Tilt Wheel Steering Column appears to be leaning towards the driver door - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 02-25-2011, 08:36 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Tilt Wheel Steering Column appears to be leaning towards the driver door

Hi All,
A newbie here,
I have a shot to buy an 87 YJ Wrangler for $800
It has 125,000 miles, It's a 6-cylinder automatic, has AC, PS, PB and tilt-wheel
Body is decent, no frame rust, minimal exterior body rust, only interior rust is a small hole on drivers side.
Under the hood looks unmodified, stock air cleaner is there, etc.

I noticed when I sit in it, and am holding onto the steering wheel that my left arm feels very close to the drivers door.
Upon further inspection when I looked where the steering column emerges from the dash, it looks like it is spaced more to the left. Kinda looks like someone grabbed the steering wheel and it pulled over to the left.
If I look at the spacing where the column emerges from the dash, it looks like a lotta space on the right, but on the left it's almost rubbing on the plastic dash cover.

Is this indicative of a big problem??
Or can I look for the column mounts, loosen them and realign the column.

Can anyone tell me what I need to look for (i.e. problem areas) in a used YJ before I decide if I am gonna buy this jeep?

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Old 02-25-2011, 11:52 AM   #2
Undead-89's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 760
As far as the steering wheel goes, that may just need an adjustment under the dash.

With the steering wheel there are two things to look for that I know of. Wobble of the steering assembly from the tilt wheel up and sloppiness in the wheel when you turn it.

The Wobble in the tilt section including the steering wheel as one assembly, usually means the four bolts in the joint are loose. It's a time consuming fix but easy, except for one thing: the pivot pins. there is a special tool that makes this job really easy. i have one I have used it twice in my life and it is worth every dollar I paid. GM part J21854-01 ( I bought it originally for my 87 Camaro). With this you can easily fix that slop.

If the sterring wheel wobbles separately from the tilt assembly of the column, then the bearing in the column is probably loose or worn. Or the nut that holds the steering wheel to the shaft is loose and just needs to be tightened.

When the steering wheel will rotate excessively while not turning the wheels either the Steering gear has worn parts, or the Universal joint on the steering shaft is worn. The universal joint is easy to prove or eliminate. Just pop the hood and look for the joint near the firewall on the steering shaft. If the U-joint has a lot of slop, there is you issue. I believe you would have to replace the shaft from the steering box up to just past the U-joint where there is a bolt to attach it to the shaft coming through the fire wall.

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Old 02-25-2011, 09:47 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Lamar Arkansas
Posts: 57
I have a CJ and two YJs and my arm is close to the door in all of them.There is NO adjustment for the column side to side under the dash.I just tightened my tilt and it took about thirty minutes and if you have the right tools you dont have to pull the pivot pins.
86 CJ Stock
88 Wrangler far from stock
89 Wrangler Stock
88 Cherokee Stock
78 J10 Stock
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Old 02-25-2011, 09:54 PM   #4
89JEEPYJ's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 967
drive it and see what happens. If it still handles good go for it. $800 is usually a good price, pics would be nice
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Old 02-27-2011, 10:47 PM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
I think I am gonna pass on this Jeep.
I got a chance to check out the wrangler more thoroughly this weekend.
Engine is straight 6 with auto trans
It's got 187,000 miles on it and it appears to have a lot of problems
It's been sitting for 6 years
The bottomm of the tranny and oil pan are pretty wet looking
I heard a noticeable knock when it was idling (the knock frequency speedsup when throttle is applied
When I was pulling it up on stands, I felt and heard a good clunk
Blinkers don't work,
AC doesnt work
Defroster works intermittantly
Electrical wires/plugs and vacum lines are disconnected under hood and looked pretty hacked up
Window rubber is dried and cracked.
Both door have cracks inside where door windows meet the vent windows
Nice sized rot hole in driver-side floor

And to add to insult the owner raised the price up $100 since last week - the old "I got a better offer trick!!)
So I think I'll spend $900 to buy it and have to spend at least $1500 to get it sea-worthy
I figure I'll spend some time looking and maybe look for an early to Mid-90's Wrangler
I figure I will spend more initially for a better Jeep and but I will have a lot less headaches, and I'll wind up spending less to make it what I want.

thanks for all the great advice
stay tuned - I'll keep ya all posted
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1987 , jeep , steering column , wrangle

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