YJ Durango Steering Gear swap question - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-07-2015, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
nayrlloyd
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YJ Durango Steering Gear swap question

I just did the Durango steering gear swap over the weekend and have a couple of questions for anyone that has already done this.

1. I obviously misaligned my pitman arm when I put it back on b/c my steering wheel is now turned 90 degrees to the right when my wheels are straight. So, my first question is how to fix that - just remove the pitman arm again and put it back on correctly? Or can I just remove my steering wheel and put it back on straight?

2. Second, the steering is now VERY tight. I know, I know . . . that was the point, right!? But it's so tight that I'm wondering if something is wrong. Would that pitman arm error put some of the other components in a bind somehow?

That's it for now. Any help/advice would be appreciated.

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post #2 of 17 Old 07-07-2015, 11:59 AM
JeeperDon
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1) Do NOT move the steering wheel, absolutely no need. I would just adjust the drag length length. Only 90 is trivial, easy adjust with drag link.

Be sure to keep all 4 bolts on the bracket mount. The Durango box only uses three of the Jeep four bolts to hold on the box, but be sure to use a 4th bolt with a nut to secure it all to the frame.

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post #3 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 01:02 PM Thread Starter
nayrlloyd
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Thanks Don. I didn't know about the drag link adjustment. Did it last night...beautiful!

Regarding the 4th bolt, though, it just goes through the frame to nowhere. Why bother with it?

Also, any thoughts on why the steering might be so stiff? I used to be able to steer through a parking lot with one finger. But now I almost have to use 2 hands. I'm wondering if there is anything that I could have done wrong to make it that tight? Does the gearbox need some "break in" time? Does it matter how tight the pitman arm nut is?
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayrlloyd View Post
Regarding the 4th bolt, though, it just goes through the frame to nowhere. Why bother with it?
The 4th bolt does not have threads to go into on the Durango gearbox, but it goes through the frame and the bracket (bracket is in between the gearbox and frame, has the wing that goes under the frame with the up-bolts). Put a nut on the 4th bolt so the bracket is tightened against the frame.

I didn't do that, and a subsequent off-road trip caused the whole bracket to bend the frame. I then added the 4th bolt and also built one of those arms going to the gearbox nose from the other side of the Jeep. No issues since.

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post #5 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 02:23 PM
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Why the Durango box ? That was a downgrade from the factory box. The Durango is designed for IFS front suspension and a bit different steering. You now have a bushing (which might be your binding issue) on the sector shaft instead of a nice big bearing.


Yes the ratio is a bit faster but in a SWB vehicle that is not necessarily a wanted change. Go back to a factory box and be way ahead.
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
nayrlloyd
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Hmm...after doing some research (mostly on this site), the overwhelming fix for my sloppy stock steering gearbox was the Durango box "upgrade".

See these links:
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/d...box-yj-571945/
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f13/d...riteup-362056/
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/w...g-box-1097652/

You disagree with these?
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 03:06 PM
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Yes I do.
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 04:35 PM
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The Durango box is an upgrade it has a better ratio (feel) than a stock YJ box. Especially when oversize tires are involved. Even with an entirely rebuilt front end my jeep didn't drive right the Durango box helped that its the best money I have spent. I am not sure but I believe Durango 4x4s are solid axle but I know that the 2x4s are rack and pinion. I own one.

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post #9 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 04:47 PM
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jack the front of your jeep up and find the bind. the pitman arm has notches on that the box output shaft. so the arm can only go on certain ways. here is what i did when i had this issue.

i centered the wheels. steering wheel is off. i disconnected pitman arm (which should be directly aiming to rear of jeep). i then rotated steering wheel to perfect up/down. then i connected the arm back up to the NEAREST notch. make sure your tre here is adjusted so it fits nicely. you should not be having to put effort to get things to align. now with it connected i adjusted drag link to move the steering wheel.

i would go ahead and do your alignment while you are at it. http://www.4x4xplor.com/alignment.html

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post #10 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
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First, thanks to all for the feedback.

CKruzer - I'm going to try your suggestion, but have a couple of clarification questions.

1. When you say that your steering wheel is off, do you mean you removed your steering wheel? Or do you mean that it's just off-center?

2. You also said, "make sure your tre here is adjusted..." I assume "tre" is a typo. What did you mean instead?

3. When you disconnect the pitman arm, I assume you mean from the gearbox and not from the drag link, right?

Thanks again to all.
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nayrlloyd View Post
You disagree with these?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsawduste View Post
Yes I do.
Sawdust, then you're the only one. Did you look at the two side by side? The D box is much larger. A Durango is 5000 lbs, with appropriate sized parts, compared to the Jeep unit designed for 205/75R15's. The Jeep gearbox is almost the D35 of the front end.

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post #12 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 06:03 PM
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off center.
tre = tie rod end
disconnect at box.

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post #13 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 06:06 PM
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you can adjust steering wheel play on boxes. the durango box isnt "faster" its better gearing. with the yj box, it can put unneccesary stress and be "harder" to turn large tires at idle. even with power steer. the durango box gearing relieves this issue.

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post #14 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
nayrlloyd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckruzer View Post
you can adjust steering wheel play on boxes. the durango box isnt "faster" its better gearing. with the yj box, it can put unneccesary stress and be "harder" to turn large tires at idle. even with power steer. the durango box gearing relieves this issue.
Oddly, this is the exact opposite of what I'm experiencing. My YJ box - while sloppy as heck - was super easy to turn my 35s. The Durango box - almost no slop - is 10x harder to turn the 35s.

Either way, I'll try the suggestion above to see if it helps. Probably won't get to it until tomorrow or Friday, but I'll report back. Thanks!
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post #15 of 17 Old 07-08-2015, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeeperDon View Post
Sawdust, then you're the only one. Did you look at the two side by side? The D box is much larger. A Durango is 5000 lbs, with appropriate sized parts, compared to the Jeep unit designed for 205/75R15's. The Jeep gearbox is almost the D35 of the front end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsawduste View Post
Yes I do.

So do I. I guess that makes two

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