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Unread 04-18-2014, 11:05 PM   #1
cofferson
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2001 XJ Cherokee 
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: lorain, ohio
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Jerking steering wheel problems

Ok, so this is my first post here, usually I can find a solution to my problems already posted on the forum and it has always been helpful. However, this time I cannot find anything similar to this problem so I figured it was time to make my own account.

The problem I am having is when I turn either way, the wheel will jerk almost as if 4wd is on, but it obviously isnt and it isnt the wheels turning at different rates. Also the wheel only jerks when I am pulling the wheel back around to straighten out, it doesnt jerk while holding the turn or going into it. It is also only notable whenever I turn a decent ammount (meaning I cannot feel it on the highway and such when you make gradual turns).

A little background, the jeep never did this until a few weeks back whenever the front left u joint totally burned out, I was at school so I had firestone replace it and the two front wheel bearings, the front right was bad already and the front left broke taking it off to fix the u joint. the u joint was pretty bad and was making the turning have that jerk in the wheel, it is a lot less now that it is fixed but now i have the symptom above, the firestone had no idea what it was and i honestly do not want them to touch it again, i like doing it myself but like I said i was at school so I was forced to let someone else work on it!!

Thank you for any help or advice a head of time!

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Unread 04-19-2014, 01:31 AM   #2
Renix
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Grab a buddy have them turn the steering wheel while you watch the linkage, steering box, and trackbar. Look for worn out or broken parts. Also try to remove the gear box from the equation, remove the pitman arm and turn it lock to lock and see if you feel possible hesitation in the box, maybe a broken tooth in there. Also do you have to turn it back to center or will it go back to center on its own with a little assistance. Last think is the jeep lifted? Mods? Does it only happen while moving?
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Unread 04-19-2014, 03:27 AM   #3
highspeed
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Sounds like a bad or failing power steering pump. As the pump starts to fail the pressure in the lines fluxuates causing erratic operation. You may have a power steering leak as well.

As renix stated, disconnect the drag link and, with the jeep running, turn the wheel lock-to-lock. If you still feel the erratic operation then my guess would be the power steering unit.
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Unread 04-19-2014, 06:50 AM   #4
CJ7-Tim
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How many new u-joints were installed ?

Poor workmanship while installing u-joints can damage the u-joint. Typically jerkey steering when turning sharply at lower speeds is a bad u-joint in the front axle shaft.
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Unread 04-19-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
cofferson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renix View Post
Also do you have to turn it back to center or will it go back to center on its own with a little assistance. Last think is the jeep lifted? Mods? Does it only happen while moving?
It will still pull back to center on its own, i do not have to assist it. The jeep has no mods what so ever but aftermarket replacement wheels the previous owner put on (same size). And yes it only happens when moving, but like I said, it is only when i begin to pull back to the straight position.
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Unread 04-19-2014, 09:14 AM   #6
cofferson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
How many new u-joints were installed ?

Poor workmanship while installing u-joints can damage the u-joint. Typically jerkey steering when turning sharply at lower speeds is a bad u-joint in the front axle shaft.
The only thing that makes me think it is not the u-joint is that the jerking that was happening before the new u-joint was installed happened while going into turns, braking, and holding the turns, it was much more violent then this and made a bad noise. This is silent and only happens when i turn the wheel back to center after a turn. If it you turn out to be right however, I am going to be one mad customer...
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Unread 04-19-2014, 02:16 PM   #7
cofferson
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Update*

I got under and everything moved fine, the only issues I have are the two pictures I am attaching, one is the U-joint on the side they fixed, and one is directly under the steering box. I have a feeling the leaking from the axle isn't normal as it doesn't on the other side, but I am not sure if this is normal for the box.
20140419_152052.jpg   20140419_152453.jpg  
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Unread 04-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #8
CJ7-Tim
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Did the shop replace only one u-joint, or both ?

Poor workmanship when replacing u-joints can damage the differential seal, leading to gear oil leaks from the end of the axle tube. Is the leaking fluid really stinky ?
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Unread 04-19-2014, 03:47 PM   #9
cofferson
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They only did the U-joint. and it is definitely leaking from the axle, it does smell. And when I went in the shop I asked them if they used a 3 jaw puller to get the hub off and they said no, which was good because of the very reason you stated, I didn't want them to wreck the seal on the differential. But you may very well be right.
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