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Jiggly Jeep

2003 Grand Cherokee Overland. This thing has had the typical Jeep issues, but this is new. Recently, I had my tires rotated and balanced, an alignment and an intermediate shaft replacement. The vehicle immediately drove different and it’s driving me nuts.

The intermediate shaft was replaced in hopes it would correct some steering column clicking. The TSB repair of shimming the column had already been done and had only kept it quiet for 2 mos. Column still clicks and is getting worse. I can now feel a bit of feedback from the clicks which occur consistently with any road input rather than occasionally with harder bumps.

The alignment guy says all is ok that the vehicle is within specs and that the toe-in is appropriate for a jeep and shouldn’t be increased. The consensus from my mechanics and alignment shop is that the tie rod ends are ok. All also agree the tire wear is excellent especially for this vehicle. This was the first rotation on a new set of Michelin LTX m/s (245/65/17).

Here’s the concern: the vehicle feels light and jiggly in a horizontal manner. None of the wiggle comes through the steering column. The slightest road grooves or wear tracks cause the vehicle to feel like it’s being pushed around from high wind- sideways. More than the usual. It tends to jerk sideways (can see the front end move sideways) a bit like it’s on wide tires being grabbed by the grooves. It doesn’t feel like the butt jiggle normal in the Jeep. I have not yet upgraded the rear sway bar. This change is new. This vehicle (other than the std body roll) used to feel rock solid in road wear or grooved roads with very little sway. Not so much anymore.

1) does the change in steering column have any potential input to this problem?

2) could the dial-out of the toe in be the difference?

3) any thoughts on why this thing is all-of-a-sudden feels more jiggly than it had?

4) is it ok that you can grab the tie rod and rotate in down about 1/2" with no effort?

Any thoughts truly appreciated. I love this vehicle, but reaching the end of my rope…