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nyaben 11-22-2011 06:44 PM

2wd steering feels like 4wd steering
Have had mine off road a little more recently (using 4wd) and my steering wheel now feels stiff on pavement in 2wd much like it does in 4wd. I wonder if it only partially disengaged? Has anyone else had a problem like this? I got in a tough place between a steep incline and a creek and had to go lock-to-lock multiple times while in 4wd. Other than that, nothing really out of the ordinary. Thanks!

CJ7-Tim 11-22-2011 07:00 PM

Is it in 4wd or not ? Find some sand, gravel, dirt, or grass and do burn-out. How many tires spin ? If only the rear end spins, you probably need new front axle u-joints.

nyaben 11-22-2011 07:07 PM

I don't understand this would affect steering? I definitely have power to all 4 wheels.

CJ7-Tim 11-22-2011 07:22 PM

Are you saying that 4x4 is still engaged and will not disengage ? Or are you saying that the steering wheel wiggles in 2wd ?


nyaben 11-23-2011 09:55 AM

I have the NP-231 transfer case. 4x4 disengages, wheel wiggles in 2wd. That's the perfect wording for it.

Planetcat 11-23-2011 11:42 AM

The automatic hubs may have not disengaged after you took it out of 4WD. The old school remedy is to just drive it in reverse about 15 feet or more in 2WD and that should unlock them. Just an idea.

CJ7-Tim 11-23-2011 11:58 AM


Originally Posted by nyaben (Post 12554942)
.... wheel wiggles in 2wd. That's the perfect wording for it.

If the steering wheel wiggles in 2wd, especially in tight slow speed turns, you most likely have a u-joint problem. Buy good quality u-joints like Spicer or the premium NAPA brand joints or you will be replacing u-joints again in a year or two.

Late model Jeeps, XJ, ZJ, TJ, YJ, WJ, with the Dana 30 front axle do not have locking hubs of any type.


nyaben 11-23-2011 07:39 PM

Good to know about the Spicer u-joints. I don't have the means or the know-how to possibly replace it myself. Any idea of how much the labor on this job normally costs?

CJ7-Tim 11-23-2011 10:29 PM

Prices vary. Find a trusted independent repair shop or a good 4x4 shop. Get several estimates. The Dealership charges too much for everything.

You could buy/rent the necessary tools and there are plenty of You-Tube videos and JeepForum write-ups to show you all the steps. The money you save not paying a shop to do the work will buy your tools, which you can use again on the next repair.

nyaben 11-24-2011 07:59 AM

All sounds good. I'm a student home for Thanksgiving and will need to take it back to school before I can think about having it looked at. Is it pretty safe to drive for the time-being or is this a pretty immediate need?

CJ7-Tim 11-24-2011 08:34 AM

Inspect both u-joints near the front tires. If they are not loose and rattling around, you can probably drive on road, in 2wd, for several months.

cpospish 02-03-2016 12:13 PM

Terrific information CJ7-Tim......thanks very much!
I had the 2WD wiggle issues and then I squirted some WD-40 into the joints and the problem went away.
What do you think happened here? I am pretty sure it is only a short term fix....

jordan96xj 02-03-2016 09:16 PM

Spraying wd-40 might help very temporarily, but it likely make them go completely bad quicker (they are going to go completely bad no matter what).

I just did both axle u-joints and hub/bearings on my own this weekend. It is a job almost anyone can do, and there are plenty of how-tos on the web to understand the process.

The job books for about 1 hour per side to do the u-joints at a shop. So to do both is about $200+ (labor only). The shop I was dealing with allowed me to supply my own choice of u-joints. So it would have been about $250 after my cost for parts. If they force you to buy their parts, it will probably be about $300. It shouldn't be any more than that. (because it doesn't take more than an hour to do each side, and in fact they should be able to do each side in 30 minutes).

To do it at home, for the first time takes about 3-5 hours.

I rented a u-joint c-clamp press from the auto parts store. However, the next time I do u-joints, I think I'll skip that. It was almost more trouble than it was worth. I used the dead-blow hammer more than anything.

oakmckinley 02-05-2016 04:50 AM

If your at least a little mechanical you can do it yourself.
I'd just go ahead and replace the hubs while you have it all apart anyways. It'll take you a weekend for the whole job for a beginner tho. Bring the axles to a shop to get the axle nut off if you have problems.
Plus you'll need a big cheater for the hub bolts but they'll move. I have done it to three different MN snow rust belt vehicles and they have all come off with no problems.

cpospish 02-06-2016 12:54 PM

My local Firestone tire shop quoted me $150 a side, parts included (just U-joints, not bearings).
The bolts look so rusty that I am not sure I would want to tackle it. I have not had much luck with
rusted bolts in the past. I only have 70K kilometers (40,000 miles) on the 08 Jeep. Does not seem
like a lot of mileage to have the joints go already. I guess having the wheel bearings changed at the same time
would be a good idea ...?? Or can they just be repacked if they are still good...??

The time now is 09:41 PM.

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