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Unread 03-30-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
aldersonfilm
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Loud BANG!

Ok, so, Jeeps been acting up recently, but I'll get to that in a moment. Today, I pulled out of a parking space and cranked the wheel as I was reversing. I can't remember if I then threw it into drive or not, but as I was about to pull forward, there was a loud BANG! Almost sounded like something snapped. Could have been a backfire, but not sure. I pulled back into the parking spot and checked for anything obvious. Couldn't find anything, so I started the jeep back up and and pulled back out. It seemed fine, except that the steering felt quite a bit looser. It has always been loose and creaky, but not this bad. There is LOT of play in the wheel and the turn radius turning right seems much worse now. I'm guessing I brake a tooth in the steering box or something?

Possibly related, just before this, the jeep was stumbling, and died at a stop light, but choked back to life.

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Unread 03-30-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
CJ7-Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldersonfilm View Post
I'm guessing I brake a tooth in the steering box or something?
A more logical guess would be that you broke something in the steering or suspension. Inspect all the steering components and their mounting points. Inspect all the suspension components and their mounting points. Look for a broken mount or failed component.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 12:58 PM   #3
aldersonfilm
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Well I jacked it up and started pulling on the wheels. Neither wheel has any movement at 12 and 6 o'clock, but a LOT of movement in unison with each other at 3 and 9 o'clock. I can basically turn both front wheels about 5 degrees in either direction. Doing so is accompanied by a rubber to metal squeaking/creaking sound that I can't identify the source of. Also, not sure if it's normal, but the entire steering gear pivots a bit as the wheels turn. Steering the vehicle on the road now feels like steering a boat. It wanders all over the place and I can barely turn right. There used to be some stiffness in the steering wheel, but it went away after the loud bang. Track bar seems pretty solid, though all of my joints and ball studs are a bit worn and don't hold grease well. Also, the steering gear has quite a lot of oil around it, but that's always been there. No drips.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 02:00 PM   #4
Hudson
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That "Bang" might of been your steering box brace snapping into about a million pieces.

Shaking the tire is not a test for u-joints, that will show you any play in the ball joints or wheel bearings. (which you seem to also have.)

Here is a picture of my steering box brace when i pulled it out to replace it with a beefed up one. Notice it's broken in three pieces. Second picture is a JCR Steering brace.





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Unread 03-31-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
aldersonfilm
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Were you still able to operate the vehicle when yours broke? Cause I can still turn, it's just super loose and the steering gear rotates when I turn the steering wheel, like it's not attached to anything but the steering rod and linkage. So your theory might be correct if you were still able to turn when yours broke.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 04:07 PM   #6
Hudson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aldersonfilm View Post
Were you still able to operate the vehicle when yours broke? Cause I can still turn, it's just super loose and the steering gear rotates when I turn the steering wheel, like it's not attached to anything but the steering rod and linkage. So your theory might be correct if you were still able to turn when yours broke.
Yes. Just as you explained the steering box has a bunch of play because there is no brace there for it to brace against.

The box kind of tilted as i turned the wheel and seemed to stop tilting when the box came into contact with the unibody.

The unibody is actually known to crack there as well so you might want to check that out as well.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 04:12 PM   #7
aldersonfilm
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Great.... Last week, the Jeep was hit by a range rover, in the front, very hard. My brush guard took the impact and barely put a scratch on the jeep, but it could have put a solid crack in the bracket or the unibody. How massive of a problem is a cracked unibody??
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Unread 03-31-2013, 06:07 PM   #8
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Depending on how bad it is (if it's only in the steering box area) you can weld that sucker up and order and steering box brace and a steering plate while you're at it. It will sandwich the cracked uni-body in-between them and should be fine.

JCR offers both for around $100 or so. Obviously there are others as well.

http://www.jcroffroad.com/mm5/mercha...oduct_Code=UNF

http://www.jcroffroad.com/mm5/mercha...uct_Code=STSPC
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Unread 03-31-2013, 07:45 PM   #9
aldersonfilm
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I can't even find a stock brace anywhere. Nobody seems to have them, so I guess I'll have to get a JCR one after all.
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Unread 03-31-2013, 09:02 PM   #10
Hudson
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Make sure yours is actually cracked before you replace it. Even if it isn't - i'd replace it anyways. Don't even bother changing that out for a stock one. Even if you could find one i bet the JCR one is around the same price.
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