How to Fix Bump steer On Jeep Wrangler & Finding the Root Cause of Bump Steer

How to Fix Bump steer On Jeep Wrangler & Finding the Root Cause of Bump Steer

Fixing bump steer on Jeep Wrangler is a major concern, if you have driven a jeep with a lift and you are likely to notice the steering. If you don’t take good care of the steering, your Jeep will keep dodging and dart whenever you hit a hole or bump. 

Probably you have seen a jeep going to the side whenever the first legs hit a bump. 

It could be one scarily experience, especially if you are on a highway or it’s your first time driving on an elevated jeep

Sometimes it becomes a discomfort when you want to go for an adventure on rough terrain, and your Jeep keeps moving to the sides.  

Let’s look at what a bump steer is and how you can fix it. 

What is Bump Steer? 

Like the word suggests, a bump steer is when you are driving your Jeep, and you hit a bump, and the Jeep tries to move in one direction and then to the next. Bump steer can be dangerous, especially when you are driving on a busy highway. 

When you try to hit the brakes, the steering wheel pulls away from your hands. Even though bump steer is equally a bad experience, it’s not as dangerous as death wobble can get. The only solution is to fix it. 

What is Death Wobble? 

A death wobble is when your Jeep’s steering components start swaying, making the steering wheel move very fast from side to side. 

The wrangler feels as if it’s shaking apart all by itself. If you face a death wobble, the worst you can do is let off the steering wheel because it’s likely to cause a collision. 

What does a Bump Steer Feel like? 

If you have a severe bump steer, you can feel it while driving on a straight road and hit a bump or driving on rough terrain. For a minor spot, you can feel it when your Jeep has a heavy load and when turning or from a straight road to rugged terrain. 

When you have a bump steer, you are likely to feel the front wheels move from side to side when you never hit a bump.  

Is Bump Steer Dangerous? 

When you are at high speed and hit a bump, the bump steer will have more impact, leading your car to move from one lane to another lane. It can be very dangerous because you can be at risk of hitting other cars or getting hit. 

Depending on your speed, a bumper steer can be fatal or just a steer. Once you feel like you have a bump, steer, maintain a slower pace and keep your hands on the steering. 

How to fix a bump steer

What Should You Do When You Experience a Bump Steer? 

The first thing is not to panic. Reduce your speed and ensure both your hands are on the steering wheel. When you have both hands firmly on the steering wheel, you are likely to gain and maintain control of your Jeep. 

What are the causes of Bump Steer? 

Bump steer are caused by so many factors but some major causes are mishandling of Tires, Shocks, Incorrect Lifting, and Bent, Loose or Broken Suspension. 

Tires  

A bump steer causes the tires to turn right or left when a car hits a bump or a hole. Excess bump steer can make tires wear and tear fast. Tires alone cannot cause it unless there is a problem triggering it. 

Shocks 

When you have ensured all the front wheels are appropriately aligned and have the correct pressure, then your shock absorbers on the front wheel could be the problem.

When you have one shock that is not working as expected, that side could affect the other side of the vehicle, when you hit a bump and make your car bounce more. 

Incorrect Lifting  

From the manufacture of the jeep track bar, both the upper and lower mount is more or less parallel with the pavement. 

When you hit a bump, there is a tiny movement from side to side. It is because the track bar is nearly parallel to the pavement. When you lift the Jeep incorrectly, the axis moves further away from the body. 

The lifting moves the track bar further away from each other while the body moves upwards further. As the track bar moves upward, it will not be parallel with the pavement. 

Suppose your Jeep is lift is incorrect. It’s likely to have a steer bump. When your Jeep lift is erroneous, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s installed correctly. Mostly it’s the angles of the suspension components and the steering that differ.

The angles to refer to here are the track bar and drag link, parallel to the other on a stock wrangler. When you lift the wrangler suspension, you are changing its geometry, and thus you need to change the steering wheel and keep the angles to keep them in line. 

Bent, Loose, or Broken Suspension  

When the wrangler has loose bent or broken track bars and drags link, they will not work as required even if the lift correct and all angles are well aligned.

Best Track Bar for Jeep Wrangler TJ & LJ

Rough Country Rear Forged Adjustable Track Bar

  • Built with Forged Solid Steel
  • Features Cleveite rubber bushings
  • Best Suited for 0-6″ of lifts
  • For Jeep Wrangler TJ & LJ 1997 to 2006

Best Track Bar for Jeep Wrangler Jk & JKU

JKS OGS121 Front Adjustable HD Track Bar for Jeep

  • Adjustable Front Track Bar
  • DOM Steel Tube Construction
  • Best suited for 1-6″ suspension lift
  • For 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK

Best Track Bar for Jeep Wrangler JL & JT

JKS 2018-2020 Front Adjustable Track Bar

  • Build with high strength 1.5 OD thick wall DOM tubing
  • Best Suited for 1-4.5″ of lifts
  • For 2018-2020 Jeep JL Wranglers & 2020 Jeep JT Gladiators

How to Fix Bump Steer On Jeep Wrangler?

The first thing you do for fixing bump steer in your Jeep is for checking any kind of steering dampener in your vehicle and also take time to check for any broken components in your vehicle. 

Steering dampener-Temporary solution 

One common mistake people do when they want to fix bump steer is using a steering dampener to fix it. The steering dampener should be used as a temporary measure as you plan to improve the bump steering wheel. It only masks the issue for a while, and you are back to square one. 

Check for Broken Components 

There are two ways to fix bump steer; one is checking underneath of your wrangler for any broken, bent, or lose drag link or track bar. Once you ensure none of your steering components is faulty, you need to check the track bar and drag the link as parallel. 

However, you may opt to add dropped pitman’s arm. It’s the steering arm that is attached to the drag link on one end. However, it does not work perfectly well for every vehicle that is going a lift. 

How Do You Achieve Parallel Opposites? 

When you are lifting your Jeep, both should move upwards on the same mount. The bars should remain parallel even though you may need to straighten them slightly. When you achieve it, you will have very little to no bump steer. 

To achieve the right parallel is to ensure the drop amount is precisely the same as the amount on both bars. If the track bar drops two from left to right, the drag bar should also decline from 2 from left to right. 

You need a tape measure and a pen. While measuring, put your tape measure from the pavement to the pivot point of both drag link and track bar and filling in your paper.

On the upper side, which is the driver’s side, measure track bar pavement. The lower side or passenger’s side measures the track bar pavement. 

How Do you Measure Track Bar and Drag Link to Eliminate Bump Steer? 

You have recorded your measurements on paper. Take the upper size and subtract the lower height. You will get a number between 0-12. That number tells you how much they are off each other.  

How much off are they from the other. Is there a way you can try to make them as parallel as possible? With the numbers, you can ask yourself various questions like, do you need to drop a pitman arm? What of factory pitman arm? What about if you relocated the track bar upward or downwards. 

This set of questions will help you develop the best solution to make the parallel needed. 

If you get the bars parallel of an eight-inch of each other, you will still have the bars moving to the side because the drag link is longer and will be moving slower on its ark while the track bar moves fast on its ark.  

You cannot get absolute parallel with modification, but you can get the track bar more parallel worth the pavement more than the drag link. 

It will make them move in their different arcs, and the track bar will move the axel on its arc less and more parallel to the pavement, and you will not experience bump steer any longer. 

Does Alignment Fix Bump Steer on jeep wrangler? 

Getting new alignment without addressing the bump steer will not fix it, nor will it work perfectly. A bump steer kit will correct the angles that are not correctly aligned.  It is more than just a tie-end rod. 

Can a Steering Stabilizer Fix Bump Steer On Jeep Wrangler? 

The preliminary work for the steering stabilizer is to stabilize the side-to-side movement of the wheels. Steer stabilizers are necessary because they absorb the bump steer and slightly steering issues. The more bump steer it absorbs and flighty steering problems when you have installed a heavy steering stabilizer. Adding steering stabilizers to your Jeep will not fix the bump steering problem.  

Bump Steer Kit  

Bump steer kit (JK & JKU) consist of a couple of spacers that move the tie rod-end and align it to an instant center when you change the location between the tie rod and steering knuckle meet. You can use the bumper steer to tie a rod and adjust the angle to align closer to the instant center. 

Track Bar and Draglink 

The drag link tends to be longer than the track bar with endpoints that are similar but with different heights. The track bar and drag link each move on different arcs which means when the axel moves up and down, the drag link and track bar each action in the opposite direction. 

When they are not parallel, the drag link moves fast while drag links move slower, causing bump steer. When they are parallel aligned, the track bar will not move as fast. Thus, you will not experience bump steer.  

Drag Link on a Jeep Wrangler 

The drag link connects the pitman’s arm with the steering box and the tie rod. As the steering wheel moves, it enables you to steer your Jeep. The link can bend or break when straining, especially with driving large wheels. 

Effects of Drag Links on Alignments 

The left steering knuckles connected to the pitman arm or drag link coins an adjustment sleeve whose sole purpose is to steer the rotation wheel at 12 while you are on a straight road. This adjustment, however, does not affect the alignment of the wheels. 

Best Steering Stabilizer Kit for Jeep Wrangler TJ & LJ

Rugged Ridge 18050.82 Steering Kit

  • Best for heavy duty Off-roading
  • Best suited for 2-4″ lift
  • For Jeep Wrangler TJ & LJ 1997 to 2006

Best Steering Stabilizer Kit Jeep Wrangler Jk & JKU

TeraFlex 1853900 JK HD Tie Rod and Drag Link Kit

  • Best for heavy duty Off-roading
  • Works with any inch lift
  • Only fits 17″ rims and above
  • For 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK

Best Steering Stabilizer Kit Jeep Wrangler JL & JT

Rough Country N3 Dual Steering Stabilizer 

  • Improves Control & Handling
  • Best suited for 2.5-6″ lift
  • For 2018-2020 Jeep JL Wranglers & 2020 Jeep JT Gladiators

Are Drag Link and Tie Rod same? 

The Drag link connects the pitman and the steering gear of one wheel in a vehicle. At the same time, the tie rods connect the steering knuckles of both the right and left wheel to transfer the steering force. You can adjust both the link and rod to ensure you meet the optimized alignment of the wheels. 

How Long Does a Draglink Last? 

The Drag link is supposed to last over time, but the drag link starts to wear and tear as time goes. Over time you will need to change it, but it will depend on how you use your Jeep. 

If your Jeep doesn’t do or drive through rugged terrain, then your drag link can last longer than that of a heavy-duty jeep. 

To know your drag link needs a replacement, you will start feeling like the steering is off. Excess play on the steering wheel when you are driving. Another way is checking your tire to see if there is uneven tire wear. 

Bumper steer can be a scary experience, especially if you were on a highway. When you lift your Jeep, you interfere with the factory settings of your Jeep. 

Once you do the lift, the parallel of track the bar and drag link is not consistent as it was before the lift. Thus, getting the bump steer. 

You can fix the issue by aligning the track bar and drag link as close as possible. Through the steps highlighted above, you will be able to select the bump steer on your jeep wrangler Jk. 

The process is simple, especially if we measure the difference to get the proper contrast on the lift. 

Conclusion 

Fixing a bump steer is not an easy task, there are numerous properties involved in fixing bump steer for your jeep. In this article we have thoroughly listed out the “N” number of factors affecting your Bump steer and also, we have provided a considerable amount of content on factors regarding solutions for bump steer and how you can avoid it.