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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:04 PM   #1
aldersonfilm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Pasadena, CA
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Creaky Steering

If I turn the wheel hard left, it creaks and pops a little. I figured it was the ball joints for sure, and the previous owner said he thought they were on their way out as they are the original ball joints.

So I jacked up the front tires and gave them a wiggle. They didn't move up or down, but there was some play side to side. Not a lot though and nothing seemed loose. Everything would turn about an inch with the wheel. Not sure if it's supposed to, but it does. What's cause my creaky steering? Bad rack and pinion?

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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #2
DoctorTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldersonfilm View Post
They didn't move up or down, but there was some play side to side.
please explain the side-to-side movement. is it side-to-side when you facing the front or the side of the jeep? is it play in the steering?
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Unread 01-11-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
DoctorTim
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as for the creaking, it could be dry joints. this means tierod ends and ball joints. grease em up!
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Unread 01-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #4
aldersonfilm
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By side to side, I mean if I grab hold of the tire at 9 0'clock and 3 o'clock and wiggle it, it gives a little, but the whole steering mechanism moves, not just the wheel. So I guess you could say there is play in the steering. Feels like driving a boat half the time anyway.
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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:19 PM   #5
DoctorTim
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when you do that have someone check if the steering wheel is moving. also check of there is play in the tierod ends.

is it lifted?
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Unread 01-12-2013, 12:28 AM   #6
aldersonfilm
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Yeah, it's got a Rubicon Express 3.5" lift on it. I'll have to see if the steering wheel is moving tomorrow, but the tie rod ends aren't exactly moving other than how they would be if I were turning the steering wheel. I.e. they don't seem to be loose or knocking around. But if I pull on either wheel, I can turn both wheels (at the same time) about an inch or more. Should I be able to move them that easily?
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Unread 01-12-2013, 04:13 AM   #7
bigbill888
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set it on the ground, with engine off have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth maybe 1/4 turn (after unlocking the steering column),

all this while you are underneath with a flashlight looking for something amiss.
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