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Unread 05-03-2009, 07:51 PM   #1
SuB8HaVeN
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1986 CJ7 
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa, FL
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New steering box and power steering pump=very tight steering?

Well, my power steering pump starting making noise so I got around to getting to replacing that. Of course along the way I decided to go ahead and replace the steering box because I was tired of constantly adjusting it because of sloppy play and besides it was leaking pretty bad. I bought a reman gear box from a buddy of mine that was new and had been sitting on the shelf for about a year or 2. The power steering pump is reman from Auto Zone.

I got it all hooked back up and let it run for a while and bleed all the air out of the gear box and power steering lines. When I went for a test drive, to my surprise the box was extremely tight. It's driveable, but it's back to 2 hands on the wheel, and it no longer returns to center around a turn because it is so tight.

Just wondering, is this normal for a reman steering box, or is something possibly out of adjustment? Or is this steering box toast?

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Unread 05-03-2009, 08:25 PM   #2
gojeepin
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1983 CJ7 
 
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It sounds like there's still air in the lines. Run the engine, move the wheel lock to lock a few times and check the fluid level... if it drops, the air's coming from the lines.

It took me a few times of cycling the wheel before I got all the air out.
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Unread 05-03-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
heepzilla
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The box is set to tight. The hex head nut with an allen in the center. You need to crack the hex nut lose and back out the allen until the wheel moves free. If you go to far it will add slack to the steering. This happens a lot on rebuilt boxes.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 05:53 AM   #4
Mike Romain
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That top hex screw is 'not' the adjuster! If you play with that you will blow the box, that is the bearing preload setting and must be set off the frame using an inch pound torque wrench. The adjuster plug is the plug where the steering column goes into the box.

You are supposed to loosen the large lock nut on it, then tighten the plug until it sets, mark it, then back it off up to 1/2" from the mark or until the slop 'just' starts back in the side to side steering wheel play.

I have the PDF for doing a rebuild of the Saginaw power steering box with the setup directions if you would like it. It id for a TJ, but the only difference is we have a better one piece adjuster plug. The TJ 2 piece plug is a defect and leak waiting to happen.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #5
SuB8HaVeN
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Sorry, by tight I did not mean the play in the steering. The play seems to be adjusted just fine. I mean that the steering wheel is difficult to turn, almost like it's manual steering. The power steering pump seems to be pumping fine, but I'm going to run it some more and see if there's any more air that will bleed out.
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Unread 05-04-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
Fjguercio
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They are right above the box is adjusted too tight
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Unread 05-04-2009, 04:51 PM   #7
CSP
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You can't tell if the box is adjusted tight from the information given.

What did you do to bleed the system out when it was all installed?

You really should have the front wheels off the ground and slowly cycle the steering wheel from stop to stop, adding fluid as needed until no foam is in the pump and the fluid level remains constant.
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Unread 11-01-2009, 05:05 PM   #8
sbrookes
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Same problem

Hey, I just joined the forum about 10 seconds ago to respond to this post because I am having the same problem. I'll need the forum anyway as I plan to modify my jeep a lot.

I have a 92 YJ. When I bought it with 275 k miles the power steering lines were leaking. I have a rebuilt jasper engine that has a remote reservoir so we replaced a total of 3 lines (pump to steering box, steering box to reservoir, and reservoir to pump) and the pump itself. Everything looked and worked great and it sat for about two days. Next time I tried to drive it the steering is suddenly INCREDIBLY tight - hard to turn. No leaks in the system that I can see and the fluid in the reservoir moves and has no bubbles.

Did you find that adjusting the steering box helped? Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks so much!!!
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Unread 11-02-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
Mike Romain
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A seized up front axle U-joint can give stiff steering issues. To test, jack it up, turn the wheel to the side and try to hand spin it. If it jams when turned, you likely have a bad u-joint.
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86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
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Unread 11-27-2009, 09:10 AM   #10
dunnyCA
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Did you resolve this? I had a similar problem taking my resto on the road the first time the other week, turns out that once the new gearbox etc tool the fluid it needed, i didnt have enough in the resevoir. So i topped it up, re-bled it and it seems good now.

I do have a weeeeird issue, related, that someone might be able to help me with. If a steering belt is too tight, would it cause the fluid to heat up (ie take the cap off the ps resevoir and theres steam) as well as my steering shaft/wheels turning on their own? or are those signs of a poo poo pump?
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Unread 11-27-2009, 12:05 PM   #11
sbrookes
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I ended up stripping the interior for other modifications so I havn't been driving it, but every now and then I start it up to see how the steering is doing. I just turn the wheel back and forth a bunch of times and every now and then it tightens up but then bubbles come up out of the resevior so I'm sure its just air in the lines.

As far as the other thing.... I never found my fluid to be heating up at any point just the pump itself when the bearings were bad.

This is what I've found with my own experience haha I am by no means claiming to know anything about any of this.
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Unread 11-27-2009, 12:15 PM   #12
dunnyCA
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i could probably boil a hotdog in my resevoir after running it for 5 min…
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Unread 11-27-2009, 12:22 PM   #13
genghisman
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
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I had a power steering pump go bad on a liberty. When I got the new pump on, I put the front on jack stands and turned the wheel a few times without resistance and it got all the air out.
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Unread 11-27-2009, 03:03 PM   #14
sbrookes
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Steering fluid hot dog?

Yummmmm
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Unread 04-12-2010, 10:44 AM   #15
ttrem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Romain View Post
That top hex screw is 'not' the adjuster! If you play with that you will blow the box, that is the bearing preload setting and must be set off the frame using an inch pound torque wrench. The adjuster plug is the plug where the steering column goes into the box.

You are supposed to loosen the large lock nut on it, then tighten the plug until it sets, mark it, then back it off up to 1/2" from the mark or until the slop 'just' starts back in the side to side steering wheel play.

I have the PDF for doing a rebuild of the Saginaw power steering box with the setup directions if you would like it. It id for a TJ, but the only difference is we have a better one piece adjuster plug. The TJ 2 piece plug is a defect and leak waiting to happen.
Hey Mike,

Do you still have the pdf for doing the rebuild? If so could you pm me so I can give you my email?
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