Bump Steer

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DoozerJK
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Bump Steer

Post by DoozerJK » Thu Mar 30, 2017 2:29 pm

I recently did a drag link flip without installing a track bar relocation bracket. I knew what I was getting into ahead of time. I installed the drag link flipped because it was my only option during install. So I now have bump steer until I am able to install the track bar relocation bracket this weekend. Here's a bit on bump steer, what causes it, what it does, and how to mitigate and fix it.

Bump steer is an unwanted effect where when hitting a bump with the front end, the Jeep's steering direction changes. There are a few variations of this but normally bump steer in a Jeep JK is caused by the drag link and tie rod not being parallel. The less parallel they are, the greater the effects of bump steer will be. The effect of this is applied whenever the height of the axle changes from resting - you will notice it while accelerating and decelerating, hitting bumps, etc.

Bump steer can translate into either the front wheels turning when a bump is hit or the steering wheel turning or a little of both. When the axle height changes due to bump or acceleration, something has to give and usually it is the path of least resistance. Placing a steering stabilizer/dampener on the tie rod can force the bump steer effect away from the wheels and into the steering wheel. A steering stabilizer DOES NOT fix bump steer! Dropped pitman arms can fix the issue but are not recommended since they make the steering linkage much weaker.

Luckily, the fix is fairly simple: A front track bar relocation bracket. These come in upper and lower varieties and only one is needed to resolve the issue. You do not need two - two will not resolve bump steer. Also, an adjustable track bar will not fix bump steer as the angle difference between the drag link and track bar will remain the same.

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