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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 09:19 PM
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Help with steering issues

I recently entered the wonderful world of Jeeps, with the purchase of a 1980 CJ5 with a 4 cylinder engine.
I need some help with the steering, which I knew was an issue. It currently has too much play in the front wheels - about 15 degrees of play in the steering. Other than a little wandering on the road, it is otherwise fine - no grinding, funny noises, etc, just lots of play.
Being new to this, I figure it needs new Ball joints.
However, I am curious for any other suggestions. I only want to take this apart once, so what else should I be looking at or replace at the same time?
Thanks for the advice.
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 09:44 PM
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Re: Help with steering issues

Welcome to the board,
LEVE will reply soon and let you know what to do around here.

as for the steering,
1. its a jeep [img]images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
2. ball joints would be my guess
3. you will never take it apart only once! [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

otherwise welcome and hope you find this board the best on the net.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 09:48 PM
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Re: Help with steering issues

Hello and welcome aboard.
I can't tell you everything about your front end but seeing that it is a cj I can help to point you in the right direction.
First don't be shy about using the search function. On this subject alone there is much good advice to be had.
Now the things to look for are - steering shaft, steering box (not only wear related but check where it mounts to the frame) the tie rods, wheel bearings (made a big difference on my jeep)You mentioned ball joints and shocks. I'm sure I left some thing out but this should be enough to drain your pockets.
J - just
E - empty
E - every
P - pocket

hope this helps, happy jeepin
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 09:52 PM
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Re: Help with steering issues

Use the search function. I believe someone did a nice outline recently of all the things to check and how to check them.
First, My guess would be your steering shaft. They are notorious for getting loose. Pop your hood and watch the shaft as turn the wheel. If you see the slightest slack in the turn, you should consider replacing it. I'm a big guy so I can actually grap the lower part of the shaft while I turn the wheel and I can feel the slack.
Second get your front wheels off the ground and check for movement.
Third, have someone turn the wheels from side to side so you can inspect the tie rods ends ect. Also, look for movement between the steering box and frame. If you've ben runnng 32" or bigger tires, this can lead to the box pulling from the frame. A brace can solve that problem.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-21-2003, 10:00 PM
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Re: Help with steering issues

It could be any number of front end parts causing the sloppy steering. You should have someone get behind
the wheel and turn it left and right while you observe the parts of the front end. Tell them to turn the wheel
just enough to take up the slack without moving the tires. Check for excessive play in all the tie rod ends, and
the steering box. Then jack up each front wheel and grabing it at 6 and 12 check for movement. Don`t
confuse play in the bearings for ball joint wear. Once again it would be easier for some one else to do it while
you observe.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2003, 02:14 AM
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Re: Help with steering issues

You might want to check your spring shackles/bushings also. When I first got my CJ it was all over the road. I replaced the steering shaft and that cured some of it. But I got the most improvement when I replaced all my spring bushings and made new shackles for it.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2003, 02:20 AM
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Re: Help with steering issues

Welcome and good luck with the Jeep. Here's a link to a quick alignment right up posted not to long ago that is very helpful. [img]images/graemlins/40BEER.gif[/img];postmarker=
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