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Unread 08-18-2011, 10:12 AM   #1
cjkcj7
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Steering Issue w/ Symptoms

I did a search on JF, but didn't find anything that matched what I have.

Here are the symptoms: SOMETIMES when I turn left, I'll feel some resistance in the steering, then it pops and the steering wheel will continue to turn. Then my steering will be EXTREMELY sloppy to the point of white knuckles. After I shut the jeep down, the steering will be fine.



When I crawled under it, it didn't look like anything is binding. I have a 2.5" lift kit and my tires are 31X10.5. I have had the lift kit and these sized tires since 1998 with no steering issues.

Where should I be looking? Could the steering box be on its last legs?

Any help is appreciated.

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Unread 08-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #2
gojeepin
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Based on what you described, it could be the steering box BUT...

When you find out where the pop is coming from you'll know. You need to recreate the condition when somone is in a position to detect the sound.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

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Unread 08-18-2011, 05:58 PM   #3
ODGREEN4X4
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steering

Sounds like a reg cj to me - the white knuckle part ! Anyway is your steering stabalizer ( great spelling) bent or binding. its the left turn part that gets me. (nascar edition box ?) Check
1 .steering wheel splines
2. steering box splines
3 condition of u joints on shaft
4.wheel bearings
5 brakes binding
6 steering box arm (loose)
7 steering box -my guess.
This is most of the things i would check.
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Unread 08-18-2011, 06:00 PM   #4
ODGREEN4X4
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Is it power steering?
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Unread 08-18-2011, 06:10 PM   #5
gojeepin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ODGREEN4X4 View Post
Sounds like a reg cj to me - the white knuckle part ! Anyway is your steering stabalizer ( great spelling) bent or binding. its the left turn part that gets me. (nascar edition box ?) Check
1 .steering wheel splines
2. steering box splines
3 condition of u joints on shaft
4.wheel bearings
5 brakes binding
6 steering box arm (loose)
7 steering box -my guess.
This is most of the things i would check.
True. Most of the time that works but you're describing an inspection of the vehicle at rest.

There are some times that you can only detect a problem when you create the condition that causes it.
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Vibration? Bump steer? Wandering? Read: Steering, suspension, and driveline basics. An article on how it works and where to look for problems.

83 CJ7, 4.1L 6cyl (4.0L bored .030" over), 35" tires, T-5 transmission, Dana 300 TC, Trussed AMC 20.
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Unread 08-18-2011, 06:19 PM   #6
John N
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Sounds like a siezed axle u-joint to me.
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Unread 08-18-2011, 06:26 PM   #7
cjkcj7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ODGREEN4X4 View Post
Is it power steering?
Yes it is. The fluid level is correct and there are no leaks.

Thanks for the replies so far.

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Unread 08-18-2011, 06:27 PM   #8
cjkcj7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John N View Post
Sounds like a siezed axle u-joint to me.
How would I go about checking for that?
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Unread 08-18-2011, 07:15 PM   #9
brownbagg
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how about caster shims
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Unread 08-18-2011, 07:26 PM   #10
Matt_G
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have you adjusted the box at all? there is an allen head on top that you can adjust the box with, be careful though, it is easy to mess things up.
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Unread 08-19-2011, 03:43 AM   #11
keith460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John N View Post
Sounds like a siezed axle u-joint to me.
Same here or it could be the upper and lower ball joints too.

Jack the front end off the ground so both tires are off the ground and support with jack stands.
Remove tires.
Put key in ignition so steering wheel is not locked.
Grab the brake rotor and push and pull so the axle knuckles turn left and right.
Listen for your popping noise.
Feel for abnormal resistance while pulling and pushing the rotor back and forth.
Check for binding in the axle U-joints and steering knuckle ball joints.
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Unread 08-19-2011, 06:10 AM   #12
cjkcj7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt_G View Post
have you adjusted the box at all? there is an allen head on top that you can adjust the box with, be careful though, it is easy to mess things up.
No, I've never done anything to it.
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Unread 08-20-2011, 05:29 PM   #13
cjkcj7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keith460 View Post
Same here or it could be the upper and lower ball joints too.

Jack the front end off the ground so both tires are off the ground and support with jack stands.
Remove tires.
Put key in ignition so steering wheel is not locked.
Grab the brake rotor and push and pull so the axle knuckles turn left and right.
Listen for your popping noise.
Feel for abnormal resistance while pulling and pushing the rotor back and forth.
Check for binding in the axle U-joints and steering knuckle ball joints.
Keith 460 - I did as you said. I couldn't move the rotor back and forth. There was no play/movement at all. Is that normal?

Also, is the axle u-joint supposed to have a grease fitting? Mine do not.

Thanks again for help.
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Unread 08-20-2011, 07:35 PM   #14
LT1CJ7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brownbagg View Post
how about caster shims
Oh ya........ The cure all shims will make the resistance in the steering, the popping, the continue to turn steering wheel & the EXTREMELY sloppy steering
problems all disappear...................
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Unread 08-20-2011, 08:05 PM   #15
keith460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjkcj7 View Post
Keith 460 - I did as you said. I couldn't move the rotor back and forth. There was no play/movement at all. Is that normal?

Also, is the axle u-joint supposed to have a grease fitting? Mine do not.

Thanks again for help.
No, that's not normal and I would suspect worn and dried out upper and lower steering knuckle ball joints. I had a similar problem with my CJ years ago that steering was always a fight to keep straight down the road. Since the the ball joints were binding, the Jeep would wander or 'lock' to the left or right each time I made a correction in the steering to keep it straight. What a PIA that was and after raising the front end off the ground and removing the tires, I confirmed the ball joints were bad just by not being able to swing the knuckles back and forth from left to right and right to left.

After replacing all my ball joints, I was able to grab the brake rotor and turn the knuckle back and forth with some resistance. I also replaced the U-joints in the axle steering knuckles too since these can and will contribute to wandering steering also.

Some U-joints come with grease fittings and are usually the aftermarket ones and not OEM factory. I would first change the steering knuckle U-joints first since they will be the cheapest and easier to do then ball joints.
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