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post #16 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 09:01 AM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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Everything worked fine. What little I drove it I could not tell if I gained any steering radius. I will say it is much easier to turn the wheel now, like breathe on it and you are turning. Also seems like a lot of turns to get to fully locked in one direction, 3+ full turns of the wheel.

Steering wheel also does not want to return to center as well as before. I hope I did not jack up the clock spring but I never touched the wheel or steering linkage when it was disconnected. Steering wheel is not straight when going straight.

I think I may take it for an alignment just to be safe. I am do an oil change and tire rotation anyway so get it all done at once.

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post #17 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SmashDN View Post
Everything worked fine. What little I drove it I could not tell if I gained any steering radius. I will say it is much easier to turn the wheel now, like breathe on it and you are turning. Also seems like a lot of turns to get to fully locked in one direction, 3+ full turns of the wheel.

Steering wheel also does not want to return to center as well as before. I hope I did not jack up the clock spring but I never touched the wheel or steering linkage when it was disconnected. Steering wheel is not straight when going straight.

I think I may take it for an alignment just to be safe. I am do an oil change and tire rotation anyway so get it all done at once.
I just did the WJ pump and Durango box myself. My steering wheel came off center but returned when I had it aligned. As to the steering not returning to center: mine did that when the sector shaft adjustment was over-tightened. That causes the gears to bind inside the box and counteract the natural return a well aligned steering tries to do. You might try backing off of the adjustment 1/4 turn and seeing if that improves your return to center behavior.

Lifted, Locked, Stiffened

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post #18 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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@bluejunior

Thank you sir, I will give that a try tonight.

Just for my edification we are talking about the shaft that comes down through the firewall and into the input of the steering gear, the bolt that tightens the little knuckle to the steering gear input shaft?

Dis guy?
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post #19 of 33 Old 03-03-2017, 02:59 PM
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@bluejunior

Thank you sir, I will give that a try tonight.

Just for my edification we are talking about the shaft that comes down through the firewall and into the input of the steering gear, the bolt that tightens the little knuckle to the steering gear input shaft?

Dis guy?
What you've got circled is called the steering shaft. The only thing that bolt changes is how tight the steering shaft is clamped onto the input shaft of the steering gear.

The sector shaft is the shaft with the pitman arm at the end of it, it passes through the whole steering box perpendicular to that input/steering shaft and has teeth that are moved by the piston the input shaft is attached to. The adjustment is on top of the steering box when it's installed, opposite of the pitman arm.

To adjust the sector shaft: pull your aux fan out (two 8mm hex bolts on top, two metal clips on bottom that you just pull straight up to remove) and you'll be able to see a nut on a little threaded rod with an allen head on it in the middle of four bolts holding a cover onto the steering gear. That's the adjustment for the sector shaft. Use an allen wrench (i forget the size, sorry) to lock that threaded rod in place while you loosen the lock nut with a 5/8 wrench. Then loosen the threaded rod a quarter turn and hold it in place with the allen wrench while you re-tighten the lock nut.

Basically what you're adjusting is how tightly meshed the teeth are on the input and output of the steering gear. Too loose, and your steering will feel loose because the piston in the gear will actually have to move some before it starts pushing the sector shaft teeth and rotating the pitman arm. Too tight, and the teeth are under extra stress, wear fast and bind so that the steering doesn't return to center. If it wasn't adjusted quite right when you got it, you may need to adjust it a few times. For example I WAY overtightened mine on the initial install and I wound up backing off 1/4 turn 3 times and then tightening back up 1/8 of a turn before I was happy with it.

Here's the bleepinjeep on it, they have the box out of the jeep when they recorded this, but if you take the e-fan out and look straight down at the steering gear standing in front of the jeep, you'll see the nut they're working with and the four bolts around it easily:




I should note after all this that not returning to center can also be insufficient toe in on your alignment, but that felt different to me than when my steering box was overtightened and I could nearly just let go of the steering wheel and let the jeep track itself through a 90* turn before straightening out myself. Plus you just replaced the gear.

Lifted, Locked, Stiffened

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post #20 of 33 Old 03-06-2017, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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No loosening the new one with it installed. Couldn't get it busted loose (they may have loc-tited it? It did have orange paint on the nut and gear box body.) with the length of wrench I had to put on there. Not that concerned with it to dump new PS fluid and take it all back out to get it on the bench and fiddle with.
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post #21 of 33 Old 03-06-2017, 08:34 AM
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Not that it makes it much more appealing, but when I did mine I took it all out as a sealed unit. Took the pump, hoses and box out of my parts jeep and dropped them into my daily. Only thing I removed form the engine bay to do it was my electric fan and the power steering pump bracket. So no wasted fluid there.

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post #22 of 33 Old 03-06-2017, 08:37 AM
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Seems like a good time for an impact and an extension that allows a little wobble. If it really is over-tightened it will shorten the life of your box. Still, it's not immediately doomed or anything and you could certain pursue other explanations like alignment or something.

Lifted, Locked, Stiffened

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post #23 of 33 Old 03-06-2017, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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I think I am going to swing by my local neighborhood tire/brake/front end shop that I go to and let them know what I have done and what I am wanting. He can usually steer me straight (no pun intended) and has had an XJ once upon a time so he knows some of what I'm up to. Plus it will be a good excuse to sneak out of work a shade early.
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post #24 of 33 Old 03-17-2017, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE

Had an alignment Tuesday and that improved things initially but now I am having some issues.

Turning to the right the steering is firm (in a good solid feeling way) and after letting go of the wheel it returns to center. Turning to the left is where it gets funky.

There is a "catch" or firm spot you have to "break through" when turning back to the left. Almost like something is in a slight bind but you can push through it. When the steering wheel releases from the bind or catch it is in a near free-spin at that point. Does this when parked or driving. When you are driving and have to get through that catch it then causes the vehicle to dive to the left.

The catch is not related to where the actual tires are positioned. I can go full lock to the right and the catch will be within 1/2 of the steering wheel turn back to the left. Tires are straight and the catch is still 1/2 of the steering wheel turn to the left.

I got under it last night with wife in driver seat recreating the catch and slip. I watched everything and saw nothing jump out at me. Checked ball joints, u-joints, tie rod, drag link, end links, pittman arm tightness and play, the little steering u-joint looking thingy on the steering wheel linkage itself, fluid level, for variation in fluid level while turning, etc.

Is my lack of finding anything down there indicative of an issue with the gear itself?

Thank for any help you can provide.
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post #25 of 33 Old 03-17-2017, 07:18 AM
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My rebuilt steering gear did something similar for a week or two and then it went away, still not sure what it was other than definitely being the gear since I had changed anything but it and the pump,

When I mentioned it my dad said the same thing happened to him and then went away on his old Chevy truck when he got a rebuilt gear (also a Saginaw of the same basic design),

Lifted, Locked, Stiffened

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post #26 of 33 Old 03-17-2017, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
SmashDN
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Interesting. I will keep an eye on it and drive it more often in hopes that it "wears in" and the issue goes away. It is a minor inconvenience for me but I wouldn't let my wife drive it like this, she'd be in the ditch or other lane pretty quick.
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post #27 of 33 Old 03-27-2017, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Frustrating update.

Inexplicably I now have no power steering. Started it up Saturday morning to head with the family up to mammoth cave to drive the old park roads and I have no power steering.

Still have fluid, fluid looks good and clean, not burnt or trashy.



I need some advice on what to do and what order.
Thinking I need to check function of the pump somehow (pull a hose make sure it squirts?)
Also, need to know how to test the steering gear itself.

Keep in mind everything down there has been replaced. Reman Pump, reman gear (durango), new hoses on both sides, new pittman arm, new fluid. The only thing re-used was the pump pulley.

Thanks in advance.
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post #28 of 33 Old 03-27-2017, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by SmashDN View Post
Frustrating update.

Inexplicably I now have no power steering. Started it up Saturday morning to head with the family up to mammoth cave to drive the old park roads and I have no power steering.

Still have fluid, fluid looks good and clean, not burnt or trashy.

I need some advice on what to do and what order.
Thinking I need to check function of the pump somehow (pull a hose make sure it squirts?)
Also, need to know how to test the steering gear itself.

Keep in mind everything down there has been replaced. Reman Pump, reman gear (durango), new hoses on both sides, new pittman arm, new fluid. The only thing re-used was the pump pulley.

Thanks in advance.
You should be able to pull the low pressure return line off the reservoir and look for pressure there when it's running and the wheel is turned, it shouldn't lose fluid except by gravity otherwise.

Could get interesting though, since you'll also have to keep a finger on that input to the reservoir or it'll empty onto your floor.

Maybe the piston seals on that gearbox are out and letting fluid run around the box where it shouldn't be? That's the only failure in the box that comes to mind that wouldn't cause manual steering issues as well or have an external fluid leak

Lifted, Locked, Stiffened

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post #29 of 33 Old 03-27-2017, 10:08 AM
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Can I ask if you did a thorough bleed of the system?
Did you also flush it first? I ran probably 2.5 quarts into it, allowing a good quart plus to flush my reman gear.


Mine was displaying some of the symptoms above ( the 'sticking' ) until I bled a bunch more. I had done the back and forth 20-30 times, adding fluid as I went, then repeated with it running... but it still wasn't right.

What I had to do was raise both wheels off the ground, go lock to lock while running... and then open the cap to let out pressure. I would open the cap while at full lock, while running, and close it right back up. Turn to the other side, repeat. I did that probably 10-12 times on each side before it finally stabilized... I could tell the pressure in the reservoir was decreasing little by little.

As long as you can confirm your lines are clear, the pump is actually turning ( the pulley is press fit, I'd be really wary of re-using one) ... I suspect you may have a large 'bubble' in the gear.
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post #30 of 33 Old 03-27-2017, 10:16 AM
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Last edited by cheepnis; 03-27-2017 at 10:18 AM. Reason: double post
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