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Discussion Starter #1
Long story short the was a crash banging up the front left quarter, took 45 days to get fixed and i have discovered they only fixed the cosmetics. Right after i got it back everything seamed just fine steering felt normal no play at all but slowly things started going wrong. A decent amount of play has developed (half inch of turn at the top of the wheel) with it wandering when i drive, and it just feels sloppy. i have come to discover that the tie bar is bent pretty badly and it looks like the steering box is the source of the play.

Not having more than the basic tools at the moment i am unable to do much repairs and diagnose how much of the steering assembly was actually affected by the crash. I took the car to Firestone to get my warrantied front end alignments to see if that would help the problem and was told that they can't fix it at all because the tie bar is "lose". I can turn the steering column without moving the wheels at all up until the steering box (Which is what is leading me to believe the box is the source of the play). I had a mechanic friend of mine look at it briefly and he said I need to at a minimum get the tie bar replaced.

Im trying to get all my information strait before i talk to the shop again because im tired of getting the run around like i don't know whats going on in a car. I will post pictures of the front end if that will help anyone when i get a chance. If there are any specific pictures that might help let me know and i will try and get them.

06 wrangler tj 65th eddition

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!! Thanks!!

Chris
 

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Welcome to the forum. I am assuming that you are either referring to tie rod or the track bar. Both could cause the problems you are having but they have very different functions.
 

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A front end shot will help us determine if anything under there is bent. Also feel around under there, make sure there is no play in your tie rod ends. They should be able to "rotate" clockwise/counter clockwise...but not vertically. If you have vertical play, they are worn out.

Here is a decent picture that will help you identify the parts under your jeep.


As far as the play you are talking about...maybe it's just me, but I feel like I have always had a little play back and forth in the steering wheel at a stop. I never had darting or wandering...I just assumed that it was the backlash in the gear box. Maybe I need to drive someone's jeep to see if it feels more solid :confused: I know on the older gearboxes you can "tighten" them up a little...I don't know if the same can be said about your year and the Mercedes gear box. Regardless, if it is something that occured after an accident, I doubt tightening the gear box would be your solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes it is the tie rod that im talking about. I know that some play can be normal and not a problem but now im noticing the wandering and a lot more play. The wandering may also be exaggerated because a lot of the roads i drive on aren't level and are banked. I used to be able to hold the steering wheel centered and it would track strait but now i have to counteract an bank in the road, the wandering on level road isn't so bad but it still happens.

I can't feel much or any vertical play in anything down there but i also went back to firestone on the way home to have them print out an estimate with the problem listed on it not only to help here but to show the shop my insurance is wanting me to go to.

If there is anything else I can provide to help clear things up let me know but here are some pictures of the front end. I also included the printout from firestone.
 

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Yes it is the tie rod that im talking about. I know that some play can be normal and not a problem but now im noticing the wandering and a lot more play. The wandering may also be exaggerated because a lot of the roads i drive on aren't level and are banked. I used to be able to hold the steering wheel centered and it would track strait but now i have to counteract an bank in the road, the wandering on level road isn't so bad but it still happens.

I can't feel much or any vertical play in anything down there but i also went back to firestone on the way home to have them print out an estimate with the problem listed on it not only to help here but to show the shop my insurance is wanting me to go to.

If there is anything else I can provide to help clear things up let me know but here are some pictures of the front end. I also included the printout from firestone.
100 DOLLARS FOR A TIE ROD END AND 100 FOR LABOR?! :censored::atomic:
wow.... that is absolutely ridiculous. You can buy a tie rod end at any auto parts store for around $20.

Looking at the pics, your tie rod is definitely bent, and if all they did is replace the tie rod end, you got double shafted. Start looking for a new tie rod

If I were you, I would never take my vehicle there again. They obviously either a)don't know what they're doing or b)enjoy taking advantage of their customers.
 

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Also, I wouldnt hesitate to say that it is unsafe to drive with your tie rod bent like that ESPECIALLY at highway speeds. That is asking for something bad to happen especially if you hit a pothole or anything in the road. I would speak to the service manager at that shop and demand that they make it right. Someone else can chime in if they think I'm wrong, but there is no way I would consider driving any speed above 40 with the steering in that condition.
That being said, there could be some play coming from your steering box but first and foremost is to replace the tie rod ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
100 DOLLARS FOR A TIE ROD END AND 100 FOR LABOR?! :censored::atomic:
wow.... that is absolutely ridiculous. You can buy a tie rod end at any auto parts store for around $20.

Looking at the pics, your tie rod is definitely bent, and if all they did is replace the tie rod end, you got double shafted. Start looking for a new tie rod

If I were you, I would never take my vehicle there again. They obviously either a)don't know what they're doing or b)enjoy taking advantage of their customers.
To be clear this is just an estimate but i do agree that their estimate is ridiculous. They also did not replace any of the steering assembly and they spent a fair amount of time in the area doing the control arm and axle housing. And it was not done at Firestone they are just the ones i have warrantied maintenance at. Unfortunately the shop that is supposed to be doing this keeps telling me they need to get all their information strait and will give me a call back..... I have called them 3 times with the same response i think it is more than time to tell the insurance company to take them off the recommended list and find a new shop.

I also do live in Hawaii which is the land of poor pavement and potholes so this makes the situation even more urgent and they don't seem to understand that.

If anyone else has information i can use to tell them to pull their heads out of their a:censored: then that would be great.

Thanks for all the help guys
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also if anyone knows how hard it is to replace the bar in the driveway any advice would be great, although if it takes more than minimal tools, bottle jacks, and moderate repair experiance them im out of luck there.
 

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its super easy measure it all b4 and after removal , undo bolt after u pull pin out and wack it with a hammer either on the threads or hitting the metal around the joint will vibrate the joint lose unscrew old one screw in new one
 
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