2019 vs 2020 (engine/interior/steering comparison)

JDM

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Is the power steering pump replacement aftermarket, or FCA ?
No. It’s a PSC PN# PK1880 about $1,400.00 + Mini Tazer $329.00 to override the program. That does not include labor.

From what I’m told by PSC, the dealer and the shop that does my work; the dead spot is a result of the power steering being shut off and/or the flow rate reduced at highway speeds when your going straight. Makes sense to me... sort of like the engine shut off, you stop at a light, foot on brake and the engine shuts off. Release the brake and it turns on. There’s a lag time however short. Something similar happens with the electric power steering pump. In the case of the power steering your going straight on the HWY the computer shuts down or severely limits the power and flow = dead spot. You turn the wheel at at some point the sensors pick that up and on goes the pump and the flow starts at a progressive rate. That’s how I understand the power steering system works. What if you don’t turn it enough to turn on the system as in minor corrections = floaty feeling.

The steering is very sensitive, good thing in my books. But what happens if you turn the wheel one two or three inches from centre when power and flow is restricted by the program? Got to be some lag time however short. Probably some over steer that you now have to correct for by going the other direction and hope you don’t go too far otherwise the see-saw thing starts. With a belt driven hydraulic pump the power is always on = no dead spot and floaty feeling. Yes, I shut off the engine stop start, wish I could do that with the powder steering system so that its on all the time.

As far as the effect on the warrantee thats not a biggie for me. I’ll still have warrantee on the engine, transmission and other non related components. Yes all the work that I’ve had done and will have done will mean that I’m adding $6,000.00 to the price tag. Based on the results I’m getting now, for me it’s worth it. I really like driving my JL now, it’s better than my JK was by a good margin and I had no complaints with my JK.

My JL has the 3.6/8 speed tranny, absolutely love it. If only the steering and related components were as good.
 

blnewt

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My JL has the 3.6/8 speed tranny, absolutely love it. If only the steering and related components were as good.
Ditto on the first sentence, luckily the second sentence doesn't apply to mine, it steers great, and after the Rubicon suspension swap and new Mopar longer LCAs is still steers superb!
 

Dkretden

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Thankfully, I have zero steering issues with my 2020 Rubicon. It’s doesn’t drive like a Porsche and it does get blown all over the road in high winds. But, I have zero steering issues.

I just don’t understand the root of the issues that some report (and I believe). If folks reading this thread are considering buying a Jeep, I urge you to to go test drive. Drive at highway speeds and focus on the steering..... there may be an issue but there likely won’t be one. If you like what you feel, buy it. If you don’t, either drive another one until you like one or buy a TRD.
 

JDM

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Ditto on the first sentence, luckily the second sentence doesn't apply to mine, it steers great, and after the Rubicon suspension swap and new Mopar longer LCAs is still steers superb!
In a way I’m glad that I encountered the initial problems with my JL. If I hadn’t I would not have had the work done; Synergy Trk Arm, D Link, T Rod, Fox SS, Falcon Shocks and the Grabber ATx. My JL just eats up the HWY now and I’ve had off road, even the wind buffing is dramatically reduced, all but gone!. The potential in these new Jeeps is greater than I would have thought.

There’s no love lost between me and FCA but I’m not going to let that ruin it for me. If I traded the JL I would have been money out of pocket anyway. Instead I met some great folks that build really bad ass competition rock crawlers. It’s a treat going into their shop. The only problem is that after seeing whats possible, after the PSC pump is installed the real build will begin, LOL!
 
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TowDawg

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I get the philosophy behind the the dead spot being created by reduced/stop flow when going straight on the highway, but I don’t buy it as the reason.
I say that because I can turn it far enough to get real steering out and then immediately try it again the dead spot is still there, so it either instantaneously shuts off when you put the wheel straight, or that’s not the cause.
If I get a chance this weekend, I’ll throw the Jeep on the lift and physically turn the tires by hand while the steering wheel is being held still. If I can move the tires back and forth without the steering wheel moving, then the problem isn’t just a dead spot from the steering wheel side. It’s truly a dead spot in the entire system/linkage.
 

JDM

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I get the philosophy behind the the dead spot being created by reduced/stop flow when going straight on the highway, but I don’t buy it as the reason.
I say that because I can turn it far enough to get real steering out and then immediately try it again the dead spot is still there, so it either instantaneously shuts off when you put the wheel straight, or that’s not the cause.
If I get a chance this weekend, I’ll throw the Jeep on the lift and physically turn the tires by hand while the steering wheel is being held still. If I can move the tires back and forth without the steering wheel moving, then the problem isn’t just a dead spot from the steering wheel side. It’s truly a dead spot in the entire system/linkage.
It’s very hard to diagnose because as you point out there may be issues in the linkage, at least with mine there were. The linkage in my JL is now all aftermarket as are the shocks. The system is rock solid and that’s evident in the way it handles, absolutely love it. So the problem in my JLU is somewhere in the power steering/gear box/programming. I’m going to be checking the amount of play in the box this weekend because I have to determine whether to get the PSC Pump conversion only or the Big Bore Kit.

Yesterday my JL was in for an oil change, the camera was replaced and the emergency lever had to be replaced. I discussed the dead spot with the service manager (Excellent dealer by the way) who also did a TSB Flash because mine was a Dec. 2017 build. Didn’t do anything better or worse afterwards except that the steering feel seems to be lighter.

I got a rental overnight, it was a 2019 JLU Sahara. Not as loaded up as mine but close enough that it was a good comparison. The steering seemed stiffer (I liked that) but still had the dead spot, not quite as much but definitely still there (still not acceptable to me). Drove it on the highway over sections that produced the severe wobble in the earlier days of my JLU and it didn’t wobble but there was very discernible shock through the steering column and the wheel (mine has non, nada, zip, zero) . Felt similar to the start of a damper in the process of failing, maybe, maybe not, can’t say for sure.

As for the ride and handling, really hard to be tactful at this point so... what POS! I couldn’t believe it. The shocks were ‘softer’ and it bounced and yawed as a result. More lean in the turns and no where near as much control. Even though the ride felt softer there was much more shock transmitted into the seat at all speeds. IMO this rental JLU is only good as a mall crawler. First thing I would do with this JLU is change the shocks PDQ! Next, the track bar goes, an aftermarket takes its place. I’m quite sure that it would be a completely different JLU if just those two things were done. But, I’ll bet that afterwards the dead spot would still be there and somewhat more pronounced. I say that because as I changed the linkage on my JLU and any play in the linkage was eliminated the dead spot became more apparent. Didn’t become worse just more evident. Far less correcting input was needed, but the dead spot remained and is more obvious with the better linkage. Driving the rental was an immediate comparison to mine and I was able to pinpoint the items that were responsible for what I felt but only because I have been through this with my JLU and know the results that each component change made. Components were changed one at a time progressively, not all at once.

Now here’s the interesting conclusion that I came to... Someone is going to like the rental as it is, maybe like it a lot initially and for a time... and eventually will tire of it not knowing or perhaps even caring why. (Not knowing better is bliss???)
 

20JL Rubi

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My sons 2019 Jeep JL Rubicon has no steering issue at all but my 2020 is like you said my wife won’t drive either . Now granted I did put a lift on mine but I really tried to fix the steering with very expensive parts that have made the steering tighter but still has the dead spot in the top of the steering wheel that makes you over correct constantly. You can read my other post about this issue I have almost tried everything I’m still searching for some weird reason I can’t give up on this Jeep yet. I really love the Wrangler I have owned 4 with no problems like this . I know that Jeep will figure it out eventually but damn hurry up already.
 

20JL Rubi

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You know it’s so funny that you say that no test drive I saw this Jeep on the lot my wife and I fell in love with how it looked and just said yes we will take it I really just had the mindset it’s a Jeep what could go wrong I mean I just bought my son one 3 months prior these things are good right WRONG .....like he said test drive them .
 

JDM

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You know it’s so funny that you say that no test drive I saw this Jeep on the lot my wife and I fell in love with how it looked and just said yes we will take it I really just had the mindset it’s a Jeep what could go wrong I mean I just bought my son one 3 months prior these things are good right WRONG .....like he said test drive them .
My sons 2019 Jeep JL Rubicon has no steering issue at all but my 2020 is like you said my wife won’t drive either . Now granted I did put a lift on mine but I really tried to fix the steering with very expensive parts that have made the steering tighter but still has the dead spot in the top of the steering wheel that makes you over correct constantly. You can read my other post about this issue I have almost tried everything I’m still searching for some weird reason I can’t give up on this Jeep yet. I really love the Wrangler I have owned 4 with no problems like this . I know that Jeep will figure it out eventually but damn hurry up already.
I read your posts and I hear you! I’m going to tell you some of the details of what happened with mine so that you can better understand how and why I came to this point and why I’m doing the PSC steering system next and not holding my breath for a solution from FCA.

Coming from a JK I road tested the JLU quite extensively before taking delivery of it Jan 22/18, it seemed OK, no DW, no wandering, steering felt quite different from the JK but no red flags. It was was bone stock when the problems started at somewhere around October 2018. DW at 120KPH/70mph. I was so unnerved that I pulled to the shoulder and called the dealer. They told me to drive it cautiously to their location. They inspected it, found no issues but did say that others started to have the same issues in the colder weather and the solution was a new SS that unfortunately was back ordered. I just looked up the service records and the first SS was replaced on Jan 2/19 at 17,005 K on the odometer.

It failed within 2 months, DW returned. I was told that the replacement was also faulty but another replacement was on the way. It was in that short period when the first SS was replaced that I started to notice the dead spot in the steering. I thought I would address that after the second replacement SS was installed if it was still there. The second replacement SS was installed April 29/18 at 26,992K. Helped but did not get rid of the DW completely it was now a wobble and slowly getting worse. So my priority continued to be the wobble and not the dead spot.

I took the JL to Rock Spyder 4X4 to get it inspected and another opinion. They checked it for faulty welds - no problem. Next they inspected the track bar and said that it was flexing under load, not the bushings but the bar itself. I looked and sure enough it was flexing. Now, in my earlier days I managed a HD Frame and Alignment shop but never worked on Jeeps so I deferred to who should have been the experts...the dealer. The Jeep shop suggested that I go back to the dealer and show them. I called the dealer and they said that Jeep did not have an updated replacement TB so to get an aftermarket TB installed and if it solved the problem they would reimburse me for it. So I did. On April 17/19 the Jeep shop installed a JKS TB. (Thought it was a Synergy, now I recall that Synergy didn’t have one at the time). Problem was solved but the dead spot was more evident, not worse, in fact better but more obvious.

I approached the dealer with the bill and they didn’t follow through on their promise. I bought three vehicles from these... characters, two of which were Jeeps. During this time I did contact FCA regarding the SS. So when this happened I called FCA and the case manager told me to submit the bill for compensation. The Case Manager contacted engineering or another department and a short time later said that the claim was denied because I could have had an OEM TB installed. The Dealer told me that OEM TB would be the same and there was no point in replacing it!!! Life is far to short for this B.S. and that’s why I’m not waiting for the FCA bureaucrats for a solution on anything else unless its an obvious problem that there is a track record of the repair actually working. Besides, it’s difficult to remember your objective was to drain the swamp when you’re surrounded up your butt in crocodiles. So I got out of the swamp and am now enjoying my JLU, it’s quite the machine now, will only get better and it’s likely going to be a keeper because it is the last FCA vehicle I will ever buy.

You know the rest of the story... the parts helped in a big way in other areas of handling but not the dead spot. Another dealer is doing the regular maintenance and these people are really good. So the steering is next...aftermarket!
 

Notorious

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Not to discredit anyone with steering issues on their Wranglers as I do hope this gets fixed for you all, but during my test drives, I didn’t notice any steering issues a few weeks ago.

I test drove both a 2020 JLU Sport and a 2020 JLU Rubicon. Both had the 3.6L and both had steering that felt identical - crisp and smooth. I was honestly expecting this flighty, heavy unresponsive truck like steering but instead experienced an amazing smooth and responsive steering wheel.

Maybe I’m jaded having owned a lifted 4 banger YJ and a current TJ, but the steering compared to these two (and I love them dearly), uhm yes please. How soon can we lift this thing? :CWL:

Both JLU Wranglers were bone stock and aside from the red dash and hood vents, I couldn’t notice an ENOUGH of a difference to truly justify paying thousands more for the core features on the Rubicon that make it what it is...especially if I would hardly use those features.

Did I want a Rubi? Of course! Did I want to pay additional moolah for it? Naaaaah.
 

20JL Rubi

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I have the 4 Cylinder so PSC has no option for me yet ... Jeep is now telling me to remove my lift and aftermarket parts back to stock but they won’t tell me if they will replace the Jeep also I have spent about 2,000 to put this stuff on now you want me to spend an additional 2,000 to take it off and then when I get the new one pay to put it back on .
 

20JL Rubi

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Mine got the dead spot after they replaced the first steering box it only wondered before now it has both dead spot and wandering
 

JDM

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I have the 4 Cylinder so PSC has no option for me yet ... Jeep is now telling me to remove my lift and aftermarket parts back to stock but they won’t tell me if they will replace the Jeep also I have spent about 2,000 to put this stuff on now you want me to spend an additional 2,000 to take it off and then when I get the new one pay to put it back on .
Mine got the dead spot after they replaced the first steering box it only wondered before now it has both dead spot and wandering
Now that really sucks!!
 

JDM

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Now that really sucks!!
Update... in preparation for the PSC system I checked the front end this morning here’s what I found:

-No looseness or play at the steering box mounting to the frame.
-Steering input and sector shaft response is very good. Rules out the steering box.
-JKS Track arm; excellent, no looseness or play in the bushings. Rest of the linkage is solid.

On Thursday, among other work, the dealer did the TSB 08-092-18. Initially I thought the steering feel was lighter and the dead spot was no worse or better. I’ve been driving since and the feel has firmed up a little and the dead spot is now smaller (computer taking time to “think”?). I took it for a test drive and the dead spot is still there but much better and for some it may be OK. But with my background I know the difference between a loose box and this dead spot so I still intend to put the PSC pump retrofit and leave the box as it is. Because of the way I drive I may even do adjustable LCA’s to be able to tweak the castor. But that’s a ‘me’ thing. Example: When I take a turn I’ll look as far into the turn as I can, start at the outside, aim for the apex, go close to the inside and then back to the outside increasing speed as I go through. With the reduced dead spot I no longer over steer and have to correct as I go through the turn. On the straight sections the dead spot still there at times (not all the time), but much smaller and still annoying.

On my test drive today, on the highway, I took a relatively wide turn that you still had to pay attention to. In the apex was an expansion joint that the pavement dropped into. Took it at 80 mph, this was a test drive after all. Took it exactly as I wanted to, no wobble, no bump steer going over top of the expansion joint, no over steer, no sway or roll, just a smile as I came out of it. This shows how good a Jeep can be and I still think it can be better, at least for me.

Now imagine if they came off the lot this way...
 

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