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ZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4wNEW!! HMF 50"-52" light bar mounting brackets!! SPARTAN LOCKERS are on sale BIG TIME at ROCKRIDGE 4WD!

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Unread 09-29-2013, 03:39 AM   #1
bucklagrim
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1975 CJ5 
 
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Location: Fort Wayne, IN
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New to Jeeps how to fix scary steering

I just bought my first Jeep two weeks ago. Its a 1975 cj5 with some unknown lift and Bfg 33's. Right now it is scary as hell to drive. It has Terrible bumpsteer and wanders all over the road. I've done some searching on this site and it seems like I need a dropped pitman arm and maybe some caster shims. My question is should these improvements solve my problems or is there something else I should be looking at doing? Appreciate any help you can give me.

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Unread 09-29-2013, 05:02 AM   #2
skizriz
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Its possible that may be your priblem, it could also be 100 other things.
Plenty of pictures of the steering and suspensión would be the best way to get anything other than just a guess.

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Unread 09-29-2013, 06:09 AM   #3
Dobrostanski
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Before you get too desperate, check a few things. Older CJ7 are famous for steering problems. Diagnose the problem; don't assume the issue is the pitman arm. I have a lift in my jeep with a stock pitman arm and it’s just fine. Wandering is due to something else.

Here are some things to check before the big stuff.

1. Have someone turn the steering wheel (with the engine off) and look at each part of the steering assembly under the jeep. Everything needs to be tight. Tire rod ends are the most common but check everything.
2. Open the hood while your friend is turning the steering wheel and check to see if the steering column is turning without a lag time between parts. Again, everything needs to be tight.
3. Jack up the vehicle and check if the ball joints are tight. You will need a long bar to pry on the suspension for that.
4. Measure the height of your frame from the ground and post it here, asking for help to define the lift. Someone will be able to get that for you.

If you don't know what you are looking for ask a friend or take it to a shop. They will often do an inspection for little money and its will worth having a pro check it.

You will likely find the tie rod ends are fried (easy job) and the steering column bearings and internal universal joints are worn (big job but easy).
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Unread 09-29-2013, 06:46 AM   #4
jp360cj
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Post pictures of your suspension and steering. Also have the alignment checked, including the caster, and get a printout of it. Long lift shackles will affect caster.

Look at the drag link. Is it parallel? Is it hitting the springs or any other parts? Both of these will can bump steer.
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Unread 09-29-2013, 07:35 AM   #5
bucklagrim
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Thanks for the replies. I am currently at work so I won't be able to post pics. The steering linkage is not parallel so that's why I thought I needed the drop pitman. I will have someone turn the wheel for me and check steering components. Thanks, this is the kind of info I was looking for!
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Unread 09-29-2013, 11:54 AM   #6
mattl
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The steering boxes have been known to loosen from the frame - check the bolts. Balljoints, shackle bushings, the list goes on. The drop pitman arm will help some. Good luck.
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Unread 09-29-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
LumpyGrits
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With a lift you speak of.
You need to get it to a front end shop to find out what your Camber, Caster and Toe-in is.
Then you will need to have those corrected to OEM factory specs.
LG
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Unread 09-29-2013, 02:31 PM   #8
Redhook7777
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If the previous owner went with what initially seems like a cheap, easy way to lift a jeep, and placed the springs on top of the axle for lift with out correcting caster/camber, etc., I know from first hand exp. with a previous `58 CJ-5, it simply was spooky/stupid to drive with its unpredictability
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Unread 09-29-2013, 03:36 PM   #9
bucklagrim
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I definitely have a spring lift with aftermarket shackles. I checked the height of the bottom of the frame at the forward most spring mount and it was 24 7/8" and the height at the rear most spring mount is 23 1/4".
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Unread 10-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #10
Dobrostanski
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What size tires and rims? Are your leafs spring configuration stock or over the axel?
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Unread 10-04-2013, 01:26 PM   #11
bucklagrim
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Tires are 33", lift is not a spring over.
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Unread 10-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #12
LumpyGrits
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Like I said.....
Get it to a front end shop to get the specs, so you KNOW where to start.
WHY, did you buy it like this and not make the PO correct it or walk away?

LG
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Unread 10-07-2013, 04:30 AM   #13
bucklagrim
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Will do on the alignment. The reason I purchased the jeep in it's current condition was because the price was right. The sloppy steering was used as a bargaining tool. It's a project/toy, so I don't need to rely on it for day to day driving. Lots to keep me busy. Thanks for the responses. I'll post what I find out.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 06:13 AM   #14
captholt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bucklagrim
I just bought my first Jeep two weeks ago. Its a 1975 cj5 with some unknown lift and Bfg 33's. Right now it is scary as hell to drive. It has Terrible bumpsteer and wanders all over the road. I've done some searching on this site and it seems like I need a dropped pitman arm and maybe some caster shims. My question is should these improvements solve my problems or is there something else I should be looking at doing? Appreciate any help you can give me.
I am having a similar issue. I will let you know if I resolve the problem. Please do the same.
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Unread 10-09-2013, 06:20 AM   #15
Ken4444
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This is an old thread that also discusses some important factors:

"Why your steering wanders or seems loose"

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f8/wh...-loose-445430/
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