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Old 09-14-2009, 07:56 PM   #1
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Exclamation Steering wheel looseness in a 98 xj, adjust steering box?

Hi. First post so hopefully i do it right.

Wasn't getting much help on the other forum so I'm hoping it'll be better here.

I just bough a 98 auto xj for super cheap. It had some major steering problems that i'm looking to fix before i start driving it as a DD.

I replaced the inner tie rod end that is attached to the pitman arm as it was bad. All the rest of the ball joints looked good.

I have about 20-30 degrees of play where i can move the steering wheel without the tires moving. Making me think it's in the steering box and it's either bad or needs and adjustment. The problem has to be between the steering box and steering wheel so is there something i can check to pinpoint it?

thanks.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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there is a set screw and jamnut on the top side of the gear box for tightning up slop. give it a 1/4 turn at a time see what that does.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:25 PM   #3
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Look at the shaft as it's going in to the box. Have someone else slowly turn the wheel. You'll be able to see if there is slop in the wheel/steering shaft, or if it's in the box.
If you're turning the input of the steering box 30 degrees and the pitman arm is not moving, it's the box!
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubela View Post
Look at the shaft as it's going in to the box. Have someone else slowly turn the wheel. You'll be able to see if there is slop in the wheel/steering shaft, or if it's in the box.
If you're turning the input of the steering box 30 degrees and the pitman arm is not moving, it's the box!
there are also mini u joints on the steering shaft.....
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
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there are also mini u joints on the steering shaft.....

I looked at those when my buddy turned the wheel and didn't notice any play in them. Didn't look at the shaft too much though so i'll give that a try.

I'm headed to the local salvage yard sometime and didn't know how much a used steering box should go for(if i decide I should replace it.)

I've also heard a durango steering box fix and is about the same only better,

and what's the procedure in replacing the steering box? I hear it's not too pretty....
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
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why replace it.........give the set screw adjustment a try...
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
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why replace it.........give the set screw adjustment a try...

Yeah i'll definitely give a tighening a try first, i just figured i'd start getting prepared for the worst at the same time. That way if it is just an adjustment it'll be almost like a surprise, and if it isn't it wont be as disappointing.
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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So let me clearify this tightening.

I'm looking at that lone nut in the middle of the other 4. I untighten that, then the entire middle bolt should tighten with what(alan wrench?)

1/8-1/4 turn at a time.

Tighten the nut back up and see what happens?
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:52 PM   #9
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Okay. I took the fan out, Tightened the screw with little if any help to the problem i'm having.

Anything else i should try before going out and buying a different one(most likely used if the local junk yard has one.)

I'm going to wait and have my good friend/motorcycle mechanic look at it. He's a big gear head and also used to own a grand cherokee so i'm hoping he'll be able to help.

i've also got some pretty loud steering pump whine. could this be a cause of my steering problems or just a side affect or individual problem?

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Old 09-15-2009, 10:09 PM   #10
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im having the same problem on mine. i need to replace the u joint but it looks like a real pita to change. any advice on that? sorry to butt in i dont want to highjack the thread just thought it might help you out as well.
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Old 10-15-2009, 10:52 AM   #11
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Has this been resolved? If not, I'd recommend checking the intermidiate shaft. I have a '92 and just found/fixed this. There is a rubber filled coupler toward the steering column end of the shaft that has failed. I removed the shaft, welded the coupler and reinstalled. Steering is now firm with no play.
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