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Unread 10-11-2013, 10:02 AM   #1
Grims
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1983 CJ7 
 
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Can't figure out poor turning radius issue

I have a tie rod flip, and a pitman arm that measure 6.5" center bolt to bolt. The Jeep has about a 6" lift, and 35" tires.

My turning radius is so bad I cannot do a U turn from a turning lane to a double lane without hitting the curb. As far as I can tell my pitman arm should be the correct length, and I am coming no where close to hitting my steering stops, or rubbing on anything. With wheels straight it takes me about 2.5 turns either direction to lock.

The only thing out of the ordinary I see is my draglink is bolted in on top of my pitman arm instead of under...but I wouldn't think that would effect turning radius as it would just adjust the draglink out.


here are some pictures of the steering setup.

http://imgur.com/a/kRTJy

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Unread 10-11-2013, 10:49 AM   #2
WindKnot
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You may want to turn the steering all the way to one side and see if the tie rod or steering damper is up against the differential. That tie rod is much thicker than stock, and if it comes into contact with the differential too soon, there goes the turning radius.

There also seems to be some scratched paint on the connecting rod. Is that hitting something?
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Unread 10-11-2013, 10:56 AM   #3
Matt1981CJ7
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The steering damper looks WAY too long to me, and may be limiting the travel.

Here's my stock steering components with the correct length damper. Notice how much shorter my damper is?

Matt
77mnpqvh.jpg   steeringshockinstalled.jpg  
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Unread 10-11-2013, 10:58 AM   #4
Grims
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Great suggestions guys. I will look at those things. One other thing that seems odd. I have a dropped pitman arm...but it seems my draglink is just as high as your stock one, and mine is flipped.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
Matt1981CJ7
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Grims,

I only have 2.5" of lift. I think yours is more than that. That's why our draglinks have similar angles.

The thing that still puzzles me is why yours takes 5 full turns lock-to-lock. I think mine takes about 3.5 turns, and I can whip a U on a 2-lane road.

Wrong steering box, perhaps? Dunno.

Matt
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Unread 10-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
Deeznutz73
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Can you turn one way more than the other? When I did my power steering swap, I read about people having issues with drop pitman arms and prop per clocking. Before I got the factory one, I used the one off the donor car. I had the same issue with left hand turns but it worked. Now I have bump steer like a mofo. I read that a late 90's Cherokee can be re keyed by using an angled file, allowing you to clock it perfectly for you. This may not be it, but just an idea for a $15 fix (if it's it).
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Unread 10-11-2013, 11:13 AM   #7
Grims
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Thanks Deez, but no I can turn the same amount each direction. I also pray to God it's not the steering box...as I just had to use a BFH to get a new steering shaft on it, and I am fairly certain it is never coming off again in one piece.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
Deeznutz73
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Just read Matt's post and I agree. I think mine is 4.25. 3.5 lock to lock is a variable ratio (desirable) for the Saginaw boxes. You may want to check that out too.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 11:36 AM   #9
Matt1981CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeznutz73 View Post
Just read Matt's post and I agree. I think mine is 4.25. 3.5 lock to lock is a variable ratio (desirable) for the Saginaw boxes. You may want to check that out too.
I was mistaken earlier. I just went out and checked mine, and I too have about 4.25 turns lock to lock.

Matt
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:26 PM   #10
Deeznutz73
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Even if yours takes all day to get there, you still should be able to turn tighter than that. When your steering wheel/box is maxed out, left or right, can your tires go any further, if they were disconnected from the box?
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:32 PM   #11
Grims
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deeznutz73 View Post
Even if yours takes all day to get there, you still should be able to turn tighter than that. When your steering wheel/box is maxed out, left or right, can your tires go any further, if they were disconnected from the box?
I don't know, I haven't tried pulling the draglink off the pitman arm yet, but that may be what I need to do next.

I took some more pictures at full lock each direction. it doesn't look like the steering dampner is getting maxed out.

http://imgur.com/a/kmCM1
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:35 PM   #12
Dngrs1
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I remember reading somewhere that the turning circle for an '84 CJ 7 was about 36'. So, depending on the width of the lanes, you may not be able to u-turn from the center turn lane.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:51 PM   #13
outdoorguy86
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Loosen uo the botlts on the steering damper. Thats prob the easiest thing to check. That was my issue. Im just running sans steering damper at the moment
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Unread 10-11-2013, 01:53 PM   #14
Grims
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outdoorguy86 View Post
Loosen uo the botlts on the steering damper. Thats prob the easiest thing to check. That was my issue. Im just running sans steering damper at the moment
Yep, I'll give that a shot when I get home form work this evening.
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Unread 10-11-2013, 03:21 PM   #15
skizriz
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The damper isn't the problem,i t's nowhere near at the end of it's stroke. You can see the oil line on the shaft where it stops.
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