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Unread 06-12-2011, 02:51 AM   #1
monomoy4
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Steering Identification

This part shows through a hole in the front bumper....what is it?? The steering column attaches to it, and there' a screw point for possible adjustment on it. The manual steering on my CJ7 is a bit sloppy loose...I'm wondering is this may help tighten it up??

http://www.flickr.com/photos/4778289...in/photostream

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Unread 06-12-2011, 06:40 AM   #2
CALOcruiser
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That's the pitman shaft adjuster screw and lock nut. You use this to adjust the pitman shaft overcenter drag torque. That determines the clearance between the ball nut (which is on the worm gear) and the pitman shaft teeth.

If your steering is loose, check the tierod ends and steering knuckles. If there's no play there, your steering box way be worn out or just need adjustment.

The other adjustment is in the worm bearing preload. The big hex nut on the front of the steering box is the worm bearing adjuster.

Either of these adjusters need fine inch-pound torque settings.
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Unread 06-12-2011, 07:15 AM   #3
Mike Romain
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It usually takes 2 people to see what is up with loose steering, one to rock the wheel inside and one to see what parts aren't moving in sync. There are two u joints on the steering shaft itself that get sloppy before you even get to the steering box and then down under, you have all the tie rod and drag link ends to check. They are allowed rotation movement, but no up and down in the joints. Last, there are the ball joints on the wheels themselves.

Mine was totally unsafe on the highway over 60 mph when I got it, yet 'all' the parts were within safety inspection 'safe' limits. Add them all up and wow, it would tack in the wind and when a transport went by, well you wanted to be holding on....

So I ended up just replacing all the half worn parts and now my CJ is stable at any speed.

That said, if the box itself is sloppy, it can be reset, it is just a 'very' touchy job to do. As mentioned, you have to have an inch pound torque wrench and have the box disconnected from the steering and pitman arm outer end at least so the box's guts can turn free with no load on them.

If you try to adjust it in the vehicle, well, other than the end plug where the steering shaft goes in which usually is the place to tighten up the left right slop on the input shaft, you will likely not get it right which will usually wear out the box really quickly.

On the power steering box to get rid of side to side input movement, you loosen off the big lock nut where the steering column shaft goes into the box and use a tool like a grinder wheel removal tool with 2 pins in it (or a hammer and a center punch tapping real gently) to tighten up the adjuster plug snug. You then back it off 1/8" to 1/4" or until the shaft just gets a slight slop, then tighten the big locknut back up. That is about the only adjustment I know that can be done with everything hooked up.
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Unread 06-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #4
monomoy4
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Thanks for the info - I just looked at the issue again. Turning the wheel brings immediate response with the shaft. The u-joints along the shaft length respond appropriately. Grabbing the top u-joint and twisting the shaft immediately moves the steering wheel...about 3 inches of play in the steering wheel. The problem seems to be at that contraption (the steering box??) that has the pitman shaft adjustment screw on it. Something doesn't seem to be engaging immediately there upon turning the wheel. The tie rods, steering knuckles, etc. I believe are okay.
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Unread 06-12-2011, 07:25 PM   #5
CALOcruiser
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Sounds like you will need new guts in the steering box, but you might be able to tighten it up with the adjustment screw.

Never had to do it myself, but I've read that some guys have removed play by tightening the further into the box. I think this pushes the teeth of the pitman shaft further into the worm gear. You must loosen the lock nut first.

Tightening too far will just bind the gears. Back of a little if this is the case. You shouldn't have to apply much torque to turn the screw.
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Unread 06-12-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
CALOcruiser
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This might help if you can read it.
forumrunner_20110612_203107.jpg  
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Unread 06-13-2011, 06:06 PM   #7
monomoy4
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Ah - Okay, and thanks for the diagram. Never thought about the locking nut...probably why I couldn't turn the screw before... So many of the screws/bolts, etc. on this CJ are seized shut from age, I just figured this was another one.
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