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Steering/Tracking Issue

897 Views 10 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Timo_90xj
Hey all,

I recently lifted my ZJ (95 Laredo 4.0) with the rough country 3.5" lift kit (front lower control arms/bushings, extended coils etc.). Since I was doing the lift I decided to do a whole front end rebuild as I was tearing it apart anyway. I am experiencing issues with steering and tracking since.

I have replaced the following:

  • upper/lower control arms with new bushings
  • upper/lower ball joints
  • hub assembly's
  • new tie rod and tie rod ends
  • axle u joints
  • front driveshaft u joints
  • steering box and pitman arm, new tie rod at pitman arm
  • adjustable track bar
  • brake lines (hard and soft lines)
  • brake calipers/pads/rotors
  • steering sway bar links and bushings
I may be missing a thing or two from the list but basically the only thing original is the axle housing and shafts.

The issue I am having is that the jeep wonders all over the place and has serious bump steer. It'll practically rip the wheel out of your hands if you hit a bump. The front end sort of feels like its floating above the road and just wonders all over the place. You have to continuously correct it. I brought it to the shop to have it aligned but they refuse to touch it since they say the steering is too loose to properly align it. I did a dry steer test and nothing seems to be loose. Everything been torqued to spec from what I've read online and gathered from the hanes manual. I did notice however the steering box has some lateral movement on the pitman arm output shaft (not much, maybe 1/4" either way).

I tried adjusting the steering gear with quarter turns at a time but it didn't seem to make a difference so I just brought the adjustment back to the stock location.

I am all out of ideas, I can't think of anything else since everything is new basically. I parked it as it's definitely dangerous driving around with steering that has a mind of its own.

Anyone else have any ideas?

Thanks!
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I had a 97 yrs ago , mine did the same thing. I did everything a knew how to do about it so it went to the shop and they found that the box that i replaced had a dead spot, so after 3 remaned steering boxes it finally acted right.
If u replaced the box with a parts store box, take it back and try another.
Iam sure there is a warranty.
 

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Yup, parts store reman boxes are a roulette game, keep spining the wheel until you get a good one. There should be pretty much zero play on the output shaft.
 

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Steering box shouldn't have any kind of play in any direction, be it input or output. So that's one of your issues.


Bump steer is caused by incorrect geometry between draglink and trackbar. They should be parallel when observed between their pivot points, and should be as close to same length as possible.


Wandering/ needing to correct all the time is most often caused by incorrect caster angle, but your loose steering box and incorrect geometry between drag link and trackbar will all play a role in it.
If in addition your toe-in is adjusted incorrectly, it's even worse.
 

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Draglink and trackbar.
I wrote that in the next paragraph. Dunno why I wrote draglink and draglink in the first :D it's fixed now. Thanks for noticing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks for the reply's and info!


Instead of messing with store remans, anyone ever use a red head steering gear? I hear good things but wanted to see if anyone had any experience with them. I'd rather just get a box that was rebuilt right then to play games with the polished worn out ones.


As for the drag link and track bar, I'll do some investigating and adjustments.


The caster and toe alignment or def off but the shop refuses to touch until I get a new steering box.



As for the track bar, I'll do some investigating and adjustments
 

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Red head is still a reman, you just pay the same price as a new box, the boxes they sell for our application are a slower ratio than factory ZJ. They're also a crap shoot from the reports of people trying them.

I've been really happy with my crown box from Kolak, not a reman.
 

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Kg, I also have the Crown Box that is going in this weekend that I got from Kolak. I have been told that it is night and day difference from the original, which I would hope it would be!
 

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Yeap.. If you want a good steering box, you've got two choices:
* Crown factory- new box
* PSC steering factory- new box (they got a couple options)


Both of the options are costly, but hell of a lot better than anything else available. ALL of the reman boxes are a gamble, and at best you get a rebuilt good used one. It's not gonna be as good as factory new.
 
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