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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,
I have a stock front axle Zuki and has been lifted 3" and have 33" swampers on it. I have a wobble issue that comes and goes when going down the road about 25mph.

It's intermittent and when I stop then, restart it goes away for a bit then returns. I pull on the wheels to see if the bearings could be loose and I don't get any clunking or loose pull back and forth. The front works fine in 4x4 too. Lug nuts are tight and wheels look straight and vertical from the front.

I'm not familiar with the front wheel assy. I rebuilt the rear 3rd member so I know all's fine back there.

Any ideas here?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Yup - google "death wobble"

First - depending on how you lifted the front end - you may have a castor issue. How you fix that depends on how the lift was done.

Second - the castor issue is not the cause of the wobble, the wobble is caused by excessive play in the front end - the castor makes it more noticeable. You need to go through the entire front end, checking for worn parts - king pin bearings, track rod ends, steering box - everything.
 

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I was just reading yesterday in the zuk service manual as i am going to be putting a locker in the front differential and replacing all bearings and seals.... and it was noted in the manual to be sure the kingpin bushings are properly shimmed as this would cause shimmy..... like the previous poster said you may have to go thru the whole system but this would be a good place to start..... well after maybe you balance the wheels and check for a straight rim.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yup - google "death wobble"

First - depending on how you lifted the front end - you may have a castor issue. How you fix that depends on how the lift was done.

Second - the castor issue is not the cause of the wobble, the wobble is caused by excessive play in the front end - the castor makes it more noticeable. You need to go through the entire front end, checking for worn parts - king pin bearings, track rod ends, steering box - everything.
I got the 88 Zuki from a unknown owner through a friend. The lift was done by him evidently by placing the springs on top of the axle and welding the brackets on top. Crummy job so I think.

I'm not a mechanic but see them daily and hundreds every week. I have service manuals for the Samurai from 86 - 92 if I remember correctly. I have the 86 - 88 in my hands now. I'll look through it and see what I can find in regards to your repair checks.

If you have those manuals you may list the chapter and page for easier location.

Nobody works on these boogers around here it seems.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I found great info from posts here and the factory manuals I have. My steering wheel is now in the 12 & 6 position not 3 & 9. I did notice some grease come out of the knuckle area awhile back then stopped (not good huh?) Does the whole axle have to be pulled out to repair the wheel parts?

The bolts being removed here are loosing what part?
The manual doesn't show any other pic's after this, until the next image shown.



What part are these lower 4 bolts holding in he's on now?



I believe the previous images were to be removed in order to pull the axle shaft right?


Being as the grease came out on one side, what would you suggest to repair the issues I posted??

I hope this helps out and thanks in advance.
 

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If you have your manual go to chapter 17 page 11 (17-11 and refer to the paragraph below fig 17-1-32
I can't help you much more as i have to tear mine apart soon and won't understand it fully until i do the job.... It really looks simple enough.
Joe
Read all of chapter 17 to get an idea of how to do a full overhaul or just take out those four lower bolts and four upper bolts and the upper and lower kingpins to just pull the axle but caution that they must be returned in exactly the same spot and the same direction...... really read all of chapter 17 to fully understand. Joe
service manual:
1986-1988 Suzuki Samurai Factory Service Manual
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hey Joe, thanks for the page numbers. I read it and now know the king pins are the part in my 2nd picture that has the 4 bolts at the bottom. Is it as easy as removing the bolts and drop that part out and stick a new one in there?
That seems too easy there.

I see I have to pull everything off the spindle in order to replace the knuckle seal. If I do that I'll replace the bearings while I got it all apart. It might have dust in there etc. and this will seal the deal and worries later on bearings smoking and having to yank it all off again.
I'll do both sides while I'm at it so that's knocked out. Now to locate what grease goes back in the knuckle that leaked out.
I got just the guy who'll help me do it for next to nothing.

If you don't have these manuals for the stock Zuki's you really need them as, it helps tremendously with the help from others like this forum.

If anyone else has any tips or tricks, please add it in.
Thanks in advance.
 

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I've already replaced that knuckle seal on the drivers side and all i did was remove those eight inside bolts and to put the new seal in i cut it with a scissor and put the cut part up at 12 o clock position and bolted it all back together without pulling the axle or taking out the kingpins..... this is an acceptable procedure that i read on a few online installs and it worked perfectly for me and no more leak..... the only reason i am taking it apart now is to put a locker in or i would leave it alone...... oh by the way i just packed it full of grease while the seal was out...... I think it was the Low Range site that had those directions to cut the seal for the install...... I have a habit from driving semis to feel those center hubs when i fuel up or lock/unlock the hubs for an early tipoff of failing bearings...... if one is much warmer than the other side then you have a problem in the early stages and time for a repair
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was hoping that would be the way to go on the seal. Was yours wobbling before hand? Is there any black sealant needed when that outer ring bolts back up!

Now as far as the king pin where those 4 bolts are, is it just an easy unbolt them and pull out the old and plug in a new one and add sealant too?

If so, I'll knock out both when laying down there. No loose wheels or grinding like bearings are bad yet. I don't drive it far on the hunting land and just putt around actually.

Thanks Joe.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yup - google "death wobble"

First - depending on how you lifted the front end - you may have a castor issue. How you fix that depends on how the lift was done.

Second - the castor issue is not the cause of the wobble, the wobble is caused by excessive play in the front end - the castor makes it more noticeable. You need to go through the entire front end, checking for worn parts - king pin bearings, track rod ends, steering box - everything.
Thank you for all the great information. Are the king pins just as easy as unbolting the 4 bolts and drop out and re-install?

I do have the steering wheel at the 12 -6 not 3 -9 position. Maybe steering gearbox issue too?

I will check out all components when I get back to it this weekend.

Let me know what ya think. Thanks in advance.
 

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When i lifted mine 3" the steering wheel changed from 12 o clock to almost 2 o clock after the lift.... I was told that anything higher than a 3" lift needed Z pinion bar or something like that..... others on here should know exactly what it is called
Joe
 

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A Z-link, and that's not what I would use - you're going to end up with massive bump steer.

Some sort of hi-steer kit is what you need



Neither of those images is a Samurai, but they show what I want you to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
It's funny that the steering wheel was pretty much straight when I got it. I think I strong arm turned it in a predicament somewhere. I don't think anything elaborate was done like the photos as the lift didn't seem the top shop job when done.

Thank you for the images again.

What about the king pin switch out. How is that done. Bearings seem to be fine NO grinding, looseness, back and forth play or excessive heat on hubs. It appears each side has 2 king pins in the manual is that correct?

How do you go about straightening the steering wheel once turned? The wheels are straight up and down and are not way off left or right just by looking at it. It would seem it would be hard right looking from the outside at it by the way the steering wheel is, inside the vehicle.

Thank you in advance, everyone that's replied.
 

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When you lift the vehicle, the drag link sits at an angle instead of being near horizontal, this, in effect "shortens it" causing the steering wheel to be turned, whilst the wheels are still pointing straight ahead.

If you got it with the lift and the steering wheel was not offset then and it is now, you probably bent something, if it was straight before the lift and it's no longer straight after the lift it's probably the angle of the drag link.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Ughh.. I was afraid of that idea on the bent part. I took a little time and read the manual and for checking the dreaded wobble check and fix. I'm assuming the king pins apply pressure to the outside of the wheel bearing housing, right?
Any more or lessened pressure from a shim would cause a wobble and the grease seal bad (which I saw grease come out of that location as stated earlier) could be part of the issue as it's a intermittent wobble I guess like everyone reports.

Sometimes it's easier to ask from others experience than what the manual states and thank you all. So, for others who don't have a manual here's a excerpt from it on the wobble section.

Hope this helps out.






 

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The kingpins are what the knuckle's swivel on - jeeps have ball joints, these Suzukis have kingpins.

The kinpins do not apply pressure to the outside of the wheel bearing housing - the wheel bearings are on the spindle which is bolted to the outside of the knuckle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Ok, with that said, would it be safe to say the wobble on the king pins is a result of the king pin being worn and needing a shim removed in order to make a pivot point on the top and bottom of the knuckle again? Do the wheel check as I go and if no avail consider the king pins worn?
I'm hoping new grease, seal and felt stop it as I did see grease come out of it. It's usually the worst and never the easy route it seems. I have no idea of any maintenance that was done and by what I've found, little if any in detail.

Thanks in advance.
 

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The king pin uses taper roller bearings - if there is play it may need to be replaced.
 

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I rebuilt my entire front end and still had a terrible wobble, the Wheel bearings were loose too and damaged so I replaced them, but it didnt help much at all. Got the tires balanced and fixed it 90%. Used to only be able to drive 40mph now can go 70 but still get the slightest wobble. A 3" drop pitman may work? Haven't put mine on yet but that's supposed to help too, or the high steer. My steering wheel is at the same position as yours when I lifted too (2" suspension lift) read the high steer and or drop pitman fix that too. Not sure
though just some thoughts. Also check steering stabilizer need a heavy duty one for those tires.
 
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