Question: I own an '01 Jeep Sport Wrangler 4.0L with 30-inch tires and Canyon wheels. I have noticed that when driving on a rough road, I get feedback through the steering column. I took the Jeep back to where I purchased it and was told it's a "Jeep thing." Is this normal? The track arm and Skyjacker stabilizer were both replaced.
What would you recommend as a good suspension? I'd like a 3-inch lift with 31-inch tires. This Jeep will see more on- than off-pavement use. Can you rate them from better to best? I want a suspension lift that will keep the Jeep from shaking.
Are lockout hubs worth the money? Will they save on gas mileage and wear and tear on a vehicle with 3.73:1 gearing?
Answer: Feedback? You're bound to get some from rough roads, but a lot depends on what you consider "feedback." Worn suspension bushings and ball joints, as well as worn tie-rod ends on the steering linkage, could be the source, but that would be a bit unusual for a vehicle only four years old unless it had excessively high mileage or had been used quite hard. Improper front axle caster or lack of caster is another item that should be looked at.
As to a suspension recommendation from better to best, that's almost an impossibility. What you consider the best compromise between both on- and off-pavement ride and handling may not match up with our opinion. Besides, it would only be an opinion and not one that necessarily matched yours or our readers. Oh, and suspension lifts don't cause a Jeep to shake. The improper application of the lift might aggravate a pre-existing condition such as the worn-out parts I mentioned above.
Lock out hubs I feel are a good investment over time. First, they will extend the life of your front drive components from wearing out by many times. For every rotation of the wheel, you have the outer axle, U-joint, and inner axle rotating, which turns the differential ring-and-pinion gears, which turn the front driveshaft and two more U-joints. While there won't be a remarkable increase in fuel mileage, it will increase. The best thing about locking hubs is that if you should break any front drive component, you can put the hubs in the unlocked position and drive the Jeep home. Otherwise, it may mean a tow home on a trailer.
Question: I recently bought a 4x2 conversion kit with lockouts for my full-time 4x4, a '77 K-5 Blazer. I brought it to a local transmission shop, which said they had installed about 25 of these before. They also said they don't recommend installing them because they blow out seals in the front differential, and they had to repair two thirds of the ones they'd installed. If the conversion kit stops the front driveshaft, why would this happen? Have you ever heard of problems with these kits?
Answer: I suggest that you never take your vehicle to this shop for transmission work, or any work at all! There is no way it would cause front seals to blow out! Yes, it stops the front driveshaft from turning, so perhaps you'll experience reduced wear on the frontend and maybe a bit more fuel mileage. I would also be a bit afraid of the kit they sold you unless it was a name brand that you had researched.
Question: Eight years subscribing and still can't wait for the mailman! I need some help, though. Should I, or could I, use Red Line synthetic 50-weight racing oil in my daily-driver 4x4 Suburban? The truck has a bone-stock 5.7L V-8 and is not driven hard or fast at all-it's the family rock buggy. Red Line will only say they don't recommend it. The issue is the detergent additive, I guess. How about using an oil detergent additive like cd-2 or another additive package like the big fleets do?
Answer: Red Line makes some great products. However, I think that you should follow their advice and forget about the 50-weight racing oil and leave it to the racers that have engines designed for it. While racing oil has some values that are not found in regular oil, it is also lacking in some of the additives needed for long-term use. What you have to keep in mind is that in a race vehicle, the oil never stays in it very long and usually gets changed after every race. Often, the oil is heated before the engine is started and bearing clearances have been opened up more than on a stock engine.
Trying to mix your own brew with aftermarket additive packages is never a wise move. What you add may not be compatible with what is already in the oil. Oil manufacturers and blenders employ special research chemists that spend a lot of time matching a product to its use.
What I really suggest is that you pick a name-brand lubricant in a multi-viscosity, such as a 15-W40 synthetic and stick with it, making oil changes at 3,000 miles-or sometimes less, depending on driving conditions. Three thousand miles or every 6 months are not magic numbers. Oil changes should be based on what the engine was subjected to. For instance; dirty, dusty off-road conditions under high ambient temperatures may require the oil to be changed at 1,000 miles, while a long cross-country trip may only require the oil to be changed at 7,000 miles.