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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2001 Wrangler
4 cylinder
Toledo, Ohio

So the other day I noticed a leak coming from the front driver side of my wrangler. I got under the jeep and took a look. What I found was a pretty wet gear box. I did some research and it seems that often this problem is a power steering fluid leak. I followed the power steering lines and didn't find any areas where it was wet.. So now I'm kind of stumped. From what I've read and heard from my local guy, the gear box leaking is pretty rare. It seems to be leaking right below the black cylinder part (I don't know the name I'm sorry).

Screenshot_2015-03-23-20-27-43[1].jpg

I put an attachment, but I'm not totally sure if it'll work for you guys! If it doesn't, I'll be posting one as a reply!


If someone could tell me what they think or give me some ideas, i'd really appreciate it! I'm pretty lost as of now.
 

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If you are running larger tires it isn't that rare. The stock gear isn't really that robust. Mine is doing the same thing, but much worse. If you are absolutely sure it isn't the hose, you can get a stock box for about $50 after core turn in or the rebuild kit is about 25 bucks and has all new seals, etc. There is a good "How to" on YouTube by BleepinJeep.

You can also upgrade to a Durango steering gear, it is a direct bolt on and is heavier duty. There are a few threads in the tech forum about which years to use. 98-99 5.2L non snowplow, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Awesome! thanks man! I'll definitely check out the video by BleepinJeep, i love that guy's videos. I'm going to double check the hoses again though, because that's a lot easier!

Which do you recommend, the new gear box or seal kit? I'm definitely willing to spend a few extra bucks to fix a problem the right way! I'm also running just stock wheels and gears sadly :(
 

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You can also upgrade to a Durango steering gear, it is a direct bolt on and is heavier duty. There are a few threads in the tech forum about which years to use. 98-99 5.2L non snowplow, I think.
Any 98-99 Durango steering box will do. The only difference is the amount of times you spin the steering wheel to reach lock. Both are bolt on, but some minor grinding of the front bumper may be needed
 

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Awesome! thanks man! I'll definitely check out the video by BleepinJeep, i love that guy's videos. I'm going to double check the hoses again though, because that's a lot easier!

Which do you recommend, the new gear box or seal kit? I'm definitely willing to spend a few extra bucks to fix a problem the right way! I'm also running just stock wheels and gears sadly :(
If you are on stock wheels and tires, there is no real need for a Durango box. A TJ box will do, but it may be cheaper to go the Durango rout.

I would recommend a new or remanned box over seal kit. But that's just me.
 

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If you are on stock wheels and tires, there is no real need for a Durango box. A TJ box will do, but it may be cheaper to go the Durango rout.

I would recommend a new or remanned box over seal kit. But that's just me.
Agreed, if you aren't running, nor planning on running larger tires, then stock is adequate. Replacing the entire box would be easier, the rebuild is kind of a pain, not real difficult, just takes a little while.

You can get a stock box fairly cheap and usually get a $50 core return, the Durango box is a little more expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am planning to do a lift and bigger tires down the road! Right now it's just hard because i'm in college and working. I'll get there soon, I've been saving up!

With that being said, If it's forsure not the power steering line, I think I'll still just replace the gear box instead of the repair kit!

I have what might seem like a dumb questions for everyone. What does the gear box actually do?

xxbosoxfanxx what did you mean by I could get a $50 core return?

Thanks for all your help guys! It's very very appreciated!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So I lifted my jeep up, turned it on, and had someone turn the wheel back and forth a bunch to see what was happening. I started at the power steering fluid tank and moved my way down the lines...but found no moisture, leak, or any sign of a problem (all looking from the top side of the engine). Next, I climbed underneath and did the same thing. I found no leak, moisture, or sign of a problem until I got to the gear box. There is a bolt where a black cylinder (steering cylinder maybe? It turns as the wheel does. It's labeled in my picture as "steering column") connects to the gear box, and this is where the moisture begins.

This moisture starts more specifically where the "steering cylinder" meets the gear box. Here, there is a black gasket like thing that the bolt goes through. I always park with my wheels straight! When the wheel is straight this bolt faces up and down. Only the portion of the bolt (the threads) that faces the ground has this liquid on it.

Would I be wise to try and tighten the bolt? I don't want to loosen it for fear of messing something up when I do since I'm kind of clueless as to this whole gear box thing!

I hope this makes sense! I've included a picture that I labeled and drew where the frame, gear box, "steering cylinder", and the bolt would be. The massive grey piece on the top end of the picture is my engine coolant tank and the bottom of the picture is the grille! I just got the Note 4 so I had to use my technology for my favorite thing, my jeep!
 

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I don't think that will help, the leak is from the seals going bad. The "core" refund is where you give the store your old part. Generally done with parts that can be rebuilt.

The new box will range in price depending on where you go and what brand you buy. MOPAR/OEM will cost you, but a cheap-o $100 box may only last a year or two, so keep that in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Where the bolt is, (between the "steering cylinder" and gear box) there is circular black piece that the bolt tightens. Could this be a seal? It doesn't look like a typical seal, but I feel like this could be the issue maybe. Would you possibly agree?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It' the only bolt where the cylinder and gear box connects! I'll post a picture soon. I'm currently trying to figure out how to get inside my rear passenger wheel well because my third brake light connector fell out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
On comment number 8, the bolt and black peice would be in the area I circled, although i know it is super difficult to see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Here is a picture where you can see it well. You'll see the Steering gear box in the bottom of the picture and the "steering cylinder" going toward the top. Where they connect you see the bolt and the black piece I'm talking about!

Screenshot_2015-03-23-20-27-43[1].jpg

Thanks again guys,
Nic
 

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Mine did the same thing leaking from the input shaft seal. I replaced the box the worst part was probably removing the lines to the box PITA!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Man I was hoping that wouldn't be the fix for my issue! I put in some power steering fluid with stop leak from Autozone yesterday and today there is a smaller puddle :( If it's leaking (probably a 2" in diameter puddle at the very most) is it ok to drive it for a while if I make sure my fluid is at a good level?
 

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I drove with a leak for about a month. Just make sure you have lots of fluid and keep topping it off. It would be wise to fix it sooner though.
 
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