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Old 07-01-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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Steering wheel play

I recently purchased an 06 X from a dealership and it had huge death wobble problems off of the lot.

Dealership had it for two weeks and gave it back to me with new parts twice but didnt fix the wobble. They then re-built most of the front end and ordered me 4 new tires.

So far no death wobble... but I have about a 1/4 of play on either side of the left/right turn of the steering wheel with an audible clunk when it hits the center.

I've heard the look under the jeep and watch for movement numerous times. But my real question is how much play is normal? I've read many posts saying play in wrangler steering is normal, and many others saying that it is not.

The dealership told me its because of the lift and big (33 inch) tires and is normal, however I've had trucks with 35's that had zero steering play what so ever.

So is this normal?

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
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I have 33s and no play or deadzone. Still amazed at how agile this thing is!

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Old 07-01-2012, 02:25 PM   #3
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Alignment ok?
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:27 PM   #4
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Does it have a dropped pitman arm?
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Old 07-01-2012, 03:14 PM   #5
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It doesnt have a dropped pitman arm.

Its only a small amount of play when stopped and engine off, but noticeable on the freeway at speed.

If Im holding the wheel completely straight the car still goes straight, however i feel like something turning side to side that's attached to the wheel.

The best way i can explain it is if you were to imagine the steering wheel atop a broom handle and someone turning the broom sided to side slightly while you're holding the wheel but the wheel isn't moving and you can only tell because you feel it catch after a quarter inch of turn.
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #6
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Do you have adjustable control arms for caster correction?
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:02 PM   #7
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Im not sure, i don't believe so. I can post pictures later if necessary.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #8
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Worn out steering column u-joint.
Or worn steering box.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:30 AM   #9
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Do you know what kind of lift it has along with what the dealership actually replaced? They could just slap some new balanced tires on it and called it fixed and not really knowing if the lift is really complete. It sounds like a trade in vehicle that the PO got rid of because of the DW due to a incomplete lift/poor install. Steering wheel play with a clunk is not normal. I would bring it back.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wattapunk
Do you know what kind of lift it has along with what the dealership actually replaced? They could just slap some new balanced tires on it and called it fixed and not really knowing if the lift is really complete. It sounds like a trade in vehicle that the PO got rid of because of the DW due to a incomplete lift/poor install. Steering wheel play with a clunk is not normal. I would bring it back.
Trackbar, shocks, steering stabilizer, 4 new tires, and a few other things. I think im going to take it to a seperate mechanic and get a write up. I have a 30 day 100% parts and labor warantee. They had it for 2 weeks fixing the DW so i had the warantee extended another 30 days.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:31 PM   #11
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Heres some pictures, not sure exactly what im looking at or if these are even helpful.



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Old 07-02-2012, 02:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sccrbrg
Heres some pictures, not sure exactly what im looking at or if these are even helpful.


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Sorry that one was a little blurry
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #13
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check where the pitman arm goes onto the splines of the steering shaft, out the bottom of the steering box. Have someone else move the wheel an inch or so each way and see if your pitman arm tips back and forth.

Its not supposed to and is pretty common. You'd want to pull the nut off it, add one or two really big washers then re-torque it down.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sevenservices View Post
check where the pitman arm goes onto the splines of the steering shaft, out the bottom of the steering box. Have someone else move the wheel an inch or so each way and see if your pitman arm tips back and forth.

Its not supposed to and is pretty common. You'd want to pull the nut off it, add one or two really big washers then re-torque it down.
I dont think I have a Pitman?
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sccrbrg

I dont think I have a Pitman?
I tightened the steering box up underneath the sway bar cover. Loosen the nut and tighten the torx head. That took care of my steering wheel wobble. This is something that is trial and error. But if your under warranty if it is not pitman arm then have them replace the steering box instead of messing with it.
It also looks like your track bar hasn't been moved, the angles sure look uneven. Do you still have DW too?
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hums99 View Post
I tightened the steering box up underneath the sway bar cover. Loosen the nut and tighten the torx head. That took care of my steering wheel wobble. This is something that is trial and error. But if your under warranty if it is not pitman arm then have them replace the steering box instead of messing with it.
It also looks like your track bar hasn't been moved, the angles sure look uneven. Do you still have DW too?
How can you tell if it hasnt been moved?

I dont believe so, every once in a while I feel like im beginning to feel the start of it, but it never follows through. I always just chalk it up to being paranoid from the previous DW experience.

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