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Old 07-04-2010, 08:52 PM   #1
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Loose Steering

I adopted my new 2000 wrangler about 3 weeks ago. I got a good deal on it at the used car lot and now I am finding out why. After looking at all the carfax reports on their website i picked out the only one of two wranglers on the lot that did not have a report online.

Turns out the previous owner ran over one of those drains in the median of an interstate. It caused moderate damage, which has been well repaired IMO. (Visually anyway).

The Jeep was bad out of alignment when i bought it. I had it aligned and had them check to make sure the frame was not warped. Everything checked out.

The only lingering issue that affects driving is that the steering has a little play in the center of it. You have to pay a little closter attention while driving or the Jeep will wonder off to the right usually and you have to correct.

I have checked for bent swaybars and linkages. Nothing seems to be bent. I did find that on the bottom of the steering box you can see the splines of the mechinism inside. I took a few picks tonight at dusk, i appoligize for the low lighting. Tomorrow i will get a video of the steering in action from under the Jeep.

Is this something that can be tightened up to correct my issue or is it unrelated.

Thanks for the help in advanced and sorry for the long post.

2010 JK Mountain
2000 TJ Sahara
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:22 PM   #2
Knows a couple things...

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One way you can possibly see what is causing the loose feeling is to have a friend turn the steering wheel back & forth while you watch the front-end for something moving that shouldn't. Especially pay close attention to the track bar where it mounts to the axle on the passenger side. A loose passenger-side track bar mount is high on the list of components that can cause loose-feeling steering.

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Old 07-05-2010, 12:10 AM   #3
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It is normal to see a small portion of the splines between the pitman arm and steering box. That doesn't mean you shouldn't put a breaker bar and socket on it to ensure it is tight though.
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Old 07-05-2010, 01:28 PM   #4
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Ditto what Jerry said. Also check for worn bushings on the control arms.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:45 AM   #5
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There is an adjustment on the steering box itself to tighten up the steering, but it is very touchy, and over-adjusting can cause very ill affects. The sector shaft(the part that comes out of the steering box and the pitman arm attaches to) should have some splines showing.

Check for loose/cracked pitman arm, loose track bar at either end, loose ball joints, loose unit bearings, loose control arms, proper alignment of EVERYTHING, loose adjustment sleeves at the DL and TB, etc.

Sector shafts can break too.......usually at a very inopportune time.

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