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Old 06-05-2011, 09:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Steering replacement question?

Good morning my name is christian i live in st thomas us virgin islands a little tiny island in the caribbean and i own a 93 samurai and 95. I love these samurai's for island driving. I own a 95 camaro z28 with an engine i built with 450 rwhp 383 stroker back in florida in a garage.

So this said im not to familir these samurai's and 4wd steering/suspension.

When i pass 15mph my tires wobble horribly and my steering wheel as well. On this island mechanics are morons. So i figured its either the tie rods/center link/ pitman arm or wheel bearings, but wheels bearings usually make a noise or hum when they go. The sammy only has 55k miles on it and never sees over 40mph on this island.

My question is what do you guys think is the problem? I can find the tie rod for the driver side but where do i go to buy the center link or passenger tie rod. My 93 runs great and has over 80k miles on it.

Any imput would be gladly appreciate and if anyone ever comes out to the st thomas/st john/st croix give me a shout i'll show you around and take you out on a speed boat. I'm a captain and dive instructor here.

thanx christian

p.s what's the difference between a samurai jL and JA
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:05 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is the steering damper/stabilizer still installed? If so, have you removed it to check to check to see if it is still functioning? It should have equal resistance in both directions. A replacement is a Monroe # SC2941

See page 18.3 Suzuki SJ-Samurai Manual II
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Old 06-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yes the damper/stabilizer/ little shock is still on there. Do you really think that little dampner would make the whole car shake and make the wheels wobble....hmmm seems to be its either in the steering or wheel bearings no?
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Old 06-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The death wobble as it's called can be caused by a combo of all the front end. Bearings, tie rods, damper and even the wiper seals affect it. Best to just check everything.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanx for the info, on this type of steering how do you check if it's the bearings, usually on my camaro i put it on a lift and check if there is play on the wheel back and forth? How about the steering parts how do you check if they need to be replaced?
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Try raising your front wheels off the ground by jacking up your front axle. Should be able to do one side at a time.

With the front tire off the ground, grab the top and bottom of the tire and rock it to see if you have any play. If you do, there is a good chance that the front bearings are loose and need to be tightened. And if they are loose, then they probably need to be re-packed with grease and checked for wear.

Also with it raised, you can check for a bent wheel.

That little damper will not cause the shakes, but a non-functioning one will not prevent the shakes which is one of its main purposes. Drop one end and see if you have an equally stiff resistance in both directions. Also make sure that you have the tires inflated to about 25psi. Might also try rotating your tires to put the front ones on the back to see if that helps. Sometimes a broken belt in a tire will cause a bad vibration or bounce.

Here is a link the FSM Suzuki Sierra SJ413 Service Manual. Sections 17 & 18 cover the Suspension and Steering.

The spindle nut requires a 54mm or 2 1/8" thin-walled socket, which is not any easy thing to find.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i swaped the tires with another samurai and it still does it. i tried checking for play there is almost to none play just a little that u cant barely feel it. But when this shacking happens i turn the wheel to the right and left and the shaking goes away. happens a lot on its own or after i hit a pot hole or bump on the street.
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Everything you describe is symptoms of the death wobble. The unusual thing is that it starts at such a slow speed.

Have you pulled the steering damper/stabilizer yet to see if it is functioning?
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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i unbolted and it seems it has good resistance when i push it but it doesnt rebound back is that a faulty steering dampner?
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Old 06-07-2011, 12:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It shouldn't rebound like a shock. The resistance should be equal in both directions. Even when you put heavy pressure on it, it should move slowly and evenly. Might be possible that it is now working at much less than optimum efficiency and should be replaced.
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