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Old 07-04-2019, 12:18 PM   #113
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Wobble issue

I donít think the wobble caused the welds to fail, itís the amount of energy to get the front wheels to track is overloading the aluminum weld strength. Sitting in the Jeep with power off turning the wheels is extremely hard, much more difficult than a conventional hydraulic steering system. Iím sure FCA performed a test measuring it and out of that they replaced those parts with a stronger material.
Iím not an engineer, thatís only what I see.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:47 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by Flentz56 View Post
I bought a used 2014 trailhawk to function as my toad. I found one that already had a baseplate installed by the original owner. After making the purchase is when I learned about the steering wobble that can occur with this vehicle. I took it to the Jeep dealer where I bought it, it cost another 450 bucks to get the towing fix installed. Then I took the Jeep to an RV shop to get the brake system installed, they recommended the Airforce one system, I agreed and it cost 2400 for the brakes, wiring the lights and setting up so the RV will keep the toad battery charged when towing, everything worked on the first trip, about a thousand miles, I was really happy.
Now to the thing to watch for, if you are towing a Cherokee 2014 to 2016, the base plate attaches to a lower part of the front bumper assembly, each side has a aluminum arm that connects the lower part to the front frame. You need to look at the back side where the flange of that arm is welded to the bar, the welds will fail. I knew that on mine one of them had been replaced by the dealer but didnít think too much of it, when I had the brake system installed they looked closer than I had and the arm on the right side was torn half way around the flange, they warned me not to tow until repaired.
I replaced the failed one found and inspected the other, it was sound. If you have a Cherokee with lower support arms that are made of aluminum have them replaced. Attached picture is the one I replaced.
The replacement part is made of steel, I inspected after the 1000 mile trip and no problems.
where did you get the replacement part made of steel? I may do that if its reasonable. thx!
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:16 AM   #115
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Thanks Jim.

I understand it now. I see how the forces involved would have greater effect on the aluminum when tow bar is attached to the unsecured end of the base plate.

Even worse if you use an "open triangle" type tow bar.
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:39 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by Flentz56 View Post
I donít think the wobble caused the welds to fail, itís the amount of energy to get the front wheels to track is overloading the aluminum weld strength. Sitting in the Jeep with power off turning the wheels is extremely hard, much more difficult than a conventional hydraulic steering system. Iím sure FCA performed a test measuring it and out of that they replaced those parts with a stronger material.
Iím not an engineer, thatís only what I see.
When you say "with the power off", did you mean ignition off or the switch off on the added towing harness?

On my 2017 Cherokee Trailhawk the wheel turns easy with the ignition off and tow harness on. Turns hard with both off.
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Old 07-05-2019, 07:04 AM   #117
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Thanks Jim.

I understand it now. I see how the forces involved would have greater effect on the aluminum when tow bar is attached to the unsecured end of the base plate.

Even worse if you use an "open triangle" type tow bar.
Yes, that triangle needs to be closed, either through a significant car structure like the internal steel bumper or with a tow bar crossbar like Roadmaster uses. On the Cherokee if the triangle is not closed by one of those methods, the acceleration/deacceleration forces created by towing the 4000 lb car (which are magnified through the lever arm created by the cantilevered baseplate tower) will be directed into the very light gauge radiator cross support beam which is not sufficient to handle them over the long term. IMO, changing the subframe member’s material from aluminum to steel might prevent failure of those members but will still leave the radiator cross support beam subject to failure. IMO, the fix for owners of the original BX1136 is to replace the baseplate with a revised design. There is a reason why BO updated the design to close the triangle through the car’s bumper and why the Roadmaster design does as well (and also speculating that’s the reason FCA included the bumper connection points).
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