loose steering WJ - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
DrGrebo
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loose steering WJ

I have alot of play in the steering wheel, maybe 1-2" of play. I've done some searching and have yet to find a good answer. Ideas?

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:16 PM
WJChris
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tighten up the set screw in the steering box?
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:17 PM
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================================================== =======
This How To applies to the Saginaw Power Steering Box. I believe this box was installed on all Full-Size Jeeps that came with power steering. The recirculating ball mechanism in the Saginaw power steering box wears naturally with use. Centered between the 4 bolts that fasten the top plate to the steering box is an adjustment. If I remember right, it is an Allen screw with a lock nut around the screw.

The adjustment is sometimes covered by the bottom of the radiator. If it is, you will have to strategically cut-off the short end of a 90 degree bend type Allen wrench in order to turn the screw. I don't remember what size Allen wrench it takes.

To adjust the thing, loosen the lock nut and turn the screw in clock wise. Just a 1/8 turn at a time until you get close to 1" of play between going left and going right. One inch of on center play means you can move the steering wheel, at the rim, back and forth 1" before it goes left or right.

To judge whether or not you are close to 1" of play, start the engine and then stand outside and turn the steering wheel back and forth through the window opening while watching the front tire for movement. When you can move your hand one inch back and forth before you see the tire move, you are in the ball park. Once you get close to 1", then turn the adjuster only 1/16 of a turn until you are at or just under 1" of free play.

ALWAYS err on the conservative side if you are in doubt. You can damage the steering box if you get it too tight. Road test the Jeep after every adjustment. Find a nice smooth road with very little crown (crown = high spot in the center sloped toward the shoulders for water run-off) where you can drive at a steady 45-50 MPH plus so you can judge how much on center play you have.

The Jeep Service Manual warns against adjusting the box unless you remove it and go through a big long procedure involving setting bearing pre-load and over center torque.

When you turn the adjusting screw, you are moving the pitman shaft up in relation to the case. The shaft has a beveled gear on it and you are moving his gear closer to complete mesh with the worm shaft. Complete mesh is what you don't want to happen. There needs to be some play between the two.

Keeping your steering box in adjustment will decrease wear. The more play you have, the more wear will occur between the pitman shaft gear and the worm shaft. At some point you will no longer be able to adjust out the play and the box will have to be rebuilt.
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:18 PM
JJAMISON_
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carry it to a shop and get an alignment

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post #5 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:22 PM
MurdaJs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WJChris View Post
================================================== =======
This How To applies to the Saginaw Power Steering Box. I believe this box was installed on all Full-Size Jeeps that came with power steering. The recirculating ball mechanism in the Saginaw power steering box wears naturally with use. Centered between the 4 bolts that fasten the top plate to the steering box is an adjustment. If I remember right, it is an Allen screw with a lock nut around the screw.

The adjustment is sometimes covered by the bottom of the radiator. If it is, you will have to strategically cut-off the short end of a 90 degree bend type Allen wrench in order to turn the screw. I don't remember what size Allen wrench it takes.

To adjust the thing, loosen the lock nut and turn the screw in clock wise. Just a 1/8 turn at a time until you get close to 1" of play between going left and going right. One inch of on center play means you can move the steering wheel, at the rim, back and forth 1" before it goes left or right.

To judge whether or not you are close to 1" of play, start the engine and then stand outside and turn the steering wheel back and forth through the window opening while watching the front tire for movement. When you can move your hand one inch back and forth before you see the tire move, you are in the ball park. Once you get close to 1", then turn the adjuster only 1/16 of a turn until you are at or just under 1" of free play.

ALWAYS err on the conservative side if you are in doubt. You can damage the steering box if you get it too tight. Road test the Jeep after every adjustment. Find a nice smooth road with very little crown (crown = high spot in the center sloped toward the shoulders for water run-off) where you can drive at a steady 45-50 MPH plus so you can judge how much on center play you have.

The Jeep Service Manual warns against adjusting the box unless you remove it and go through a big long procedure involving setting bearing pre-load and over center torque.

When you turn the adjusting screw, you are moving the pitman shaft up in relation to the case. The shaft has a beveled gear on it and you are moving his gear closer to complete mesh with the worm shaft. Complete mesh is what you don't want to happen. There needs to be some play between the two.

Keeping your steering box in adjustment will decrease wear. The more play you have, the more wear will occur between the pitman shaft gear and the worm shaft. At some point you will no longer be able to adjust out the play and the box will have to be rebuilt.
Vetty niiice, Im going to give this a shot myself
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
DrGrebo
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First, I'm going to wiggle the steering wheel and see if I can see any play. Then I'll try your method wjchris. Thanks!
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:31 PM
JJAMISON_
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easiest way to fix this really is to goto your local Jeep dealer. Find a Rubicon, trade your jeep in on the rubicon. See, steering problem fixed.

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post #8 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
DrGrebo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJAMISON_ View Post
easiest way to fix this really is to goto your local Jeep dealer. Find a Rubicon, trade your jeep in on the rubicon. See, steering problem fixed.
do they accept lincolns? I have one I could do without ha
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 06:19 PM
patrick983
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All lf my play was in the 4 worn tie rod ends, ive seen people wreck steering boxes trying to adjust them

2000 White V8 WJ LSR-6in-35's-LA's-242HD-Warn SOLD and missed very badly
06 GTO - BC Coilovers, JBA Catless mids, Svede Intake
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-13-2010, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
DrGrebo
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All of my tie rod ends are okay, along with my ball joints. The "Saginaw power steering box" isn't the same one in my wj if I'm not mistaken. It looks like the shaft coming from the steering wheel itself is moving alot before "grabbing" the steering box itself. If that makes any sense
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post #11 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 04:55 PM
Albins
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Yes, That makes sense. That's the way it looks on mine also. Everyone else is trying to solve a loose steering problem from the steering gear box on out to the wheels but I think the problem is the loose ness in the column and shaft. If it wasn't a safety issue and an installation problem I would have the multi-part shaft welded so it would transfer the steering wheel turning to the gear box more directly.
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post #12 of 15 Old 09-25-2020, 07:24 PM
WJ60
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Garage
If I'm not mistaken ( don't talk to my wife ) Your rig has what's called an intermediate shaft between the steering wheel and gear box. That shaft is most likely having an issue such as a defective u joint.



Go to Moparpartsgiant.com and look it up.
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post #13 of 15 Old 09-26-2020, 11:17 AM
thechainrule
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Just did all of my TREs and ball joints front and rear and added a new redgear, I have a brand new Jeep! I would suggest looking into the same items.
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post #14 of 15 Old 09-26-2020, 01:24 PM
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Holy necro thread, Batman!
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post #15 of 15 Old 09-26-2020, 02:20 PM
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still good reading
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