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Thread: Too much play in steering wheel

  1. #1
    Newbie vikingknot's Avatar
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    American Flag Too much play in steering wheel

    I have to much play in my steering wheel i went to 4wd and they looked at me like i was crazy and there a keep place so some one please help me

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    Member 19delta's Avatar
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    to much play as in sluggish steering? if thats the case, have a freind watch from the steering shaft all the way down the tie rods as you turn the wheel left to right, and sometimes it helps to do in small movments. one place to check would be the pittman arm. worst case is your steering box is getting ready to go, but it would be a good idea to get this fixed to before you go wheeling, otherwise it's going to break at the worst possible moment.
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    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Need more info!

    Type of Jeep?

    Stock steering, or aftermarket parts?

    The old CJ's are adjustable at the steering gearbox, but it must be done with care, or you can ruin the gearbox.

    Other things to check:

    Steering gearbox mount bolts-

    TRE's (Tie Rod Ends/drag link ends)

    Ball joints

    and as mentioned, the steering sector shaft itself. Especially an older Jeep, they tend to get real sloppy at the 2 joints of the intermediate sector shaft.


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    U.S. Paratrooper jason.huffman5's Avatar
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    This samething happened to me. Another thing you can check is your trac bar. Have someone turn the steering wheel from side to side while you keep an eye on the trac bar. When I went offroading it knocked mine loose at the relocation bracket and when my buddy turned the wheel it was shifting the whole axle but once we tighten the trac bar and the bracket then recentered the steering wheel everything was good. I havent had an issues since then....just my .2 cents
    2003 Rubicon

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    Newbie vikingknot's Avatar
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    Sorry peeps, I have a 93 YJ w/ rustys off road 4 in lift with 1/2 inch drop shackles for 4 and a 1/2 inches total. Brand new 33/12.5 tires.
    So i'll look at what you guys' have mentioned and see that helps, but just to give you a better idea of what i'm dealing with is that while driving or sitting still i can role the steering wheel left or right before i feel the tires move, and while driving i have to drive stiff armed so that my YJ doesn't go left or right at the slightest release of the steering wheel. does this make sense to anyone, please help, I don't want to go back to the special jeep shop thats doesn't seem to know anything and gives the look of confusion.

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    Senior Member Sr. Beaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HillBillE View Post

    The old CJ's are adjustable at the steering gearbox, but it must be done with care, or you can ruin the gearbox.

    Other things to check:

    Steering gearbox mount bolts-

    TRE's (Tie Rod Ends/drag link ends)

    and as mentioned, the steering sector shaft itself. Especially an older Jeep, they tend to get real sloppy at the 2 joints of the intermediate sector shaft.
    This is where I would concentrate first, mainly in the gearbox, I think the early YJ's also have the adjustable gearbox
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    What they said^^,and also check the lower bearing in your steering column. It supports the splined end of the column shaft where the sector shaft attaches. It's cheap, and easy to change.

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    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason.huffman5 View Post
    This samething happened to me. Another thing you can check is your trac bar.
    @Jason,huffman5 : Good catch! My brain got stuck on the old CJ's, and I forgot about the trac-bar!

    YJ's came with them, but being leaf sprung, don't really need them (in my opinion)

    @vikingknot : seeing as the slop is thier even when stopped, and the Jeep 'darts' left or right, I would concentrate on the following:

    Stearing gearbox- check it for slop, and make sure the mounting bolts are tight, and the frame is not cracked where it mounts. A steering box brace would be a good idea w/33" tires.

    Then work your way up to the steering coulmn itself, checking the intermediate shaft, and the bearing in the bottom of the steering column, as @dseevers said.


    Just a note: the 'Toe-In' should be checked/adjusted with the new tires, especially if the previous ones were smaller.

    Just going to a 12.5 wide tire, will amplify anything that was loose before, making it feel a lot worse.

    Wide tires tend to grab any and every crack in the road, and make the Jeep want to dart around.

    Definately go through the entire front end, checking everything.

    Having a second person to either turn the wheel, or watch the steering components while you turn the wheel, will help a lot.


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    Newbie vikingknot's Avatar
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    Great thanks for the info so far guys, last thing is there a website, photo, or a diagram of these components I should be looking at, I kind of new to the work on it your self jeep projects.
    93 YJ, Rustys off road 4 in lift with 1/2 inch drop shackles for 4 and a 1/2 inches total. Brand new 33/12.5 Falken wildpeak A/T tires.

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    Member trblmkr4's Avatar
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    Keep ur trac bar but ditch the sway. Personal experience. U might want to look into gettin a drop pitman arm. Didn't notice anyone say that. 4 inches or more on a YJ and I almost always would throw one on there. I've got 8 on mine and that all I had to do to fix my play... well and a custom built trac bar

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