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Old 04-20-2004, 07:56 AM
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Default Excessive play in steering wheel?

Hey Guys,
Quick question. I've got about 4 inches of free play in steering wheel from left to right. Said differently, from dead center I have about 2 inches of free play turning left and 2 inches free play rights before a change in steering actually starts to turn the tires.

I thought this was probably due to my steering box which I replaced, however this had no effect.

Could the U-joints in the steering column be worn causing this excessive free play?

What can I do to firm up the responsiveness of my steering?

Thanks,
Kent [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

Sorry guys, I should have checked my FSM to determine the amount of free play the wheel should have before posting. However 4 inches, seems excessive?

I'll check all the steering components for wear, etc too.

So, let me ask this, if I new aftermarket steering column is in order, any suggestions on who makes a good one that is adjustable etc?

Thanks,
Kent
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Old 04-20-2004, 08:34 PM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

I'm no professional....but ....

dont the gears in your steering box help determine how tight your steering is.


Just a thought [img]images/graemlins/beach.gif[/img]
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Old 04-20-2004, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

Yeah, there is an adjusting mechanism on the powersteering itself (not the pump) it may be that whoever installed it didn't adjust it properly or sumthing. If there were that much play in the steering u-joints I would think it would make a nasty clunking when turning it side to side or as you go down the road.
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Old 04-21-2004, 05:22 AM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

When I bought my XJ it had a lot of play in the steering wheel. The left side knuckels were worn, the U joint between the column and box was shot and the box needed to be adjusted. The U joint however didn't make clunking sound. When someone in the <nobr><nobr><a class="iAs" style="border-bottom:darkgreen 1px solid;text-decoration:underline;color:darkgreen;background-color:transparent;" href="#" onclick="return kwC();" target="_blank" oncontextmenu="return false;" onmouseover="kwE(event,84716);" onmouseout="kwL(event);" onmousemove="kwM(84716);">jeep</nobr></a></nobr> turned the wheel, you could just see how much play the u-joint had. The U-joint and knuckels are replaced and the hub also turned out to have a really bad bearing. This solved a lot of the play. I adjusted the steering box as far as possible. Be careful not to tighten the bolt on the box too much, as it will cause excessive wear and heavy steering. I still think the box has too much play, so I will replace it when driving will be too fatiguing. No play on the balljoints or other components.

See this . It's a Fullsize, but the procedure is the same for an XJ.
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Old 04-21-2004, 03:17 PM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

Hold the ateering shaft at the steering box with a wrench or channel locks, have someone get in and turn the wheel. If the wheel turns and the shaft doesn't, then your problem (or at least part of it) is in the shaft between the wheel and the box. If the wheel does not turn then hold the steering box output shaft and do the same thing. If the wheel turns and the arm does not then you have play in the box. This should be adjustable. If there is no play in the box then check the tie rods and ball joints.
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Old 04-22-2004, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

Thanks guys for your suggestions.

There was play in the wheel prior to the gearbox swap, so I don't it's the gearbox. Certainly it is possible the box added a bit more play though, so I will check it based one what your guys suggested. I should have measured it before I changed the pump and gearbox [img]images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img].

I'll check the intermediate shaft for U-bolt wear and work my way down to the tie rod ends etc.

Has anybody used an adjustable aftermarket intermediate shaft? Do they help any over OE?

Thanks again,
Kent


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Old 04-23-2004, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
Has anybody used an adjustable aftermarket intermediate shaft? Do they help any over OE?

[/ QUOTE ]

To my info the length is not fixed but a kind of slip yoke. My old shaft was and my current is. Or do you mean something else?
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Old 04-23-2004, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

Something that hasn't been mentioned is your tracbar. If you have slop in your tracbar, the nose of the vehicle will move laterally over your axle, equal to the amount of slop, before your wheels will start to turn.
I see in your sig that you have an RE 4.5" but I don't know if it's installed.

My 2 pennies!!

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Old 04-29-2004, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Excessive play in steering wheel?

NIX,
The U-joints on my OE intermediate shaft (shaft from the firewall to the gearbox) has worn u-bolts. This is allowing a small amount of play (but not sizable).

I'm replacing it with an adjustable aftermarket intermediate shaft similar to this.

http://www.borgeson.com/TruckProductJeep.htm

Thanks,
Kent [img]images/graemlins/burnout.gif[/img]

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