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Unread 08-19-2013, 05:43 AM   #1
EABiker
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Steering box leaking; repair or replace

Well, those small spots at the front of my Jeep in the parking lot at work became a bit bigger, and led me to find that my steering box seal is leaking. The next step seems to be a bit of an issue, since searching the subject shows that all the alternatives have issues.

Repair: From what I have found, the rebuild kits are the lowest cost of course, but they may not work well, and I still end up with a 24 year old box that does't leak, (hopefully).

Replace with a re-man unit. These seem to be hit or miss as far as quality goes; perhaps a decent brand can be recommended.

Durango swap: Looks good at $25 from the local U-Pull, (if they have one), but this swap has it's own issue; the increased turning radius.


What has everyone here done, and are you happy with your results?

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Unread 08-19-2013, 05:51 AM   #2
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I had to replace my steering box a few months ago. Opted for a reman unit from the local parts store. Once my buddy helped break the pitman arm free, everything went well. Being a direct replacement, it wasn't that bad of a job and the new unit works just fine. Didn't feel like a rebuild was in my wheel house of technical expertise. LOL
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Unread 08-19-2013, 06:30 AM   #3
booboowv77
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Go with Durango box it is a much better unit! I just did it and it is just as easy as a replacement.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booboowv77 View Post
Go with Durango box it is a much better unit! I just did it and it is just as easy as a replacement.
Have you noticed the increased turning radius, or is it minimal?
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Unread 08-19-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
Lemoore-on
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I replaced the lower seals (pitman arm shaft) almost 2 years ago. It took about an hour & cost less than $20. Not a drop since.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booboowv77
Go with Durango box it is a much better unit! I just did it and it is just as easy as a replacement.
X2 on the Durango box, works like a champ.
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Unread 08-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemoore-on
I replaced the lower seals (pitman arm shaft) almost 2 years ago. It took about an hour & cost less than $20. Not a drop since.
Same here, about 3 months ago. It does seem like I may have caught it a but too late for mine. As she still gets a bit of a growl now and then. But yup, bone dry. Just waiting to do my engine swap and ill do the Durango swap while the engine is out and have some elbow room. Along with a new steering shaft.

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Unread 08-19-2013, 10:21 PM   #8
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I did a seal replacement about six years ago, and haven't had a problem since. I only replaced the seal for the steering shaft. I think the seal kit cost $6 at Napa.

From what I've read, you lose turning radius with a Durango box.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 06:34 AM   #9
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Has anyone done the re-seal without removing the box? It looks as if you can remove the pitman arm and snap ring, the fire it up and turn the wheels back and forth until the pressure blows the seal out, then replace. I would definitely give this a shot since it is less expensive and cuts down on the work involved.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 07:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
Has anyone done the re-seal without removing the box? It looks as if you can remove the pitman arm and snap ring, the fire it up and turn the wheels back and forth until the pressure blows the seal out, then replace. I would definitely give this a shot since it is less expensive and cuts down on the work involved.
I did not remove the box. Removed the pitman arm and then I drilled a hole in the 2 seals and drove a long wood screw into it and pulled it out that way!
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Unread 08-20-2013, 11:01 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EABiker View Post
Have you noticed the increased turning radius, or is it minimal?
I have noticed no change in radius, just a much better feel to the steering wheel, and NO lock ups on the trail.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 03:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booboowv77

I have noticed no change in radius, just a much better feel to the steering wheel, and NO lock ups on the trail.
X2, the only people who claim there is steering loss, don't run one on their jeep. I get a full 1 1/2 turns of the steering wheel, it ends at the same spot it did stock. My stock box was garbage tho, I tried several others n all seemed to fail except the Durango box. I had pump issues too tho, upgraded my pump to one from a 4.7l WJ and now i can steer with my pinky even locked in 4wd. Durango box is way more responsive than my yj box as well, if u don't pay attention offroad it'll spin back n about rip ur hand off if its inside the steering wheel and not gripping the outside.
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Unread 08-20-2013, 05:39 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PA_YJ19

X2, the only people who claim there is steering loss, don't run one on their jeep. I get a full 1 1/2 turns of the steering wheel, it ends at the same spot it did stock. My stock box was garbage tho, I tried several others n all seemed to fail except the Durango box. I had pump issues too tho, upgraded my pump to one from a 4.7l WJ and now i can steer with my pinky even locked in 4wd. Durango box is way more responsive than my yj box as well, if u don't pay attention offroad it'll spin back n about rip ur hand off if its inside the steering wheel and not gripping the outside.
What year Durango did you pull from? As late 90's as possible?

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Unread 08-20-2013, 07:46 PM   #14
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98 or 99, had a v8 magnum engine in it, that's all that matters I believe. Make sure it's a v8 n u should b good. I paid $45 bucs for it at the upullit yard.
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Unread 08-24-2013, 07:10 AM   #15
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98 or 99, had a v8 magnum engine in it, that's all that matters I believe. Make sure it's a v8 n u should b good. I paid $45 bucs for it at the upullit yard.
Make sure it does not have the snow plow package.

Another tid bit about the turning radius at full turn my 35's hit the frame so there is defiantly no loss in steering.
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