Steering Issues? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
Jeep Wrangler Forum

Go Back   Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Jeep Wrangler Forum > TJ Tech Forum

Join Wrangler Forum Today


Reply
 
Thread Tools

Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about them on WranglerForum.com
Old 09-20-2012, 01:52 PM   #1
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 33
Steering Issues?

Hey Guys, I just bought my cousin's 97 TJ and he didn't do a great job taking care of it. He's had this problem for a while and since I'm the new owner, I'd like to get it taken care of.. Hopefully on my own to avoid having to pay for mechanic fees.

So basically the steering on the jeep is very off. I can turn the steering wheel left to right a good 3-5 inches from the original location without the wheels turning. While I'm driving, since the alignment is off, I'm constantly turning the wheel to get it straight.

So instead of a "stiff" steering wheel.. it feels very loose.

Sorry if this doesn't make sense. I'm completely a Jeep newb, and even worst with car repairs, but I'm trying to make this Jeep into a project and help me get familiar with working on cars.

Also, since I've just gotten this... I'd like to run extra maintenance on it since I know my cousin didn't do anything but regular oil changes (regular might be a little exaggeration) I've already replace the black sludge, I mean oil, as well as the air filter. I plan on replacing the spark plugs, distributor cap, rotors, wires, and the serpentine belt.

Is there anything else I should do? Remember this is a 97 TJ Sport 4.0L, that was rarely taken care of, so any and all necessary steps to get it working better is needed.

Thanks! and excuse my ignorance!

shug11 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-20-2012, 02:03 PM   #2
Jeeper
 
jherrington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 1,968
Can't help the steering, but change the differential fluids front and back, lube the chassis, change the air filter, flush and trill the radiator with coolant and distilled water, change transmission oil (manual), maybe an auto tranny flush if not too many miles, change transfer case fluid. If you want to take it to the next level, check the breaks, flush the brake lines, check the head for sludge make sure power steering fluid is full. Yeah, that's just about everything.

__________________
98 TJ sport 4.0L I6 356,000 miles.
No Engine, axle, tranny, or t-case rebuilds.
Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
jherrington is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-20-2012, 11:29 PM   #3
Jeeper
 
jherrington's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Baton Rouge
Posts: 1,968
Go get yourself a shop manual, or shoot. An owners manual it will tell you how to so simple maintence
__________________
98 TJ sport 4.0L I6 356,000 miles.
No Engine, axle, tranny, or t-case rebuilds.
Check out my 5.3 swap in progress here!
jherrington is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-21-2012, 12:00 AM   #4
Jeeper
 
Thorn721's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alabama
Posts: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by shug11
Hey Guys, I just bought my cousin's 97 TJ and he didn't do a great job taking care of it. He's had this problem for a while and since I'm the new owner, I'd like to get it taken care of.. Hopefully on my own to avoid having to pay for mechanic fees.

So basically the steering on the jeep is very off. I can turn the steering wheel left to right a good 3-5 inches from the original location without the wheels turning. While I'm driving, since the alignment is off, I'm constantly turning the wheel to get it straight.

So instead of a "stiff" steering wheel.. it feels very loose.

Sorry if this doesn't make sense. I'm completely a Jeep newb, and even worst with car repairs, but I'm trying to make this Jeep into a project and help me get familiar with working on cars.

Also, since I've just gotten this... I'd like to run extra maintenance on it since I know my cousin didn't do anything but regular oil changes (regular might be a little exaggeration) I've already replace the black sludge, I mean oil, as well as the air filter. I plan on replacing the spark plugs, distributor cap, rotors, wires, and the serpentine belt.

Is there anything else I should do? Remember this is a 97 TJ Sport 4.0L, that was rarely taken care of, so any and all necessary steps to get it working better is needed.

Thanks! and excuse my ignorance!
The steering issue could possibly be your tie rod ends wore out. I would start there and wore case scenario is the gearbox is shot.
__________________
It's a Jeep thing... You wouldn't understand

LFFD 721
Thorn721 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-21-2012, 02:10 AM   #5
Jeeper
 
Wheel2Work's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 874
The steering gear box does have some adjustability in it to "tighten" up the steering, but you need to make small adjustments to avoid problems. I would check the tie rod ends as mentioned above, before I tried making any adjustments. A good shop manual (FSM) will be your friend while working on your Jeep.
__________________
2000 4.0l Sport, Auto, some mods done - planning more
Wheel2Work is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-21-2012, 07:36 AM   #6
Jeeper
 
Intense951's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 19
When I first bought my TJ, my steering was very loose as well and driving it on the highway was pretty scary. I decided to do the Durango Steering Box upgrade since my TJ is lifted 4" with 33s and it helped tremendously.
Intense951 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-21-2012, 08:11 AM   #7
Jeeper
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 33
Thanks everyone for your input. I plan on getting some new tie rod ends and possibly a new steering stabilizer for her and see if it helps out.

Do you guys have a reccomendation on which brand I should get or which brand to avoid for the ends n stabilizer?

I do plan on getting a manual but I'm trying to only use Internet resources right now. With my daughter being born 5 months ago.. all the funds go to her

Hence why I'm sticking with small repairs at first until the big projects come.

Thanks again guys and please keep the suggestions coming. I'll try to use this thread as a journal to update my process along the way.
shug11 is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Old 09-21-2012, 09:17 PM   #8
Jeeper
 
Wheel2Work's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 874
Quote:
Originally Posted by shug11 View Post
Thanks everyone for your input. I plan on getting some new tie rod ends and possibly a new steering stabilizer for her and see if it helps out.

Do you guys have a reccomendation on which brand I should get or which brand to avoid for the ends n stabilizer?

I do plan on getting a manual but I'm trying to only use Internet resources right now. With my daughter being born 5 months ago.. all the funds go to her

Hence why I'm sticking with small repairs at first until the big projects come.

Thanks again guys and please keep the suggestions coming. I'll try to use this thread as a journal to update my process along the way.
NAPA carries Moog Tie Rod Ends...

Steering Stabilizers aren't really needed if the rest of the front end is done correctly, so stock will work fine...

Send a PM to Board Member Atthehop and see if he can send you a PDF copy of the FSM that you need... He's one of the best "resources" going!

__________________
2000 4.0l Sport, Auto, some mods done - planning more
Wheel2Work is offline   Quote Quick Reply
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Jeep Wrangler Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



logo carid shop wrangler parts carid fender flares custom wheels store avs deflectors at carid
» Rates
Get low rates on auto insurance in Canada!

» Network Links
»Jeep Parts
» Featured Product

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:56 AM.



Jeep®, Wrangler, Liberty, Wagoneer, Cherokee, and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler Motors LLC.
Wranglerforum.com is not in any way associated with the Chrysler Motors LLC