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Old 06-17-2014, 09:52 AM
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Steering shaft play and movement fix needed

I really need to do something with the crap steering shaft play on my 99 4L TJ Right hand drive UK spec. My lower steering shaft just before the box will move up and down loosley when grabbed in my hand as its got no support at all at the box end and the nylon bearing in rubber also allows quite a few millimetres of up and down and sideways play?
The nylon bearing is unobtainable on its own without having to buy the whole new steering shaft as well (ridiculous as UJ's ok).
My worry is it wont pass our uk MOT safety tests with its movement? The clamp bolt onto the box spline is also loose again after recently being tightened up hard?
I may try a longer bolt with a locknut on the outside off the clamp but it suggests something is pulling and loosening the clamp in use as the UJ's turn and pull?
Because the lower shaft is a triangular shape its not easy to fit a lower end support bearing around it but that would also prevent it collapsing in a crash I guess. Has anyone made this link better with modifications to iron out the play?

I also have no self centering steering at all so maybe my caster is wrong too? What should it be adjusted to and how? I have noticed the over centre bolts on the lower control arms?
Its only around a 2" suspension lift nothing dramatic. Harvey UK
Harvey

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Old 06-17-2014, 11:11 PM   #2
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I have the same exact symptoms on the looseness. I am hoping someone has a good idea on this.

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Old 06-23-2014, 02:51 PM
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Now I have found the problem with play in the upper support bearing. Inside the rubber ball is a silly needle roller cage made of plastic but with metal rollers. The cage is split too which will allow some opening and closing off the bearing over the steering shaft. Each time your jeep goes into water the rubber ball and bearing soak up water and the silly metal rollers rust up solid and stop rolling? The surface of the steering shaft is plastic not steel you you end up with seized metal squared off bars instead of needle rollers just grinding away the plastic shaft as the steering is used

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Rusted seized needle rollers can just be seen


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Plastic covered shaft now worn due to metal to plastic grinding.

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The original rusted bearing cage and cover.

I have now searched some bearing suppliers to find a new bearing to no avail but I don't really want to put more metal in to run on the worn plastic shaft so my plan is to find someone to make me a split nylon bush instead to replace the bearing. If made smaller then the 28mm shaft and slightly bigger then the internal rubber ball the bush would hopefully tighten up on the worn shaft and effectively wear in during use.

With regard to the other lower end clamp I have sawn a wider split in the end to enable the clamp to tighten up more on the steering box shaft which on my jeep kept coming loose.

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This split is now about 1.5mm wider so it should clamp up tighter stopping any movement.


So my plan is to replacing the bearing with a new non abrasive self lubricating bush to take out the slack a at the top and save me having to buy a new steering shaft just to get the silly needle metal roller bearing which runs inside the rubber ball. Now I have to find someone to make me the split nylon bush?
My guess is that most of you will have the same problem if you have never taken apart and greased the needle bearing which to me is a very poor design running on a plastic shaft!

Harvey
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:09 AM   #4
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Any decent turning shop should do it Harvey, just find one and knock on the door and take the parts and explain what you want, it will be easier for them to understand then. you are better off finding a smaller business than a larger one.
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Old 06-25-2014, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJgeorgen View Post
Any decent turning shop should do it Harvey, just find one and knock on the door and take the parts and explain what you want, it will be easier for them to understand then. you are better off finding a smaller business than a larger one.
yes I've found an engineer who is making me a bush slightly bigger than the needle bearing to account for the shaft wear. I should have it fitted by the weekend hopefully.
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Old 06-26-2014, 11:52 PM   #6
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watching with interest. I have same problem with steering issues.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:44 PM
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All done and the new bush seems a good tight fit

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See new nylon bush split with a hacksaw so it can close up as it wears.

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Parts painted and on the kitchen table!

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Parts all back together and no play at all in the bush.

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Clamp bolt split cut with saw so wider now hopefully allowing it to tighten and stay tight.

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Old cracked manifold and new stainless one now fitted.
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Old 07-01-2014, 07:16 PM   #8
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ginetta do you have the steering back together and have you driven it yet?
better? same?
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:20 AM
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ginetta do you have the steering back together and have you driven it yet?
better? same?
Yes its now much improved and its passed the uk safety test MOT last week.

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