98 cherokee steering problem - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Cherokee & Comanche Forums > XJ Cherokee Technical Forum > 98 cherokee steering problem

Poison Spyder JK LED Taillight & Wiring Harness KitsPoison Spyder JK Crusher CornersPANDEMIC-USA 50" Double row LED LIGHT BAR!! These thi

Reply
Unread 12-27-2010, 03:33 PM   #1
nickpc87
Registered User
1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: maryland
Posts: 26
98 cherokee steering problem

its a 98 cherokee 140,000 miles. For awhile now it hasnt been steering right. At highway speeds I have to cock the wheel to keep it straight but the tires wear evenly so i dont think it is as simple as bad alignment. Also the degree to which i have to compensate is not consistent, sometimes after a turn I have to compensate more or less. Sometimes it causes the car to jerk, like when its very windy. Need help, any ideas?

nickpc87 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-27-2010, 04:32 PM   #2
Flyordie
Registered User
1985 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 738
Steering pump going out?
Flyordie is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-27-2010, 05:08 PM   #3
jennali
Registered User
2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posts: 4
I have a 2001 XJ and mine does the same thing...I have to have the wheel cocked about 10-15 degrees to the left for it to go straight...I have no idea why. At first it really worried me but I have kind of gotten used to it. However mine seems better at high speeds and worse at low speeds.
jennali is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-28-2010, 10:31 AM   #4
AZ Jeff
Web Wheeler
2014 JK Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: San Tan Valley Arizona, AZ
Posts: 7,605
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyordie View Post
Steering pump going out?
The steering pump will have NO EFFECT on the steering wheel angle needed to track correctly down the road.

There are only three possible causes here--
1. a road with a larger than average "crown". All roads are pitched slightly to allow water to run off towards the curb/ditch. Steering alignment is normally set to account for this,but too much crown will cause the driver to have to hold some "left rudder" to keep tracking straight.

2. incorrect wheel alignment (caster and toe-in)

3. different sized tires or tire pressures.
__________________
AZ-Jeff
WANTED--MJ Comanche to restore. Must be solid, (relatively) rust free chassis. Send me a PM if you have a line on one that is for sale.
AZ Jeff is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-28-2010, 10:34 AM   #5
adkmehrman
Junior Member
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , New York
Posts: 87
Get a allignment, if it is still funky than possibly steering gear
adkmehrman is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-28-2010, 02:01 PM   #6
nickpc87
Registered User
1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: maryland
Posts: 26
The steering pump should be fine its fairly new. It does it on all roads so I wouldnt think crown is the issue. All the tires are the same size and close to the same pressure. What about tie rod ends and/or shocks
nickpc87 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-28-2010, 02:55 PM   #7
adkmehrman
Junior Member
1996 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: , New York
Posts: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickpc87 View Post
The steering pump should be fine its fairly new. It does it on all roads so I wouldnt think crown is the issue. All the tires are the same size and close to the same pressure. What about tie rod ends and/or shocks
Steering Gear and Steering pump are two different things. The gear is what your Pitman arm is attached too. It could be worn gears because of the fact that it does not seem consistent
adkmehrman is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-28-2010, 09:32 PM   #8
nickpc87
Registered User
1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: maryland
Posts: 26
Im going to start with replacing all 4 shocks, they all need to be done anyway. From there I will move onto tie rod ends and bushings, I am going to try to get away without replacing the center link to knuckle tie rod as long as I can find replacement bushings. If I still have problems after that I will look into the steering gearbox. The gearbox is $170.00 so Ill save that for last.
nickpc87 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-29-2010, 01:16 AM   #9
richyrich514
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: montreal
Posts: 49
yeah just get her up on a lift and see what's loose.
my 99 does the same.. got her on a lift to find out that the track bar has ALOT of play and my joints up front were finished.. gonna fix that after winter :P
richyrich514 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 12-29-2010, 01:41 AM   #10
FairlanePhil
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Toledo Ohio
Posts: 2,433
Is there a dead spot in the center of the steering wheel where it turns but the wheels stay straight?
The old Ford steering boxes commonly do that when worn.
The fact that the XJ box has an adjuster on the top makes me thin they are similar inside.

There is some adjustability in the box by turning the screw on top. Its accessible by removing the electricfan
There is a limit to what is safe to adjust, like a quarter turn or so. One of the smarter guys on here will chime in if they think its possibly the issue.

I will say that I did this adjustment in my 70 Fairlane. It helped the wheel feel tighter in the center but in the end it was GOOD alignment that helped most. I had an alignment done and the car wandered all over the highway. After I found a better shop it ended up being a marked improvment
__________________
Current: 99XJ 6.5 lift-Bought 2015
Sold: Patriot Blue 00 XJ.
'sploded: 01 stock-0331 head victim
FairlanePhil is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2011, 07:32 PM   #11
nickpc87
Registered User
1998 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: maryland
Posts: 26
I got all the shocks done but it didnt effect the steering. All four upper bolts on the rear snapped off which apparently is pretty common. I read on here to pound out the nuts on top of the frame with a punch and thru bolting it instead of re tapping it. It worked pretty good. How do I figure out if the steering box is bad?
nickpc87 is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-14-2011, 08:28 PM   #12
Hussler
Registered User
1992 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: utica, new york
Posts: 5,289
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairlanePhil View Post
There is some adjustability in the box by turning the screw on top. Its accessible by removing the electricfan
There is a limit to what is safe to adjust, like a quarter turn or so. One of the smarter guys on here will chime in if they think its possibly the issue.
You can turn the screw in as much as you want but will notice it will get "twitcher" on the road if you do it too much. Like it will be harder for the steering wheel to go back to center.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Sometimes a restoration project is a labor of love, at which point cost, time, and labor involved become irrelevant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BorderC View Post
I see you also twizzled your scart lead. Well done! :thumbsup:
92 XJ with ARB's, 5" lift, too much armor, 33's and some other garbage
Hussler is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 01-15-2011, 08:55 PM   #13
wgirvine
Registered User
1992 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Rosamond, CA
Posts: 652
My 92 XJ is doing the same thing. I had my GF sit in the driver's seat and slowly turn the steering wheel back and forth while I looked under the hood for any play. Found it...

Look at the steering shaft about 3 inches forward of the firewall. There is a U-joint, then directly in front of that is a sort of slip joint. The slip joint should be tight, but mine is apparently worn out, allowing the steering wheel to turn a few degrees before actually turning the forward part of the shaft. There's a sort of fail-safe coupling right there, just in case this happens. I can see the ears of the coupling shifting back and forth.

Sure makes for interesting driving!
wgirvine is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Unread 07-23-2015, 10:23 PM   #14
mvick
Registered User
1999 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 1
Steering wheel

I have a 99 and I have the exact same problem and it is driving me nuts. I am on my second steer box and nothing is improved. I am really frustrated.
mvick is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.
Note: All free e-mails have been banned due to mis-use. (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.)
Don't have a non-free e-mail address? Click here for a solution: Manual Account Creation
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Thread Tools


Suggested Threads





Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.