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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I replaced the steering rack last night and got the truck aligned today. The steering feels great, but now the traction control kicks in (just on the front wheels, I think) when/if I give it a little gas while cornering. I traded a small clunk for an even more annoying issue!
The mechanic said that everything looked good as far as he could see. So I need some ideas from the experts here on what could be causing this and what to do to fix it.

Symptoms are:

Happens towards the greatest angle of moderate turns in either direction while applying gas- Doesn't seem to happen while coasting.

Happens at low speeds (ie. pulling out of a parking lot) - rather reluctant to test it at high speeds.

Happens on gravel or pavement.

Will happen even if the TCS is turned off.*

Will illuminate the TCS indicator light if duration is long enough (which is commensurate to speed and steering angle), but can also happen briefly and not trip the lamp.

Happened A LOT when we first drove after the new rack, when one wheel was really toed-out, but not at all when we overcompensated that alignment with too much toe in.

*Wondering if a possible clue may be that during our snow storm last month I turned off the TCS so I could spin the wheels a bit for fun, but even when the dash indicator said the TCS was disengaged it would activate and pulse the brakes to regain control right when I got the truck to slide a little bit. The current issue didn't surface until right after the rack replacement, however. Could this be related?



All the brake lines and sensors looked to be appropriately in place- none were moved during the removal/install of the rack.
Steering column DID get turned slightly while intermediate shaft was disconnected.
Front wheels spun freely while up on the lift, if that has anything to do with it.
Wheels are mounted properly and torqued to spec.

Any help would be great.
 

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I'm at a loss. I hope it's an easy fix otherwise that's a headache for that small thumping in the first place. Good luck.
 

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Now Im not sure. But I think i read somewhere that if something was unpluged and the key was turned on it could screw things up. Again Im not sure. Maybe they unpluged something to do with the TC to put the rack in and turned the key on to turn/test the steering. I might try to disconnect the battery for a few hrs. Again Im not sure hope someone else chimes in.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Steering Position Sensor? I heard that it can monitor steering column motion even when the ignition is off. Will try the battery disconnect- that usually solves everything at least for awhile.
 

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I'm not very "techy" when it comes to vehicles, but I had my steering rack replaced last week at the dealer which replaced my "clunk" but then caused it not to be alligned to specs because it turned out to be the wrong rack. My dealer is suppose to replace the rack this week, finally, but told me that the issues I would have would be the EPS/BAS sensors going off because the "gearing ratio" in the one they put in was different. Sorry if this doesn't help...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
... because it turned out to be the wrong rack...
I remember reading that thread. It scares me. I am wondering how I could find out for sure that I have the right rack... how did the dealer manage to get the wrong part? Did RockAuto? I measured and compared the old and new racks (identical), but obviously can't see the ratio inside. Was yours doing what mine is with the TCS?
 

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I had two issues, not knowing what was wrong after they replaced it: 1st I had a rubbing that wasn't present before, and 2nd, there was the "ticking" sound in the front end that they said was the EPS and BAS trying to correct for the fact that allignment wasn't to spec and that the rack was allowing too much play for the computer - if I'm recalling correctly. The part they placed in they thought was universal for both the WK and XK - but turns out there was a TSB about it that they missed. I'm hoping to take it in tomorrow, I'll try to get some more technical info and post.
 

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Based on your description of when you say its kicking, it sounds to me like the Traction control is just what is it supposed to do. What kind of surfaces are you "cornering on"...it is supposed to kick in when cornering IF you are accelerating and the vehicle senses any wheel slip.....which could be on pavement too if you are going fast enough of it is slick.
Also, pushing the button does NOT turn the ESP completely off. you will still have some of the ESP feature active unless you HOLD the ESP button down for 10 seconds.This is all explained in your vehicle manual.
 

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Kansas?
I've read your post (several times) and although you mention a mechanic looked it over you have not said if you had the toe in reset by degrees.
If you used the old measure by inch method, it may be off enouph to freak out the traction control.
This setup is sensitive enouph to see the slightest toe problem.....heck a few members have had the tcs go haywire after punching a curb and throwing the toe off by just a hair.

Just a thought,
Rob
 

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This setup is sensitive enouph to see the slightest toe problem.....heck a few members have had the tcs go haywire after punching a curb and throwing the toe off by just a hair.

Just a thought,
Rob
Which really surprises me because I hit a curb a few weeks ago and knocked it out of alignment so much that the steering wheel is not straight and I haven't had any problems with the TCS. It's at the dealer today having an alignment.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Based on your description of when you say its kicking, it sounds to me like the Traction control is just what is it supposed to do. What kind of surfaces are you "cornering on"...it is supposed to kick in when cornering IF you are accelerating and the vehicle senses any wheel slip.....which could be on pavement too if you are going fast enough of it is slick.
Also, pushing the button does NOT turn the ESP completely off. you will still have some of the ESP feature active unless you HOLD the ESP button down for 10 seconds.This is all explained in your vehicle manual.
The TCS has worked wonderfully during the past year that we've had the Jeep, especially during the snow storms. But this is definitely a symptom of something new- the TCS is way TOO sensitive.
But the disable sequence is good to know; I must have missed that in the manual. I will probably turn it off while driving back to the shop so that I don't have to deal with these issues any more than I have to.

Kansas?
I've read your post (several times) and although you mention a mechanic looked it over you have not said if you had the toe in reset by degrees.
If you used the old measure by inch method, it may be off enouph to freak out the traction control.
This setup is sensitive enouph to see the slightest toe problem.....heck a few members have had the tcs go haywire after punching a curb and throwing the toe off by just a hair.

Just a thought,
Rob
Also very good to know. The shop has a great reputation for doing things the "old-school" way (including the office manager smokin and drinkin a Keystone when I got there), and the mechanic told me that I had been toed-in by 1.x" on either side. Sounds like the old measure by inch method to me.

I have rechecked every other component imaginable and everything looks great. There is just no way something new is broken, so I am thinking the alignment must in some way be the culprit. And I'm still a bit concerned that it might be the wrong rack. RockAuto has the part listed for 06-09 XK's and 05-09 WK's (http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,carcode,1432216,parttype,7388), but my local Jeep parts dept. came up with different part numbers (XK: 52090488AC, WK: 52089292AD). I couldn't find Bjamrow's TSB on the racks NOT being interchangeable anywhere- any thoughts here?
(http://www.xkjeeps.com/xk_tsb.htm)
 

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I'm suppose to pick mine up tonight - I'll get the rack number and see if my service advisor can give me some more info on the TSB that they missed and let you know.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
This simple rack replacement has become ridiculous. It's like covering your nose to conceal a sneeze, but then you **** your pants instead. I got rid of a small clunk, and wound up with an electrical gremlin. I can fix clunk (or thought I could). I definitely can't fix electrical.

I let the Jeep sit overnight with the Neg. battery terminal off. Reconnected and drove to work to see if it had cured anything. It hadn't. So I pulled over and fully disabled the ESP. Took a right at the next stop sign to see what would happen. Worked perfectly. Very good. Then as I'm driving down a straight portion of the road, very bad happens. EVERY indicator lamp lights up. TCS, ESP, Oil, Battery, TPMS, some red dot I've never seen before... Everything. Then two seconds later they all turn off, with no interruption or affect to the rest of my driving. I convince myself that this is a regular system check resulting from the cars rebooting electrical system and drive on, hoping that it maybe resolved the original TCS issue in the process. So I turned ESP back on. Took a left at the next stop sign (really taking the long route to work) and right off the bat the TCS starts grabbing the front wheels. So I turn ESP back off and start weaving through some neighbourhood to see what it will do. Of course it does nothing (which I can't tell how I feel about). I finally make my way back to a main street so I can get to work, and as I'm cruising down the road all the indicator lamps turn on again, but this time the EVIC and odometer blank out at the same time. Two seconds later everything is back to normal. On my way home from work the TCS issues still remain, but I couldn't replicate the full-out light show on the dash.

I called RockAuto and asked them about the differing rack models. They called A1 Cardone (the company that supplies their remanufactured racks) and verified that the Mopar part number for the XK rack is correct on their catalog. Supposedly is, but it's still sold as the same rack as the WK. Could their remans. have hybrid guts appeasing to both makes?
I called the Jeep dealer and verified, again, the differing part numbers. Still different.


My theory is that maybe this IS the wrong rack, based on:

-Bjamrow's experience. I doubt A1 Cardone got that TSB, and I doubt they differentiate between the XK and WK racks they overhaul.
-How the rack feels. Drives great in a straight line, but really seems to have more oversteer than the old rack (even before its failing).
-The manual's explination of how the TSC/ESP operates.

If bjamrow's TSB is correct about the ratios being different between models, I put together the thought that the new rack is turning more per steering wheel revolution, causing a discrepancy between the steering position sensor and the wheel speed sensors (plus any other computing factors). Any remaining variance in the alignment only accentuates the problem. Slow, gentle turns do not activate the TCS/ESP because the Jeep deems the situation safe enough, but sharper turns mixed with acceleration cause it to think some intervention is necessary. Disabling the ESP nullifies the forced braking, but the system is still aware of a disfluency in its mechanics, resulting in the erratic light display as the outcome of incomputable inputs. (By the way, I have NO idea how computers actually work.)

Have I fallen of my rocker?

How can I determine if this is the (real) correct rack? Is it time to go to the dealer? Can anyone access the "brains" to electronically determine what's causing all of this?

Thanks again for everyone's support and suggestions.

~K
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Dropping the Jeep off at my mechanic's shop tomorrow morning. Could he determine whether this is the correct rack by comparing the alignment angles of the wheels when turned to factory specs? Hopefully he can figure something out and have me back on the road before too long.
 

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Where is your old rack?
Maybe there is a visable difference or number stamped into the housing.
Can't imagine your guy could see anything beyond that to determine if the rack is right/wrong.
The folks at cardone? should get a bit more deeply involved on this one as, if the rack is incompatible, they're gonna have many complaints headed their way.
I suggest you make a copy of the tsb and see if they want a copy faxed.

Not much else to suggest,
Rob

I have looked at all the tsb's.....can't find anything relating to a p/n change or incompatability.
Give reman co. both part numbers so they can research further.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Looked at the old rack for a stamped part number, but it was only there by means of a label. No such label on the new rack. My shop postulates it was the rotating of the steering column during installation that has offset the clock-spring sensors- dealership said they could recalibrate on Tuesday for $50. I hope that fixes things. I went ahead and contacted A1 Cardone, though, just because I want to know more about their racks. Here is a copy of that message, and hopefully their reply will follow soon:

Hello,

I own a 2006 Jeep commander needing a new steering rack. Through RockAuto.com I found your re-manufactured unit, product number 22381, for both the Commander and Grand Cherokee. When I called the Mopar parts department at the dealership, however, I was given two different part numbers for those differing models (XK: 52090488AC, WK: 52089292AD), and interchanging them was not recommended. Additionally, a forum member recently had his steering rack replaced at a different dealership that accidentally did just that, consequently causing some rubbing issues and triggering his TCS/ESP prematurely when cornering. Your product is by far the best value, but I want to be sure the unit is EXACTLY the part I need. How do you differentiate between the racks you overhaul and how can I be sure the gearing ratios will be correct for my application? Please let me know if you have any questions about my concerns, or need additional information to investigate this issue. Thank you again for your help and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

K. FitzGerald

785.766.xxxx
 

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On the guages going out - funny thing is, that is what I initially went in for, had the exact same thing happen while I was driving, figured when I was in I would have them check on my "clunk" since my extended warranty was about to expire...the guages ended up being the "front control module". As for the rack - my service advisor has been out sick since I picked up mine on Tuesday, but the new OEM rack has resolved my issues, trying to get specifics on the TSB he referenced initially on why they put the wrong one in, maybe that was him trying to cover his arse and didn't think I would understand what a TSB was, I don't know, but if I get more info, I'll let you know. Good luck...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
...maybe that was him trying to cover his arse and didn't think I would understand what a TSB was...
I could see that. Maybe they did the same thing I did and just needed a good reason to get you to come back in. Who knows. I hope I don't need a new FCM, though. I declined the warranty (you know, 'cause I can do all my own repairs :)). I will be happy to have everything sorted out, though. And I'll probably still (knock-on-wood) make out spending less than if I had just paid the shop to replace the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Took it to the dealer today- I was dead on: IT'S THE WRONG RACK! The tech hooked up the remote scan tool and tried to re-calibrate the computers while in motion, but it told him that the ratio was incorrect. Verified for the fourth time the different non-interchangeable part numbers with the parts dept. Very not interchangeable. Lock-to-lock on the XK is 3.14, but the WK does it in only 2.85.
So I am off my rocker and on my soap box!
RockAuto got an earfull- offered full refund plus return shipping, but said I would have to take anything more up with A1 Cardone.
A1 Cardone got an earfull- said they couldn't do anything directly with the end user; suggested I talk to RockAuto.
So RockAuto gets another earfull from me, plus then my wife gets on and gives her two cents worth. I thought I was making good progress with them, but my wife has a special way with words that always seems to speed the process along.

RockAuto wanted me to re-install the old, broken rack, return the new one, and then finally issue a refund. We pressed for immediate refund to help offset the cost of another new rack while circumventing the in-and-out labor three-fold (if I had used a shop that would be $1600 alone!). Plus we are still pressing for reimbursement of all the costs we incurred along the way to diagnose their mistake ($120). I feel like that is a pretty reasonable concept- $120 to find out all the details of your suppliers' product so you can correct your catalog before an accident, as opposed to learning all of the same information when an investigation leads back to your source of improperly represented parts. With everything that is going on with Toyota I certainly wouldn't want to be the next parts company to foolishly say in retrospect "well I thought they would work OK."
As far as the conversations went tonight I believe we can get back everything I can supply a receipt for, which I can live with. It's fortunate for everyone that I enjoy spending a little time in the garage getting greasy.
When everything is said and done with I know I will have a NEW rack, plus I'll be an expert on the installation.
 
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