Is your steering wheel sloppy? Unresponsive in the first bit of a turn? Well then your steering gearbox may need to be adjusted.
I, nor jeepforum, nor anyone else take responsibility for your screwups. The steering system is critical to the performance of your car both on road and off. This writeup is meant as a guide to adjusting the steering gearbox only and should not be taken as a bible or fact. Please consult a professional if you feel that you may compromise your vehicle.
The first step to all of this is to figure out where the sloppiness is coming from. I found out it was my steering box by grabing the steering shaft right above the steering box and found that i could move it about 1/8th-1/4th of a turn with out the pitarm moving at all. Other posibilities of play is in the draglink/tie rods, play at the ujoints in the steering shafts and a number of other things. This writeup only applies if your gearbox is the culprit.
On top of the steering gearbox is a nut with a allen screw in it. This is the adjustment screw that you need to turn.
Total time: 30 mins
optional but help:
torque wrench/breaker bar
Locate and remove the 4 bolts that hold on the front plastic jeep cover. (if you have removed your plastic jeep cover or installed a winch cover, skip this step or remove it.) They are 3/8 inch.
The plastic jeep cover is this thing:
The bolts are located here. There are two on each side:
Please excuse the glasses
The plastic lifts from the back:
The second step is to remove the plastic support bar.
The bar also supports the front passanger brake line. It is held in by to black clips. The red circles are the location of the clips. The blue circles are where the bolts are located. The orange circle is the steering gear box. A pair of pliers should be used to squish the clip and push it through the holes as shown.
Then remove the two screws at the end of the bar that hold it to the frame.
Now you should be able to see the top of the steering gearbox.
The nut and the allen screw are circled in black. Heres a view after some pb blaster was sprayed on:
You will need to lossen up the nut. It is a 5/8ths nut. I had to use a torque wrench to break it lose. You only need to turn the nut about 3/4 to 1 turn if that.
Now, take a 5/8 wrench and put it on the nut. Take a allen key that fits into the allen screw and place it into the screw. Turning the screw clockwise will tighten the steering, to the left will loosen it. Turning the screw only a little bit, like 1/8th of a turn will have a great effect on your steering. Turning the allen key too far will bind the steering box gears and blow up your steering gearbox.
I turned my allen screw about 1/4 of a turn. Then, take the allen key out and tighten up the nut. Jump in the jeep and turn it on. Is it tighter? If so your doing alright, if it is looser then you screwed up. The steering wheel should have a minimal amount of play in it but still a very little bit. If there is no play at all, you may have tightened it too far. Now, run around the block. Come back. You may need to adjust the allen screw a few times, each time checking the play in the steering wheel.
After you have it where you want it, make sure that the nut is tightened down. I tightened mine til it was snug and then a little bit more (1/8th of a turn). Put the support bar back in place, dont forget about the brake line clips. Bolt it down snugly. Put the plastic jeep cover back on snuging up the bolts. THe jeep cover will compress and break if you tighten it down too far so snug is good. Dont forget the antiseize so that when you go to do this again in a couple of years (or you get a winch) you wont have to fight with the bolts.
Congratulations. You have sucessfully adjusted your steering gearbox. Now, pray to the jeep gods and go run some trails.