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Unread 09-12-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
someschoolkid
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Steering Free Play / Power Steering Adjustment

I have a 2002 tj, 38k miles on it, and 32/10.5/16 tires on it.
When I am driving down the highway, or at speeds above 35-40 mph - I notice that I need to turn the wheel about 1.5-2 inches in either direction before the thing begins to respond to input. After that, it is solid, but there is just that dead zone... Can I get rid of it? And how?

Thing 2 about the steering: It seems like the alignment is off as I have to drive with the wheel turned slightly to the right to have the jeep go straight. However, it doesn't 'crab' when it goes down the road. It just seems like that the steering wheel alignment itself is off. Is there a way to adjust this?

Thing 3: Is there anyway to make my steering lighter? Any type of adjustment to the power steering pump I can do / different pulley size?
It's not that it is really hard to turn, I would just like some lighter steering.

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Unread 09-12-2010, 01:11 AM   #2
SolidBrass
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Quote:
Thing 2
Your drag link runs from the steering box to your passenger side wheel/tire rod. there is an adjustable piece in on it to straighten your steering wheel. Pitman arm off the steering box can make a dif on bump steer.

Thing #1 check your front any loose joints like ball joints and track bar. Have a friend wiggle steering while you look under for and loose play.

As for the rest of it. That might just be jeep. Short wheel base = doesn't like str8 lines.
frontend-1-.jpg  
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Unread 09-12-2010, 09:34 AM   #3
tjsean0308
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Sounds like something is wore out pay particuler attention to your trac bar and of course the tie rod joints. Best thing is have some one turn the wheel back and forth making the wheels turn some, and watch for loose linkage and for the trac bar shifting side to side. Could something has loosened up or worn out. Or maybe a bit of both. As far as lighter steering its a jeep. I think once you get rid of the loosness, and possibly extra fricton from the worn parts if that is the case, that the steering is really not that heavy.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 11:58 AM   #4
someschoolkid
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SolidBrass View Post
Your drag link runs from the steering box to your passenger side wheel/tire rod. there is an adjustable piece in on it to straighten your steering wheel. Pitman arm off the steering box can make a dif on bump steer.

Thing #1 check your front any loose joints like ball joints and track bar. Have a friend wiggle steering while you look under for and loose play.
First, Great picture!


Second, would I check for loose joints with the engine on or off?
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Unread 09-12-2010, 12:14 PM   #5
tjsean0308
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I usually do both. Sometimes things look diffrent with the engine running than with it not running.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 12:24 PM   #6
someschoolkid
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How would I adjust the adjustment screw? Take off the screw clamps then... Use what to turn it which way?
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Unread 09-12-2010, 12:32 PM   #7
tjsean0308
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I would make sure you don't have anything worn out or broken before you adjust the drag link if the axle is not centerd from a borken trac bar mount or loose trac bar it could make you have to steer to one side to go straight. If a draglink adjustment is in order than a pipe wrench or water pump pliers work good to adjust it. i always forget which way to turn it just got a turn or so and re-check it trial and error.
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Unread 09-12-2010, 01:20 PM   #8
someschoolkid
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So it looks like the pit-man arm has some free play in the brown thing it connects to (Technical term = steering gears?)
It doesn't look like it is because of a loose bolt, because the play is like it is jiggling about 3mm in either direction, and the origin of the play is from inside the box.
Any fixes? Or do I just need to replace it?
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Unread 09-12-2010, 01:51 PM   #9
tjsean0308
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Sounds like the common TJ box failure a quick search will sow you the dodge durango box is a common "you pick it" swap there are also aftermarket optioins like PSC, and I belive Napa has a good OEM replacement option. I personally am running the PSC box and love it. A good search would be for the thread titled "fun with steering"
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