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Old 04-22-2013, 03:35 PM   #1
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Steering box changed. Wheel loose?

Changed out the steering box this morning. Now my steering wheel is very loose. The first picture is with the wheel straight. If I move the wheel counterclockwise it instantly responds. The second picture is how far I turn clockwise before the tires start to turn. Dunno what I did wrong.

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Old 04-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #2
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:29 PM   #3
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Figure it out yet Brian? Try having someone turn the wheel while you watch everything move...sounds like something is maybe loose or low fluid.
That is the same thing that happened to Tom at Slaughterhouse...quick response one way very little the other. Turns out it was the steering box...what are the chances you got a bad one? good luck
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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I got it from carquest so who knows if its a bad box or not. About to have the wife move the wheel.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
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Looks like where the pitman arm connects to the drag link there is play. The TRE's look sound. Is it possible that I didn't tighten it enough?

The steering column moves immediately upon being turned. The pitman arm connection to the column moves instantly as well.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Looks like where the pitman arm connects to the drag link there is play. The TRE's look sound. Is it possible that I didn't tighten it enough?
Kinda sounds that way...I would make sure everything is torgued down. If you hold the Drag link do you feel or see any play? If you hold the pitman arm (watch fingers) and turn the wheel does the pump still move it? Just so nothing gets missed...is fluid level good? Does the steering box move at all...even the slightest. That's how we noticed the issue with Tom's...
Good luck!
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:57 PM   #7
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Sadly I don't own a torque wrench.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:59 PM   #8
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Changed out the steering box this morning. Now my steering wheel is very loose. The first picture is with the wheel straight. If I move the wheel counterclockwise it instantly responds. The second picture is how far I turn clockwise before the tires start to turn. Dunno what I did wrong.
I had that with my 99 TJ replaced the box and got the same thing I found out about the Dodge Durango steering box upgrade and did that, no more issue! You may want to look at doing that it is a better Steering box than stock TJ. Its a direct bolt on but has better internals.

http://www.nwjeepn.com/SteeringGear.html

But check the Tie rod ends to make sure there good first
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:06 PM   #9
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Sadly I don't own a torque wrench.

Auto parts stores will loan those. But if it's wrench tight that should be enough to determine if the problem is somewhere in the linkage or the box itself...
Could have your wife try and tighten everything.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:07 PM   #10
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Did you tighten the clamp from the steering shaft to the steering box input. Have you topped the steering fluid a couple times? It keeps dropping as the air works out.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:08 PM   #11
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Sadly with no garage my wife gave me the "I'm not going out there" look. To cold to be out in the open wind. Although there is no play in either that I can make happen with just my own strength.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:14 PM   #12
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Not fluids. It was still 50% full. I just topped it off.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:25 PM   #13
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Sadly with no garage my wife gave me the "I'm not going out there" look. To cold to be out in the open wind. Although there is no play in either that I can make happen with just my own strength.
Warm up the jeep and let her sit in it
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:27 PM   #14
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Auto parts stores will loan those. But if it's wrench tight that should be enough to determine if the problem is somewhere in the linkage or the box itself...
Could have your wife try and tighten everything.
Lol BURN!!!! She might get it tighter. :-D
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Old 04-22-2013, 09:14 PM   #15
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So what's the verdict Brian? You call it a night?
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:33 PM   #16
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Yeah had to BBQ dinner. Sadly this means I won't have a real chance to look at it more till Thursday afternoon.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:37 PM   #17
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I think it's the connection between the pitman and DL. Not sure if ill describe it right but it looks like it has play in the bushing(?) that the two are connected to.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:44 PM   #18
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Worked on it most of the morning and I am outta ideas. Anyone willing to lend a set of eyes to help me out. Otherwise off to the mechanics I go.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #19
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Are the teeth on the pitman arm in good shape? I had play in my steering wheel because of stripped teeth and had to replace the pitman arm.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:26 PM   #20
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Bet ya its still the steering box, I had $1000 in front end work done to my 99, Tierod ends ball joints, Ujoints and Hubs replaced the problem was still there. I got the Durango box and it went away. I could have saved $850

If your wheel is moving that much then you would easily see the issue if it where a tierod end. If you are seeing very small movment in the tierod ends it will not be the issue it is in the steering box.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:35 PM   #21
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Unless you rented a very large number of specific tools how did you get the pitman arm off the old steering box? Also how did you get the nut off the sector shaft? That nut has 170 pounds of torque on it and is about an inch and a half in diameter. Something is not adding up here...
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:57 PM   #22
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Did it at a friends house who had a pitman arm puller. He took everything off and I put it all back on. He used his air compressor to take it apart. Was that bad?

The nut you're talking about. Is it the one that has that wire crap going threw it?
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:57 PM   #23
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If he used a puller then the arm should be ok. But as the Rocc said you might want to check and see if the splines in the pitman arm are ok.
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Old 04-25-2013, 08:50 PM   #24
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So I figured out a better way to describe what is happening.

There is a dead spot from 12 to 3 on the steering wheel. My steering is very responsive both right and left as long as the steering wheel is not pointed in the dead spot.

Not sure if that helps or not. Still haven't had a chance to look at anything. Been working all day and just got back from the springs best of. We won gold. Yay.
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Old 04-26-2013, 01:38 PM   #25
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So I figured out a better way to describe what is happening.

There is a dead spot from 12 to 3 on the steering wheel. My steering is very responsive both right and left as long as the steering wheel is not pointed in the dead spot.

Not sure if that helps or not. Still haven't had a chance to look at anything. Been working all day and just got back from the springs best of. We won gold. Yay.
What you are describing is the steering box. You recived a defective one return it get a Durango box for the faster turn ratio and no more issue.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:27 PM   #26
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What you are describing is the steering box. You recived a defective one return it get a Durango box for the faster turn ratio and no more issue.
Great. This is going to be super inconvenient. Buddy with the pitman arm puller is outta town for a few weeks. Yay!

Will the Durango box fit under a warn skid?
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #27
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Great. This is going to be super inconvenient. Buddy with the pitman arm puller is outta town for a few weeks. Yay!

Will the Durango box fit under a warn skid?
Yes the Durango box is the same dimentions as the jeep box except for the internals are a bit differnt. As discribed here make sure you get the right year
Durango Steering Gear Swap

if you have an advanced auto or autozone they rent pitman arm pullers for free you just have to put down a deposit.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #28
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I am going to laugh my ass off if you swap boxes and the problem follows. You have torqued nothing, you have no idea if anything is stripped on the pitman arm. Whatever...
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #29
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I am going to laugh my ass off if you swap boxes and the problem follows. You have torqued nothing, you have no idea if anything is stripped on the pitman arm. Whatever...
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:47 AM   #30
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I am going to laugh my ass off if you swap boxes and the problem follows. You have torqued nothing, you have no idea if anything is stripped on the pitman arm. Whatever...
I had the same exact issue with my 99 tj same movement when turning right it would not engage the wheels till about three on the wheel, I replaced the box and found the problem to remain. I then ended up replacing everything on the front end hubs, steering linkage from curry, ball joints, ujoints, about $1500 in parts. I still had the same issue nothing changed. I then decided to return the old replacement one and upgrade to the Durango box and that's when the problem went bye bye. Steering was so tight and it was a great relief to drive down the road without white kuckleing it.

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