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?
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.
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?