Jeep steering is great!

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Whaler27

Whaler27

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This!

The "steering issue" did not impact all JLs off the factory line. Only some of us had the joy of managing our own resolution with dealerships that had no idea what to do.

Mine went from 1" of slop originally when the steering wheel was centered to rock solid now. In my case, the fix was a new track bar, steering box, software update and longer mopar LCAs.

Love the steering now!
I think this is the crux of it. In my youth dealerships employed mechanics who learned through training and extensive apprenticeship, with a strong emphasis on understanding how things actually worked. Now the process is heavily automated and driven by if-this-then-that procedures, without really needing to understand, for example, what too much or too little caster actually does and how to correct it. Sometimes you just need a mechanic. A real mechanic.

Twelve years ago we bought a new Class C RV that was built on a Ford E350. One morning, about 350 miles from home, the RV would not go into Drive, so it had to be towed to the dealership. It took two full weeks to fix the problem, because the automated service manual and Ford’s remote technical advisors kept requiring the replacement of various “modules”, each of which had to be shipped to the dealership. In the end, the problem turned out to be a single faulty wire that was shorting out on the frame, but nobody thought to consider that possibility — because nobody at the dealership knew that a short was capable of producing that failure.
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A lot of it also come from people's perception, will Wrangler JL ever steer like a normal or luxury car? No way. No matter how many mods you throw at it, it just won't. And it is fine, it is not designed for that purpose.

I frequently alter driving my Jeep and my wife's Audi Q5 to commute, since she is working from home now. Of course Audi steers way supermely to Jeep, I can let my hands off Audi's steering wheel on a straight freeway, and don't touch it in 2 minutes and it will still track straight. With Jeep, I have to make small adjustment every once a while, and my Jeep is with one of the best steering rated by my local Jeeper group.

I have basically replaced every single suspension and steering components with aftermarket beefier ones, the only mod I did not do is hydraulic steering assist. Some mods greatly improved steering feels, some mods marginally impacted steering, and some mods probably did not do anything.
 

emptyminded42

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Mine needed the new steering box to not wander all over the place. It's still not great but I also don't have a baseline for what a good JL feels like - I've only driven my own.

It's good enough for me, though. I'm not interested in spending the time and money to try new suspension/steering parts.
 
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Mine needed the new steering box to not wander all over the place. It's still not great but I also don't have a baseline for what a good JL feels like - I've only driven my own.

It's good enough for me, though. I'm not interested in spending the time and money to try new suspension/steering parts.
I did a 200 mile trip the day I took that video, and I was thinking about how to describe the Jeep's steering for much of it. The fact is, in terms of steering input and straight-line-tracking, it's not appreciably different from the new Dodge Charger I drive every day. The drive doesn't feel the same because of the Jeep's suspension rate, solid front axel, lousy aerodynamics, and big tires. Also, obviously, the Charger corners/handles/brakes infinitely better, but the straight-line steering input required of the two vehicles is basically identical, even with my oversized tires and Oregon's poor road quality. If you're having to actively steer all the time just to continue in a straight line, the problem can be fixed -- but if you're happy with it as it is, that's what matters.
 

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Exactly. There are only so many variables effecting steering, so the problems can be sorted — usually quickly by somebody who knows what he’s doing.

My Intention was to provide a video, so folks who are getting that B.S. from the dealership would have a video to play for the dealer. They could say, “I just want my Jeep to drive like this”.

I get that. What I'm trying to say, without letting FCA or the dealerships off the hook (because they shouldn't be), is that FCA has not, to my knowledge, given the dealerships a pathway to solve the steering issues with the longer control arms. It's not in the service details for steering complaints. This would be a warranty item, so the dealership is going to look at what FCA authorizes, which would be to check alignment and update the steering box to the cast iron version. The control arms seem to give the most bang for the buck, but that's not in the authorized repairs for steering complaints, so arguing with your dealer is going to be much more difficult. If it were me, I would raise the issue up front, as I take delivery, and suggest that the dealership throw in the control arms to keep me from bringing the Jeep back because the caster is off and only the control arms will fix it.
 

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.... If it were me, I would raise the issue up front, as I take delivery, and suggest that the dealership throw in the control arms to keep me from bringing the Jeep back because the caster is off and only the control arms will fix it.
I've heard from others on this forum that newer JLs are starting to ship with shorter springs. Less lift to increase caster with stock LCAs rather than longer LCAs.
 

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I've heard from others on this forum that newer JLs are starting to ship with shorter springs. Less lift to increase caster with stock LCAs rather than longer LCAs.

Really? Is there a thread on here about it? I'm going to go search, but if you have it handy, might save me a few keystrokes. :)
 
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I get that. What I'm trying to say, without letting FCA or the dealerships off the hook (because they shouldn't be), is that FCA has not, to my knowledge, given the dealerships a pathway to solve the steering issues with the longer control arms. It's not in the service details for steering complaints. This would be a warranty item, so the dealership is going to look at what FCA authorizes, which would be to check alignment and update the steering box to the cast iron version. The control arms seem to give the most bang for the buck, but that's not in the authorized repairs for steering complaints, so arguing with your dealer is going to be much more difficult. If it were me, I would raise the issue up front, as I take delivery, and suggest that the dealership throw in the control arms to keep me from bringing the Jeep back because the caster is off and only the control arms will fix it.
That's a good idea.

Sadly, the first step for many is convincing the service writer that the steering problems aren't "normal" and beyond correction (regardless of what the factory will authorize under warranty).
 

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Really? Is there a thread on here about it? I'm going to go search, but if you have it handy, might save me a few keystrokes. :)
I'll need to look for it myself. It's probably in one of the numerous threads on the dreaded subject of "steering" :facepalm:
 
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That's a good idea.

Sadly, the first step for many is convincing the service writer that the steering problems aren't "normal" and beyond correction (regardless of what the factory will authorize under warranty).

Agreed.
 

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I made a thread about my restored steering to see if anyone else had the same experience, I have a pre v41 '18 that came with pretty bad steering.

@JeepCares ,
After installing longer and newer Rubicon LCAs on my sport, my steering is 100% straight and stable at freeway speeds. This may be a simple 'disassemble/reassemble' job, or LCAs might have to be replaced. The bushings in my factory LCAs were pretty worn out with around 20k miles on them. Either way, this is a pretty simple fix that could be performed by a service department.
If you can convince service departments to actually do work and not just say "new ones on the lot do it, it's normal."
 

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I did a 200 mile trip the day I took that video, and I was thinking about how to describe the Jeep's steering for much of it. The fact is, in terms of steering input and straight-line-tracking, it's not appreciably different from the new Dodge Charger I drive every day. The drive doesn't feel the same because of the Jeep's suspension rate, solid front axel, lousy aerodynamics, and big tires. Also, obviously, the Charger corners/handles/brakes infinitely better, but the straight-line steering input required of the two vehicles is basically identical, even with my oversized tires and Oregon's poor road quality. If you're having to actively steer all the time just to continue in a straight line, the problem can be fixed -- but if you're happy with it as it is, that's what matters.
Yeah, my Jeep isn't as tight/direct as my wife's Forester and nowhere near my old Mazda3, but I never expected it to be. I figured I'd be a little worse than my FIL's F-150. And it is, now. It tracks pretty straight but does need to be corrected when I hit bumps in the road (which isn't a surprise, it's just more of a correction than other vehicles). Before the new box I was constantly correcting on back roads (around 50 mph) that were old and frost-heaved. In the wind it was downright scary. I could seldom drive around with just 1 hand on the wheel. It's much better with the new box. Now I typically use 1 hand unless it's very windy or roads are unusually terrible.

If I were to futz with the lower control arms, seems like they're pretty cheap. I don't want a lift - wonder if these would work with stock Sport suspension or not.
 
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Yeah, my Jeep isn't as tight/direct as my wife's Forester and nowhere near my old Mazda3, but I never expected it to be. I figured I'd be a little worse than my FIL's F-150. And it is, now. It tracks pretty straight but does need to be corrected when I hit bumps in the road (which isn't a surprise, it's just more of a correction than other vehicles). Before the new box I was constantly correcting on back roads (around 50 mph) that were old and frost-heaved. In the wind it was downright scary. I could seldom drive around with just 1 hand on the wheel. It's much better with the new box. Now I typically use 1 hand unless it's very windy or roads are unusually terrible.

If I were to futz with the lower control arms, seems like they're pretty cheap. I don't want a lift - wonder if these would work with stock Sport suspension or not.
The LCA's can help with caster if you're needing more adjustment than the present arms will allow, but I'm thinking that's a less likely culprit in an unlifted Sport. I'd want to look at your last alignment specs to see where it is and what if anything they tried to improve the steering.
 
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