the balls now and then I turned the wheel a few times back and fourth. There is just a little bit of grease film over the knuckle ball now.

does this look ok? I probably put more grease in the knuckle then needed. I read that can blow out seals but maybe the excess is working it’s way out...

View attachment 2702490
Where are your steering stops? The swiper retaining ring has hit the axle and bent it allowing grease to get past the felt swipes.
 

csd1982

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Where are your steering stops? The swiper retaining ring has hit the axle and bent it allowing grease to get past the felt swipes.
I just got my fj back yesterday and it drive amazing now. The owner of the shop / lead mechanic paid for a tow back to his place last Monday and went over it all. He pressed a bearing into the steering column to secure the steering shaft. He said there were a few very loose nuts on u-joints/he could turn the bolts by hand so he re-torqued them. He redid a few welds. The mechanics kept it for a few days and drove it over the weekend. He said there were no issues now with death wobble. I drove it home about 30 miles going 45mph on a road getting resurfaced therefore I was hitting all road imperfections I could to see if I had any issues. The fj steering was the best it has been. It felt like my DD and no death wobble.

When I drove it home the first time one of the hubs was in 4 wheel drive the other was not. Could that cause death wobble? I did not notice that until I got home as the shop did my ARB wiring and was testing the lockers I put in.
 

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