Hey guys I cannot be robbed again by a mechanic not knowing whats wrong so here I am. As soon as I got my jeep which at the time had massive shackles and a 2" body lift I put the 33s I got with it on the jeep and took the 37s off. From that point (mind you I never drove it with the 37s) to drive straight the steering wheel has to be about a quarter turn or more to the left just to drive straight.
If I release the wheel and drive it goes straight to the right side. Front calipers and pads have been replaced as well as the entire rear drum assembly. The jeep also now has stock shackles with a 4" leaf lift. I have no idea what is wrong because a shop already tried an alignment and it didnt work. Though they claim their machine being new could have had a issue/malfunction.
It could be a tire. Swap them side to side, see if anything changes. Is your air pressure the same in all tires?
The position of the steering wheel has nothing to do with tracking straight. That's simply a function of the drag link adjuster. I never bothered setting my wheel straight in my CJ... it used to drive others nuts... but I could cruise at 75 mph, tracking straight The logo on the wheel was about 120° out of "normal" .
Are the shackles straight, none too loose? Are the shackles overtightened? The spring bolt and shackle mount bolt should allow free movement of the shackle and spring.
Is your toe set correctly? Should be 1/8 to 3/16 IIRC.
Toe is easy to set at home with a tape measure, a pipe wrench, a couple sockets and a sharp eye... Basic Jeep Front End Alignment
Are all of your spring u-bolts torqued to spec?
What is your caster? You should have between 5 and 7 degrees positive, with less than half a degree different between sides (slight difference to account for road crown). Did you get a print-out from the alignment shop? We would like to see a copy, or at least a summary of the results.
Any play or binding in the intermediate steering shaft, between the box and the column? If so, replace it (Flaming River or Borgeson)... (a worn sloppy shaft will give wandering, but not likely a pull to one side)
This should give you a few things to check.
Let us know....
So your saying even if he steering wheel isn't centered to drive straight; if I turn the steering wheel so I can drive straight and let go it should just continue going straight?
Also shackles are fine all the bolts are tightened properly. It was taken and had an alignment but they said they couldn't fix the wheel issue like I described. That seems to be the issue but if what I said above is supposed to be true then there could be another issue. Then again the roads are angled and uneven around here;I haven't tried driving on the other side of the road either.
The position of the steering wheel itself doesn't matter, except for turn signal cancelling. It doesn't matter if the word Jeep in the center of the wheel is horizontal or tilted... as long as the wheels are pointing straight you will be driving straight... unless you turn the wheel.
Think about driving the Jeep with your head out the drivers window... you watch the road and the position of your tires. You don't know or care if the logo on the steering wheel is at a 45° or upside down... you're driving straight. And if you let go of the wheel, you should continue driving straight unless the road is heavily rutted or crowned.
You can fix the steering wheel to be properly positioned if you want.
Set the rig so that the tires are pointing straight ahead. Loosen the nuts on the drag link adjuster and turn the adjuster on the drag link (without letting the tires move from straight ahead) until the steering wheel is where you want it. Then retighten the nuts on the adjuster.
It sounds like you need to stop going to that shop, and find one with competent employees.
That will fix my wheel issue but after reading your post and thinking about it I definitely have some steering slop. It may even be more towards the left side, at least right now the wheel has to turn further to the left to start turning the jeep. I don't think it is the castor angle though because the leafs I put on for my 4" lift have shims on them.
The steering slop is often caused by wear in the rag joint, the coupling just behind the steering box. There are rebuild kits for the rag joint if it isn't too bad.
Any looseness in the steering shaft ujoint can add to the problem. You might be able to retrofit an XJ intermediate shaft.
Of course, the slop could be coming from the box. I'd suspect the rag joint first...
Bad caster angle will cause wandering and poor return-to-center, but you're right, caster has nothing to do with steering "slop".
So I was just looking at my shaft and I took a picture, may be hard to tell. If you look at where the shaft meets the knuckle, there is a small darker black line. I am able to lift the shaft enough to move it higher. Compare the two pictures and hopefully you'll see what I'm talking about.
Is that part supposed to just sit in there? Should I be able to move that?
Looks like you have some wear in the bell coupler (rag joint). These are rebuildable if the pins/block isn't too worn. Should be no slop up/down/rotational. Same for the upper end of that intermediate shaft.
You can replace the rag joint & intermediate shaft with a unit from Borgeson. Takes all the slop out of the connections.
The tires should be straight ahead, then the drag link adjuster is used to center the steering wheel. If the steering box is worn/has slop, you'll see the pitman arm move before the steering wheel moves.
Thanks for getting back to me. When I drove up to my school which was a 4 hour drive on some pretty straight roads; I was thinking I may have wanted a new shaft just because there is some play in it but maybe that will fix the problem.
Now the new thing I found though was that between 55-75 (more often the closer to 75) the jeep would get a lot of vibration. Like rattle your brain vibration, and then sometimes at that exact same speed it wouldn't happen and it was smooth. Now all ball joints were replaced prior to my purchase of the Jeep.
Also I have installed a full suspension kit, leafs, u-bolts, shackles, bushings all that good stuff. Finally both the front and rear brakes have been replaced. When my mechanic looked at the jeep a while back he said the front end was tight and I've check myself and I can't feel anything moving.
Oh also most importantly if I let go of the wheel during this vibration the Jeep still tracks perfectly straight. I have no idea what it is and while it isn't putting me in danger (yet), it is very uncomfortable to ride in when it does this.
Any ideas, it may be something like death wobble? I don't know, I have never been in something I know has a death wobble but I would definitely like to solve the problem.
Hey guys so I am bringing this thread back because of a new issue I have. I still haven't gotten new tires yet but that isn't the issue. I had been parking my car on the curb and turning my wheels in since I was on a hill. I would then shut the car to lock the wheels in place.
A few days later I went to drive my jeep and there was a loud pop and the steering wheel quickly adjusted its position and basically popped out of place. Instead of having the center sitting even on the steering wheel, I have to hold the steering wheel about 180 degrees to the right to track straight. This would seem like a drag link situation but the issue is a couple times after the first pop the steering wheel popped back to the proper positioning, and is now back to the 180 degree position. I went and looked at the front end.
I don't know if it was like this before the pop, or if this was the cause but the brace for the steering box which was welded right near a drain hole on the frame, basically broke off. It looks like it slide back a bit but I can grab the brace and literally move the jeep back and forth with it, it doesn't seem to be able to move now Maybe the last pop really got it stuck in there.
I went to a mechanic just for a free diagnostic and they said they thought that I will need to replace the steering box gears because they probably got thrown off or something like that.
My question is can I just replace the brace and fix that and maybe that will fix the issue, the steering box just kinda moved so it moved the steering wheel as well? Or should I just upgrade my steering box? And if so, what should I look at. I am trying to save as much money as possible and am really not sure how I can do the work up here at school.
Don't think its a great idea to drive it when it could pop back out on the highway from maybe a strong bump or turning the wheel hard which is what did it previous.
the things that I can think of that could slip are..
pitman arm on the gearbox shaft..
gears inside the gearbox..
something on the steering shaft..
any of those things will probably indicate excessive wear but I think I would check the pitman arm first
So! What caused the issue, something only my special jeep would cause. the PO cut the bolt part of the steering box brace off and welded it to the frame. Add a lot of pressure over time and bam the weld brakes and the brace releases letting the steering box turn slightly ultimately moving my steering wheel; and scaring the crap out of me while driving.
Going to get it rewelded and hopefully reenforced today at a shop.