Loose steering feels like it has play and drifts

onc_doc

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I bought a Rubi Recon 9 weeks ago. Found the exact car I wanted at a dealer 50 miles away.
I didn't test drive it since I had driven a JLUR before.

On my way home it started raining hard. The amount of work I had to do to keep it in a straight line was ridiculous. It was like driving a piece of Jello. The steering wheel was misaligned and the steering of the jeep felt way too loose overallI.

I called the dealer and was instructed to take it in for an alignment. I then went to my local dealer and was told I had to wait until having 500 miles since that's what FCA instructed them.

I returned to the dealer with 500 miles. Supposedly the car was aligned (didn't get a printout report), and was told that "it drives like a jeep".

I won't let my wife drive it, that's how unsafe it feels to me. At HW speeds, it takes a lot of work to keep it from drifting away and to make it go straight. I also have a lot of play in the steering wheel.

Thanks to this forum & thread, I since upgraded to a yeti track bar, which made things 80% better. However, the steering play remains. The dealer keeps saying "that's a jeep thing"... . I have 5 service visits (~1 week of my 9 weeks of ownership) since new...!

Your thoughts?





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JDM

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Before and after measurements after they adjusted the toe angles. I don’t have the vehicle back yet to see if it made a difference.
E93B86E5-8DE1-44EB-9830-9DE2CDF58B08.jpeg
Depending on the nature of the roads in your area the cross caster is incorrect.

Cross caster should be +.25*+.5* more on one side or the other. If most of the roads that you drive on are higher in the center and lower by the shoulder then there should be more caster on the right of your Jeep... there is less on the right and a quarter degree difference in cross caster can be significant. If the road crown is high on the center, more +caster on the left, as in this case, would produce a strong pull to the right that you would fight by turning your wheel to the left.

The more caster, over all, that you have the more feedback you will get from the road surface. So it’s a balancing act. Regardless +5* caster on a Jeep is not enough. Mine is at +7*L/+7.25R. The tracking and cornering is unreal! The trade off is that I have more feedback from the road surface perhaps a little more than some would like. If that is the case then I would reduce the Caster to +6.25L/+6.75R.

The other benefit that I have now is that the dead spot is still there but far more manageable. Far, far fewer steering inputs on a straight section (want’s to go straight now and self corrects much more readily than before). The feedback on cornering is tactile and precise. So if I there‘s a little more “roughness” as the front takes bumps, that trade off is more than OK with me.

As far as the dead spot... The stock Jeep steering system is... unacceptable. Eventually I will be replacing the system in my JLU if I decide to keep it long term. In the meantime, the adjustable LCA’s have bought me time and a pleasurable driving experience.
 

californiajeeping

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I bought a Rubi Recon 9 weeks ago. Found the exact car I wanted at a dealer 50 miles away.
I didn't test drive it since I had driven a JLUR before.

On my way home it started raining hard. The amount of work I had to do to keep it in a straight line was ridiculous. It was like driving a piece of Jello. The steering wheel was misaligned and the steering of the jeep felt way too loose overallI.

I called the dealer and was instructed to take it in for an alignment. I then went to my local dealer and was told I had to wait until having 500 miles since that's what FCA instructed them.

I returned to the dealer with 500 miles. Supposedly the car was aligned (didn't get a printout report), and was told that "it drives like a jeep".

I won't let my wife drive it, that's how unsafe it feels to me. At HW speeds, it takes a lot of work to keep it from drifting away and to make it go straight. I also have a lot of play in the steering wheel.

Thanks to this forum & thread, I since upgraded to a yeti track bar, which made things 80% better. However, the steering play remains. The dealer keeps saying "that's a jeep thing"... . I have 5 service visits (~1 week of my 9 weeks of ownership) since new...!

Your thoughts?
Did you do the items on the list at https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...like-it-has-play-and-drifts.3691/post-1198153. especially #1?

Be sure to test drive the same trim mod try l at your dealer so you can tell them you want yours to drive like the reference JL.
 

californiajeeping

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Apolgies on that, I didn’t get the chance to do it last night. Assuming the dealer can’t fix anything, I’ll give it a shot later today.

also, I was told the Star report did not apply to me vehicle given it’s a 2020
Did you test drive another JL on the dealer lot so you can show them how you want your JL to steer?

It is the same steering box design as the 2019 and 2018 so the test procedure is the same.

And yes, you already have the longer LCA but since it is lifted, many on the forum will tell you caster is way low. The only way is after market adjustable LCAs but some dealers will no longer work on any steering issues when they see non Mopar on it.
 

Rdmitch

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that’s all i have left to do too is an alignment and get the caster up to in the 6 range.
with the yeti track bar, teraflex stabilizer and sector brace in 90 % of where i want to be
 

onc_doc

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Did you do the items on the list at https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...like-it-has-play-and-drifts.3691/post-1198153. especially #1?

Be sure to test drive the same trim mod try l at your dealer so you can tell them you want yours to drive like the reference JL.
I did. Fuse reset didn’t do a thing
Did not do #6
Was told by the shop that did alignment after yeti bar was installed that I had play in my steering box. Dealer states it’s “normal”
 
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californiajeeping

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I did. Fuse reset didn’t do a thing
Did not do #6
Was told by the shot that did alignment after yeti bar was installed that I had play in my steering box. Dealer states it’s “normal”
What happened with #5 when you found a JL from the dealer lot and showed them it wasn’t normal?
 

onc_doc

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What happened with #5 when you found a JL from the dealer lot and showed them it wasn’t normal?
I showed them a gladiator that was in the showroom. It had a bit less play than mine, but it was there...didn't help my cause
 

c2m2h3

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Just to be clear, when everyone says 1-3 inches of play, Is that measured standing still, or driving? In my JK, which drives just fine, when I am at highway speed I can quickly move the steering wheel back-and-forth about 1 to 1.5 inches...As long as I do it quickly and not too far, the vehicle still tracks straight if I go slower, I will swerve in the lane moderatel and the steering is more responsive.. So, my question is when we say play in the steering, what are the parameters at how it’s measured ?
 

onc_doc

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Just to be clear, when everyone says 1-3 inches of play, Is that measured standing still, or driving? In my JK, which drives just fine, when I am at highway speed I can quickly move the steering wheel back-and-forth about 1 to 1.5 inches...As long as I do it quickly and not too far, the vehicle still tracks straight if I go slower, I will swerve in the lane moderatel and the steering is more responsive.. So, my question is when we say play in the steering, what are the parameters at how it’s measured ?
I get where you're coming from. There's no standard to measure it.
But it really drives like crap...and then you have the dealership treating you like your head is wrapped in tinfoil...
 

c2m2h3

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I hear ya.... I just wanted to see how the play was being tested.... not trying to be specific, just driving vs parked and fast movement of the wheel vs slow.... it makes a difference in mine depending on how fast you move the wheel...

but I’M certain there is a significant problem with the overall steering...(box)
 

Nole_Dynasty

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Did you test drive another JL on the dealer lot so you can show them how you want your JL to steer?

It is the same steering box design as the 2019 and 2018 so the test procedure is the same.

And yes, you already have the longer LCA but since it is lifted, many on the forum will tell you caster is way low. The only way is after market adjustable LCAs but some dealers will no longer work on any steering issues when they see non Mopar on it.
I spoke with a guy at the dealership who definitely knows what he’s talking about. He’s actually the guy who did the YouTube video below. He said they fixed the toe and caster a bit and he also gave the steering box pinion a 1/4 turn to tighten (which he noted is not an FCA approved step but he noted it had worked better than anything FCA has recommended). I’ll pick her up on Monday and will report back.

 

Kez

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I spoke with a guy at the dealership who definitely knows what he’s talking about. He’s actually the guy who did the YouTube video below. He said they fixed the toe and caster a bit and he also gave the steering box pinion a 1/4 turn to tighten (which he noted is not an FCA approved step but he noted it had worked better than anything FCA has recommended). I’ll pick her up on Monday and will report back.

Thank you for sharing that! Turns out I'm only 30 minutes from that dealership.

We bought a new Sahara at the end of May and have finally put the first few hundred miles on it. We drove on the interstate for the first time, and we realized that we have the dead zone in the steering wheel :/ Not just a little as I'd 'expected' from a Jeep, but can't drive on the interstate confidently with one hand. Fairly exhausting; sawing back and forth. It's most obvious at high speed. Probably at least 10 degrees of play; I estimate between 1-2" of steering wheel travel before the Jeep reacts in the opposite direction.

This is a recent realization, so we do plan to go through the dealership and see what they can/will do. Tried tire pressure, fuse trick myself with no luck. Gladdened to know that there is a dealer nearby that is more in the know about this issue, so thanks again for mentioning. The dealership we bought from was great, but perhaps we'll just take it to his dealership - especially if you have great results.

Keep us posted on your resolution - good luck!
 
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Kyanche

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Ah I believe the dealers who tell you to go to 32psi are blowing smoke up your ass. I don't have any steering issues at 37psi.

Alignment might play a role. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the tolerances in the suspension parts were sloppy enough to add up to a Jeep that can't steer right vs one that can.

I suppose it's also possible that some suspensions are on the borderline such that airing down the tires evens them out enough to not have steering issues.
 

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