96 Steering Slop - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
GS317
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96 Steering Slop

So I just picked up a 96 XJ, only my second jeep and the first ive had to work on. Ive got a laundry list to go over with it and will do another thread for it later, but for now, steeringgg. I have play and its stiff. I checked back and forth with the steering wheel and found ~0.25" of play at the tie rod/pitman arm connection. My dilemma is which one is the issue, the arm or the tie rod? I am trying to clean it best I can for a better look, but unless the bolt came loose(I still see the cotter pin, so likely not) I am thinking the hole in the pitman arm is enlarged and needs replacing. On top of that the steering is stiff, turn it and it stays turned, I am thinking the kid I got it from tried to solve the slop by tightening the steering box adjuster and got a littler crazy with it. Anyways, thoughts on the matter before I buy parts and tear into it would be great since I'm a parking lot mechanic right now and broke college kid to boot. Thanks guys.

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post #2 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 12:41 AM
S8NNG8
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Not that this'll make any difference in your problem, but it could help if you're buying parts. The tierod is not connected to the pitman arm. The drag link is the one connected to the pitman arm. The joint connecting the draglink to the pitman arm is basically a tre. The pivot post on the tre is designed to wear through before the hole in the pitman arm would. I'd start with replacing that tre, and then make sure all the joints in the steering assembly are greased. If the stiffness still persists, then and only then should you start messing with the adjustments on the steering box.

D3<!L!>3D
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry about that, still learning which parts are which. Ill go ahead and get that then since it looks like it'll be pretty quick to find out if that is really the source or not. Ill also go ahead with greasing everything and see if that helps, part of the reason I suspect a poor adjustment of the steering box is the kid mentioned he had messed with it but didn't say what he had done to it. For TRE, I'm assuming best to just do an OEM replacement unless I'm upgrading the rest of it as well?
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post #4 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS317 View Post
For TRE, I'm assuming best to just do an OEM replacement unless I'm upgrading the rest of it as well?
Correct, but inspect the tre's at each knuckle also. Keep in mind, if you want a good operating rig you will most likely find yourself replacing a lot of parts. This is where you need to make the decision as to whether you intend to keep it. Dont get yourself buried in parts cost if your just gonna sell it in a year or two. Also research your oem costs vs upgrade costs before you pull rhe trigger. You dont wanna be swapping out new parts when you go to upgrade.
In this case it'd be the Crown HD steering assembly.



Keep in mind there are 4 tre's, one of which requires buying a new drag link to replace. By the time you add up the stock parts you could just do the Crown HD and get one upgrade done.
Also, if the kid did screw with the adjuster and ran it messed up for too long, you may be replacing your steering gear and/or the pump too.

D3<!L!>3D
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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Its a keeper for sure, so I want repairs with long term intent, it has ~3-4 inch lift, I'll need to measure to make sure, and its on 31" tires, I don't plan to lift higher and might go 32" tires later but that's about where I will be keeping it since the overall intent is overland/daily driving use. Sounds like its best to just get all 4 TREs done now then, would going with something like the cavfab kit or the rustys conversion be a worthwhile upgrade over the HD crown unit?
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 09:40 PM
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If all you plan is 32's, I'd recommend the Crown HD. Based on the reviews, and now my own experience, it goes right in place of the stock assembly with no issues.
I'm running a 3.5" lift and just put 32's on.

The only thing with the CrownHD is you need to paint everything that isnt already.

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post #7 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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That's definitely a lot cleaner under yours than under mine currently lol
Those TRE's don't look like the same in the kit, did you paint them silver?
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure of height lift so I figured a pic might help, but looks like should be no problems
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-18-2017, 10:11 PM
S8NNG8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS317 View Post
That's definitely a lot cleaner under yours than under mine currently lol
Those TRE's don't look like the same in the kit, did you paint them silver?
Yes, as I mentioned, paint everything or it'll rust. This shouldnt be seen as a downside to the Crown HD. Any kit is gonna be made of steel(which rusts). It just happens that some components of the CrownHD are entirely bare metal. This worked fine for me cuz I'd planned to paint it anyways.

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