Steering pulling right - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-15-2020, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
Dcotes
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Steering pulling right

I just had my cj7 front end aligned. My gear box is old so i tightened it up a tiny bit before i had it aligned, which helped a lot. Prior to the alignment i had a slight right pull. My pitman arm seems to be off center just a little bit. At the shop, the wheels were straight, toe-in set within specs but the arm was slightly angled and steering wheel was centered. Still pulled right which i knew it was gonna do. How do i get the pitman arm to be parallel with the tires and pointing perfectly straight? The steering wheel is the least of my concerns, i can always deal with that last. When i drive, the natural sweet spot for straight tracking causes the jeep to track to the right. How do i get the sweet spot and the wheels on the same plane?

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post #2 of 15 Old 10-15-2020, 10:33 AM
Fourtrail
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Adjust the draglink to get the pitman arm straight back/parallel to the tires.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-15-2020, 01:12 PM
John Strenk
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That would be the one going to the pitman arm.
When the wheel are straight, loosen the sleeve and turn it until the steering wheel is centered.
Assuming your steering wheel is centered to the steering gear..



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post #4 of 15 Old 10-16-2020, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Strenk View Post
That would be the one going to the pitman arm.
When the wheel are straight, loosen the sleeve and turn it until the steering wheel is centered.
Assuming your steering wheel is centered to the steering gear..
Just what I needed, worked a treat, thank you!


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post #5 of 15 Old 10-16-2020, 11:56 AM
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Iím confused. Why does it matter where the pitman arm is relation to the tires? Assuming you installed the pitman arm, did you center the steering gear and then install the arm?

Iím interested to know why it still pulls to the right after being aligned.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-16-2020, 04:42 PM
oldschool74cj5
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hello
your chasing a ghost about the pitman arm and not being centered causing the pulling. the pitman arm is keyed to the gearbox. in order to change the position you have to file a a tooth in the flat spot in the pitman arm. there are alot of things that can cause a pull. first a few questions.

where are you testing the tracking of the jeep. the reason im asking is all roads have a crown built into to drain water off the road. higher in the center and lower on the right side. my jeep runs tru on many roads but some she will follow the crown or wear in the road and pull a little.

how are all you ball joints and tie rod ends? if greaseable have you serviced them with grease? to much play in them will cause to be out of alignment while driving. a good alignment shop which is hard to find now days. will find problems like that where the new hi tech places dont find because they dont know to look. they count on the high tech things to tell them. when on a alignment rack you can see just how much a little play in a joint can change a angle.

do you have a lift on your jeep? if so did they put a drop pitman arm or flip the outside of the drag link tie rod end? you need to have the drag link and tie rod end as parallel as possible. if not you will get what is called torque or bump steer. if you slam on the brakes and the front end dives it will naturally pull some to one side. but if you gas hard and raise the front end it will pull to the other side.

have you inspected and serviced the front brakes and wheel bearings any time recently? that can cause a pull in the steering by having drag on one side. even your rear drums need to be adjusted properly. ( that is how i found i had a caliper starting to stick. once in a while it would pull to the side of the sticking caliper).

how are your spring bushings and shackle bushings?

when you said you adjusted the steering gear i take it you ment the screw on top the puts pressure on the vertical pitman gear. you didnt touch the large back adjustment on the rear of the steering gear where the shaft connects. alot of people screw up there steering gears becuase they dont know how the hydraulics and mechanics work togethor. the gear should really only be adjusted on a bench and have the proper tools for doing so.

if you dont have a factory service manual i would get one because they actually have a good troubleshooting tree for these things. you can download one at oljeep.com site.

oldschool
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-16-2020, 08:25 PM
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So, in order to center your box, you will have to:
drop the drag link.
Turn the steering lock to lock.
Rotate back 1/2 the number to turns. This will be the center of the box. You should fee/seel a "tight spot" here.
Note the orientation of the steering wheel.
Adjust the drag link so while driving, the wheel is in the same spot.


An off center steering box will cause steering slop, but shouldn't cause pulling.
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-17-2020, 08:14 AM
OrangeCJ-5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcotes View Post
Prior to the alignment i had a slight right pull. Still pulled right which i knew it was gonna do.
I would be taking it back to the shop. Why would you expect it to still pull to the right after the alignment? You know that the right front brake dragging or the tires aren't the same tread pattern or size?
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-17-2020, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank You all for your insight and suggestions.As soon as i get the chance, i'll check all those things. I'll let u know if i solve anything.
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post #10 of 15 Old 10-17-2020, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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I am submitting a few pics to maybe clarify my dilemma. Hopefully it's not confusing.
1) wheels slight R turn with pitman arm straight
2) marked point on steering column to reflect straight pitman arm
3) mark on steering wheel where gearbox is centered using max turns and going back 1/2 those amount of turns.
At the top of that last pic u can see where the pitman arm mark is on the steering wheel. In theory, shouldn't the pitman arm be centered at the same point the gearbox is centered? I have to replace the turn signal components soon so the steering wheel will be coming off, i can make the adjustment anytime. What i can't figure out is how to get the gear box to line up with the pitman arm.
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-18-2020, 06:18 AM
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Looks like a bit of lift, do you also have a drop pitman arm? There has been an issue with drop arms not being keyed correctly to point straight back when the box is centered.

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-18-2020, 09:44 AM
oldschool74cj5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dcotes View Post
In theory, shouldn't the pitman arm be centered at the same point the gearbox is centered?
hello
you hit the key words there. "in theory" when manufacturing parts there is something called a tolerance. that is where the part can be not perfect but within the expectable allowance. example you want to cut a 2x4 into 1 foot lengths. i bet none will measure exactly 12.0000". but anything that is 11-15/16 to 12-1/16 will work just fine. that is one reason there is the adjustment on the drag link on your jeep. then if you have a aftermarket drag link. they had to make a calculated guess of where the key is in the pitman arm. they never had the original drawings from jeep or the saginaw steering box. again no problem because of the adjustment in the draglink.

if you really want it centered that bad take to a alignment shop show them you want the pitman arm lined with the box. they can center it on the box then adjust the DRAGLINK to center the wheels to the pitman arms location. when you leave you will still have the pull to the right. because from one of more then a dozen things could still be causing the pull to the right. but you will have a centered pitman arm.


oldschool
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post #13 of 15 Old 10-18-2020, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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I do have a lift with a drop pitman arm, all done by PO. I'm going to remove the arm, center the box and reinstall the arm. Best case scenario is it was only 90 degrees off. I do have the issue of different turning radii from left to right so that makes sense in theory. I'll let u know what happens.
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post #14 of 15 Old 10-18-2020, 10:04 AM
oldschool74cj5
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hello
before you go removing it do yourself a favor and google "pitman arm cj7" take a close look at a image of the splined end that goes on the gearbox. you will see where there is a tooth of a spline missing. that is the key that only allows the pitman arm to go on only in a certain position. you cant turn it one tooth like a steering wheel.

oldschool
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post #15 of 15 Old 10-18-2020, 08:12 PM
Cutlass327
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I believe that the pitman arm IS off center a little, I cannot remember if to driver or passenger though.


Before you get too into swapping parts, rotate tires left/right. Alignments may get the geometry correct, but they will not remove pull. A low tire pressure on one side vs the other, one tire worn down more than the other, or any other cause for different tire diameters can cause the tires to create a pull.



Drive it on a few different roads, some roads have more crown than others.



Even a brake drag can cause it.

Rick

1978 CJ5 5.0HO/T177/D300 TerraLow 4:1 kit, '86 D30/D44 3.54 WT axles w/Aussies, 'glass body, 33x12.5 ProComp A/T, TDK galv'd frame, 2.5 OME YJ lift - DD and weekend toy


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