Trail & Street Fix for Jeep JKs that have VSC Issues after Installing a Lift Kit

June 28th, 2010 by admin

Jeep JK Steering System

Jeep JKs have a very sophisticated computer monitoring system that does a continuous check while driving to ensure your ABS brake system and the Vehicle Stability System are operating properly. Adding lift kits and larger tires can affect the way the system gets its information.

After installing my lift kit, while driving to get an alignment, my Jeep went nuts. My steering wheel was off center, causing the VSE to engage. The Jeep computer thinks I am turning but the wheels are going straight. It triggers the brakes to apply, throwing the Jeep into an uncontrollable spin. Here is why….

All Jeep JKs have 2 sensors in the steering column. If the steering wheel is off center just a fraction of an inch, it sets the system in motion. The dealership will fix this by aligning the front end, centering the steering wheel, and hooking the Jeep to a DRB tester to clear the code. However, this will cost you a bunch. I have found a backyard remedy that can work even on a trail.

The day I had my Jeep modified I trailed it and went to the Jeep Easter Safari in Moab, Utah. After a week of putting my Jeep through trails like Pritchard Canyon and Moab Rim, my steering wheel was a little off due to suspension settling. While driving to town after one trail, my dash lights started flashing the VSC icon and the inboard side brakes engaged to stop what it thought was a skid. You lose engine power and it feels eerie.

Jeep JK Drag Link

1. I stopped, got under the Jeep, and adjusted the drag link (just a ¼ turn) to straighten my steering wheel.
2. The system is still tripping, so next you have to disconnect the positive side battery cable. Wait less than a minute.

Jeep JK Battery

3. Reconnect the battery. Start the engine.
4. Turn left until you hit the steering stops, then turn right and do the same.
5. Next, center the wheel.
6. Then turn off the engine (this sets the computer system to specs where max left and right turn are and straight ahead).
7. Start the Jeep. The icon should go out in a few seconds. I actually did this on the side of the road, after a trail. It WORKS!!

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3 Responses to “Trail & Street Fix for Jeep JKs that have VSC Issues after Installing a Lift Kit”

  1. I just got a new Jeep Rubicon and I am considering lifting it. I am looking for some advice on how far should I lift it? What gear is best to purchase? Are there other things that I need to consider besides the lift kit itself (cost/benefits)? What trade offs are there in terms of whether I do a 3″ or 4″, etc.? I would appreciate any thoughts/suggestions you have. I plan on using the stock wheels until there gone.
    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. To better help you pick your lift kit, what size tires are you looking to run? 35″ OR 37″ will require you to do a gear change. 3.8 litre motors just don’t have the horsepower or torque to pull these sizes without putting stress on the engine, mounts, transmission, etc.
    4″ kits will clear 35″ tires properly, without rubbing. 6″ kits clear 37″ tires. You have long arm kits and short arm kit to choose from.
    I use a 4″ Stage II Pro Comp kit on mine. It was actually a proto type kit, when we were first designing it. I use the facory rear springs with a spacer
    on the rear. My Jeep sits level because of this. The kits with rear springs usally sit a little higher in the rear.
    I drive 110 mile loop to work and home daily. My Jeep still rides like it is stock, very stable and comfortable.
    I recently drove a 2 dr JK with our 6″ kit and 37″ tires. It felt a little
    soft in the front, and it was difficult to drive at high speed.
    Call me when you have time, and I can help guide you through your JK build up ! 800-741-3956 ext 1-5422
    I hope you got a little insight with this information
    Jay

  3. I took overpayments this summer on a TJ 2000 Jeep Wranglerwith a 4″ lift & 35″ tires. It was all over the road. The steering gear box leaked and was easier to control when low on power steering fluid. In addition to replacing the steering gear box I updated the part that bolts into the drop pittman arm. I have not been successful at finding a longer drop pitman arm. Les Shwab states I need extended lower front control arms with poly bushings instead of rubber and a heavy duty Cross over steering coversion kit. They also said I need eccentric cams on both sides of the front end to do an allignment& will have to ruin the left lower control arm to cut the bolt off & replace bolt with eccentic cam. They tightened every bolt on the rear end. It no longer drifts all over the road above 45 mph. Do I need the extended Lower control arms & steering conversion? It still wanders below 45 mph and changes in the road throw me around. Any help would be appreciated.

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