How to tighten steering.

hansolowookie

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Well if you poke around here, you'll see that the forum here is divided. You have one camp who clearly notices the horrendous steering/handling of the JL and is trying to find out what's going on. Then you have the other camp who overlooks the issue, thinks those who are upset about it are morons, and offer no help. It would be nice at this point if the moderators could take all of the many threads about this topic and merge them into one sticky so we could keep all the info sharing in one place.

As far as the steering box goes, there was always adjustment you could make to them in the past but I have not looked at the JL box that closely yet. As you know, it's a new electro-hydraulic system meaning that the engine no longer drives the pump via a belt. I'm not sure how or if that will affect our ability to make steering adjustments at the box. I would think that there'd still be adjustment there but I haven't looked at it yet.

I do think that a lot of Jeep dealerships have the ability to do alignments in house, so asking your dealer to check that for you first would be a logical step. That's exactly what I plan to do when I go in for my first free oil change.
Let me fix this:
You have a camp that has no experience with jeep complaining about steering, and those who have owned a lot of them who think the steering on the JL is great...

Its usually those with sports because the lack of extra axle width ...
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bmac

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What you think is a problem is the way these jeeps are engineered... Try a truck with IFS .... you'll be happier
So you are saying they are engineered so some are good and some aren't. Absolutely brilliant!!
 

bmac

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Ok, what issues exactly are you having?
If you actually read through some of the numerous posts on the subject you will find plenty of examples. Many of these problems were noticed by folks that were previous Wrangler owners and not just newbies. SOMETHING IS WRONG, whether you are willing to accept it or not! I am not making this up as you suggested and neither are these other folks. Some folks that had the issue were able to get the dealer to fix it. For some it was a matter of tire pressure for others it was more involved. I did not check the tire pressure of the ones I test drove so I can't say if that had anything to do with it.

I am not willing to broadly dismiss all these owners complaints and my personal experience backs them up.

I would hope you would be a bit more open minded on this subject and a bit less dismissive or condecending.
 

Saejin

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If the JL’s steering was engineered exactly the same as the JKs then probably yes, all the issues (there would actually be none) would be most likely new owners not accustomed to 5-link steering box type setups as they are coming from vehicles with rack and pinion steering.

So let’s break out the facts:
- JL has engineered a new electric hydraulic steering system which varies the amount of asssit needed depending on vehicle speeds, steering wheel movement, road condition, etc. Something the JK never had. This is not exactly hydro-assist which is added to JKs as needed when larger tires and beefier suspension is installed, but more akin to what you’d find on most modern vehicles nowadays. The amount of assist is controlled by a computer, so programming updates can alter the way the JL steering can feel. See next fact.
- FCA has released an actual TSB addressing a steering problem with this setup. It doesn’t solve all the problems, but it does take care of one of the most dangerous which is steering lock-up at speed during a slight turn. Watch the videos on YouTube...some owners have reported alomost having their Jeeps go off the road at speed when exiting the highway. I know of two owners who have had their Jeeps bought back/replaced by FCA due to the issue before the TSB was released.
- There is a dead zone in the steering wheel when at the 12 o’clock position where left to right movement of the wheel between 1-2 inches has no direct effect on tire movement. The JK doesn’t have this. At least mine didn’t and others here have posted the same.
- The JL is slower to return to center than the JK...probably due to the new steering setup. I owned a JK and to me the JL steering feels tighter/heavier.
- Many new owners have never driven or owned a Wrangler, so are not accustomed to solid axle steering and handling.
- Many new owners are coming from JKs and are reporting concerns with the JL steering.
- Some dealers are acknowledging there is a problem with the amount of dead zone, drift, and what some owners are calling darting when on the highway where the Jeep would suddely shift over a few feet without any input to the wheel.
- This is a first year redesign of a vehicle...there are going to be issues and many have been reported. Steering is one of them.

Stick to these facts and let’s help each other sort this out because as we all know the dealers and FCA will be slow to acknowledge/correct, but I’m sure they have to be looking into the problem.
 

Jeepsterfreak

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For anyone wanting to know what the screw adjustment actuall does, here’s an excellent video. Not a JL but same concept.

 

AFMike

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Saejin said - "Many new owners are coming from JKs and are reporting concerns with the JL steering."

I'm not a rookie to Wranglers. I've had four JKs with varying levels of lift and none of them, other than a 2 door that needed the camber corrected, wander as much as my JL does. I describe it as constant course correction and some days it's exhausting. Same issue before and after lift (mild 1.5 inch lift and 285/75/17). Yes it is not as bad as the '77 CJ5 I had 25 years ago but that is not a reasonable comparison. I'm glad that many report no problems at all with the steering. The steering on mine however is problematic and I'm not some noob who doesn't understand the "Jeep thing."
 

MACCTM

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I just tried to make the steering box adjustment. After finally finding the best way to access the nut I found I couldn't get the nut to loosen given the room I had to work with. Any suggestions? Very frustrated.
 

DanPop

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For you that try telling us its how a Wrangler drives, nothings wrong.... Explain this....my son in law has a 4dr JLU built 3 months before mine, he's driven mine and I've driven his. We both agree it's night and day. In fact he said he would never drive mine again. So we did a little experiment, he placed his hand on the ground cupping a front tire, I can move steering 1.5 inches left before he feels tire movement and 1 inch right before he feels movement.

IN 2018, IF THIS IS HOW A WRANGLER IS SUPPOSED TO BE THEN I'LL CUT HOLES IN THE FLOOR AND DO A FUCKING FRED FLINTSTONE THING TO SAVE GAS.
 

IPvFletch

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I think you have to remove the airbox, and also use a heat gun right on the bolt for like 60s.
 

vavaroutsos

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I think you have to remove the airbox, and also use a heat gun right on the bolt for like 60s.
Yes, the factory used red Loctite so you need to heat it to 550F or better and remove while hot. If allowed to cool, the Loctite will set again.
 

IPvFletch

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But I don't think you remove it, you just loosen, then rotate the main assembly, then re-tighten, all in relatively short order.
 

vavaroutsos

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But I don't think you remove it, you just loosen, then rotate the main assembly, then re-tighten, all in relatively short order.
You are correct, you only need to back the lock nut off about 1/2 turn, then adjust the screw maybe 1/8 turn clockwise to reduce lash.
 

vanessen

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If the JL’s steering was engineered exactly the same as the JKs then probably yes, all the issues (there would actually be none) would be most likely new owners not accustomed to 5-link steering box type setups as they are coming from vehicles with rack and pinion steering.

So let’s break out the facts:
- JL has engineered a new electric hydraulic steering system which varies the amount of asssit needed depending on vehicle speeds, steering wheel movement, road condition, etc. Something the JK never had. This is not exactly hydro-assist which is added to JKs as needed when larger tires and beefier suspension is installed, but more akin to what you’d find on most modern vehicles nowadays. The amount of assist is controlled by a computer, so programming updates can alter the way the JL steering can feel. See next fact.
- FCA has released an actual TSB addressing a steering problem with this setup. It doesn’t solve all the problems, but it does take care of one of the most dangerous which is steering lock-up at speed during a slight turn. Watch the videos on YouTube...some owners have reported alomost having their Jeeps go off the road at speed when exiting the highway. I know of two owners who have had their Jeeps bought back/replaced by FCA due to the issue before the TSB was released.
- There is a dead zone in the steering wheel when at the 12 o’clock position where left to right movement of the wheel between 1-2 inches has no direct effect on tire movement. The JK doesn’t have this. At least mine didn’t and others here have posted the same.
- The JL is slower to return to center than the JK...probably due to the new steering setup. I owned a JK and to me the JL steering feels tighter/heavier.
- Many new owners have never driven or owned a Wrangler, so are not accustomed to solid axle steering and handling.
- Many new owners are coming from JKs and are reporting concerns with the JL steering.
- Some dealers are acknowledging there is a problem with the amount of dead zone, drift, and what some owners are calling darting when on the highway where the Jeep would suddely shift over a few feet without any input to the wheel.
- This is a first year redesign of a vehicle...there are going to be issues and many have been reported. Steering is one of them.

Stick to these facts and let’s help each other sort this out because as we all know the dealers and FCA will be slow to acknowledge/correct, but I’m sure they have to be looking into the problem.
For what it is worth, I am new to wrangler ownership and just got a JLU Rubicon. On the 1100 mile trip home from Dennis Dillon in ID, it felt like the Jeep wandered all over the road and was a very "active" driving situation. After getting home I took it to a dealer and asked them to do the steering TSB update and check the ball joint nuts. Turns out the nuts on the front part of the ball joint mount were just past finger tight. Between getting those tightened to factory spec and updating the steering control module (SCCM), the jeep drives much better. Still drives like a jeep, but not nearly so much wander in the two day since the fix.
 
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