Loose steering feels like it has play and drifts

Redneck_Jedi

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Those of you that discovered loose ball joints on your Jeeps, did you happen to notice any clicking noises while making slow speed turns? Mine just started making the noise this week, and I'm trying to determine the cause.





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Sswrangler03

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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!
What did you adjust the steering box screw to?
 

Sagertat

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I installed the Mopar longer LCA's yesterday and they were worth the effort on my stock 2020 2-door Rubicon. The steering returns to center better, has less slop on center, and takes much less effort to drive straight over 40mph. Short of a complete steering overhaul, I'm mostly satisfied with the steering now.
 

kobejo34

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I installed the Mopar longer LCA's yesterday and they were worth the effort on my stock 2020 2-door Rubicon. The steering returns to center better, has less slop on center, and takes much less effort to drive straight over 40mph. Short of a complete steering overhaul, I'm mostly satisfied with the steering now.
Isn't sad how we settle for mediocrity just to drive a Jeep. I too have settled after 2-3k fixed most of the steering problems.
 

powelld353

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So I've been waiting 2 weeks for my dealership to get my new steering gear box (I have a 2 door). Not sure if it's an AD or AE version but I guess we'll see. They've done the damper replacement via the V41 recall but I'm still waiting. Whats the holdup Jeep?? Too many issues and not enough parts in the pipeline to fix these things? If/when it gets fixed, or at least finished, I'll post results and what version of steering gear box they put in.
Hey JeepSometimesCares.....why is it my car has been in the dealership for 2 1/2 weeks waiting for a new part to arrive, the ETA has changed twice and the only way I find out is if I nag the service manager?? They need to teach the service manager that communication is part of the job. I call and have to wait 4 hours for a response only to find out the part is not there yet. Come on!!! Customer service......!!!???
 

JeepCares

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Hey JeepSometimesCares.....why is it my car has been in the dealership for 2 1/2 weeks waiting for a new part to arrive, the ETA has changed twice and the only way I find out is if I nag the service manager?? They need to teach the service manager that communication is part of the job. I call and have to wait 4 hours for a response only to find out the part is not there yet. Come on!!! Customer service......!!!???
Hi Don,
I am sorry to hear about your experience. I have looked into your case and see that your case manager is still actively working with your dealer. We recommend reaching out to your case manager as they are in the best place to assist you at this point in the process! If you need additional assistance getting in contact with your case manager, please send us a private message and I would be happy to provide you with their contact information.
Alex
Jeep Social Care Specialist
 

powelld353

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Hi Don,
I am sorry to hear about your experience. I have looked into your case and see that your case manager is still actively working with your dealer. We recommend reaching out to your case manager as they are in the best place to assist you at this point in the process! If you need additional assistance getting in contact with your case manager, please send us a private message and I would be happy to provide you with their contact information.
Alex
Jeep Social Care Specialist
Kind of my point. They should be contacting me to update me when something changes or the original timeline changes. Part of their job I would imagine. If it wasn't for me contacting them I would have no information at all.
 

HoundDude

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TL;DR just scroll down to the next post

ok, so the AD steering gear in my 2019 Sahara (8500 miles) was replaced with an AE box two weeks ago and I thought I'd post a few comments for you all...

History:
I took delivery of an 11/14 build in late December. first thing I noticed was the nearly 3" play / dead spot. on the highway, the Jeep had a mind of its own wandering randomly and sometimes darting into the next lane of traffic.

Adjusted Steering Gear:
I spent the first month driving with both hands / white knuckles and scared at 55 mph (my daily commute is on a 3 lane highway with 70+ mph traffic). the dealer said "they're all like that, nothing he could do". I was working a lot at the time and didn't have the energy to fight FCA so I adjusted the box a total of 90 deg in small increments. this reduced the play to a little less than 1" and the Jeep felt safe to drive even with the wandering. this was a significant improvement, but the steering wheel had a heavier feel and the return characteristics were even worse than at delivery. also, during the past few months, I noticed the play in the steering had gradually increased relative to where I set it after the adjustment.

Wandering:
at some point during the first 2000ish miles, the wandering faded away. my Good Year AT tire pressure remained unchanged (36 PSI) during this period. i didn't check torque or tighten any of the suspension components (and still haven't, need to do that soon). the wandering just gradually faded away on its own. some folks have commented that tires need a bit of time to wear in, I dunno, never noticed that on any other vehicle but maybe. on flat level road and with hands OFF the steering wheel, the Jeep tracked perfectly straight.

Driver Induced Oscillation (DIO):
I believe this is the issue a lot of people in here refer to as "wandering", but I think of this as a completely different problem. unlike wandering, where the Jeep will move side to side on its own, DIO is the see-saw motion that results when the driver repeatedly over corrects side-to-side and the steering wheel doesn't return to center on its own. jeeps heading left? turn the wheel to the right, oops Jeep's heading to the right now so turn the wheel to the left. the amount of concentration it took on the highway to turn the wheel through the dead spot and then just a tiny bit more to avoid over correcting was just exhausting. I replaced the steering stabilizer with one from Fox and noticed no improvement. while safe to drive, this behavior was intolerable on the highway.

Updated AD Steering Gear to AE + PCM Flash:
the first thing I noticed after picking up the Jeep before even driving off the lot was that it had a little less than 1" of play. I immediately assumed the new box was a failure, I really had hoped that the AE revision would be nice and tight. but after two weeks of driving I have concluded that it was a success, and it comes down to this key point --> the transition between the dead spot and when the steering response kicks in is now gradual / more continuous. I no longer see-saw on the highway, the DIO is gone. the steering is relatively light and the return characteristics are actually pretty good. I don't know if the improvement is in the hardware or software (or both), but it drives pretty good now. I'd guess it drives just like the Jeeps of all the people who comment in here that we're crazy and don't know the difference between a solid axle and an IFS steering system.

if my jeep drove like this when new, I never would have searched for/found this thread and read all 4058 posts (many of them multiple times).

I also had the steering stabilizer replaced (V41), drag link replaced (boot torn during steering gear installation), and track bar (TSB 02-003-19) updated a few days ago. the service records indicate that the toe was adjusted after track bar install, but the toe was never actually changed (i marked the adjuster a long time ago). I guess it was perfect. but my steering wheel was about 30 deg off center so I fixed that myself. I didn't notice any change in steering or handling after these changes.

Wondering:
I've read a lot of posts from you guys about "wondering", and this is still an issue for me. I wanted a Jeep since I was a kid and I frequently wonder why it took so damn long before I actually bought one. I have had mine in the woods every weekend since early February. we don't have rocks here but we do have a surprisingly good system of sandy trails in the woods. i get a silly grin on my face everytime I go in there.
 
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kobejo34

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@HoundDude thank you for explanation and all the details. All makes sense to me I just wish @JeepCares would take this information to Jeep so we don't have to fight at the dealership to get something fix.

To late for me I've listed mine for sale as eveything is solid now with 3k invested in the front end except the DIO and I don't have the gumption to go to the dealership multiple times. Taking the loss and moving on, forever.
 

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I had the V41 damper recall done and didn’t notice any change in the steering.

My husband surprised me with the Flacon 2.2 adjustable steering stabilizer and put that on last weekend. It didn’t affect the too-large dead zone in the steering (I didn’t expect it to), but it did give the steering an overall stiffer feel, especially on the firm setting. (I wish I had something like this on my ND!) That stabilizer really improves the steering feel when turning and maneuvering. I’m loving it.

Interesting note: my husband said that the OEM stabilizer was easy to compress while the Falcon was very stiff.

@HoundDude has a very interesting point regarding driver induced oscillation. The excessive play in the steering is a big part of that. I’m hoping for a new steering box for the 2-doors to solve that.

Overall, replacing the LCAs for 6 caster, Steer Smarts track bar, and the Falcon stabilizer have made a huge improvement.
 

TDS

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I have read some of the 271 pages of this thread but not all, however I felt that I would share everything I have done to solve every steering or drifting problems that come with the worst designed front end of a vehicle I have ever owned. And just in case someone from FCA actually reads this maybe you could take some of that union bribe money and reimburse those of us that have spent thousand to fix your crappy design and also fix the thousands of others that do not have the means or desire to fix this them selves.

So my Jeep is a 2019 Rubicon, it is my first Wrangler I have owned. I bought it to do some rock crawling, but wanted to be able to drive on the road and be comfortable. I bought it from a dealer in Idaho and drove it 480 miles home, it was really windy and the thing was all over the road, but I figured it is a box and that I was just not used to driving it. Put in the garage and installed the Metal Cloak Rocksport lift, tires and everything else I had. The lift only had upper adjustable control arms and front/rear adjustable track bars, got an alignment done, drove home. Next day went on a drive up to Mount Hood could barley keep it on the road. Over the next few months I changed out every front end component to solve the problems of drift, tracking, lose steering. I installed Steer Smarts draglink and tie rod, had the alignment shop set the caster to 6.4 and the toe to 1/4, that made the front end feel more solid and helped a little with drift, but did not fix all of the drift issues or any of tracking and lose steering feel. I then swapped out the upper control arms and all the stock control arms with Synergy adjustable upper/lower front and rear control arms, after two trips to the alignment shops that really fixed the tracking issue but did not do much for the drifting or lose steering, I then swapped out the steering stabilizer with a Falcon adjustable 2.2, was trying to avoid that because in my opinion that is a band aide solution ( I know FCA has just issued a new BS recall saying that will fix your issues, it won't, it might hide death wobble, but not fix it) the stabilizer did help with the drift when set on medium stiffness in windy conditions but did nothing for the lose steering feel in the wheel. Since I felt FCA was never going to admit and fix the steering box I decided to adjust the damn thing myself, I tighten it by a 1/4 turn and might do a little more, that was the final piece to the puzzle. I can now drive the Jeep down the road with one finger on the wheel, you know like it should have come from the factory for 50 grand.

In conclusion if I was to have the problems I had all over again I would have first swapped out the tie rod end, (my personal opinion that is where the wobble comes from) and set my toe in to 1/4. Change the control arms and If on a budget at least swap lower front control arms to get the camber into the 6.4 range. And the biggest one was to tighten the steer box adjustment nut 1/8 to 1/4 turn to get rid of the lose steering wheel, I know there are several people that say it is preset from the factory and should not be missed with, here is my counter for that, if everything from Jeep came perfectly adjusted you would not be reading this one page 271 of a thread talking about everything they did wrong.

Since its 2019 and everyone is sue happy and sensitive it seems common place to have to say, Please only do anything I did at your own risk and it could void your warranty that has done absolutely nothing for you.
 

kobejo34

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I had the V41 damper recall done and didn’t notice any change in the steering.

My husband surprised me with the Flacon 2.2 adjustable steering stabilizer and put that on last weekend. It didn’t affect the too-large dead zone in the steering (I didn’t expect it to), but it did give the steering an overall stiffer feel, especially on the firm setting. (I wish I had something like this on my ND!) That stabilizer really improves the steering feel when turning and maneuvering. I’m loving it.

Interesting note: my husband said that the OEM stabilizer was easy to compress while the Falcon was very stiff.

@HoundDude has a very interesting point regarding driver induced oscillation. The excessive play in the steering is a big part of that. I’m hoping for a new steering box for the 2-doors to solve that.

Overall, replacing the LCAs for 6 caster, Steer Smarts track bar, and the Falcon stabilizer have made a huge improvement.
How would one convince the unknowing techs to get the new steering box. No amount of nice, doughnuts, kindness, paying dumb has helped me
 

Martindfletcher

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How would one convince the unknowing techs to get the new steering box. No amount of nice, doughnuts, kindness, paying dumb has helped me
I have the same question. I know my play is coming from the box and I replaced everything else.
 

JimmyDoom

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How would one convince the unknowing techs to get the new steering box. No amount of nice, doughnuts, kindness, paying dumb has helped me
So my dealership said they would need to drive it to determine if it needs a new box. I said, well I drive it and I can tell it's wondering, isn't that good enough?" They said nope, they still have to drive it.
So the problem is, if they drive it and decide that it "drives as designed", (because it's all subjected), they will do nothing and I will have wasted another day at the dealership. I've been at the dealership 5 times so far for this issue, so I think I'm just gonna sit back and wait for them to have a recall on the AD box...if they ever do
 

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