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286rocks 04-20-2013 05:51 PM

Adjusting Steering Wheel
So I just picked up a new to me 1999 Grand Cherokee 4WD. It was in rough shape with a cracked head, bum water pump, weird shifting transmission etc etc. I've managed to get most of it straightened out but now I need to get my steering wheel straight. The alignment seems fine, it drives straight but the wheel is off by about 30 degrees to the right.
Reading though the interwebs it sounds like most jeeps have a turnbuckle on the drag link making for easy adjustment. However on mine I don't have one, it's just a straight metal bar with threads on either end going to the pitman arm and the passenger wheel.
My question is should I be able to turn the entire bar if I loosen the clamps on either end? I tried like hell but the thing would not budge. Am I getting something wrong here or is it just really stuck?

Here are some pics of what I'm going on about.

Pitman Side

Passenger Wheel Side

gcjeeping 04-20-2013 05:57 PM

You were doing it right. Loosen the clamps and turn the sleeve. It is probably just rusted on and seized. Get some penetrating oil/spray and keep applying for a few days. I had to use a 3ft pipe wrench with a cheeter bar to get mine to finally turn. You could possibly heat them up and try turning them.

mtb_crzd47 04-20-2013 06:12 PM

Lift the front end up as well when you adjust it. It will turn a lot easier

shockracer 04-20-2013 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by mtb_crzd47 (Post 15324076)
Lift the front end up as well when you adjust it. It will turn a lot easier

Or just make sure the steering wheel isn't locked.

texlurch 04-20-2013 10:15 PM

Dumb question but the pitman arm is supposed to be parallel to the frame when the wheels are straight, correct?
That is how every vehicle I've ever worked on was anyhow?

Mine is off to the driver side and doesn't appear to be enough threads left to get it centered.
Looks similar to the pic above, but my wheel is straight
Was like this when I got the Jeep... ?

USFORCES 04-20-2013 11:36 PM

Pitman arm should be pointing at the drivers seat.

texlurch 04-23-2013 10:57 AM


Originally Posted by USFORCES (Post 15325251)
Pitman arm should be pointing at the drivers seat.

ahhh, that isn't so bad then. I was "assuming" it was like every other one I've ever seen and parallel to the frame/vehicle :thumbsup:

It doesn't appear there is enough thread left in the draglink to make that happen, so I was a bit concerned/curious :cheers2:

More study once I return home next month; I would prefer that end of the draglink and the trackbar pivot to be even to reduce any chance of bumpsteer when traveling in a straight line. :rtft:

dcocch 04-23-2013 12:20 PM

Use a pipe wrench, it makes it a lot easier.

286rocks 04-23-2013 07:20 PM

Ok great, thanks everybody for the replys! I have it soaking in penetrating oil for the time being and will give it a shot whenever it stops raining.
I was a little bit concerned about doing damage to the joints on either end by cranking on it too hard. I guess next time I'll really give it the beans.

286rocks 04-27-2013 04:40 AM

So I took a quick trip to Sears and got a small pipe wrench for $10, added about 4 feet of extension with some left over fence post and FINALLY got the drag link to turn! Steering wheel is now straight and on point. Thank you ALL for the help! :kiss:

The time now is 02:26 PM.

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