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Posted: 6/17/2009 5:00:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 5:01:15 PM EST by daemon734]
so ive been working on my cherokee lately and trying to get a couple things taken care of. it has a 4.5" lift and steers pretty bad. I gave it an alignment and new 32" BFG AT's and it got a bit better. I asked the shop that put the tires on to tighten the track bar, but they said it needs a "HIME" joint instead.....now ive never heard of this hime joint before. any thoughts?

also, I just noticed Ive been losing power steering fluid lately, having to fill it up about once a week. im assuming this had something to do with the steering, but it never really lost much fluid until recently. its getting worse as time progresses. is there a way to determine if the pump is bad? I cant verify where the leak is coming from at all. im thinking about just adding a heavy duty power steering pump to compensate for the lift but want to verify the original pump is indeed bad first. Im pretty sure if I take it to a shop they will say its bad no matter what and try to put the cheapest pump in. I bought a new line for it and will replace that this weekend regardless and see if that helps.

Link Posted: 6/17/2009 5:55:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 5:55:52 PM EST by FC1982]
What brand of lift do you have? Are they talking about heim joints on the control arms? Does your lift have a drop bracket for the track bar, or does it have the longer bar?
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 5:59:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 5:59:57 PM EST by Keith_J]
Heim joints are used between the anti-roll bar and the suspension. The roll bar acts as a differential lateral spring. And you want a removable set for off-road use to increase clearance/wheel droop and soften the ride. Be sure to replace before getting back on hard surfaces.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:00:21 PM EST
Is it puking it back out the top of the cap where you pour it in. Sometimes the fluid just gets old and the hydrobooster over pressurizes and causes it to purge out when its running. And bam, your low. Happened to me with my Ram 2500 sitting 5" up with 315s. Changed the fluid out and problem solved. I hope yours is that easy.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:10:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 6:12:52 PM EST by Burntrubber87]
Heim joint? aka spherical rod end
You probably need more adjustment in your trackbar because of the lift. Also, because of the lift, you might be putting added stress on your steering box output? and that can cause your bottom seal to leak.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:14:42 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 6:23:29 PM EST by FMJshooter]
What they are saying is you need adjustable track bars. Very common item for lifted Jeeps. Basicly when you lifted the Jeep the axles moved to the left because the track bar which centers or "locates" the axles are too short.

See here....


In some cases you can use a bracket to extend the rear track bar to save cash but they tend to break. Quick way to check how bad it is, Measure the distance from the shoulder of the tires at 12 oclock to the fender lips. I bet the driver side tires are poking a good inch or so out of the fender wells more than the right.

BTW I highly recommend the JKS brand bars. They are brick shit houses.

Also I'm assuming the lift kit came with proper length/adjustable control arms? What kind of steering issues are you experiencing?
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:25:31 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 6:35:44 PM EST by FMJshooter]
As far as the power steering try to clean the PS system hoses and all with brake cleaner etc. Start the truck and watch where it seeps from. Usually will leak either at the pulley or the high pressure lines.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:33:20 PM EST
TAke the lift off and cut the body to clear the tires... Problem solved!
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:40:34 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 6:40:56 PM EST by Subconscious]
Heim joints will provide you with just about the best in the way of articulation when it comes to steering components. However, such a conversion is usually pretty expensive. If it's worth it to you, go for it. Those old XJs are pretty good to go, considering the unibody construction.

The PS leak is either from the pump, or a line. Warm it up, fill up the reservoir, and have the wife type turn the wheel lock to lock while you lay beneath where you can see where the leak is coming from. Either way, it's a pretty easy fix, line or pump.
Link Posted: 6/17/2009 6:43:57 PM EST
[Last Edit: 6/17/2009 6:50:08 PM EST by DarkCharisma]
Cherokees have a problem with the drag link/tie rod ends and pitman arm wearing prematurely. Changing over to cross-over steering or using heavier duty parts fixes this, at least so I've heard from the wheelin' buddies.

I don't have a solid front axle.

Edit: Heims are strong, but are not road-worthy. If you're going to be on the road, get TRE's instead of heims.

Edit again: Referring to the ends on your drag link and tie rods, not on your lift kit itself.

I think I just confused everybody. Sorry.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 3:02:38 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/18/2009 3:03:59 AM EST by daemon734]
ok, I now know what a heim joint is. It actually looks like my axle is a little bit offset, and I had an issue with the tires before these where the tire on the offset side got worn to shit prematurely. me being the halfass mechanic that I am attributed it to the alignment.
Link Posted: 6/18/2009 3:53:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 6/18/2009 3:58:16 AM EST by 4schitzangiggles]
Here is the best place for all of your jeep tech (and specifically for your XJ) http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=83f67c279cc69403191bf581ff755468&f=11

I have a YJ and love the hell out of that place. Just so you know to keep the social banter in thier GD forum or be banned for postin crap in the tech sections.

The panhard bar (oft mistakenly call a "track bar") locates you axle side to side (generally not needed with leaf springs but necessary for your coil sprung front end) and as the size of your lift increase the angle changes which will pull your axle to one side (also happens as your suspension articulates). The lift can also cause bump steer because it will also change the steering geometry and a drop pitman arm will solve that.

Heim joints are best for offroad only stuff as they wear out rather quickly on street use stuff (doesn't have any bushing materiel). You can find some rebuild able stuff like the Curry Johnny joint http://www.currieenterprises.com/cestore/johnnyjoints.aspx and they have a video explaining how they work.

I hope this helps.

ETA, you suspension actually moves in an elliptical pattern as it cycles.
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