Play in Steering Wheel - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 09-15-2021, 06:39 AM Thread Starter
matthewdubya
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Play in Steering Wheel

Over the past couple of months, I have been battling with play in the steering wheel. The play is a dead spot in the steering from around 11 o'clock to 1-2 o'clock, where no input on the steering wheel affects the wheels turning. The play is consistent from stopped to any speed, however at higher speeds, it gets a bit more precarious. 3.25" Lift was installed in May of 2020, increased tire size from 31 to 33 by April 2021 however the play didn't show up until June 2021.



I have been troubleshooting this for a few months, since June of this year, and in an effort to weed out the problem, as well as replace some parts on my 98 TJ, I have done a full overhaul of all steering components. The replaced list below -



-Power steering pump and pulley
-Steering gear (replaced 2x with re-manufactured, 3rd time is a brand new box)
- heavy duty adjustable track bar
- heavy duty tie rod and drag link
- upgraded steering stabilizer
- all new steering shafts from steering wheel to steering box
- all tie rod ends and ball joints are new
- Alignment was completed after installing new linkage
-Air pressure is around 29-30 PSI



If I wiggle the steering wheel, I can see the steering shaft move all the way up to the steering box, but there is no output from the pitman arm. This is the reason I have gone through multiple steering gears, as my assumption was they were bad re-mans. On each of the re-man boxes, I did make very small adjustments to the sector shaft screw as a last resort to try and get the slop out, but it made no difference, which is why I ended up getting a new steering box.



I'm completely at my wits end on trying to figure this out. People have said there is supposed to be that much play, but since I've had this Jeep, there has never been that much play until recently. I have made no changes that directly correlated with the play starting. I have replaced every component that would have any affect, and gotten no improvement. I have searched this forum and many others over and over trying to figure out a solution, but most say to adjust the sector as a last resort, but I shouldn't need to do that on a brand new steering box, and I have done that on other boxes and it made no difference.


Please help.


Last edited by matthewdubya; 09-15-2021 at 06:51 AM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 09-15-2021, 10:18 AM
Spankie31
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Well you could adjust the worm gear in the box. Just be very careful as a little adjustment goes a long ways. To much and you could lock up the steering box.
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post #3 of 7 Old 09-15-2021, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
matthewdubya
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I've done that on the previous boxes, and it made no differences. The current box is brand new, and preloaded properly, so I'm hesitant to make any adjustment on it. This is also the 4th steering gear in 3 weeks, (including the original box), and all of them have had the same amount of play. I feel like it's something other than the obvious, because I'm bound to have something different in 4 boxes, especially with one of them being brand new.
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post #4 of 7 Old 09-15-2021, 10:40 AM
222Doc
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tie rod is a invert Y still, stock design? Sounds like you went to other design? Those can lead to a dead spot. Stock one is fine unless you wheel it hard then they taco. time to go say Currie or a Y that is not so easy to bend

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post #5 of 7 Old 09-15-2021, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
matthewdubya
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It's still the stock design, I chose to stay more toward stock design, just beefier tie rod and drag link. Unfortunately, the play is happening long before there is any pressure on the tie rods. Some discussion I'm having is pointing to adjusting the brand new steering gear, does that sound right to anyone?
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post #6 of 7 Old 09-16-2021, 07:34 AM
JeffBowser
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I had play in my steering such as you describe through two non-factory steering boxes. It did not go away until I went with a PSC steering box. I do not believe the standard aftermarket for TJ steering gear is any good.
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post #7 of 7 Old 09-16-2021, 09:42 AM
Shark_13
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Are you sure the steering shaft is tight on the gearbox input? (Where the pinch bolt is?)

If the play is in the box, sure sounds like that is the issue (input moves and Pitman doesn't).



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