Issue w/ Steering box/shaft/steering wheel alignment. -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 7 Old 08-26-2010, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1982 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 161
Issue w/ Steering box/shaft/steering wheel alignment.

Last fall I replaced my steering box with a reman unit because my steering was getting pretty loose. The instructions that came with the steering box said do not adjust anything because it was adjusted at the factory. So I threw on a new pitman arm and bolted it up. The problem is, now my steering wheel is not straight and my turn signal doesnt cancel correctly, I have to do a full turn to the left then back straight to cancel it that way but only a smidge to the right and back to cancel it that way. I can adjust the tie-rod from the pitman arm to straighten it out I think but I thought I read that the pitman arm must face straight back and be centered (not turned one way or the other), so that steering stability isnt affected.

I think everything is keyed so that it can only go on one way, (pitman arm to steering box, steering shaft to steering box, and steering shaft to steering column as well as steering wheen to column)

If I turn my steering wheel so it is straight, the pitman arm is facing the rear of the jeep at the same angle as the gear box, so it is pointing to where the driver would sit. Is this right or does it technically need to face the rear center of the jeep? The alightment guys at the local shop had no idea about the turn signal cancelling incorrectly or the pitman arm being centered etc.

SuperSportCJ is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 7 Old 08-26-2010, 01:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Colorado
Posts: 16,126
When it said not to adjust anything that meant don't mess with the adjustment screw on the top of the box.

With the tires pointed straight ahead, remove the drag link from the pitman arm. Turn the steering wheel all the way right and then all the way left, counting the number of turns to the left stop. Go back to the right half the number of turns. Now the box is centered.

Attach the draglink to the pitman arm and don't move the pitman. Adjust the draglink if necessary.

Next, remove the bell coupler from the steering box input shaft. Do not turn the input. Rotate the steering wheel so that it' centered and slide the bell coupler back on the splines of the input shaft.

Now the box and steering wheel are centered and you should be good to go.
CSP is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 08-26-2010, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
1982 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 161
I thought the bell coupler and the splined input shaft were both keyed to eachother too which would not allow me to just slide it back on in any position. I recalled that the input shaft had a flat spot or something on one side. Correct me if I'm wrong. The engine is out of the jeep being rebuilt anyways so I'll probably give it a try regardless.
SuperSportCJ is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 08-26-2010, 05:13 PM
Jeep. There's Only One
keith460's Avatar
1984 CJ7 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Doylestown, PA
Posts: 7,103
Well CSP is somewhat correct in finding center point of the steering box by turn it completely left and right while counting the turns and then bring it back half way so the gear box is now centered. But, to adjust the steering wheel center as you drive, one must adjust the drag link by trial and error until the steering wheel is straight as you drive down the road. The bell coupler only goes on one way due to the the clamping bolt that fits onto the splines of the input shaft of the steering gearbox. The clamping bolt will only fit in one position every 360į.

When suspension lift kits are added to a Jeep to raise its height, then most of the time the steering drag link must be adjusted also to bring the steering wheel back to center as you drive. As you raise the Jeep, the drag link pivot points become longer and pull the steering gearbox drag link out of position causing your steering wheel to become misaligned. So, you must adjust the drag link to compensate for the added length between the "new" pivot point locations because of the lift.

1984 CJ-7 Renegade
keith460 is online now  
post #5 of 7 Old 08-27-2010, 07:04 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
1982 CJ7 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Omaha, NE
Posts: 161
When you adjust the drag link to correct the steering wheel, it throws the pitman arm off-center though doesn't it? Is this even a big issue to have it "off-center" like that?

When my steering wheel is straight my pitman arm is facing the rear of the jeep at the same angle as the steering shaft... so it basically points to where the driver sits. When I did the procedure where you disconnect the drag link and turn all the way to left then right, then halfway back the pitman arm is more of a straight back angle. I'm worried that the drag link wont be long enough to reach the pitman arm at that angle and keep the wheels straight.
SuperSportCJ is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 08-27-2010, 07:08 AM
Registered User
1978 CJ7 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington
Posts: 240
fwiw, i replaced the oem sterring box with a reman from napa. just had some new 31"s put on and while it was in the pit, the alignment tech said the sector shaft was shot.

running to napa today (receipt in hand) and see any recourse with the purchase being from jan 2010.
Shasta69 is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 01-18-2016, 07:24 PM
Registered User
1997 TJ Wrangler 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Greer
Posts: 3
Doing the change out this week..pitman arm was not coming off with pb blast, heat, puller or bfh, so amazon for 27 bucks, free shipping...might have to use your steps on aligning the steering wheel back up, trying to get new box on I'm sure I twisted it...
Ratjam103 is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Jeep Forums Replies Last Post
Steering Wheel/Shaft Disassemble. Please Help TuckerTerra Jeep CJ Forum 0 03-22-2010 09:15 AM
Replaced steering shaft-steering wheel 90 deg. out jshi218 Jeep CJ Forum 9 08-25-2009 07:39 PM
Coupler connecting steering gear to steering shaft is leaking? Natto123 Jeep CJ Forum 1 06-29-2008 12:52 PM
steering wheel alignment EDs Jeep Jeep CJ Forum 7 02-27-2007 07:39 PM
Steering WHEEL Alignment Jack-Jack Jeep CJ Forum 10 10-08-2005 03:46 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome