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Unread 10-10-2009, 08:29 PM   #1
MichiganXJ
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 60
2000 XJ steering will not return to center

Vehicle: 2000 Cherokee, 100% stock.

Symptoms: When I turn a corner, the steering does not return to center on its own, and I have to turn the wheel back the other direction to go straight again.

The Jeep has just under 150,000 miles on it. Tires are new, and are balanced. I also put new outer TRE's on it at the same time I did the tires. The symptoms were there before the tires and TREs, but to a slightly greater extent.

Other info: My front passenger side axle joint looks awfully rusty, and I plan to replace it next weekend. Sometimes there is also an audible "pop" when I turn the wheel to full lock at low (i.e. parking lot) speeds. I figure this is the track bar bushing, and I also plan to fix that soon.

So, what is the likely cause of the steering issue? I know that caster is usually the cause of these issues, but the balljoints seem OK (no wobbling etc). Could the u-joint be causing this? I really don't want to tear the Jeep apart for balljoints if its not really necessary.

Thanks in advance!

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Unread 10-10-2009, 08:39 PM   #2
leftlanetruckin
XJ on 37's
 
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: missouri via blackpool,lancs.
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Balljoints will control camber.
Control arms will control caster.
Take it for an alignment if you cant do it yourself.
Only thing I have heard of, or had experience with, is caster for not returning to center. I assume there are parts that would wear and give the symptoms you have, but I have never ran into them personally.

Martin
__________________
1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.The Cherylkee....
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
2000 4.7 4WD WJ with a rebuilt motor.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ)....
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/swap-offically-underway-324622/

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Unread 10-10-2009, 08:43 PM   #3
MichiganXJ
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1998 ZJ 
 
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Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 60
I forgot to mention that I got it aligned when I did the TREs. The shop didn't mention any difficulties in getting it aligned to specs, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.

Are the control arm bushings difficult to replace? Anything I should know before starting? I figure given the mileage, they probably are about done anyways.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 09:24 PM   #4
leftlanetruckin
XJ on 37's
 
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: missouri via blackpool,lancs.
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A bushing is a bushing IMHO.
Any suspension bushing can either be a complete PIA, or go like clock work.
If you had an alignment done, what were the measurements they gave you?
Specifically the caster?

Martin
__________________
1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.The Cherylkee....
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
2000 4.7 4WD WJ with a rebuilt motor.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ)....
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=324622

Years to gain the hands on experience, and offer it freely.
Minutes to gain the knowledge from the internet, and quote it just as freely.
Choose wisely!
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Unread 10-10-2009, 09:44 PM   #5
MichiganXJ
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 60
Opps-give me one sec.
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Unread 10-10-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
MichiganXJ
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 60
Left Front
Actual Before Range
7.5 7.5 5.3-8.5

Right Front
Actual Before Range
7.2 7.2 5.3-8.5
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Unread 10-10-2009, 10:02 PM   #7
leftlanetruckin
XJ on 37's
 
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: missouri via blackpool,lancs.
Posts: 10,455
Measure your toe in for me please?
I run @1/8" toe in myself with success. What are the degree numbers they gave you for toe in?
I may need you to measure it for me too. A level on each wheel and a tape measure is all it takes.

Martin
__________________
1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.The Cherylkee....
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
2000 4.7 4WD WJ with a rebuilt motor.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ)....
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=324622

Years to gain the hands on experience, and offer it freely.
Minutes to gain the knowledge from the internet, and quote it just as freely.
Choose wisely!
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Unread 10-10-2009, 10:07 PM   #8
MichiganXJ
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1998 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 60
Toe is 0.10 degrees left, and 0.11 degrees on the right.

I would have to get back to you on the actual measurement in inches-I just did the "count the threads to get it close enough to drive to the alignment shop method" when I did the tie rods.
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Unread 10-11-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
leftlanetruckin
XJ on 37's
 
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1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: missouri via blackpool,lancs.
Posts: 10,455
See what it is measuring at for me?
You could try turning the tie rod, say one complete turn, and go test drive it. Doing it one complete turn will allow you to return it to where it is right now with ease and accuracy.

Martin
__________________
1998 XJ on 37's.JK Rubi axles with chromo shafts and ctm's, 4:1 transfer case, etc etc etc.The Cherylkee....
2003 Range Rover HSE, 4.4 Quad Cam.
1998 Range Rover 4.6 HSE
2000 4.7 4WD WJ with a rebuilt motor.
4.3/700r4/new frame buildup (YJ)....
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=324622

Years to gain the hands on experience, and offer it freely.
Minutes to gain the knowledge from the internet, and quote it just as freely.
Choose wisely!
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