Loose steering feels like it has play and drifts

JimmyDoom

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So is this what I tell the dealer I want the below done or are they the same or one supersede the other?

Steering RRT8-054 and 18-19-06-WU
PCM update RRT 18-137
I asked my dealership to do the same PCM update and the RRT and they wouldn't do them. They said that it didn't pertain to my VIN number so it wasn't relevant. I have a 2018 4 door Rubicon with a build date of 7-18





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kobejo34

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I asked my dealership to do the same PCM update and the RRT and they wouldn't do them. They said that it didn't pertain to my VIN number so it wasn't relevant. I have a 2018 4 door Rubicon with a build date of 7-18
Yup the same. I'm not a negative person but I think out of the 30+ people that work in the service department 3 know anything outside of the grease pencil check list. Everyone is a drone. I'd pay whatever they want if they will just fix it.
 

JimmyDoom

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I thought I'd post an update of what I've done for my steering. Some of this is a recap you might have read before.

tl-dr: Aftermarket components have made a great difference.


First change: I put the Mopar lift LCAs on. Those are ¼" longer and brought my caster from 4.7 to 6.0. That change made a big difference in the wandering and overall steering feel. However, it was still not as good as our JKUR and not road-trip worthy.

I waited a while before doing anything to see what FCA would do.

The V41 recall steering damper was replaced on 8/15 and that didn't make any noticeable difference. My husband also couldn't tell that anything had been done. I value his feedback because he had a JKUR that he modded extensively (and it drove a lot better than my JLR).

Then my husband surprised me with this!
IMG_7232-X3.jpg


He was impressed with the Steer Smarts components on his JK, so thought this would be a good place to start and he was right. Putting this track bar on made the biggest difference to date. The steering felt more solid, a bit firmer. We put that on last weekend, 8/17.

Hubby said that the steering has gone from terrible (stock), to OK (LCAs), to good (Yeti). We were planning a trip to Colorado next month to do some of the gorgeous trails, but cancelled it because of the steering. Yes, it was that bad. Right now it doesn't wander, but still feels like it has a lot of play. More than our JK did for sure.

My sweet husband then surprised me with this:
IMG_7247-X3.jpg


We're going to put it in this weekend. We'll also check the torque on other steering components while we're working on it. I'll report back how the Falcon stabilizer affects the steering.

I'm really hoping for a new steering box for the 2 doors! Beyond that, we're going to replace components we need to. The track bar might be next. I was thinking about adjustable LCAs, but my caster is at 6, so that was moved down the priority list.

So far the upgraded components have made quite a noticeable difference—to the point we're talking about going to Moab in the spring! :involve::like:.
I installed those exact same parts into my Jeep along with adjustable LCA's. It didn't make much of a difference with mine but I hope you have better luck. The biggest impact on fixing my "loose" steering was a new steering gear box. Not the AE one but a new AD one (the AE wasn't released at the time). I tried to fix my "wondering" issues with the adjustable lower control arms to increase caster, it didn't help. My caster is set to 5.5 and some people say to increase the caster more then that now. If you're at 6 with the OEM LCA's I don't see a benefit of new ones
 

RagTopDeluxe

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I installed those exact same parts into my Jeep along with adjustable LCA's. It didn't make much of a difference with mine but I hope you have better luck. The biggest impact on fixing my "loose" steering was a new steering gear box. Not the AE one but a new AD one (the AE wasn't released at the time). I tried to fix my "wondering" issues with the adjustable lower control arms to increase caster, it didn't help. My caster is set to 5.5 and some people say to increase the caster more then that now. If you're at 6 with the OEM LCA's I don't see a benefit of new ones
It’s funny, but the Jeep is tracking straight if I’m on a straight and flat road, but at times it requires a lot of correction. That leads me to believe it is the steering box. There is a good amount of play in the steering wheel that doesn’t help.

We’re hopeful that the Falcon dampener will help firm up the steering response. The new LCAs and track bar have made a big difference and I’m happy for that.

I do hope for a new steering box for the 2-doors.
 

JimmyDoom

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It’s funny, but the Jeep is tracking straight if I’m on a straight and flat road, but at times it requires a lot of correction. That leads me to believe it is the steering box. There is a good amount of play in the steering wheel that doesn’t help.

We’re hopeful that the Falcon dampener will help firm up the steering response. The new LCAs and track bar have made a big difference and I’m happy for that.

I do hope for a new steering box for the 2-doors.
Yea I hear ya. Mine is doing the same thing, kinda hard to describe. Some times i'm like, "this thing is great and is staying straight and in my lane" and other times i'm like, "why do I have to constantly be turning my wheel back and fourth to stay straight?". My wife drove mine home on an hour and a half trip....she said she'll never drive it again.
I noticed no difference with my falcon damper.....hope you have better luck.
I think adjusting my caster to 6 is my next step
 

RagTopDeluxe

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Yea I hear ya. Mine is doing the same thing, kinda hard to describe. Some times i'm like, "this thing is great and is staying straight and in my lane" and other times i'm like, "why do I have to constantly be turning my wheel back and fourth to stay straight?". My wife drove mine home on an hour and a half trip....she said she'll never drive it again.
I noticed no difference with my falcon damper.....hope you have better luck.
I think adjusting my caster to 6 is my next step
That’s exactly it. So strange. Again, we had a modded JKUR that was great to drive.

From what I’ve read, the caster is a big factor and some have gone above 6 with success. I still might put the Metal Cloak adjustable LCAs on later.

I hope you get yours sorted out so your wife likes driving it. Going on adventures with family in the Jeep is wonderful, but not possible if one doesn’t like driving it.

Good luck!
 

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I'll add my data point: I have a 2020, build date 7/19, 2-door JL Rubicon. In the first 50 miles I felt the steering was way too dead (loose) in the center. I have owned a YJ and a JK and don't recall any steering issues, but also didn't have 33" tires. I googled the issue and found this thread. I have spent many hours reading all 269 pages :). I don't have the terrible wondering problem you all seem to have but don't really like the 1-2" dead spot on center. I am a self fix it kind of guy and would only take my car to a dealership for a warranty issue that was major expensive, an easy needed recall, or something I could not do myself. Seriously, look how much time and energy many of you have spent at dealerships with no solution and much frustration. I hate that process - each his own. Anyway, I can live with the way mine drives but wanted to share information that may help others. I plan to make changes that might improve it over time. So, I started by taking it in for a free alignment report at Les Schwab (nice place). I can upload the report if people want to see it, but it roughly shows .20 toe each side and 4.9 caster. That toe sound like it's where people say it helps. Caster is typical for a stock Rubicon. It does surprise me that FCA didn't adjust the caster for the 1.5" lift. This morning I checked my steering box and it's the AE version (P68250508AE) even on a 2-door. It's my opinion that the JL's steering is not ever going to be great, maybe just good enough. I only have 500 miles on mine and I am getting used to it. Offroad it's great. I have already been on the trails here in Colorado about 6 hours. I ordered the longer Mopar LCA's and they arrive today (note that my 2020 still has the shorter arms verified by part number). I want to bring the caster up to 6. It may help a bit with road manners but I don't think it will help the dead spot at center. At this point, I think it's a design feature :). Hope this helps.
 
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jeepfan30

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I'll add my data point: I have a 2020, build date 7/19, 2-door JL Rubicon. In the first 50 miles I felt the steering was way too dead (loose) in the center. I have owned a YJ and a JK and don't recall any steering issues, but also didn't have 33" tires. I googled the issue and found this thread. I have spent many hours reading all 269 pages :). I don't have the terrible wondering problem you all seem to have but don't really like the 1-2" dead spot on center. I am a self fix it kind of guy and would only take my car to a dealership for a warranty issue that was major expensive, an easy needed recall, or something I could not do myself. Seriously, look how much time and energy many of you have spent at dealerships with no solution and much frustration. I hate that process - each his own. Anyway, I can live with the way mine drives but wanted to share information that may help others. I plan to make changes that might improve it over time. So, I started by taking it in for a free alignment report at Les Schwab (nice place). I can upload the report if people want to see it, but it roughly shows .20 toe each side and 4.9 caster. That toe sound like it's where people say it helps. Caster is typical for a stock Rubicon. It does surprise me that FCA didn't adjust the caster for the 1.5" lift. This morning I checked my steering box and it's the AE version (P68250508AE) even on a 2-door. It's my opinion that the JL's steering is not ever going to be great, maybe just good enough. I only have 500 miles on mine and I am getting used to it. Offroad it's great. I have already been on the trails here in Colorado about 6 hours. I ordered the longer Mopar LCA's and they arrive today (note that my 2020 still has the shorter arms verified by part number). I want to bring the caster up to 6. It may help a bit with road manners but I don't think it will help the dead spot at center. At this point, I think it's a design feature :). Hope this helps.
One of the biggest improvements for my dead spot was torquing all the steering components to spec, they were all less than supposed to be. After 4 trips to two dealerships for dead spot, all claimed there is no problem, I adjusted the steering box screw and I have to say I am finally happy with how it drives. Good luck!
 

jdhunt0

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It's raining out, but where is the part number for the steering box shown? Can you see it from under the hood? Under the Jeep?
 

JeepCares

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Yeah I have about 2k in steering, geometry components, proper torque everything to spec. Took all 256 pages of this thread to a local 4x4 shop and said do this with unlimited funds just make it work. Wife nor 18 yr old son wont drive it and I have such hand fatigue its sucks. Got a CRV as a loaner for the wifes car and I may even get that, its that bad. @JeepCares I can drive my brother in laws 1998 TJ with nothing but a cheep lift from 1998, bald tires, and extreme wobbly and it tracks straight. He literally does nothing to his jeep. Took it to the dealer yesterday and they told me heaver tires will cause play in the wheel. I just said ok, I mean why even..... Dealer also asked me if I wanted to do the SS recall... I laughed an said I replaced that before I took delivery. "so you dont want to do the recall". OMG I'll will take the loss soon and buy a truck. Never a Chrysler, dodge, jeep again. I sent about 8-10 people to this dealer to based on good sales recomendations but Jeeps unwilling to admit anything or fix the steering is piss poor customer service.

So sad it was my dream ever sense I was 14.

Good news the dealer flashed the PCM so my fan isnt so loud and they said a "huge" radio update is coming in 4th quarter. But this is the same guy that said with a straight face larger tires will cause loose steering and lane changes.
Hi kobejo34,
We certainly understand your frustration. Has a case been opened on the Customer Care side to add additional assistance while working with your dealer? If not, please send our team a private message and we would be happy to get this process started for you!
Alex
Jeep Social Care Specialist
 

Redneck_Jedi

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It's raining out, but where is the part number for the steering box shown? Can you see it from under the hood? Under the Jeep?
if you look behind the drivers side front tire, and lift up the fender liner slightly,.ypu can see the sterring box part number.
 

californiajeeping

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It's raining out, but where is the part number for the steering box shown? Can you see it from under the hood? Under the Jeep?
It depends on which one you have. You can see the part number on my JL's steering gear box by turning the steering wheel way to the left and looking through the wheel well. Sometimes there is a label on top of the steering box so you would need to look just to the right of the radiator.
 

californiajeeping

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You know the part that sucks the most, even though I am driving a crappy Mitsubishi Outlander Rental, the steering on this thing is soooooo perfect. I pretty sure its electric and yeah rack and pinion, before my JL I tried out a Altima SR Blue. Man that thing drove like a dream. Never once did I ever have an issue. Never. I needed my Jeep Utility back from having my 12 JKU for 7 years. In so many ways I wish I never bought my JL. If this repair doesn't fix it, I may do the buy back. I hate it but all these damn problems with the JL.
Did they install the new AE steering box yet?
 

californiajeeping

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I'll add my data point: I have a 2020, build date 7/19, 2-door JL Rubicon. In the first 50 miles I felt the steering was way too dead (loose) in the center. I have owned a YJ and a JK and don't recall any steering issues, but also didn't have 33" tires. I googled the issue and found this thread. I have spent many hours reading all 269 pages :). I don't have the terrible wondering problem you all seem to have but don't really like the 1-2" dead spot on center. I am a self fix it kind of guy and would only take my car to a dealership for a warranty issue that was major expensive, an easy needed recall, or something I could not do myself. Seriously, look how much time and energy many of you have spent at dealerships with no solution and much frustration. I hate that process - each his own. Anyway, I can live with the way mine drives but wanted to share information that may help others. I plan to make changes that might improve it over time. So, I started by taking it in for a free alignment report at Les Schwab (nice place). I can upload the report if people want to see it, but it roughly shows .20 toe each side and 4.9 caster. That toe sound like it's where people say it helps. Caster is typical for a stock Rubicon. It does surprise me that FCA didn't adjust the caster for the 1.5" lift. This morning I checked my steering box and it's the AE version (P68250508AE) even on a 2-door. It's my opinion that the JL's steering is not ever going to be great, maybe just good enough. I only have 500 miles on mine and I am getting used to it. Offroad it's great. I have already been on the trails here in Colorado about 6 hours. I ordered the longer Mopar LCA's and they arrive today (note that my 2020 still has the shorter arms verified by part number). I want to bring the caster up to 6. It may help a bit with road manners but I don't think it will help the dead spot at center. At this point, I think it's a design feature :). Hope this helps.
Have you checked torque on the ball joints, track bar, drag link and all of the other steering and suspension components? I'm curious if they are still not torqued to specs even on the 2020s.
 

californiajeeping

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I asked my dealership to do the same PCM update and the RRT and they wouldn't do them. They said that it didn't pertain to my VIN number so it wasn't relevant. I have a 2018 4 door Rubicon with a build date of 7-18
Did they say they wouldn't do the updates because they wouldn't get reimbursed because of your VIN? They can override the VIN issue with a click of the mouse button. You can create a case with @JeepSometimesCaresDependsOnWhichCaseManagerYouGet and maybe you will get a good case manager who will authorize it.
 

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