Jim Grant's Tech Tips
'87 Jeep Cherokee,
I just bought an 87 Jeep Cherokee from a guy I know and while driving
it home it began to shake violently almost to the point of losing control.
It will stop and restart again but does not seem to be at any particular
speed. Any suggestions?
I would suggest inspecting the steering and front end components
of the vehicle. There is one part in particular, called the steering stabilizer
that should be checked over closely. The steering stabilizer is basically
a shock absorber for the steering. This not to be confused with the shock
absorbers for the suspension. The mass (steering and suspension) in the
front end of Jeeps has a frequency problem, meaning that as the vehicle
is being driven down the highway a sort of vibration develops. The steering
stabilizer absorbs/deadens this vibration so it is not delectable. If
the stabilizer is worn it can no longer prevent the front end shake from
happening. The shake from a failed stabilizer can be speed related when
the steering is turned slightly or when the wheels hit a small bump, just
right. With a little time most people figure out just how to induce the
shakes. Once the shake starts it will not end until you virtually stop
the vehicle. Start driving again and the condition will return it will
return at the right speed or bump in the road.