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Fernando 03-30-2009 10:56 AM

Lower steering shaft bearing replacement - With pics!
Hello everyone

Here is a short write up on how to change your lower steering shaft bearing, it's really simple, took me about an hour with my dad helping out ;) This applies to an 87 4.2 with power steering.

Sorry if I made any English mistakes, I tried my best :o

Start by removing the bolts holding the steering box to the frame

Once you have removed these, remove the one at the top of your intermediate steering shaft... this bolt closes the bracket where the universal joint is held around the shaft that goes into the firewall.

Now you can lower the steering box a little bit, then the shaft will clear the holding bracket and you will be able to remove the old bearing, just pull the steering box down a little, here you can see the box lowered a bit

This is the long bolt that goes thru the frame

Now you are ready to remove the old bearing, mine was in pretty bad condition and causing vibrations, you can see the whole assembly, the bearing, a snap ring for holding the bearing cover, and the cover which fits on the outside of the upper shaft housing

Now apply a little grease on the new bearing before reinstalling the assembly.

Now here is the new assembly put together and ready to go in

I used a large socket to push the bearing into the upper shaft, it fits snugly, I tapped on it a few times and it went in, there should be no need for excessive force or hammering

Now this is where the assistant comes in real handy, use a vise grip to hold the upper shaft in place while you have your assistant place the steering box correctly, just align the intermediate shaft to the bracket and give the box a little push upward, the upper shaft should go into the bracket, the vise grip helps because it allows you to rotate the upper shaft and prevent it from going into the firewall, it does have some range of travel to the inside of the firewall... make sure the upper shaft is properly inserted into the bracket, reinstall the bolt and torque to 33 ft/lbs

Last step is to reinstall the bolts holding the steering box, apply a little loctite to them and torque to 65 ft/lbs

That's it!!
Thank you for reading! :cheers2:

firefighter315 03-30-2009 11:35 AM

Great write-up man, Thanks! :thumbsup:

Fernando 03-30-2009 01:34 PM

Thanks a lot!

SASQUATCH 09-13-2009 10:32 PM

Thanks for a great writeup, my son's 88yj needs the lower bearing replaced and this writeup will come in handy.

havasu 09-14-2009 06:44 AM

A few more great write ups like this and we will all be able to throw away those useless Chilton books! Thanks!

Louie4 09-14-2009 06:52 AM

Sweet write-up. How did you know the bearing was bad? Was your steering column loose or was the steering itself loose?

Fernando 09-14-2009 08:55 AM

Thanks everyone!

The steering shaft had some excessive play, this combined with a worn steering box was giving me some vibes and the steering did wander a little bit. I tested it by holding on to the steering shaft and shaking it, if it shakes too much when you shake it close to the firewall, it is better to change the bearing, it's very cheap anyway.

Louie4 09-14-2009 08:57 AM

Cool, I'll check mine today after I put another coat of Herculiner on. Great write-up.

4luck0 09-24-2009 09:14 AM

where can the bearings be purchased

my upper bearing is gone all that is left is the outer ring

cmsurfer 09-24-2009 10:00 AM


Originally Posted by 4luck0 (Post 7985542)
where can the bearings be purchased

my upper bearing is gone all that is left is the outer ring


Bearing: Original Replacement Parts 4486713 - Lower Steering Column Bearing for 76-95 Jeep® CJ-5, CJ-7, CJ-8 Scrambler & Wrangler YJ - Quadratec

Bearing Kit: Original Replacement Parts 4487696K - Lower Steering Column Bearing Kit for 72-95 Jeep® CJ-5, CJ-7, CJ-8 Scrambler & Wrangler YJ - Quadratec

fireshadow 09-24-2009 10:36 AM

GREAT JOB:cheers2:
When my goes out this will be real handy.

Alabamaranger 09-24-2009 11:53 AM

I replace mine by loosing the steering column bolts and pulling the column out just far enough to remove the steering shaft. Install the new bearing and slid the column back down to the shaft.

scottsea 09-24-2009 12:03 PM

I am in the process of doing this as well. You actually dont need to lower the power steering box. You can just unhook steering shaft where it come out of the firewall, the lower steering shaft will telescope down, as long as it isnt rusted.

My problem is my old bearing is gone except for the races, I need to put some heat on and lube on it to get it off.

Great write up!


Fernando 09-24-2009 12:22 PM

Yeap I guess you can loose the steering column but my shaft is fixed, or it is rusted fixed, I figured this was the best way for my particular case.

cmsurfer 09-25-2009 06:51 PM

I'm in the process of trying to replace my steering shaft and I'm having trouble getting the old one out. I dropped the steering box like shown above, but I can't move it enough to get the shaft off. It it just about there though. I think if I can get it to move less than another inch it will come off. Any ideas?
I'd rather not cut, but where exactly would I cut it?

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