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Old 02-08-2014, 02:22 PM   #1
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Hit curb offset steering wheel

Ate a curb at about 20 during the last snow, after I got back on the road my steering wheel was 90 degrees off when wheels are pointed straight. Jeep drives fine. What happened? How do I fix it?

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Old 02-08-2014, 02:23 PM   #2
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Bent track bar, bent drag link, bent tie rod, twisted sector shaft......

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Old 02-08-2014, 02:31 PM   #3
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the drag link needs to be adjusted to straighten your steering wheel. loosen the pinch bolts, and adjust the turn buckle. as previously posted you might want to check your tie rod... make sure that's not bent. though you'd probably feel the wobble from a bent tie rod.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:33 PM   #4
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Don't just go and adjust the drag link to straighten the wheel. Something bent, broke, or moved, and needs to be repaired/ replaced.
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Old 02-08-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Don't just go and adjust the drag link to straighten the wheel. Something bent, broke, or moved, and needs to be repaired/ replaced.
not necessarily.. just because it knocked the steering wheel out doesn't mean something is bent.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:26 PM   #6
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Don't just go and adjust the drag link to straighten the wheel. Something bent, broke, or moved, and needs to be repaired/ replaced.


x2. Something in your front end has changed, so you need to identify what happened before you try and cover it up.
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Old 02-08-2014, 04:40 PM   #7
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not necessarily.. just because it knocked the steering wheel out doesn't mean something is bent.
There is nothing that can simply "move", and be "adjusted" back to make the steering wheel off.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:06 PM   #8
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There is nothing that can simply "move", and be "adjusted" back to make the steering wheel off.
Agree, the only way a steering wheel could be off without something bending or being dislocated is if the suspension height changed, and if someone rammed a tire into something a suspension height change is not where I would be looking.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:25 PM   #9
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x2. Something in your front end has changed, so you need to identify what happened before you try and cover it up.
x3
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:52 PM   #10
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X4, something got bent... either the tie rod or track bar is most likely, less likely the drag link. My bet is the tie rod is bent. Don't simply adjust the drag link to straighten the steering wheel, something may be bent enough so it could fail catastrophically.

The tie rod should be perfectly straight. If it is, you most likely have a bent track bar which is harder to see a new bend in it since it comes with a couple factory bends.

If your tie rod is bent, replace it, don't bend it back. The factory tie rod is a skinny hollow tube and once bent, it is likely to bend again or maybe even fail if something puts stress on it again... like another curb.
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:57 PM   #11
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I had same type of wreck in 77 dodge truck. It bent my tie rod. We heated it with a torch and smacked it into a telephone pole till it was straight again.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:16 PM   #12
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My bet is the tie rod is bent.
I agree. If it still has the stock tie rod. They aren't very, uh, "robust".
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:04 PM   #13
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is the pitman arm typically keyed on the steering box? Is there any way that striking that curb can rotate the pitman arm on the steering box?
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #14
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is the pitman arm typically keyed on the steering box? Is there any way that striking that curb can rotate the pitman arm on the steering box?
Id say not without destroying the steering box as well as just being loose afterwards. If if it "could" it would continue to rotate on there.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:28 PM   #15
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tie rod is straight, control arms are fine, drag link is straight knuckles are fine pitman arm u joints. I checked everything except the trac bar. ill hit that in the am.
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:43 PM   #16
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You check the tie rod with a straight edge or by looking at it? To a Girl an 1/8th inch is not a lot Kid Rock. To your steering it is.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:34 PM   #17
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is the pitman arm typically keyed on the steering box? Is there any way that striking that curb can rotate the pitman arm on the steering box?
Keyed Yes, and rotated no.... It"ll be between there and the knuckles.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:37 PM   #18
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Twice in the last 20 years, I have seen the sector shaft twisted after impact to a front tire, although not on a Jeep, which would make the steering wheel off-center. I think it's very unlikely.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:49 PM   #19
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Had a similar experience a couple of years ago, except it was at 40 mph and I was dodging a minivan that swerved into my lane. I completely jumped a curb into a parking lot and ever since my steering wheel has been off at about 15 degrees. I had my mechanic check it out, he is a old school guy and checked it out for no charge and he told me that it basically just forced the drag link to adjust without loosening the bolts. his advice was not to mess with it until i was able to replace the drag link, because it could be damaged and not tighten back up.

My steering wheel is still off center today but it drives just fine.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:23 PM   #20
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Had a similar experience a couple of years ago, except it was at 40 mph and I was dodging a minivan that swerved into my lane. I completely jumped a curb into a parking lot and ever since my steering wheel has been off at about 15 degrees. I had my mechanic check it out, he is a old school guy and checked it out for no charge and he told me that it basically just forced the drag link to adjust without loosening the bolts. his advice was not to mess with it until i was able to replace the drag link, because it could be damaged and not tighten back up.

My steering wheel is still off center today but it drives just fine.
If that's the case, the threads on the adjusting sleeve were compromised and I would not trust it.
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Old 02-08-2014, 11:43 PM   #21
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If that's the case, the threads on the adjusting sleeve were compromised and I would not trust it.
Exactly. That's a serious safety hazard, the threads are trashed and if that sleeve fails... there goes your steering.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #22
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Like i said 2 years later and no problems yet so dont jinx me haha. But seriously i am almost ready to replace it lol
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:33 PM   #23
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Like i said 2 years later and no problems yet so dont jinx me haha. But seriously i am almost ready to replace it lol
It's not a problem....until it fails and you have zero control of your vehicle. Imagine how fun that will be at highways speeds....
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:37 PM   #24
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Some suggestions/comments in this thread are just plain scary.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:43 PM   #25
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It's not a problem....until it fails and you have zero control of your vehicle. Imagine how fun that will be at highways speeds....
Oh god u guys are such buzzkills lol jk as if i dont already know this stuff. The reason i commented is so that the op doesnt go trying to adjust his draglink and make it undriveable.


But the fact of the matter is that i can't afford to just spend money like alot of u guys can! I see alot of people spending ridiculous amounts of money on this forum, but some of us jeepers are broke. I am in college and living paycheck to paycheck. I can barely afford food and you guys are going to get on my ass for not buying a $200 part... So please retain ur judgement.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:58 PM   #26
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First, that mechanic who said the impact "... basically just forced the drag link to adjust without loosening the bolts" was either smoking something funny, was clueless, an idiot, or worse. What he said just doesn't happen.

And a used drag link isn't going to cost $200.

But how much could a catastrophic failure of a steering component at 65-70 mph cost?
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:02 PM   #27
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First of all, he is the best mechanic i have ever worked with and he made this assumption based on the fact that the draglink was not bent and was shorter than it had been before the curbhopping incident.

Secondly, as i said earlier i am pretty close to doing it now.

And lastly, did u miss the part where i said i can barely afford food? So please stfu
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:04 PM   #28
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Most of what i do have comes from the generousity of my middle class father who gives me as much as he can afford to, but i am currently 40k deep in school debt and working a fulltime job to be able to eat and have a place to live
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Old 02-09-2014, 01:31 PM   #29
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Anyway this is pointless. To the OP sorry for derailing ur thread. And to everyone else try not to judge people that u know nothing about
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:06 PM   #30
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A damaged part is a damaged part regardless of one's financial situation. How you deal with it is your responsibility. Most of us here have been in your place and many will be there again. That is why accurate information is important. it helps us make wise and informed decisions with our limited resources.

Take a good look at your steering and figure out for yourself if your old-school mechanic is correct or not. How did he determine that nothing in your steering was bent? It really isn't difficult to see that what he described cannot happen. Threads don't skip. They strip or something else bends or breaks. If you are unwilling to see the reality of how your steering works, then it really is pointless.

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