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In Hot Weather, Front end Wobbles when making Sharp Turns

1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD. This is a 4X4. This Jeep runs great in all other ways, but only when it’s hot out–hot enough to create heat on the front suspension, this problem occurs. The CV Joints have ben changed. Short Trips, it will not happen, only after warming up. It’s never happened in cold weather. Been Greased. Three mechanics have looked at this and have found no reason for the problem. . .only to say, yep, it’s a problem.

Bushings - specifically the front suspension bushings.

The bushings are made of synthetic rubber and will soften a bit when warm. That may be enough on a 20 year old SUV to give you the wobbles.

A tire with a separating belt can also cause a wobbling feeling on a sharp curve for the same reason. The tread softens when hot.

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On a 20 year old 4 X 4, everything starts getting a little loose and flexible…the body moves one way, the frame moves a little differently, that pulls the steering a little, then it snaps back, things can get into an oscillation, a syncopated rhythm that sets the front wheels to wobbling back and forth… The only way to stop it is to come to a complete stop…Oversize tires, over-inflated tires, aggressive tread tires, lift kits, no steering damper or a worn steering damper, cracked frame near the steering box, loose steering box mounting bolts, the list of causes is almost endless… You can easily spend more money than the vehicle is worth trying to fix it…

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Not a common thing, but differential problems can cause this. Make sure all the drive train fluids are in good shape. Faulty wheel bearings are another possibility. Ask your shop to check all the wheels for excessive play.

Edit: Incorrect alignment, esp toe-in is worth checking too.

You can check for this by finding a shop that does “road force balancing”. This spins the wheel with simulated road forces applied by pushing a spinning drum against the tread. It can detect internal tire damage/defects that regular spin balancing cannot.

Could the problem be shuddering in the transfer case or the positraction in the front axle?

There’s a component in the steering system of your Jeep called a steering damper.

If the valving in the steering damper wears out, it no longer controls the direction of the front tires after that sharp turn.


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I’ll add to tester’s suggestion that a worn out steering damper is a common cause of wobbling front ends on vehicles like this one.