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Old 07-31-2020, 08:53 AM   #225
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@VP Chianese, You posted a thorough explanation of steering and alignment. Thanks.

Let me add something which may be relevant in the case of FCA-Jeep.

The Cherokee, the GrandCherokee's very different "little brother" car, was reintroduced for the 2014 model year equipped wth EPS; they advertised it as "the ideal towed vehicle". It wasn't long before wobble incidents were being reported, some were different than the GC, some at higher speeds. After a period of denial, FCA/Jeep announced an "towing enhancement kit", which enables the owner to activate the EPS when the Cherokee was being towed. Research showed that FCA knew about the wobble tendencies of their front end design in 2012 as they had applied for a patent for the algorithm in their EPS software which countered wobble as the vehicle was normally driven down the road. Essentially the "kit" puts the EPS in 'anti-wobble mode' while it's being towed and engine is off. [note: I am not suggesting that the same kit would work for the GC. FCA says it doesn't; then again FCA says they do not know about any such problem in the GC.]

Around 2018 or 2019, FCA/Jeep announced a revised Cherokee, said the "towing enhancement kit" was not required for the newer models. A few Cherokee owners tried to find out exactly what change was made. As far as I know no wobble incidents have been reported for these newer Cherokee models. Some of us Cherokee owners (at least me) would even be willing to spend a moderate amount to make that same change to our older Cherokees, but FCA has held whatever they did secret. All I heard is that some steering gear part numbers had changed. perhaps some day FCA will make an engineering change to the GC front end which eliminates the problem. For Grand Cherokee owners, I can only hope that if they do that they make it available for refitting older GCs.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:16 PM   #226
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
That is a interesting theory.
Usually when they do the alignment, they give you a computer printout of the settings.....do you have that????can you post it??

Thanks,

Dan
Dan,
I don't recall getting a printout of the settings... And I can't even find that particular invoice record at all now! I must have mis-filed it or pulled it out to review at another time or left it in the car, or?? I'll keep looking for it. Sorry!

Dale
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:15 AM   #227
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Saddened by this thread

We traded in our 2014 Cherokee for a 2019 GC because we were tired of the transmission throwing error codes. We had the wobble on that vehicle, and I installed the flat tow fix. Even made it engage automatically when you connected the electrical tow cable.

When I saw that the 2018 Cherokee no longer required the flat tow fix, I ASSUMED that the engineers would be "stand up guys" and put the same fix in the GC.

Then I started seeing comments about the GC and finally this thread.
I have only towed our GC about 400 miles and have not seen the wobble...but sadly I am ready for it.

Question 1: With a charge line connected, does anyone see problems with leaving the ignition in the run position while towing to enable EPS on the GC?

Question 2: What are the chances of the problem only being in the GC and not the GC Trailhawk (Is the suspension different )
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:01 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by dpinvidic View Post
We traded in our 2014 Cherokee for a 2019 GC because we were tired of the transmission throwing error codes. We had the wobble on that vehicle, and I installed the flat tow fix. Even made it engage automatically when you connected the electrical tow cable.

When I saw that the 2018 Cherokee no longer required the flat tow fix, I ASSUMED that the engineers would be "stand up guys" and put the same fix in the GC.

Then I started seeing comments about the GC and finally this thread.
I have only towed our GC about 400 miles and have not seen the wobble...but sadly I am ready for it.

Question 1: With a charge line connected, does anyone see problems with leaving the ignition in the run position while towing to enable EPS on the GC?

Question 2: What are the chances of the problem only being in the GC and not the GC Trailhawk (Is the suspension different )
Re Q1: That may be something to try experimentally. That is, if you do get a wobble at a certain place under certain conditions and it's happening repeatedly, a test of the same conditions with IGN in run would tell us a lot. However I'd be reluctant to try that on a longer trip without knowing total battery draw and other side effects of towing in RUN.

Re Q2: You might check part numbers of the replacement components in steering and suspension for the GC TH. I recall hearing that FCA changed the steering rack&pinion assembly of the KL Cherokee for the 2018 (or 2019) model year; someone had reported it was a different part number. If the R&P part on the GC TH differs from other GC's, there's a chance, but any probability would be a guess. Maybe some GC TH owners out there who tow will chime in here. It sure would be nice to know exactly what the engineering change on the KL was back in 2018. That would tell us a lot.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:14 PM   #229
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Question 2: What are the chances of the problem only being in the GC and not the GC Trailhawk (Is the suspension different )
Uhhhh... The chances IMHO are ZERO!! As I've posted before, my 2017 TrailHawk had the wobble problem prodigiously for the 1st year of towing until I had a 4 wheel alignment done at about my 1st year anniversary of ownership - see my previous posts and replies about this. (After the alignment it hasn't wobbled even once in the following 3 years.)
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:44 PM   #230
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Dan,
I don't recall getting a printout of the settings... And I can't even find that particular invoice record at all now! I must have mis-filed it or pulled it out to review at another time or left it in the car, or?? I'll keep looking for it. Sorry!

Dale
Dan - I found it! I had filed it with the Owners Manual in the car... Also found an emailed version. Unfortunately it only lists a basic description of the service:

Service Name
[Primary]: 23PT : Multi-point inspection (according to maintenance interval) (I) 0.00
[Primary]: ALIGN3YR : Four Wheel Alignment
[Primary]: RB : Tire Balance & Rotation
[Primary]: SCH1 : Rotate tires

Printed on October 18, 2017
Quote expires on November 17, 2017
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:24 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by Ol_Opa View Post
Dan - I found it! I had filed it with the Owners Manual in the car... Also found an emailed version. Unfortunately it only lists a basic description of the service:

Service Name
[Primary]: 23PT : Multi-point inspection (according to maintenance interval) (I) 0.00
[Primary]: ALIGN3YR : Four Wheel Alignment
[Primary]: RB : Tire Balance & Rotation
[Primary]: SCH1 : Rotate tires

Printed on October 18, 2017
Quote expires on November 17, 2017
Thanks for trying. The last time I got an alignment on a different car, they gave me a nice printout from the alignment machine showing the what the numbers were and what the allowable range was for each setting.

Be Safe...
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Old 08-03-2020, 03:04 PM   #232
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I first experienced the wobble several times during the spring/summer of 2017 with my then new 2017 GC TrailHawk. That's when I discovered this thread. I took the Jeep in for regular service in August that year and mentioned the wobble and was told, of course, "Oh, that only happens on the Cherokees, not on Grand Cherokees"... I countered that it definitely does occur but I realize FCA refuses to acknowledge it. Dropped the subject and proceeded to check in for servicing and the advisor mentioned they're having a special offer on alignments and I agreed to have it done... It hasn't wobbled since - through the 2018, 2019, and 2020 (necessarily truncated) travel seasons. I have even purposely adjusted routing to make tight turns on previously problematical places. I questioned the service advisors in subsequent visits if they had a 'secret' alignment for towed GC's but of course they deny that. Personally, I suspect they tweaked the caster angle a bit but I can't prove it.
Thanks for the post. Our GC only has 16K total miles on it and in 7400+ miles of towing, it's hasn't occurred on ours yet (thank goodness). If it does, then can do the "special" alignment. This is very good news!
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:40 PM   #233
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T showing the what the numbers were and what the allowable range was for each setting.
This is exactly what I was talking about. The allowable range is good for normal use but it looks like for towing the Jeep needs to be at the higher end of that range if not the highest for it's Caster setting. Higher the Caster setting the less chance of wobble. That is if all of the other factors are also correct as were mentioned before.
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:20 PM   #234
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Thanks for the post. Our GC only has 16K total miles on it and in 7400+ miles of towing, it's hasn't occurred on ours yet (thank goodness). If it does, then can do the "special" alignment. This is very good news!


What model GC?
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Old 08-08-2020, 03:10 PM   #235
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What model GC?
Limited - This probably doesn't matter concerning the wobble issue.
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Old Yesterday, 09:44 AM   #236
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Limited - This probably doesn't matter concerning the wobble issue.
Just last week I was at Freightliner in Gaffney for service. There were probably 20 to 24 coach's there for service each of the two days I was there. At least half were towing a JEEP of one kind or another from Wranglers to Grand Cherokee Limited's.

I counted at least three units with incorrect alignment of the tow bar with the tow. Problem #1 which is easily correctable yet folks just drive with it. But the one that stood out to me was a perfect example of what can and does happen. There was a JEEP Cherokee, don't know what year but it looked to have some type of off road tires on it and a bicycle rack on the rear tow bar of the JEEP. I believe it had only one bike on it. So for grins and giggles let's take a look at that set up. The bike rack weights a good ten to fifteen pounds. My bike weighs 32 lbs and from what I can tell most weigh between 25 -35 lbs. So to be fair I'll guess this was a 30 lb bike. So we now have 45 lbs hanging a good three feet aft of the rear axle. If we had another bike out here we have 75 lbs out there. Not to mention what may or may not be in the back of the JEEP as gear.

The point here is that these little everyday things we do to our tows cause havoc with the front end alignment. The ride height on the front end of that car with just one bike could have changed as little as 1/4". This throws the geometry of the front wheel alignment off.

Some one here mentioned 6-7* Caster angles. I made the mistake of using those numbers but they are not correct. The real numbers are Front Wheels
Caster* FWD +3.51 +/- .40, AWD 3.83 +/- .40 and Lifted 4.13 +/- .40. Also please notice the *. That means that there is no adjustment it is a built in number and the only way it changes is by one doing damage to the front end. You know, off road, bend a spindle, bigger tires, etc. So if the Caster for an AWD needs to be 3.83 the acceptable range is on a that JEEP is 3.43 - 4.23. Changing the ride height either by adding weight to the rear or otherwise changes that value and the result is there is no way that JEEP's steering is gong to be correct.

My point is that we all do things to our units that can cause an unwanted problem. There is no way a manufacturer can account for every ones mistakes. It seems that with the correct alignment and proper use the Wobble problem has been addressed.
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Old Yesterday, 10:58 AM   #237
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@VP Chianese,

The Cherokee wobble being an alignment issue or a towbar issue had been floated around for years since 2014. Then about 2 years later, someone discovered a patent which FCA had taken out to correct an inherent vibration in their steering system design. The vibration tendency could result in wobble, at any time, if left unchecked. Then FCA did the "fix" with software in the Electronic power steering computer. (The patent was applied for in 2012). Jeep's "fix" for the Cherokee wobble-during-towing was to turn the EPS on while the Cherokee was being towed, which led to their "flat-tow enhancement" kit. Evidently they changed something in the design of the steering in their 2019 (or '18) model year which rendered that "fix" unnecessary.

I know the Grand Cherokee wobble issue is different; we all know the designs of the two jeeps are quite different as well. However don't be surprised if it is learned that FCA knew about the GC vibration tendency long before they started selling them as "towable".
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Old Yesterday, 02:33 PM   #238
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@VP Chianese

My Grand Cherokee has max hitch weight of 700 plus pounds so 140 should not make a difference what so ever. I have had the wobble three times and twice in the same day with about 10,000 towing the GC. My hitch is level and nothing on the back of the jeep. My alignment was check after the first two and the suspension was go over by the dealer. The GC had less than 10,000 total miles on the odometer. When I call Fiat they acted like I was the first complaint they had and they told me they noted in the my vehicle records and suggested I don't tow 4 down.
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