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Thread: CJ Front ends*SOLVED*

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    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Default CJ Front ends*SOLVED*

    Dunno how the whole CJ thing works with leafs and hubs. When I was driving home from Belvoir, the last 10 miles or so and it would it would pull gradually right for a second then give in to the left as far as I steered. Pretty shitty when you're on the freeway at night in the rain. FML.

    The best way I can describe it is this: You know when you're arm wrestling and you just kinda match the guy. Then, all of a sudden he gives out but you have all that energy pent up so it slams forward? Kinda like that.

    Anywho, it was similar to when my wheel bearings went out on my TJ. Ideas CJ guru's?

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    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Lots of ideas!

    Check the steering box, make sure it's not loose on the frame. (check the frame for cracks where the box mounts also)

    The steering box may be worn out or need adjustment-any play in the wheel?

    Tie rod ends, ball joints, drag link should all be checked for play.

    The hubs are fairly easy, once the lock outs are removed, it's just 2 nuts (locking washer between them) and thrust washer, then the inner and out wheelbearings.

    They should be disassembled, inspected, and repacked with grease anyway, since the rig is new to you.

    To check for bad/loose wheel bearings, jack the front end up, and try and push the top of the tire in, while pulling out on the bottom. Make sure the vehicle is supported! I usually jack up one side at a time, it's safer.

    There should be no movement. If there is movement, then either the ball joints are bad, or the wheel bearings.

    Helps to have a helper, to watch and see what's moving, or to turn the wheel while you look for loose stuff.

    Also pop the hood, and check the intermediate steering shaft. They are not so great on CJ's, especially now that it's over 30 years old!


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    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Well, I know that the wheel has about 2-3" of play. It never bugged before and I'm one of those 'if it ain't broken' guys. Could definitely be the power steering box as it sure has a nice and loud whine at full turn (more of a 'kill me' screech).

    I'm going to look for that site again with the manual on how to take the shit apart. I'm a purely visual guy, so I need to see before I do. When I get back from OC I will definitely be looking more into this.

    Next question....if any/all of these parts are FUBAR, what're good upgrades? Does the Durango box trick still work? New lockouts? New steering components? What's good boys?

  4. #4
    Recovery Whore RescueJP's Avatar
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    ur adjustment screw still has alot of adjusting from what i saw when I looked at it.
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    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rescueyj View Post
    ur adjustment screw still has alot of adjusting from what i saw when I looked at it.
    Yeah, find a 'How To' on adjusting the steering gearbox, if there's play there.

    2-3" in the wheel is nothing (for a CJ anyway!)

    The PS will squeal if you hold it at full lock, the old pumps don't have a bypass like the newer ones, so when you hit full turn, you have to let off a bit.

    If it still squeals after turning the wheel back a bit, then you may have problems. (or a loose belt)

    I use MOOG balljoints and TRE's, they're spendy, but worth it!

    I have a ZJ steering box in my CJ, other than modifying the mount a bit, (CJ power box has 4 bolts-ZJ has 3) it works great. No experience w/Durango boxes, but the CJ uses the Saginaw box, which has been used on many different vehicles.

    Lockouts- The best upgrade would be to go with the 6 bolt lock outs from an earlier CJ (pre '82) they are beefier/stronger than the 5 bolt style.
    It does require using the 6 bolt hubs from an earlier CJ also.

    Not sure on aftermarket lock outs.


    As long as the people remain armed,
    government knows that it cannot rule over the people by force.
    Those who stand in defiance of unconstitutional laws
    do so out of duty, honor, oath and love of country.


    "Certified Jeep Junky!"


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    First question from me is, Is there a lift kit on the Cj, or longer than stock shackles?

    I'm not up on power steering, but if you keep the Saginaw box look into a Big Daddy support mount like this



    Also check out the steering shaft (upper & lower u-joints are usually gone), I replaced mine with a Flaming River one.
    Remember to have fun learning about your new toy.
    Later, T.J.

  7. #7
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    TJ, I always have fun And there is no lift or anything on this Jeep.

    I'll try to adjust it. I'm thinking u-joints because you can hear it and feel it in the steering wheel, but as I said, I won't be able to check until after I get back from Ocean City.

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    Senior Member HillBillE's Avatar
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    Chris, also make sure both lock outs are in the 'FREE' or '2WD' position.

    I've had people (kids ususlly) lock in one hub. It will cuase a drag on one side, and pull to that side.

    Lines in the road, like where the shoulder and road meet, will really pull an old CJ, especially if the front end is loose.


    As long as the people remain armed,
    government knows that it cannot rule over the people by force.
    Those who stand in defiance of unconstitutional laws
    do so out of duty, honor, oath and love of country.


    "Certified Jeep Junky!"


  9. #9
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    Well I will tell you what I have experenced from my CJ experence. I can tell you this much if the hubs r locked it will not create that much drag cause it is doing it both ways, and if they r loose it would shimmy. I would check and adjust the gear box first. Most CJ's with the original gear box have alot of play cause they r wore out. As for ther tie rod ends that is a great possiability. If I were a betin man I would shoot for the gear box first. You can tell real easy. Just put the front end up on jack stands and turn the steering wheel and watch the tires at the same time along with the steering shaft, if the steering wheel turns and the shaft is also and the wheels r not then it is ur steering gear box. If there is no play and all moves together look and see if the tie rod ends have play.. It should all move together, and what ever is not moving together is your problem....

  10. #10
    Administrator korisu56's Avatar
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    Going to get cracking on this today or tomorrow afternoon. I need to get another jack as my TJ is sold.

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