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Old 02-25-2014, 01:49 AM   #1
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Hard to steer in tight turns...

Background:
Aussie locker up front
Steering issues started after being stuck in mud
Occurs even in 2wd

Replaced passenger side axle stub and installed Spicer U Joint after the OEM joint was broken. Only 16,000 miles on a 2010 JK.

Since being stuck in the mud it has occasionally been very hard to turn hard left and right, but even in 2wd. What should I look for? I can go for miles and nothing seems out of whack, but all of a sudden in parking lots or tight trails the steering seems almost impossible to turn. No leaks, new serpentine belt. Any help is appreciated.

Corey

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Old 02-25-2014, 02:14 AM   #2
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I assume you have cleaned all the mud out and there is no debris causing the steering to bind.

Have you tried getting in on the ground in the front of your Jeep with a strong light while someone in the Jeep turns the wheel progressively faster from side to side?

Check from the steering box all the way down the drag link and across the tie rod.

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Old 02-25-2014, 04:07 AM   #3
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You bash you SS ?
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spinlock View Post
I assume you have cleaned all the mud out and there is no debris causing the steering to bind.

Have you tried getting in on the ground in the front of your Jeep with a strong light while someone in the Jeep turns the wheel progressively faster from side to side?

Check from the steering box all the way down the drag link and across the tie rod.
This was almost a year ago, so it's not from debris. I checked everything manually and can't find anything, but I'll get some help from someone to turn the wheel. My SS was replaced recently after getting busted on the rocks.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:28 PM   #5
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Could it be related to the Aussie up front? Are your breather hoses still attached and have you cleaned out and changed the fluid in your differentials since your mudding trip? If the auto-locker mechanism is locking up/binding without power, it would definitely make hard turns more difficult.
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Old 02-25-2014, 12:37 PM   #6
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did you check steering clearance after the stabilizer swap. they are are not all the same. see if you are bottoming it out when you turn
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FenderGrime View Post
Could it be related to the Aussie up front? Are your breather hoses still attached and have you cleaned out and changed the fluid in your differentials since your mudding trip? If the auto-locker mechanism is locking up/binding without power, it would definitely make hard turns more difficult.
Breather hoses are still attached. I thought it could be the locker, but I didn't know how it would affect the steering in 2wd. Stupid question: how do I "clean out" the diff? I haven't replaced the fluid since the Aussie install.

I'll double check SS, but I'm pretty sure I checked it after install.

Thanks for all the tips.
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Old 02-25-2014, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
Background:
Aussie locker up front
Steering issues started after being stuck in mud
Occurs even in 2wd

Replaced passenger side axle stub and installed Spicer U Joint after the OEM joint was broken. Only 16,000 miles on a 2010 JK.

Since being stuck in the mud it has occasionally been very hard to turn hard left and right, but even in 2wd. What should I look for? I can go for miles and nothing seems out of whack, but all of a sudden in parking lots or tight trails the steering seems almost impossible to turn. No leaks, new serpentine belt. Any help is appreciated.

Corey
When you say it's almost impossible to turn, does it feel like something is binding or there is metal on metal contact holding you back? I ask because I have a hydro assist system and sometimes at low RPM I don't have enough pressure or volume to turn my 35's as easily as normal. It is a pretty rare occurrence and doesn't happen at low RPM's all the time, but when it does it's surprising. Maybe you're power steering pump is failing or there is air in your system? Just a few thoughts. Good Luck getting it straightened out!

-Ryan
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XTRyan View Post
When you say it's almost impossible to turn, does it feel like something is binding or there is metal on metal contact holding you back? I ask because I have a hydro assist system and sometimes at low RPM I don't have enough pressure or volume to turn my 35's as easily as normal. It is a pretty rare occurrence and doesn't happen at low RPM's all the time, but when it does it's surprising. Maybe you're power steering pump is failing or there is air in your system? Just a few thoughts. Good Luck getting it straightened out!

-Ryan
It is always at low RPMs, yeah. How would I tell if the pump is failing or there is air in the system? I'm beginning to have lots of things to check, lol!
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Old 02-25-2014, 02:56 PM   #10
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One should always lift the front end. Turn lock to lock and check all clearance concerns.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
It is always at low RPMs, yeah. How would I tell if the pump is failing or there is air in the system? I'm beginning to have lots of things to check, lol!
You can lift the axle on jack stands and with the engine running and the cap off the reservoir, work the steering back and fourth. This will bleed any air out of the system that may be in there. As far as checking the function of the pump, I believe putting a pressure gauge in-line is the only way to do that. The more I think about it, the more I think it would be a clearance issue, but it's hard to say. While the axle is in the air, check all your clearances while you're under there. Keep us posted.

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Old 02-26-2014, 04:24 PM   #12
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I'm off of work tomorrow. I'll try as much as possible. Thanks.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:12 PM   #13
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So do I need to pull off the diff cover and look for anything, or should I just change the fluid? If I need to pull the diff cover, how do I clean anything that looks funky?
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
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So do I need to pull off the diff cover and look for anything, or should I just change the fluid? If I need to pull the diff cover, how do I clean anything that looks funky?
Spray with brake cleaner.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:58 AM   #15
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Could it be steering pump?
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:06 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaggi2 View Post
So do I need to pull off the diff cover and look for anything, or should I just change the fluid? If I need to pull the diff cover, how do I clean anything that looks funky?
i wouldnt do that untill all else has failed. there isnt anything in there that would affect steering........unless its not unlocking. what brand did you install. cause the jk dana 30 is not the same as other 30s. it needs a differnt crush washer
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:16 PM   #17
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i wouldnt do that untill all else has failed. there isnt anything in there that would affect steering........unless its not unlocking. what brand did you install. cause the jk dana 30 is not the same as other 30s. it needs a differnt crush washer
Myeah, opening the diff should be one of the last things you should try. If you end up going down that route however, you'd want to break it open versus just changing the fluid. If it's diff related, the problem probably isn't with the fluid itself.

If it's locked up or binding, your outside front tire should be skipping in tight turns. Here's an outside link to a guy having issues with an aussie up front. The OP experienced very similar symptoms. http://www.lsjc.org/board/showthread...ker-binding-up
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Old 02-27-2014, 12:24 PM   #18
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this can be tested with both wheels off the ground.

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Old 02-27-2014, 03:31 PM   #19
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Checking clearance first. Is this enough gap between the ss at full lock passenger? Looks like about 1/2 inch.

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Old 02-27-2014, 04:02 PM   #20
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Almost finished changing diff fluid. I'm at 16300 miles anyways, so no biggie. Here is the cap from the d30, don't know what it means but it doesn't look different from the d44. Also tried to bleed air from power steering. I don't hear any whining from the pump at all.

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Old 02-27-2014, 04:14 PM   #21
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Checking clearance first. Is this enough gap between the ss at full lock passenger? Looks like about 1/2 inch.

Attachment 814945
that looks fine you want 1/4 to 1/4 of shaft visible at full lock. can you be more specific about your steering trouble. you say its hard to turn in what sense no power steering, binding, metalic clanking, steering does not return to center......etc
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:19 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee indy View Post
this can be tested with both wheels off the ground.
So I hear the coupler working in both directions on both sides of the axle. I hope one of these fixes works. Time to lower her and take a spin. Fingers crossed.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:28 PM   #23
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So I hear the coupler working in both directions on both sides of the axle. I hope one of these fixes works. Time to lower her and take a spin. Fingers crossed.
The test drive was fine until pulling into driveway and garage. After full lock I was getting resistance turning the opposite direction. I'm lost...
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:41 PM   #24
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that looks fine you want 1/4 to 1/4 of shaft visible at full lock. can you be more specific about your steering trouble. you say its hard to turn in what sense no power steering, binding, metalic clanking, steering does not return to center......etc
It's simply difficult to turn usually at near lock on trails, but even in 2wd. No clanking, I'm leaning towards power steering but I don't hear anything abnormal. It's only driving very slowly so I wouldn't expect a return to center then, but I'll pay more attention.

Could it possibly be joints or TREs? I don't have any play anywhere though.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:58 PM   #25
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Have you disconnected the SS and tried full turn. You need to rule out the SS. This sounds very similar to a SS issue I had on full lock. Shaft was slightly bent.
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:02 PM   #26
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Have you disconnected the SS and tried full turn. You need to rule out the SS. This sounds very similar to a SS issue I had on full lock. Shaft was slightly bent.
I was just thinking that. I will remove it tonight and see how she drives tomorrow to work. The SS is only a few months old w/ only 1 wheeling trip on it so I didn't think that would be the culprit. My steering was also tough before I replaced the SS.

When I was stuck, the serpentine belt fell off and I had to drive about 20 mins to purchase one. Could this have ruined the pump? I don't hear anything abnormal and the PS fluid doesn't look abnormal.

Corey
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:44 PM   #27
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I was just thinking that. I will remove it tonight and see how she drives tomorrow to work. The SS is only a few months old w/ only 1 wheeling trip on it so I didn't think that would be the culprit. My steering was also tough before I replaced the SS.

When I was stuck, the serpentine belt fell off and I had to drive about 20 mins to purchase one. Could this have ruined the pump? I don't hear anything abnormal and the PS fluid doesn't look abnormal.

Corey
I feel like a crazy stalker woman w/ all these replys, but removing the SS doesn't help.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:45 PM   #28
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How much are you lifted have you checked your caster settings? Ball joints or ujoints getting hung up?
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:51 PM   #29
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How much are you lifted have you checked your caster settings? Ball joints or ujoints getting hung up?
My only lift is Unlimited coils on a 2 door netting about 2" w/ 33" tires on stock wheels w/ Spidertrax spacers. I don't remember my exact numbers, but I had an alignment b/f I knew how to do it myself and it was pretty close to stock.

How would I tell if the joints were getting "hung up"? Clearance looked fine today w/ no play in the joints when I was on jack stands.
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:11 PM   #30
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Pretty sure you can rule out caster. I'm guessing your running stock balljoints and ujoints if so how many miles

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