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Unread 04-29-2011, 07:19 PM   #1
gary4569
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1984 CJ7 
 
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1984 CJ7 Steering

I have an 84 CJ7 with PS. I have been reading in Jeep Forum about loose steering. My CJ has about 2 inches of play from center in both directions.
The steering is very easy to turn and does not return to center.
I have stock suspension with Wild Country 31x10.5 off road tires. I have read that caster angle is usually the issue on lifted CJ's.

I have also been reading about steering box adjustment, but I am reluctant to mess with the set screw on top of steering box.
I was running tire pressure at 30psi but tried 40psi (rated at 50psi cold) and it made the steering a little better.

Is there anything else I can try or is the steering box adjustment the next step?

Thanks in advance.

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Unread 04-29-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
gary4569
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One more thing... it looks like the play is in the steering box.
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Unread 04-29-2011, 07:47 PM   #3
gojeepin
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1983 CJ7 
 
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Your Jeep is 27 years old so if the following may be worn out or broken.

What is the condition of the following...
1) ball joints (can impede steering motion or allow sloppy wheel movement)
2) suspension bushings (springs can shift easily from side to side, inducing steering input)
3) tie rod ends (can allow steering changes without steering input)
4) shackles (see #2)
5) springs (can deform over time to change caster--do you know your caster angle?)
6) steering box mount (can fatigue and break or allow steering box movement)
7) steering box wear or failure

Look here if you want further explanation of these topics.
Steering, drivetrain, etc.
__________________
Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 04-29-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
gary4569
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Thanks, I'll go down the list one by one when I get a chance
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Unread 04-30-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
gary4569
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1984 CJ7 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojeepin
Your Jeep is 27 years old so if the following may be worn out or broken.

What is the condition of the following...
1) ball joints (can impede steering motion or allow sloppy wheel movement)
2) suspension bushings (springs can shift easily from side to side, inducing steering input)
3) tie rod ends (can allow steering changes without steering input)
4) shackles (see #2)
5) springs (can deform over time to change caster--do you know your caster angle?)
6) steering box mount (can fatigue and break or allow steering box movement)
7) steering box wear or failure

Look here if you want further explanation of these topics.
Steering, drivetrain, etc.
Everything seems tight. Caster angle is measuring 5* on drivers, 6* on pasenger side(garage floor is not perfectly level).
Steering box mount is ok.
I did notice the jeep shift from side to side a little when rapidly turning steering wheel w/ engine off.

Play is not present w/ engine off, just a little creaking noise.
If I adjust the set screw, can I put it back if it does not help?
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Unread 04-30-2011, 04:12 PM   #6
gary4569
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1984 CJ7 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojeepin
Your Jeep is 27 years old so if the following may be worn out or broken.

What is the condition of the following...
1) ball joints (can impede steering motion or allow sloppy wheel movement)
2) suspension bushings (springs can shift easily from side to side, inducing steering input)
3) tie rod ends (can allow steering changes without steering input)
4) shackles (see #2)
5) springs (can deform over time to change caster--do you know your caster angle?)
6) steering box mount (can fatigue and break or allow steering box movement)
7) steering box wear or failure

Look here if you want further explanation of these topics.
Steering, drivetrain, etc.
Caster is 6* on passenger side, 5*on driver side(unlevel garage floor)
Everything seems tight.
With engine off, the play is virtually gone, wheels start turning within 1inch from center. Just a little creaking noise.

If i adjust the set screw on top and it does not help, can it be turned back to the original position?
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Unread 05-01-2011, 02:28 PM   #7
L78THUMPER
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Steering gear box braces are a must!!!!!!!! There are 2 braces needed. Guaranteed you would feel a big difference. And again Going jeepen does seem to know what he is talking about also.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 02:37 PM   #8
L78THUMPER
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Just caught you said creaking noise!!! RED FLAG. Poss gear box loose on frame or cracked frame. Get the braces and tighten the gear box frame bolts TIGHT
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Unread 05-01-2011, 06:47 PM   #9
gary4569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L78THUMPER
Just caught you said creaking noise!!! RED FLAG. Poss gear box loose on frame or cracked frame. Get the braces and tighten the gear box frame bolts TIGHT
I have check all bolts, they are tight and gear box is stable. I did notice with wheel off ground, there is very slight movement in wheel when I shake tire. Appears to be a little play in wheel bearing. Barely noticed it, and may be normal.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 07:12 PM   #10
CALOcruiser
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary4569

I have check all bolts, they are tight and gear box is stable. I did notice with wheel off ground, there is very slight movement in wheel when I shake tire. Appears to be a little play in wheel bearing. Barely noticed it, and may be normal.
Sounds like you need to adjust the preload on the spindle nuts. Bearings should be tight enough to allow no side to side movt of wheel, but not so tight that it causes drag when spinning hub.

I would pull your hub to inspect for wear. Then preload with correct torque.

I don't think that is your only problem, but isn't helping.
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Unread 05-01-2011, 08:37 PM   #11
gojeepin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gary4569 View Post
I have check all bolts, they are tight and gear box is stable. I did notice with wheel off ground, there is very slight movement in wheel when I shake tire. Appears to be a little play in wheel bearing. Barely noticed it, and may be normal.
The wheel (hub) bearing shouldn't have any play in it. The bearings are set with a preload (about 50 ft lbs.) that firmly seats both bearing sets in their respective races with no play.

When you shook the tire was that top/bottom or side/side.

A top/bottom shake will indicate wear in ball joints or hub bearings.

A side/side shake will indicate wear in tie rod ends or hub bearings.

Worn out hub bearings will be noisy and the wheel will most likely wobble from time to time.
__________________
Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 03:48 PM   #12
gary4569
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gojeepin View Post
The wheel (hub) bearing shouldn't have any play in it. The bearings are set with a preload (about 50 ft lbs.) that firmly seats both bearing sets in their respective races with no play.

When you shook the tire was that top/bottom or side/side.

A top/bottom shake will indicate wear in ball joints or hub bearings.

A side/side shake will indicate wear in tie rod ends or hub bearings.

Worn out hub bearings will be noisy and the wheel will most likely wobble from time to time.
I didn't have anyone helping me so I could only check side to side and I could only see the rotor moving very slightly(maybe .025"), but no movement in the tie rods. I was shaking side to side from front of vehicle.
I have not heard any noise of felt any type of vibration while driving, which may be difficult due to the road noise from the tires. No noise with wheel off the ground.

Update: The steering shaft from the steering column has play in it where it enters the steering box. I will have to remove the rubber boot to see what is moving. I can pull the shaft straight up about a half inch. I assume this is not normal.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 04:13 PM   #13
frhrwa
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another thing to look at, how long are your shackles? what condition are the bushings in.. TALL shackles "almost" always give you that up on the curb and back to the other side of the road driving.. worn bushings in the springs or shackles will make your steering really suck.. I got rid of 80% of my bad steering on the '84 CJ7 by replacing the shackles with stock length shackles.. now I need a PS box to clean it up..
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Unread 05-02-2011, 04:20 PM   #14
gary4569
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1984 CJ7 
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frhrwa
another thing to look at, how long are your shackles? what condition are the bushings in.. TALL shackles "almost" always give you that up on the curb and back to the other side of the road driving.. worn bushings in the springs or shackles will make your steering really suck.. I got rid of 80% of my bad steering on the '84 CJ7 by replacing the shackles with stock length shackles.. now I need a PS box to clean it up..
All suspension stock. From what I can tell, the steering play is in the box. Previous post describes play I found in the steering shaft.
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Unread 05-02-2011, 05:18 PM   #15
CLG
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I am watching this thread with the same deal. I have checked out alot of stuff. My wheels have no play, stock shackles, tight box mount (upgraded)
I have about 1/4 turn "play" where the steering shaft enters the new steering box. That is, I can turn the steering shaft a little more than 1/4 turn before I see any activity at the pitman arm. Are you saying there is an adjustment to a steering box, or is this slop at the shaft / steering box normal? Note, I don't know if you checked or replaced the lower steering shaft bell coupler?
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