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Unread 01-10-2014, 05:22 PM   #1
JBlue
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2000 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Westchester, NY
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Quick question on steering

2000xj, 4.0 auto, 112k miles. I bought the jeep 6 months ago and I've had a lot of problems. Doing a bunch of work this weekend to it.

Quick question, how do you fix a steering wheel that has a lot of "give"? There's a lot of play in the wheel. I searched and I kept getting death wobble but mine is at all speeds. No wobble, just a lot of give in the wheel. Thanks as always.

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Unread 01-10-2014, 08:34 PM   #2
ECL
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Start by jacking up each front tire and trying to turn it left and right. Look for play in the tie rods, center link, etc.
Your steering box is "young" at 112k but if everything else checks out, you can tighten down the lash on the steering box by loosening the lock nut on top and turning the screw in a little more.
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Unread 01-10-2014, 08:41 PM   #3
JBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECL
Start by jacking up each front tire and trying to turn it left and right. Look for play in the tie rods, center link, etc.
Your steering box is "young" at 112k but if everything else checks out, you can tighten down the lash on the steering box by loosening the lock nut on top and turning the screw in a little more.
Perfect, thank you ECL, I will get on that tomorrow. I couldn't find anything on this.
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Unread 01-10-2014, 08:46 PM   #4
ECL
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My money is on the rod coming down from steering box. Replacing that on mine tightened up my front a lot.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 10:31 AM   #5
JBlue
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Well I jacked up the front of the xj and pulled on the wheels, everything appeared to be pretty tight without much give anywhere. Also, when in park and with the jeep off, the wheel has almost a quarter turn of give in it. So would this be a bad steering box? Would getting an alignment help troubleshoot this?
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Unread 01-21-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
skyway0018746
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Sounds like the box is worn out I would suggest a new one rather then adjusting it as there is a fine line between good and locking up the gear which can cause it to seas at any time which isnt good when your driving.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 10:47 AM   #7
XJaySC
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If you have that much play in the wheel in park and off an alignment won't help. Probably steering box or intermediate steering shaft play. With a quarter turn I'd say most likely the box.

If you were to tighten it as suggested do it a little at a time. I've heard tightening too much can damage the gear box.
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Unread 01-21-2014, 11:14 AM   #8
JBlue
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Thanks jay/skyway. I'll replace the box then.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 01:20 PM   #9
JBlue
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I'm going to save up to replace my steering box when I replace my whiny ps pump, service my cooling system, and fix my front main seal. That's going to be a heck of a weekend in the spring, just too cold and expensive now.

Quick question, is it worth getting an alignment now? I'm having a new tire put on my spare wheel before ice fishing up in the adirondacks and the tire place is having an alignment deal. is it worth doing the alignment if I'm going to change the steering box in 3 months anyways or one won't affect the other? I'm clueless in this area. Thanks for any help. Also if anyone had more input into my steering issue it's much appreciated.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 01:29 PM   #10
ECL
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If you don't trust your alignment, get it done now. That will ensure that the toe-in/out of the tires relative to each other is correct. When you change the steering box, you won't actually change the alignment of tires relative to each other. You'll only change the orientation of the steering wheel to the tires. That you can adjust yourself by "winding" or "unwinding" the the adjuster on the center link right by the steering box.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 01:51 PM   #11
JBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECL
If you don't trust your alignment, get it done now. That will ensure that the toe-in/out of the tires relative to each other is correct. When you change the steering box, you won't actually change the alignment of tires relative to each other. You'll only change the orientation of the steering wheel to the tires. That you can adjust yourself by "winding" or "unwinding" the the adjuster on the center link right by the steering box.
Thanks ECL, this stuff is all new to me. I'm hoping it's the steering box that is going when I replace it in a few months.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 06:34 PM   #12
Kalali
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I'm sure it depends on a lot of factors but 112000 miles seems too low for a steering box to go that bad. Are you saying that it takes more than a 1/4 turn before the steering responds to the input?
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Unread 01-28-2014, 07:40 PM   #13
JBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalali
I'm sure it depends on a lot of factors but 112000 miles seems too low for a steering box to go that bad. Are you saying that it takes more than a 1/4 turn before the steering responds to the input?
Exactly, it's very loose. I jacked up the front and pulled on the wheels and nothing appeared loose, front bearings and shocks are new, tires have 2k miles on them, u joint are tight, mounts look ok. When driving or in park I can turn the wheel about a quarter of the way without much movement. I don't know how to diagnose further. Perhaps the people doing the alignment will pick up on something? If not, I'm going to throw a new box in there when I can afford to unless anyone can think of anything else. I'd appreciate any help/ideas.
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Unread 01-28-2014, 07:44 PM   #14
skyway0018746
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Have you checked your track bar ? Specifically the 1/2 " bolt that attaches it to the axle. It can wollow out and cause steering play and possibly death wobble. Also steering shaft u-joints. ( theres another name for them )
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62 mm bored throttle body's fs - pm
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Unread 01-28-2014, 08:25 PM   #15
JBlue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skyway0018746
Have you checked your track bar ? Specifically the 1/2 " bolt that attaches it to the axle. It can wollow out and cause steering play and possibly death wobble. Also steering shaft u-joints. ( theres another name for them )
Thanks ill give that a looksie this weekend.
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