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Old 05-11-2020, 02:41 PM #1
jmansfield jmansfield is offline
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Suspension Trouble -- Body Roll, Clunk/Pop Sound

Got a '98 limited/4wd with 295k miles with a few suspension issues:
  1. Excessive body roll. At freeway speeds, if I slightly rock the steering wheel back and forth I can induce a dangerous resonance with the body roll. You can do this on any car to an extent, but this is bad, feels like you will lose control of the car. Uneven road can also induce the roll.
  2. Clunk/pop/knock sound coming from the front when going over speed bumps or other obstacles.
  3. General wandering feeling of the front wheels when driving over uneven terrain or obstacles.


What I've done/plan to do:
  • I have replaced sway bar end links and bushings. This helped the roll slightly but problem persists. Struts were also replaced about 40k miles ago, so I think they can be ruled out.
  • Next I plan on replacing lower and upper A-arm bushings and ball joints.


Questions:
  1. Am I correct in targeting a-arm bushings and ball joints and sway bar end links? Are these symptoms of something else?
  2. Are there other components I should replace while tackling the bushings and ball joints? Inner/outer tie rods, wheel bearings? cv axles? I've read the oem wheel bearings are pretty robust and a hassle to replace. Also seems a good time to do the brake upgrade. Any other suggestions while I have all these components off?
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Old 05-11-2020, 04:08 PM #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmansfield View Post
Got a '98 limited/4wd with 295k miles with a few suspension issues:
  1. Excessive body roll. At freeway speeds, if I slightly rock the steering wheel back and forth I can induce a dangerous resonance with the body roll. You can do this on any car to an extent, but this is bad, feels like you will lose control of the car. Uneven road can also induce the roll.
  2. Clunk/pop/knock sound coming from the front when going over speed bumps or other obstacles.
  3. General wandering feeling of the front wheels when driving over uneven terrain or obstacles.


What I've done/plan to do:
  • I have replaced sway bar end links and bushings. This helped the roll slightly but problem persists. Struts were also replaced about 40k miles ago, so I think they can be ruled out.
  • Next I plan on replacing lower and upper A-arm bushings and ball joints.


Questions:
  1. Am I correct in targeting a-arm bushings and ball joints and sway bar end links? Are these symptoms of something else?
  2. Are there other components I should replace while tackling the bushings and ball joints? Inner/outer tie rods, wheel bearings? cv axles? I've read the oem wheel bearings are pretty robust and a hassle to replace. Also seems a good time to do the brake upgrade. Any other suggestions while I have all these components off?

From your description of the problem I think you were right in tackling sway bar bushings and end links first. They are all good now?

I think next you should be questioning the struts, shocks and springs. Thats the number one thing to be causing body roll and instability. What was put on 40,000 k ago? If it says Monroe on it consider it past due for replacement. I'd suspect someone cheaped out here.

Could also be tires really. I had a set of Nokians that were horribly unstable.

And then continue with your list. I can't really see wheel bearings, tie rod ends, CVs or for that matter control arm bushings causing body roll issues. Unstable steering for sure but not body roll issues.

Do you have a 200lb rooftop tent up there? My money is on a poor suspension setup.
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:02 PM #3
jmansfield jmansfield is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanoe View Post
From your description of the problem I think you were right in tackling sway bar bushings and end links first. They are all good now?

I think next you should be questioning the struts, shocks and springs. Thats the number one thing to be causing body roll and instability. What was put on 40,000 k ago? If it says Monroe on it consider it past due for replacement. I'd suspect someone cheaped out here.

Could also be tires really. I had a set of Nokians that were horribly unstable.

And then continue with your list. I can't really see wheel bearings, tie rod ends, CVs or for that matter control arm bushings causing body roll issues. Unstable steering for sure but not body roll issues.

Do you have a 200lb rooftop tent up there? My money is on a poor suspension setup.
Nah, they're Bilsteins. 40k miles on the struts isn't much. Don't think it's the tires, been rotating them regularly and this problem is new. No 200lb rooftop tent, car is usually about empty.

Sway bar end link replacement seemed to help slightly but didn't fix the problem. Tackling a-arm bushings and ball joints for now. If that doesn't solve it move to inner/outer tie rods and rack bushings. We'll see
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:18 PM #4
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Have you replaced sway bar bushings? New end links are kind of a band aid if the actual sway bar bushings are bad.
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Old 05-14-2020, 07:46 AM #5
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I had a similar issue a few years ago. In the end I got lucky and found it was a loose nut on the sway bar end link. It had backed off enough to have some play in it. I replaced the bushings and tightened everything up again.

Then I got tired of the sway bar when off road and dropped it all together. At that time I was off road a lot. I have debated putting it back on but not enough to actually do it.
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