How to tighten steering.

smuddy

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I agree. Dropped my tire pressure from 45 when purchased to 35. Feels more like my 2004 TJ Rubicon. I'm in Morris, Il, just a little north of you.
"Feels more like my 2004 TJ" isn't saying much! We are 14 years and two models removed. I'm surprised with as many wranglers as they sell for people who never take them offroad, that the steering has this big of a dead spot! Would be awesome if we could tighten up the steering for daily driving on the road and then back to the way it is now for offroad. Gotta be a way to design it that way, no?
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JCM32

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I picked my JLUR up on Monday and have been driving it all week. I have not noticed any of these issues. Drives much tighter than the JKU I just sold. Very happy with the ride and handling. I hope you guys get this figured out!
 

Torero

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I agree. Dropped my tire pressure from 45 when purchased to 35. Feels more like my 2004 TJ Rubicon. I'm in Morris, Il, just a little north of you.
Well no point in comparing between us. DanW I believe is in Bloomington, but he is not complaining either. I guess the beer stands, though :like: Now there are three of us.
 
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ekimgnuj

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A Jeep Wrangler is suppose to have some play in the steering. It’s meant for going off road and that little play plays a big role in why the wrangler is so good off road. I just accept that the steering is not tight, it’s not supposed to be. This is common knowledge. I can’t believe what I read about how people want to tighten the steering. It makes me laugh, I’ve owned 5 Jeeps. 1 CJ 7 and every type of wrangler made. They all drive with play in the steering wheel. It’s engineered that way for taking the Jeep off the pavement. It is a little pain in the butt, but you get used to it. I actually got pulled over on a windy day for weaving out of my lane. I told the cop that there is nothing I can do. All Jeeps have play in the steering. He obviously never owned one because his reply was “nice try”. I only was told to keep it straight and go slow in the right lane. On windy days a Jeep is like driving a sailboat.
First, greetings from a fellow (former) Long Islander! I hope you take your Jeep out on Smith's Point regularly, even though its a parking lot. I remember when you had to be a member of the Long Island Beach Buggy Association to go out there, there were about a dozen or so people with permits for what, 10 miles of beach?

I've owned almost nothing but Wranglers for 25 years, at least 10 I can't even count, so I'm familiar with the play in the steering. It was noticeable in each of the three JKs I owned, too, but acceptable. The JL is very different - it wonders all over a highway lane, noticeably worse than any Jeep I've owned, even the CJs. Maybe you are right and its a "design feature," but to me it is a step backwards. Granted, most of my driving is highway and beach, but still, most people drive their Jeeps much more on road than off.

Just my two cents, I don't claim to be an expert or mechanic in any way, just an "end user" who finds it a bit unfordable with daily 60 mile each way commute. Unlike some folks on the forum, no other aspect of the JL bothers me on long highway drives, except the steering play.
 

ekimgnuj

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I agree. Dropped my tire pressure from 45 when purchased to 35. Feels more like my 2004 TJ Rubicon. I'm in Morris, Il, just a little north of you.
Seriously, I was wondering - why are the tires inflated to 45 at delivery? Seemed crazy to me, but I haven't gotten around to lowering the pressure - waiting for a chance to get them switched to nitrogen. Could that be the issue with the steering play, over inflated tires? Never thought of that, but it did seem like they were over inflated!
 

jeremyjeep

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My TJ had the same problem until I adjusted the steering box. I haven't messed with the JL yet, has the same type adjustment screw on top of it. The whole reason for buying a new vehicle is so you don't have to work on it. Just sucks the dealership didn't want to spend 15 minutes and try to adjust it. The dealership also told me that they didn't see any info on other JL's with the same problem on there system. I guess they don't read the forums.
Do you have any details on where the adjustment screw is at on the steering box - is it accessible without removing anything? And any details on how it should be adjusted? This sounds promising.
 

Sftdyna0326$

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Just picked my JLUR yesterday afternoon and we are heading back to NY from NC we put 450 miles on it yesterday and the steering was extremely twitchy!!! I found it necessary to constantly correct my line. The good news is every 100 miles we drove it actually got better, we stayed in a hotel last night and we are currently in machanicsberg looking forward to the remainder of the trip. I really feel like many others here who also claim the steering will work it’s self in.
 

Rhinebeck01

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Just picked my JLUR yesterday afternoon and we are heading back to NY from NC we put 450 miles on it yesterday and the steering was extremely twitchy!!! I found it necessary to constantly correct my line. The good news is every 100 miles we drove it actually got better, we stayed in a hotel last night and we are currently in machanicsberg looking forward to the remainder of the trip. I really feel like many others here who also claim the steering will work it’s self in.
@Sftdyna0326$

Check your tire pressures, ASAP. Undoubtedly, your tires are overinflated. Set pressures to 37# and you will see even more improvement.
 

Sftdyna0326$

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@Sftdyna0326$. That was the first thing I did before leaving the dealer! They were set at 44. I may go down from 37 to 35 once I’m home.

Check your tire pressures, ASAP. Undoubtedly, your tires are overinflated. Set pressures to 37# and you will see even more improvement.
 

TopPinArcher

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"...chalk tested for wear." Never heard of this before. Sounds interesting, can you give details?
This is a copy and paste of Fatboy01’s post in an earlier thread... there are plenty of video on the procedure.. I recommend always doing this on a cold tire.

*CHALK TEST:

Instructions:

-In the morning, before sun beats down on your tires and before you drive the truck-

  1. Fill the tires to a good starting pressure. If you are unsure what pressure to start with then subtract 10 percent from the manufacturer's maximum inflation pressure on the side of the tire. If, for example, the maximum is 40 psi, then 10 percent of 40 is 4. Subtract the 10 percent value from the maximum psi value. So, 40 - 4 = 36. Use 36 psi in your tires. You could also use the following calculation for the starting pressure.
    • Weight of vehicle / (Manufacturers weight rating x 4)) x Manufacturers inflation pressure at weight rating
  2. Drive to a flat area. This can be your driveway or the street in front of your house. Just make sure there aren't a lot of cracks, bumps or pot holes in the ground.
  3. Using chalk, draw a thick, straight line across the width of the tire.
  4. Use Test Variance 1 or Test Variance 2 for the completion of the instructions.

Test Variance 1
  1. Drive the truck forward at least one-full truck length.
  2. Inspect the chalk on the ground. A tire with the proper air pressure should press the chalk line evenly across the ground. This means you'll see the entire chalk line imprinted on the ground. If your tire is over-inflated, you'll only see a small portion of line in the center. If you're tire is underinflated, you'll see only the sides of the lines since the middle of the tire is not making contact with the ground.
  3. Adjust your tire's air pressure according to the chalk test results and try again until you get the chalk line to press evenly across the ground.

Test Variance 2
  1. Drive the truck to the end of the street and back or around the block.
  2. Inspect the chalk on the tire. A tire with the proper air pressure will show the chalk evenly worn across the tire. If your tire is over-inflated, the center of the line will be worn more than the edges. If you're tire is underinflated, the outer edges of the line will be worn more than the center.
  3. Adjust your tire's air pressure according to the chalk test results and try again until you get the chalk line to evenly wear across the tire.

Over-Inflated = More wear on the center of the tire = center of chalk line visible on ground = chalk line worn more in center

Under-Inflated = More wear on the outer edges of the tire = outer edges of chalk line visible on ground = chalk line worn more on outer edges
 

subiescott77

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Well no point in comparing between us. DanW I believe is in Bloomington, but he is not complaining either. I guess the beer stands, though :like: Now there are three of us.
Hell I'll even get my cousin involved to make 4!

On a side note and for the greater good of this thread, I honestly don't think there is truly a problem with the steering in regard to the "sway." It's something I hardly notice anymore, unless I'm on a road surface that changes slope drastically from side to side. For instance, they're redoing Interstate 355 up in the Chicagoland area and shifted lanes due to construction. The far outside lane is now technically half of a normal lane merged with what was a concrete neutral space between said lane and an on ramp. The roadway tilts from side to side quite drastically as the two merge together to form that new temporary lane. Driving on that lane is truly the only time I ever notice the JLUR truly sway side to side now. I'd go into a longer explanation but I believe the steering is actually quite sensitive and from where the tire meets the road all the way to your fingertips, it gives you all that feed back. For those airing down from what we can all agree is an over pressurized tire to normal spec, you're technically softening that sidewall and enabling more flex/sway. You will however introduce a bit more contact onto the roadway. Let alone, mileage might perhaps drop as well. But please correct me if I'm wrong. My tires all float around I believe 40 as of right now, I may leave them as is until a tire rotation happens.
 

TJ&JL

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Me personally, I understand they have some play, but it seems to be more than I remember that I had on my '14 JKUR. At first, I was thinking the jeep was wandering on me, but I've realized it was just me over-correcting because of the play in the steering. I drove that JKUR for 4 years and 70k miles and I don't remember this much play. However, I'm starting to wonder if it's just my perception/memory problems because I was driving a '17 Honda Ridgeline for 8 months in between my JKUR and my JLUR. I didn't go directly from the jk to the jl. That Honda drove like a dream on the highway. But then, I read the reviews of the jl on tflcar, who says the steering is improved and I wonder what the heck the difference is because mine certainly doesn't seem that way. This really does remind me more of the two CJ-7s I had in the early 90s than it does my jk. I am 99.9999% certain taking it to the dealer to have it checked out will be a waste of time. I don't know what to think right now. I only have a few gripes about my jl... The auto park, no auto up for the windows (and no auto down for rear passenger windows) the door limiting strap always rubbing my leg and the sloppy steering. I can live with the first 3, but the steering is really bugging me! I guess I'll have to get used to it though because I still freaking love the thing! Starting to wish I never read these steering threads as maybe it's also a psychological issue... Putting crap in my head! Eureka! That's it! I know how to fix my jeep steering! I'll book an appt with a shrink! Maybe hypnosis!
It's not your imagination, I finally got around to adjusting my steering box today and that solved the problem. My jeep now drives like a new vehicle should.It's true you should have a little play, if you don't and over adjust the steering box your wheel will not return to center and wear out your steering box. People on here don't realize how much steering play we have. And it is also true that my tires where over inflated from the factory, but that was the 1st thing I changed.There are some good videos on youtube explaining how to adjust a steering box. I was able to do it using socket extensions and did not have to remove anything to access it. It was not easy but doable.
 

TJ&JL

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Do you have any details on where the adjustment screw is at on the steering box - is it accessible without removing anything? And any details on how it should be adjusted? This sounds promising.
From the front of your Jeep look down beside your right driver side radiator hose.You will then see the steering box.The allen screw in the middle of the center nut is where you adjust it.If you over adjust, your steering wheel will not return to center and wear out the box. There are videos on youtube explaining how to adjust a steering box.I accessed mine using socket extensions without having to remove anything.
steering box.JPG
 

jeremyjeep

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From the front of your Jeep look down beside your right driver side radiator hose.You will then see the steering box.The allen screw in the middle of the center nut is where you adjust it.If you over adjust, your steering wheel will not return to center and wear out the box. There are videos on youtube explaining how to adjust a steering box.I accessed mine using socket extensions without having to remove anything.
steering box.JPG
Thanks! I watched the videos before (they are for the JK, but same adjustment of course). How did you hold the allen wrench in place if you used a socket? The video shows to use an open ended wrench so you can use an allen wrench to hold it in place, then adjust 1/8 of a turn, then re-tighten the the nut while holding the allen wrench at the 1/8 turn point.

 

Sftdyna0326$

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Agree that tire pressures are set too high at factory and or the dealer. Mine had 43 cold.

37 cold and 700 miles later I don't notice it as much. However My JLUR seems to need more steering correction than my JK sport s 2 door. Not apples to apples though.

I will say the lack of body roll is exceptional in the JLUR. Really surprised it does not lean nearly as much as my JK.
800 miles here and my steering is perfect now! And that’s a rave when your driving in NY on the Long Island expressway.
 
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