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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I'm new here and I have an issue that I need some opinions on.

I recently took my '99 XJ in for several new parts:
-drag link
-tie rod & ends
-upper and lower ball joints
-steering damper/stabilizer
-track bar

I bought a kit with all the parts and had a shop replace them since they were all original to the Jeep and pretty much every bolt was seized up and we don't have the tools to fight bolts like that. (as we found out with the nightmare we experienced while replacing the upper and lower control arms馃が)
The shop also did an alignment after all the parts were replaced.
My issue is that now the steering feels really tight. Not stiff like I cannot make turns, but tight enough that the minor adjustments I make as I'm driving straight at any speed feel like the Jeep wants to just go in that direction, it's not easing back to center. I'm having to straighten myself out.
It's hard to compare it to its previous steering because the steering was so loose from all the old shot parts.
Power steering pump is not making any noises. There is plenty of fluid in the reservoir.

I read on another site that new ball joints can sometimes have a "break in" period, never heard of that before, but thought I'd throw that out there.
Also read it can be the drag link is over torqued, or the toe needs adjusting.
I plan to call the shop tomorrow and ask them what might be the cause since I have felt it since I drove away from their shop, so clearly it has something to do with the new parts or their work, but I also wanted to ask here to get the opinions of others who may have had this experience or just plain know what the cause could be.
It is a reputable shop, never heard anything bad about these guys.

We're no dummies, we can do some adjustments ourselves, especially now that the bolts are not all rusted and seized.
But if it is the toe, then back to the shop it will have to go for that adjustment.

Also, the guy we bought this Jeep from put a level kit on it, so it's not really "lifted" per se, but the front end is just a little higher than factory.
Not sure if that would have any effect on the new parts' install.

My first car ever was an '89 Cherokee and even though it's been over 20 years since I've driven it, I have no recollection of it having tight steering like this.
I drove a '98 Mustang for 15 years before getting our other current vehicle, an '09 Explorer (the steering on it is super smooth, it practically steers itself), so I almost wondered if I just wasn't used to older steering that just isn't as easy, but I really don't think that is the case. Something is too tight.

What do ya'll think?

2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Called the shop that did the work and he said it was because all those new parts are so tight, and to give it a month or 2 and they'll loosen up.
The 'not returning to center' issue is from what he called "memory steer," again because they are all brand new and so tight.
I don't feel like the man is making things up to blow me off, they've been in business for a very long time and I would assume that he knows these things from experience.
So....I guess we'll see.

Real Jeeps have dents
29,520 Posts
It will be fine, the guy is telling you the truth.
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