Loose steering feels like it has play and drifts

DaddyEngineer

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The bolts at the bottom of the sway bar links shown in the photos are what I loosened. They are not LOOSE mind you. They’re not going anywhere (I put some breakable loctite in there) and there is no clanking when I go over bumps. But they are not super tight to allow the bushings to move and flex as intended.

I admit to having a Fox steering stabilizer on as well but that did not fix the problem. It’s been good for adding some weight to the steering but did nothing for the loose feeling, dead spot, and wandering.

Hopefully some other wanderers can give this a shot and see what they think. If it works for you as well as it did for me then you have a free and easy fix! Let the subjectivity test ensue...

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I loosened mine and tightened them back up. I chickened out and tightened them to 45 ft lbs (I guarantee they were torqued a lot more than that). I just came back from a trip 4 hours away. My pull to the right is basically gone now. Not sure why it worked for that. My dead spot is still there but that helps drivability (which wasn’t bad compared to a lot of people on this post, so I’m not complaining). Now to try the fuse idea and see if that helps anything.

Scott



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df007

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I loosened mine and tightened them back up. I chickened out and tightened them to 45 ft lbs (I guarantee they were torqued a lot more than that). I just came back from a trip 4 hours away. My pull to the right is basically gone now. Not sure why it worked for that. My dead spot is still there but that helps drivability (which wasn’t bad compared to a lot of people on this post, so I’m not complaining). Now to try the fuse idea and see if that helps anything.

Scott
I can see this helping pulling if the ARB (anti roll bar) was preloaded on flat ground. It could create a diagonal asymmetry in the corner weights of the Jeep and this would tend to want to make the jeep pull a bit. It's good there seems to be enough tolerance in the hardware to neutral it back out.
 

TEXGOAT

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I can see this helping pulling if the ARB (anti roll bar) was preloaded on flat ground. It could create a diagonal asymmetry in the corner weights of the Jeep and this would tend to want to make the jeep pull a bit. It's good there seems to be enough tolerance in the hardware to neutral it back out.
That sounds reasonable. I'd try loosening them to finger tight on level ground, then bounce the front end up and down, then re-torque to spec and do a road test.
 

californiajeeping

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I loosened mine and tightened them back up. I chickened out and tightened them to 45 ft lbs (I guarantee they were torqued a lot more than that). I just came back from a trip 4 hours away. My pull to the right is basically gone now. Not sure why it worked for that. My dead spot is still there but that helps drivability (which wasn’t bad compared to a lot of people on this post, so I’m not complaining). Now to try the fuse idea and see if that helps anything.

Scott
Curious to see if the fuse technique works for you. Be sure to leave the fuse out and JL off for at least five minutes to make sure the electrical components fully discharge.
 

californiajeeping

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Updated Fuse Technique

Some have reported this fixed a few different steering issues such as the dead spot, loose steering, pulling, etc.

Note: It might not be a good idea to try this procedure if you have already made other modifications to tighten steering like adjusting the steering box lash screw. Keep in mind that this same reset occurs if you have a dead battery or replaced the battery so if you have made other steering tightening modifications you may have over tight steering.

1. With the JL off, remove F34 power steering fuse.

2. Start the JL, notice no power steering by turning the steering wheel and dash message error appears. Do not drive it.

3. Turn off engine. Open driver door and close it so it completely turns off all dash lights. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes so all electronics fully discharge.

4. Reinsert F34 fuse, start engine, immediately turn steering wheel full left, full right, turn to center, turn engine off. Restart and take for a test drive.
 
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californiajeeping

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Does anyone know how to measure the voltage being sent to the power steering system on the JL? I remember reading somewhere they were told by the Jeep tech that if the voltage was too low that it could cause sloppy loose steering because the power steering wasn’t taking up the slack. It would be interesting to compare the voltage on a JL that has loose steering vs a JL with good steering.
 

DaddyEngineer

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Curious to see if the fuse technique works for you. Be sure to leave the fuse out and JL off for at least five minutes to make sure the electrical components fully discharge.
I can’t say the fuse technique changed anything for me. Still about an inch and a half dead spot.

Scott
 

thadius65

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My first exposure to white knuckle JL driving was last Fall, one week after picking up my 2020 Rubicon, driving from PA to Outerbanks. 3" of center play and a fight to keep her between the lines.

If you read my previous posts, i ended up with PSC SK500 hydraulic steering, Teraflex adjustable steering stabilizer and finally a set of Teraflex adjustable lower control arms to push the castor to +7.x. I have been very happy since completed and very excited to replicate my 9 hour journey in my Rubi and will be able to compare fatigue and effort to drive.

OBX - Here we come!
 

Rdmitch

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My first exposure to white knuckle JL driving was last Fall, one week after picking up my 2020 Rubicon, driving from PA to Outerbanks. 3" of center play and a fight to keep her between the lines.

If you read my previous posts, i ended up with PSC SK500 hydraulic steering, Teraflex adjustable steering stabilizer and finally a set of Teraflex adjustable lower control arms to push the castor to +7.x. I have been very happy since completed and very excited to replicate my 9 hour journey in my Rubi and will be able to compare fatigue and effort to drive.

OBX - Here we come!

why they don’t put adjustable LCA‘s on JLUR models from the factory makes no sense.
 

onc_doc

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New Rubi Recon owner here. 1 week ago. Had a JK back in 2016.
Mine pulls to the right and there's a constant need to adjust, with quite some play before steering actually takes place. Tire pressure set at 37, the car came with Falkens.
Do you think the fox steering stabilizer alone may help?
 

jeepthang

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New Rubi Recon owner here. 1 week ago. Had a JK back in 2016.
Mine pulls to the right and there's a constant need to adjust, with quite some play before steering actually takes place. Tire pressure set at 37, the car came with Falkens.
Do you think the fox steering stabilizer alone may help?
Before spending money and if your handy with some simple sockets and torque wrench I would first do the following.
- Park on level ground with tires in the straight position.
- Loosen both the track bar end bolts along with the sway bar end links and re-tighten to spec.
- I would also go around check your upper and lower control arm bolts and drag link.

Many have found loose connections out of the factory on stock JL's. With a quick search you can find the factory spec's for all the torque #'s.
 

californiajeeping

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New Rubi Recon owner here. 1 week ago. Had a JK back in 2016.
Mine pulls to the right and there's a constant need to adjust, with quite some play before steering actually takes place. Tire pressure set at 37, the car came with Falkens.
Do you think the fox steering stabilizer alone may help?
You can temporarily remove the steering stabilizer and take it for a test drive. Also you can try the fuse technique described a few posts ago. Someone in another thread said it fixed the pulling problem. Both ideas are simple and free to try.
 

onc_doc

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You can temporarily remove the steering stabilizer and take it for a test drive. Also you can try the fuse technique described a few posts ago. Someone in another thread said it fixed the pulling problem. Both ideas are simple and free to try.
Tried the fuse - didn't really noticed any change. Will try removing / reattaching later
 

VKSheridan

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Like many here have stated, my steering “feels like a Jeep”. It wanders, it hates wind and it rides nothing like a luxury car. My wife (who has driven my other Jeeps) flat out hated the steering in our 2020 JL. To the point she’d rather move it in the driveway and just take something else.

I read in here that sometimes the steering controller can get “confused” and act like it’s miscalibrated.

The advice to correct was with the ignition off, remove Fuse F34, start the JL, notice no power steering and just wait for all the dash messages to cycle. Turn off the engine, reinsert Fuse F34, start it up and turn the steering wheel stop to stop (full left, full right, return to center). Turn the engine off, restart and take it for a test drive to see if anything improved.

I did everything but the test drive and told my wife I had the ECM recalibrate the steering and to test it for me. Obviously, I have a greater tolerance to wander than her so chances are good I might not notice improvement. She took it to the store, bombed around town doing chores and came home saying I fixed it.

I drove it and it felt like a Jeep to me but she says it now feels like a Jeep, not a 1952 Packard needing an alignment.

If anyone else has done this, I’d be curious to your results.
 
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2mnycars

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I looked at the gladiator forum to see what was happening there....with loose steering.

Some participants are having their "steering box" replaced, and this is solving the problem of loose steering on their Gladiators.

https://www.jeepgladiatorforum.com/...t-freezing-rebooting.21907/page-4#post-507405

The OP there had his box replaced several times; he persevered. He reported success....no vagueness on centre with the final steering box change.
 

                           
























































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