Stock Grand Cherokee Tech. All ZJ/WJ/WK Non-modified/stock questions go here! ZJ (93-98), WJ (99-04), WK (05+)
All ZJ/WJ/WK specific tech questions asked here!

loose steering.. play in the wheel ?

Old 11-10-2015, 07:26 AM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 237
Year: 2001
Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine: 4.0
Default loose steering.. play in the wheel ?

First off I have a 2001 Grand Cherokee with a budget boost lift and a little bigger tires.


My daughter has started driving and I want to tighten up the steering. It seems to have a bit of play in the wheel and it is not straight, it tilts to the left slightly.


I'm planning on replacing the stock steering stabilizer with a beefier Rough Country unit soon.


I got the tires last year and never got it aligned afterwards.


Would the steering stabilizer and alignment solve my issues and tighten up my steering?


Thanks in advance.


RIZ
rizmonkey is offline  
Old 11-10-2015, 08:43 AM
  #2  
CF Veteran
 
dave1123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Manlius, east of Syracuse, NY
Posts: 11,262
Year: 2000
Model: Grand Cherokee (WJ)
Engine: 4.0L
Default

There is always going to be more play in a worn&sector steering system than in a rack&pinion system due to the clearance between the gears in the steering box. Even with a brand new box, there is some play. With rack&pinion, the only clearance is between the gear teeth on the pinion and the rack, only about 0.010" at most.

The worm&sector gears in your jeep use ball bearings as gear teeth and they run in 1/2 round grooves to form the connection. As the grooves wear, there isn't too much you can do to tighten them up. You can check the play with the steering near the center as opposed to near the left and right limits to tell if the ball paths are worn. If you adjust to eliminate play in the center, you may have too much pressure at the limits and will crush the ***** or break the gears or bearings.

An alignment will definitely help, but all a heavier steering stabilizer will do is make the steering stiffer, not tighten it up. What a stabilizer does is help control steering "kickback" when one tire hits an obstacle like a rock or pothole. A jeep does steer differently than a front wheel drive vehicle with rack&pinion steering. It's the nature of the beast.
dave1123 is offline  
Old 11-10-2015, 08:58 PM
  #3  
Seasoned Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 350
Year: 1994
Model: Grand Cherokee
Engine: v8
Default

The pitman arm is a notorious source of play that is easy to check and cheap to fix.
rangermonroe is offline  
Old 11-11-2015, 01:46 AM
  #4  
CF Veteran
 
dave1123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Manlius, east of Syracuse, NY
Posts: 11,262
Year: 2000
Model: Grand Cherokee (WJ)
Engine: 4.0L
Default

Originally Posted by rangermonroe View Post
The pitman arm is a notorious source of play that is easy to check and cheap to fix.
Well said, ranger. There are many things that wear and cause looseness in the steering besides the steering box. My jeep used to wander pretty badly until I replaced the lower ball joints, well actually I replaced all 4 ball joints and all the rod ends as well as the steering damper because it was leaking. The steering was pretty sensitive after that. Added note; I had replaced the front bearing hubs the year before.

If you replace the tierod ends yourself, you can get them amazingly close by using a tape measure over the grease fittings. Don't rely on counting the turns as some guys do. With a tape measure, you can get them within a 1/32" of the original length overall. Pretty freaking close. Actually, the rear alignment was off just a bit because of worn bushings, but not enough to matter. That only makes the jeep tend to drift off to one side when your hands are off the wheel, usually to the right because of torque.

Last edited by dave1123; 11-11-2015 at 02:00 AM.
dave1123 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
BGQJ34
Introductions
9
11-29-2015 03:35 PM
mmarsh5
Stock Grand Cherokee Tech. All ZJ/WJ/WK Non-modified/stock questions go here!
3
10-29-2015 10:12 AM
bfg111
Stock Grand Cherokee Tech. All ZJ/WJ/WK Non-modified/stock questions go here!
1
10-26-2015 12:43 PM
Matt Krumwiede
Modified XJ Cherokee Tech
8
10-21-2015 10:44 PM

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: loose steering.. play in the wheel ?


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description: