Steering Issues (Again haha)...feels overly responsive. Advise needed. - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 34 Old 04-13-2021, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
Techlight
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Unhappy Steering Issues (Again haha)...feels overly responsive. Advise needed.

Hi All,

Sorry for the long post...trying to be thorough.

So I'm trying to fix my twitchy steering (I think I've complained about it before, but can't actually find that post). Maybe it was on another forum.

I figured I'd just start a new thread because I've fixed a ton of things and don't know what to try now ... relating to my steering issues. I've read tons of threads and fixed tons of stuff and no dice.

The Jeep has never returned to center and still doesn't. It also feels "overly responsive" ...like i'm over correcting it, but I'm barely turning the wheel. It's not horrible but I have to concentrate to keep it in my lane anywhere past 35mph. I noticed it got way worse when I put in a new steering shaft (splined both ends and u joints). I'm assuming whatever was going on with it made it more noticeable because I had no more of that stock bell connector slop at my steering box. Not ALL of the stuff below was done to fix my steering issues...it was all on my list anyway and I figured the steering would either sort itself out or I would have to revisit it when I was done with everything...so here I am haha. I knew I had a bad ball joint and figured that was probably my issue (nope).

I can't think of anything else that is related to the steering that would be causing my issues and it's always driven this way. Am I missing something obvious? Only thing I can think that "I don't know for sure" is the re-manufactured box. I bought it used from my buddy that runs a Jeep graveyard...he said the box was practically new and that the owner of the Jeep gave him receipts for it when he bought the jeep. So I'm just assuming it's fine. It "feels" fine when I run it back and forth on stands, but I don't really know how to test a steering box. It doesn't leak or anything.

I've read that you can "adjust" steering boxes for slop, but I also read that that it's not what you "should" do. The longer I try to sort this steering issue, I'm wondering if someone screwed with that adjuster at some point to try and take the stock slop out of it (I know grasping at straws here). Either that or there's something wrong with the box itself. Anyway to test it? Anyone think going up to 7 * caster would be part of the solution?

-new ball joints
-new bearings/races
-new front rotors/pads
-tie rod flip (drag link and tie rod parallel)
-new bearings in the bottom of steering column (engine side)
-remanufactured steering box
-HD steering bracket
-new tires (33x10.5x15 BFG AT's sitting at about 30psi)
-new suspension
-new sway bar links for my amount of lift
-shimmed the front springs and has been tested at an alignment shop at 6* caster
-also aligned of course

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post #2 of 34 Old 04-13-2021, 07:30 PM
baldfatdad
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If you don't drive it much try toeing it out a touch.
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post #3 of 34 Old 04-13-2021, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Techlight View Post
I've read that you can "adjust" steering boxes for slop, but I also read that that it's not what you "should" do. The longer I try to sort this steering issue, I'm wondering if someone screwed with that adjuster at some point to try and take the stock slop out of it (I know grasping at straws here). Either that or there's something wrong with the box itself. Anyway to test it? Anyone think going up to 7 * caster would be part of the solution?
The steering box adjustment is in the service manual. It's not something that is usually performed while in the Jeep but plenty of people have done it.

Here's the snippet.
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post #4 of 34 Old 04-13-2021, 08:36 PM
RiverandSand
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Also try dropping the air pressures, these are lite vehicles, I run mine at 24 psi and that seems to be its sweet spot.
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post #5 of 34 Old 04-13-2021, 09:03 PM
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Please send an oblique pic of your front end.

-----JEEPFELLER
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post #6 of 34 Old 04-13-2021, 09:21 PM
Fourtrail
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Going to agree with too much air in the tires. On the steering box, how many turns lock to lock? When the wheels are pointed straight ahead, where does the pitman arm point? Pitman arm should be parallel to the frame when the tires are pointed straight ahead. Stock pitman arm?
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post #7 of 34 Old 04-14-2021, 02:12 AM
mudbfun
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Over responsive and wont return to center sounds like an alignment issue to me. I know there are different "levels" of alignment techs. Makes me wonder about the quality of the service you received. There could also potentially be something loose somewhere introducing slop into the system. Maybe even in the rear. If that is the case then your alignment was for nothing.
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post #8 of 34 Old 04-14-2021, 07:39 AM
bob4703
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Not everything said here should be considered fact and is often opinion expressed as fact.

As said above there is a procedure for adjusting the steering box. You can't assume a new box in the carton is adjusted when you buy it. You also need to ask yourself if the box is actually the new one or is it the old one in the carton the new one came in? My garage is full of new boxes with old parts in them? There is no standard for using the term remanufactured.

Logic tells me if the Saginaw steering box is not meant to be adjusted then why is there a mechanism to adjust it.

There are two things you haven't said. The first is your intended use of your Jeep. The second is how much lift do you have. Perhaps you need to "detune" your suspension getting everything turned back over and reversed to OEM. You need to get it safe to drive.

Good luck!

-----

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post #9 of 34 Old 04-14-2021, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverandSand View Post
Also try dropping the air pressures, these are lite vehicles, I run mine at 24 psi and that seems to be its sweet spot.
Agree!

You mentioned you had receipts from the steering box? What brand is it? Some rebuilds are better then others.

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post #10 of 34 Old 04-14-2021, 11:56 AM
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I'm wanting to see that same ole same ole.

5 ft long front shackles and no caster---what's caster!!?

Course that and:

Saying something negative about a weber

Or suggesting the use of ported vacuum with your distributor

Might get you a scolding on here.....even Multi-Bullying

I centered my new Saginaw manual gear and did all of my homework before I put it on.

crank crank crank right limit----start point-----crank crank crank left limit------ "X" number of turns-------1/2 "X" number of turns back towards right limit is "Center Line"

Screw that up and you'll run out of the ability to turn one way or the other.

-----JEEPFELLER
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AIN'T IT PERTY.jpg   center output shaft.jpg  
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post #11 of 34 Old 04-14-2021, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
Techlight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjoffroad View Post
The steering box adjustment is in the service manual. It's not something that is usually performed while in the Jeep but plenty of people have done it.

Here's the snippet.
I may save this for last. If I need to do this it seems I'll need to drop the box to do it correctly. I should add this box is like 7 years old easily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverandSand View Post
Also try dropping the air pressures, these are lite vehicles, I run mine at 24 psi and that seems to be its sweet spot.
I've had it down as far as 25 and it's always behaved the same, although it did drive "slightly" better. Will take these new tires down to 25 psi and report back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fourtrail View Post
Going to agree with too much air in the tires. On the steering box, how many turns lock to lock? When the wheels are pointed straight ahead, where does the pitman arm point? Pitman arm should be parallel to the frame when the tires are pointed straight ahead. Stock pitman arm?
-Turns lock to lock 3.5 turns
-Pitman arm is stock and points straight when wheels are straight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEEPFELLER View Post
Please send an oblique pic of your front end.

-----JEEPFELLER
Pics attached.

Quote:
Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
If you don't drive it much try toeing it out a touch.
Unfortunately it's become my daily driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mudbfun View Post
Over responsive and wont return to center sounds like an alignment issue to me. I know there are different "levels" of alignment techs. Makes me wonder about the quality of the service you received. There could also potentially be something loose somewhere introducing slop into the system. Maybe even in the rear. If that is the case then your alignment was for nothing.
Totally agree this could be possible. However, my family has always taken our cars to the same place for tires, alignments, etc. I trust their work. I've been going there so long they let me stand in the back at the alignment rack and shoot the **** while they're aligning it. So technically I can verify they're adjustments lol. I also get the print out that verifies my numbers. Any suggestions what in the rear of the vehicle might be contributing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bob4703 View Post
Not everything said here should be considered fact and is often opinion expressed as fact.

As said above there is a procedure for adjusting the steering box. You can't assume a new box in the carton is adjusted when you buy it. You also need to ask yourself if the box is actually the new one or is it the old one in the carton the new one came in? My garage is full of new boxes with old parts in them? There is no standard for using the term remanufactured.

Logic tells me if the Saginaw steering box is not meant to be adjusted then why is there a mechanism to adjust it.

There are two things you haven't said. The first is your intended use of your Jeep. The second is how much lift do you have. Perhaps you need to "detune" your suspension getting everything turned back over and reversed to OEM. You need to get it safe to drive.

Good luck!
-Definitely can't "confirm" it was a remanufactured/new unit. Mentioned it so everyone had all the facts. The boxes are kinda pricey so I figured I'd exhaust my options before either adjusting it or replacing.
-Sorry...info was in my profile so I neglected to add it: 3-3.5" CJ to YJ conversion using OME HD springs. I use the Jeep about 70% on road driving and 30% off road. Nothing too major off road wise: medium difficulty stuff most of the time.
-Don't feel I need to take it back to OEM to get it to drive well. It was OEM when I bought it used and it still drove poorly. I'm trying to get it back to OEM specs/adjustments for sure...plenty of folks have lifted their rigs and adjusted them out to drive safe etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark_13 View Post
Agree!

You mentioned you had receipts from the steering box? What brand is it? Some rebuilds are better then others.

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
Don't know any of this...took my friends word for it ...famous last words and all that. But if folks feel it's the box I will definitely pull it and "adjust" ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEEPFELLER View Post
I'm wanting to see that same ole same ole.

5 ft long front shackles and no caster---what's caster!!?

Course that and:

Saying something negative about a weber

Or suggesting the use of ported vacuum with your distributor

Might get you a scolding on here.....even Multi-Bullying

I centered my new Saginaw manual gear and did all of my homework before I put it on.

crank crank crank right limit----start point-----crank crank crank left limit------ "X" number of turns-------1/2 "X" number of turns back towards right limit is "Center Line"

Screw that up and you'll run out of the ability to turn one way or the other.

-----JEEPFELLER
Completely get that, but I've been scolded on here before lol...usually try to avoid responding to any of that. I know most folks are just trying to help out.
-front shackles are 3.5" center of bolt to center of bolt
-caster is at 6* (verified at my alignment shop)
Attached Thumbnails
20210414_152105.jpg   20210414_152052.jpg   20210414_152045.jpg   20210414_152039.jpg   20210414_152029.jpg  

20210414_152023.jpg  
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post #12 of 34 Old 04-14-2021, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Dropped all tires down to 25 psi. Handles "slightly" better but still over-responsive over 35-40 mph. Feels a lot more bouncy as well, but I'll mess with the psi another time.

Thought I should also add that the axle shaft u-joints felt fine when I pulled them to do the ball joints (no binding, rust, or tight spots). They will get changed out here in a couple weeks when I get the regear and new shafts installed also, but I don't think it will change anything.

Last edited by Techlight; 04-14-2021 at 05:40 PM.
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post #13 of 34 Old 04-15-2021, 09:16 AM
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Might want to try a dry steer test(engine off, tires on the ground). Move steering back and forth and look at everything underneath. Might find something loose ora bad bushing etc

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post #14 of 34 Old 04-15-2021, 02:10 PM
devildog80
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Second pic, left side, looks like the steering box not up tight against the frame? Maybe just an illusion!

Trying to get modified pic to load, and not cooperating :/
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post #15 of 34 Old 04-15-2021, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devildog80 View Post
Second pic, left side, looks like the steering box not up tight against the frame? Maybe just an illusion!

Trying to get modified pic to load, and not cooperating :/

the hd mounts use a spacer between the mount and the frame to make up the thickness of the front shackle hanger. completely normal

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