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post #1 of (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
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CJ7 Loose Steering Box?

I have mentioned my experience with "death wobble" the other day. I ended up running the air pressure up to 16 in the IROKs and then putting BBs in each tire. That worked great. However, it is still a little "sketchy" at speeds > 45 mph.

I checked all of the steering components for looseness. Everything was nice and tight. However, I heard a clicking near the steering box. I noticed that I could grab the input shaft and turn it a few degrees (maybe 10) by hand without any resistance. Is this normal? If not normal, can the box be rebuilt, or do I just need to replace it?

-- Mike
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 10:31 AM
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You probably just need to adjust it. To do the job properly you need a beam-type inch-pound torque wrench. You also need to remove the box from the Jeep. I can send you the instructions from the '78 FSM. I think all Saginaw boxes adjust the same way.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jim. I'll PM you my email address. -- Mike
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 07-14-2007, 11:53 AM
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It should be there.

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post #5 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 11:23 AM
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Your steering box has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT assuming the mounting bolts arenít so loose the box is flopping around.

The tracking/stabilization is controlled by caster, camber and toe-in but that can only control the wheels. The looseness you were looking for is between the wheels and the tire treads with the low pressure you are running. Put some air in those tires.

If that 45+ mph is on the street/highway, I vote you get arrested, your Jeep gets impounded and crushed with you in it. Thatís going to be the result anyway and at least if it happens in a crusher, you wonít be taking some other motorists with you. Just running that low pressure is hard on the tire sidewalls at any speed. Running for any time at higher speed creates a lot of heat and one of them is eventually going to blow out. Then, with the low tire pressure, you wonít have adequate control and with the high center of gravity youíll do a few rollovers.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 11:29 AM
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Damn Taz.... If you read his post he didn't ask if this had to do with his DW. He stated that he was checking things out and found he had some slop in his steering. Then proceeded to ask if that much play was an issue.

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post #7 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbalbritton View Post
Damn Taz.... If you read his post he didn't ask if this had to do with his DW. He stated that he was checking things out and found he had some slop in his steering. Then proceeded to ask if that much play was an issue.
How would he know how much play he has in his steering box given the way he checked it? The steering box turns the wheels but the wheels ainít turning the tires until he gets past the flex in the sidewalls from those under inflated tires. He can probably go out, grab one corner of the Jeep and wiggle it around like a bowl of Jello.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 12:25 PM
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ok... you win the e-arguement....






not gonna do it...

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sourpwr View Post
... I could grab the input shaft and turn it a few degrees (maybe 10) by hand without any resistance. Is this normal?
I'll quote myself here... I can assure you that tire sidewall flex was not what allowed me to turn the steering box input shaft by hand.

For what it is worth, the only time this thing is driven on the road is to and from the garage or to and from the trailer to the trail. In most cases < 10 miles one way on isolated roads. This is a new problem that came up within the last 6 rides (unfortunately, this goes back to last October.)

This makes me uncomfortable and so I don't drive it.

I found an article on the net that discussed the Saginaw box. I interpreted the article as saying that a movement of just under 1" at the steering wheel is normal for the saginaw box. This is about what I have at the wheel.

After test driving it again, to better feel the problem, I am still leaning toward a tire balance problem coupled with the low air pressure run offroad. I have added BBs to balance the tire. That helped as I was able to drive upwards of 45 without the deathwobble. But it is still not comfortable -- nor do I feel safe with the current arrangement.

Prior to this happening the first time, 8 months ago, I had the exact same setup -- axles, tires, wheels, for 1.5 years. I could run at 70 mph with 8 psi without bouncing. I just could not turn. Heck, Jeff and Joel followed me down the interstate in Indiana two bashes ago without any issues...

I suppose that the real test would be to take the BBs out and rebalance the tires on a machine to see if this goes away.

Thanks for all of the help.

-- Mike
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 07-16-2007, 10:23 PM
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OK, Iím lost.

Youíre doing 45, youíre doing 70, most of the time on isolated roads but you also comment about driving on the interstate.

You claim death wobble but then say, ďI could run at 70 mph with 8 psi without bouncing.ď Bouncing is usually balance. Bouncing is not death wobble.

You say you had the exact same setup before it started happening. Running around with low pressure could have weakened the sidewalls. I donít know how often you get it our but setting around on the tires with low pressure can also cause sidewall damage.

What would it cost to air up and check it?

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