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Unread 03-22-2015, 11:22 AM   #1
sqrlnts
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04 WJ steering issue

Hello Jeep Forum,
I recently purchased my first Jeep (04 Jeep Overland) and have a few problems I would like to solve. The most annoying is the steering. I can turn much tighter to the right than the left. It also seems that the steering wheel is off center to the left by probably 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn. Not sure if its related but the brakes also tend to pull slightly to the left as well.

I have not had the truck aligned but it seems to track fairly straight on the highway, although it does wander quite a bit.

Any and all help is appreciated. Thanks.

I have attached a few pics to help visualize, the wheel is turned a bit to the right as it sits.

sam_2599.jpg   sam_2600.jpg   sam_2601.jpg   sam_2602.jpg  
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Unread 03-22-2015, 12:56 PM   #2
alfaitalia
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Have you got a better pic of where you're Pittman arm is pointing with the steering dead ahead? If it's the wrong direction that would restrict your steering one way.

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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:10 PM   #3
sqrlnts
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Wheels dead straight the pitman looks to be pointing just to the right of the power brake reservoir. Almost right at the junction of the firewall and the fender.

I believe the pitman arm is keyed, correct?
sam_2603.jpg   sam_2604.jpg   sam_2605.jpg  
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Unread 03-22-2015, 05:11 PM   #4
DrPepper46
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Center the box first....

most steering boxes have to be centered on itself first. Once you pull the drag link off you should be able to turn it to the right and left ends of the travel (gently), count it back to the center. In all the boxs I've worked with as you go to the right or left there is slop built into the gearing. Only on dead center does the box have no "slop". That should also be where the steering wheel is straight or very close.
Then the drag link end can be lined up with the Pitman.
Not an expert on Jeep, old Dodges are more my background.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 05:40 PM   #5
jetrinka
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If you have more steering travel on one side than the other you need to access the steering coupler on the input side of the steering box. Center the wheels dead ahead and then loosen both bolts on the coupler. Slide it up and off the steering box, center the steering wheel and then slide the coupler back down on the box. Reinstall bolts and you should be good to go. Should have equal travel side to side now.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 07:11 PM   #6
WiCkeDuDe
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You have the IRO steering equalizer kit inside with the dropped pitman. I can tell you from personal experience its almos impossible to get the steering travel equal to both side. The dropped arm is slightly shorter than the factory pitman arm hence do dont get as much travel and the steering gear hits the stops in the gear which is not good. I had to angle mine towards the driver side like that to get the setup to work. Check the steering stops on the axle to see if they are working or the gear is stopping it.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 07:18 PM   #7
sqrlnts
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Guys, thanks for the inputs. My experience with this is old iron as well. On my old 57 chevy truck once it was dropped this changed the angle of the drag link which caused bump steer. i had to flip the drag link to make it parallel to the ground.

I tried removing the steering coupler from the input side of the box. It is a square tube fitting that can only be rotated ~90 degree increments. I think that adjustment could work in some instances where the wheel is off by 90 degrees. I may have overstated how much my wheel is off. Below is a picture with the wheels straight. At any rate I can't get the adjustment out of the coupler without making things worse.

The steering wheel being off center is only an annoyance unless, its related to the difference in left to right turning radius issue which is why I mentioned it.

I am beginning to think something may be bent or the tie rods are not adjusted properly. Would it help if I had the alignment checked? Possibly someplace here in Denver has experience doing lifted Jeeps alignments.??..??
sam_2606.jpg  
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Unread 03-22-2015, 07:25 PM   #8
sqrlnts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiCkeDuDe View Post
You have the IRO steering equalizer kit inside with the dropped pitman. I can tell you from personal experience its almos impossible to get the steering travel equal to both side. The dropped arm is slightly shorter than the factory pitman arm hence do dont get as much travel and the steering gear hits the stops in the gear which is not good. I had to angle mine towards the driver side like that to get the setup to work. Check the steering stops on the axle to see if they are working or the gear is stopping it.
Thanks for the input. I didn't think the Dana 30 on the WJ had steering stops? Are there other correct geometry pitmans available vs the one I currently have?
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Unread 03-22-2015, 08:24 PM   #9
WiCkeDuDe
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No there are steering stops on the WJ. I have not seen other dropped pitman arms for the wj other than iro but I have not really looked. I was able to make the iro kit work fine for mine.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 08:47 PM   #10
sqrlnts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WiCkeDuDe View Post
No there are steering stops on the WJ. I have not seen other dropped pitman arms for the wj other than iro but I have not really looked. I was able to make the iro kit work fine for mine.
Wow, I just rechecked and your right! They are not adjustable but there are castings on the knuckle that hit the axle tube. Now, could I slowly grind some of this away to regain my left hand turning? I would grind some then do a test drive, grind some then test drive......if I go too far I could always weld some back on.

I guess first I should see if its even contacting at that point, might be the steering box stopping it...
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Unread 03-22-2015, 09:05 PM   #11
Callandor
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I know this probably isn't going to help your issues, but it looks like you aren't running a steering stabilizer. Maybe you dropped it on purpose? Just stating this just in case.

Also, centering the steering wheel is super easy..just rotate the drag link. There's a thread with pictures on here somewhere.
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Unread 03-22-2015, 09:23 PM   #12
sqrlnts
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Found it, and thanks.

How to center your steering wheel.
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Unread 03-23-2015, 04:45 AM   #13
Notabene
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I just went through the exact same thing you are, a few nights ago.

Keep in mind, mine is RHD.

After fitting a trac bar drop bracket, mine wouldn't turn right much, but left was great.
When going straight the steering wheel was turned right about 20 deg.

It makes sense once you understand how it works, but you will gain turning circle to your left when you centre your steering wheel to the right by following the steps in that link.
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