chasing down a steering issue - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 06:13 AM Thread Starter
schapkern
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: boonville
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chasing down a steering issue

Hey guys!
1997 ZJ Grand Cherokee Orvis
5.8l v8
177K+ miles

I've got an odd steering issue i've been trying to chase down. No wobble to speak of, but its just not right.
The steering is tight, no more than about 1" of OD wheel play but, to travel straight down the road the steering wheel has to be turned 1/8 to 1/4 to the left.
I had the allignment checked at the tire shop, they said it was good.
Tires are all inflated to 35.5psi cold.
adjusted the steering gearbox
Replaced the right upper and lower ball joints
both right and left hubs have about 2k miles
all the bushings in the front and rear have been replaced and have about 2K miles on them.
all brake components are new, replaced when I did the hubs and bushings
both the axle shafts have been replaced also done with bushings hubs and breaks
the tie rod ends look ok, they dont wiggle and i regreased them.
and new shocks



but still have this oddness in the steering.

Any Ideas? I was thinking of replacing everything from the pitman arm out to the tires. Pitman arm, drag link, inner and outer TRE, everything.
Thats expensive but if thats the way to go that's what I'll do

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post #2 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 06:20 AM
totalalign12
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Posts: 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by schapkern
Hey guys!
1997 ZJ Grand Cherokee Orvis
5.8l v8
177K+ miles

I've got an odd steering issue i've been trying to chase down. No wobble to speak of, but its just not right.
The steering is tight, no more than about 1" of OD wheel play but, to travel straight down the road the steering wheel has to be turned 1/8 to 1/4 to the left.
I had the allignment checked at the tire shop, they said it was good.
Tires are all inflated to 35.5psi cold.
adjusted the steering gearbox
Replaced the right upper and lower ball joints
both right and left hubs have about 2k miles
all the bushings in the front and rear have been replaced and have about 2K miles on them.
all brake components are new, replaced when I did the hubs and bushings
both the axle shafts have been replaced also done with bushings hubs and breaks
the tie rod ends look ok, they dont wiggle and i regreased them.
and new shocks

but still have this oddness in the steering.

Any Ideas? I was thinking of replacing everything from the pitman arm out to the tires. Pitman arm, drag link, inner and outer TRE, everything.
Thats expensive but if thats the way to go that's what I'll do
Is it pulling one way or the other? Or is the steering wheel just crooked.
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post #3 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 06:22 AM
KoreaZJ
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1994 ZJ 
 
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Location: GANGNAM STYLE
Posts: 2,665
"1/8 to 1/4 to the left."
Inches? Or turns?

If it's not pulling to the side and the wheel is just off-center... adjust the drag link to center the wheel.
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post #4 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
schapkern
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: boonville
Posts: 11
It wants to wander a bit to the right even if the wheel us turned an eighth to a quarter of a turn to the left
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post #5 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
schapkern
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: boonville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoreaZJ View Post
"1/8 to 1/4 to the left."
Inches? Or turns?

If it's not pulling to the side and the wheel is just off-center... adjust the drag link to center the wheel.
you do this by turning the adjustment sleeve correct? is there a special tool for this?
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post #6 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 07:07 AM
KJK
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Location: Dallas, Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schapkern View Post
It wants to wander a bit to the right even if the wheel us turned an eighth to a quarter of a turn to the left
It sounds like you need a second opinion on the alignment job.

5.9 ZJ SCT tuned PCM/ KJK CAI/ Thorley headers with 3" Magnaflow cat and muffler/ Modded kegger/ TransGo shift kit/ Vanco brake kit/ Braided steel brake lines/ Mopar cupholder insert!
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post #7 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 07:09 AM Thread Starter
schapkern
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Location: boonville
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJK View Post
It sounds like you need a second opinion on the alignment job.
any way to check it in the barn?
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post #8 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 08:55 AM
KJK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schapkern View Post
any way to check it in the barn?
If it's that slight of a pull probably not. It could be any minor thing that causes it. You need a good alignment guy that knows that just because everything "appears to be in spec" that it could still pull slightly and he knows where to look to fix it.

Are all the tires at the same pressure? Same make and size?

5.9 ZJ SCT tuned PCM/ KJK CAI/ Thorley headers with 3" Magnaflow cat and muffler/ Modded kegger/ TransGo shift kit/ Vanco brake kit/ Braided steel brake lines/ Mopar cupholder insert!
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post #9 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
schapkern
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Location: boonville
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tires are all same make model and size, trail mark radial 235 70R16's and all are inflated to 35.5 psi (digital guage)
I'll take your advice and take it to another tire shop for an allignment check
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post #10 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 10:12 AM
TheHalfWit
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Yea, that just sounds like your wheel needs to be centered. I'd bet the tech doing it didn't know that with the zj and similar jeeps that the steering wheel is centered via the drag link.

Calm. C.

If a week goes by without needing to replace something, pinch me because I must be dreaming.
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post #11 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 11:06 AM
totalalign12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJK

If it's that slight of a pull probably not. It could be any minor thing that causes it. You need a good alignment guy that knows that just because everything "appears to be in spec" that it could still pull slightly and he knows where to look to fix it.

Are all the tires at the same pressure? Same make and size?
Good advice.
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post #12 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 11:17 AM
PolkaPower
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Inspect all of your tie rod ends and track bar for play. If any of those are worn out then the alignment won't do any good. Worn out control arm bushings will cause a drift as well.
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post #13 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 05:56 PM
peter_zabriskie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schapkern View Post
It wants to wander a bit to the right even if the wheel us turned an eighth to a quarter of a turn to the left
Are you driving on a "flat" road? Around here(Indiana) roads with high crowns will require steering into the high side of the road or the Jeep will drift to the shoulder. This is with both of the my old sloppy ZJ's.
-Pete
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maybe off topic, but my '97 ZJ has about 1" of play in the steering wheel. Per another thread I reached in and wiggled the steering shaft where it goes into the steering box, that is where my play is. The shaft rotates about 1". Any adjustment for that? Or am I looking for a new steering box? I am pretty comfortable with how it tracks and steers now, but if it can tighten up that would be cool. My old '93 ZJ was much looser.
-Pete

Bravo Zulu
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post #14 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
schapkern
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1997 ZJ 
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: boonville
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by peter_zabriskie View Post
Are you driving on a "flat" road? Around here(Indiana) roads with high crowns will require steering into the high side of the road or the Jeep will drift to the shoulder. This is with both of the my old sloppy ZJ's.
-Pete
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maybe off topic, but my '97 ZJ has about 1" of play in the steering wheel. Per another thread I reached in and wiggled the steering shaft where it goes into the steering box, that is where my play is. The shaft rotates about 1". Any adjustment for that? Or am I looking for a new steering box? I am pretty comfortable with how it tracks and steers now, but if it can tighten up that would be cool. My old '93 ZJ was much looser.
-Pete
driving in and around evansville or out in the country. In the country it was worse. Got an appointment with the shop tomorrow may know more then.

No play in the steering input shaft. I checked that, Dad thinks its my box bypassing internally but i doubt it...

Thanks for the help guys
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post #15 of 16 Old 12-02-2011, 09:51 PM
KoreaZJ
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Drag link collar is easy to adjust, two clamps with nuts. Center the tires, loosen the clamps, turn the collar with channel locks, vise grips, pipe wrench until the wheel is centered. Tighten the clamps good. Drive to verify.
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