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Old 10-10-2019, 04:50 PM
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Steering Wheel Dead Spot

I took a small video of what my wheel does. *Yes I have my seat belt on. The light will not turn off and working on fixing that next


I have had this issue for a few years now. I have never been able to fix and looking to see what other ideas people have. I have replaced nearly everything up front to try and get rid of it or reduce it.

I have all new - last 6-8 months
- TF Ball Joints
- Yeti Tie Rod
- Yeti Draglink with HD attenuator
- Yeti Steering Stabilizer
- MC 2.5" lift with Rock Sport Shocks
- MC Track Bar
- Synergy pitman arm brace and Track Bar brace
- Wider bolt kit
- RCV Axles
- Rancho Drop Brackets
- Adjustable lower/upper control arms
- Caster is near 5 degrees

Everything has been torqued end checked and still have this "dead" spot in my wheel. I am used to it, but when the better half drives the Jeep its not happening.

I have researched around and almost to the point of doing Hydro and be done with it. It will be over kill for me though as I am only on 35's and no plans to go to 37's.

Only thing I have not done yet is adjust the screw on top of the steering box. Not sure if that will help/fix my issue. Also possible I need a new steering box, but who knows as this has been going on for nearly 2 years. I just chalked it up at time to being a "Jeep Thing".

Any help would be great.

Ken~

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Old 10-10-2019, 06:41 PM   #2
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Adjust the lash on your steering box by turning the adjusting screw clockwise. Adjust in small increments while checking the steering wheel - rocking it slightly back and forth to check the play. I've fixed it on a couple Jeeps by doing that. Judging by the amount of play I'm guessing 1/8 to 1/4 turn is what you'll need. Mark the starting position of the screw with white paint before you start. If you get the screw/lash too tight you will have poor return to center and the steering will be very twitchy.
You want to have just the smallest amount of play at the wheel - none and you have gone too far.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:43 AM
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After reading more on adjusting the lash I am nervous now to do it. Most say don't touch it, and its only a band-aid fix.

I saw a few video's on how to adjust, but that was with the steering box out of the Jeep. If I have to pull the box out to adjust I will just replace it at that point.

Ken~
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:55 AM   #4
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As long as you mark your starting point you can always go back to the way it was if you don't like the results.

Play develops as the sector and steering shaft wear over time. Lash adjusts the clearance between the two. You could just buy a new steering gear box for 400-600 every time or adjust the lash to get more use out of the one you have. You really have nothing to loose by trying the lash adjustment in the vehicle. I have done many with excellent results.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:10 AM   #5
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You have to trace the location of exactly where the dead spot/play/slop is coming from.
It could be the gearbox in which case you would see the input move (coming from steering wheel) but not the sector shaft.
It could be upstream of the gearbox, a bad u joint between the steering wheel and the gearbox.
Or it could be something after the gearbox but sounds like you replaced nearly everything after.

Have a helper turn the wheel back and forth, engine off. Crawl under and look at each location until you find the play.
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:44 AM   #6
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What he said.
And if the play is in the steering box, the only two options are replace (expensive) or adjust (free).
I assume you were shaking the steering wheel and not that it was doing it on its own.
Also, I found that when my Jeep had too much caster it caused the steering to have a large vague spot in the middle, like an old 70's American land yacht.
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Old 10-15-2019, 05:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmusk01 View Post
After reading more on adjusting the lash I am nervous now to do it. Most say don't touch it, and its only a band-aid fix.

I saw a few video's on how to adjust, but that was with the steering box out of the Jeep. If I have to pull the box out to adjust I will just replace it at that point.

Ken~
My Jeep did EXACTLY the same thing. I was told it was a Jeep thing and to not worry about it. I generally don't do as I am told.
I also did not want to adjust the lash. My husband and I (ok; more my husband) have done trannys, gears, pretty much everything under the sun. And he didn't want to screw with it. So here is what we did:
Ordered a new steering box from RedNeck Ram. It was worse; they wouldn't warrant it. It went onto a shelf.
Added a PSC steering box. (Which for the record was also wrong. They sent me a 4 door vs. a 2.) Promptly sent me another. It helped..but I wanted better. Of course.
Several months later I went to full PSC Ram assist mostly because I rock crawl. LOVED it. But for a DD- I am not sure it's worth it. A little bit of play is annoying but if it steers normally otherwise...it's a lot of money to save. Jeeps just have a lot of components that can contribute to that play as you've discovered. Mine is 7 years old now- going on 10 in rock crawling years. Every time I don't drive it for awhile I get back in and think "DEATHTRAP" LOL. No matter what I do she'll still drive like a Jeep at this point.

Also- did you look at your track bar bolts? A friend discovered that his track bar bolts had oval-ed out. Which caused the play. We also had a bent drag link but guessing your Yeti would take care of that.
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:50 AM
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No my steering does not move like that on its own.

So I tried yesterday to adjust the lash, and I was not able to get the adjuster screw to move. I was able to loosen the bolt and even removed the bolt. The odd thing is that my steering box does not have an allen head its a flat head screw.

I have driven this way for 2 years now and I am used to it, but now that the Jeep is not daily when I get back in it throws me off. I will have a helper move things again this evening and see where its coming from.

All the bolts for the track bar have been upgraded, and the track bar brace/sector shaft brace are all tight. No oval-ed out holes.

It is interesting that you mention having higher caster causes more of the deadspot. I just recently added Rancho geo brackets to help smooth out the Jeep experience. Yes I have both upper/lower adjustable arms with the brackets. I was told by MC to set to 5 degrees. My caster is now a little higher than is used to be and I do get a little more vibrations at highway speeds, but feels more solid too. I have been tempted to go back to just the adjustable arms and no geo bracket, but really do like the solid feel I get from the brackets. Also thought about getting stock arms back in place. Just need to find a set. Regardless not going back in for another alignment as I have had 3 already this year.

As for my caster here is where I am at according to my last alignment.

Ken~
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:35 AM   #9
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Caster is very unlikely to cause such slop in your steering. You have something else going on. My bet is a failing gearbox.
The lash adjustment is a bandaid at best.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:24 PM   #10
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My last band aid fix was still going strong at a year and a half when I replaced the box with one that was tapped for hydro.

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