Loose steering feels like it has play and drifts

Jeep&dogs

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jim
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
775
Reaction score
810
Location
Cedar Lake
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUr
DO you know of a fix(or one coming( for this steering issue(dead spot) with you experience, fixed my wandering with adjustable LCA bringing caster over 6.0
There is rumors of a “new” gearbox that is supposed to be released by the end of the year that is cast iron like the Jk. The wandering and the dead spot are two different things, my JLUR was absolutely terrible with the wandering. I replaced all the control arms and installed them correctly ( the way I linked earlier) and am running 6.5* caster. I have a very small dead spot 1/2 in only when the outside temp is below 60-65. In warmer weather it’s as tight as a rack system. I have fixed several of these the same way and have also swapped the AE box and corrected the dead spot. Every box is manually set from the supplier and can be set differently. I went through 5 boxes once before getting one that had acceptable play. You can bench test the box prior to installing them and have a pretty good idea if they are good or not prior to installing.

Not that I would recommend this but I have actually rented a Jl with good steering and was able to swap the box into a Jl with a decent amount of free play. The poor driving Jeep Drove perfect after the swap. A good majority of the issues with the dead spot absolutely Is the box.





Advertisement

 

Jeep&dogs

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jim
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
775
Reaction score
810
Location
Cedar Lake
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUr
Is there a way to tell which manufacturer makes the frame(s) that seem to yield no steering issues ?
Not that I am aware of, no OEM uses any single manufacturer for anything. GM has 10 different places manufacturing their truck frames. The frames are not making any difference in the dead spot. But I believe 100% they contribute to the wandering. I have seen alignment speck all over the place on brand new jeeps. The cause is the control arm points are off. I am dealing with one now that has an absolutely ridiculous rear thrust angle from the factory. The entire rear end is pushing the vehicle to the right, we will most likely be replacing the frame. It could easily be corrected by installing 4 adjustable arms and centering the rear end but they probably won’t get approved.
 

Vezfly

Well-Known Member
First Name
Craig
Joined
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
52
Reaction score
26
Location
New Orleans
Vehicle(s)
Rubicon
There is rumors of a “new” gearbox that is supposed to be released by the end of the year that is cast iron like the Jk. The wandering and the dead spot are two different things, my JLUR was absolutely terrible with the wandering. I replaced all the control arms and installed them correctly ( the way I linked earlier) and am running 6.5* caster. I have a very small dead spot 1/2 in only when the outside temp is below 60-65. In warmer weather it’s as tight as a rack system. I have fixed several of these the same way and have also swapped the AE box and corrected the dead spot. Every box is manually set from the supplier and can be set differently. I went through 5 boxes once before getting one that had acceptable play. You can bench test the box prior to installing them and have a pretty good idea if they are good or not prior to installing.

Not that I would recommend this but I have actually rented a Jl with good steering and was able to swap the box into a Jl with a decent amount of free play. The poor driving Jeep Drove perfect after the swap. A good majority of the issues with the dead spot absolutely Is the box.
Thanks so much !!
 

2mnycars

Well-Known Member
First Name
Dave
Joined
Sep 15, 2019
Messages
236
Reaction score
139
Location
Canada
Vehicle(s)
JLU
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...

428DB4BA-983A-4944-BF70-376EF507A337.jpeg


72A9DA68-0F4D-43A3-85B6-9EF554F6904D.jpeg
Thanks for your post. Interesting.
 

SpeedKills

Well-Known Member
First Name
Bryan
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
62
Reaction score
59
Location
Oklahoma
Vehicle(s)
2019 Sport S 2-Door, 2008 Rubicon 2-Door,2014 Ram 1500, 2013 CRF250L
The JL has a factory tolerance of +/- 10MM on ANY point of the frame or unibody structure. I have personally measured 20-30 of these and have seen suspension mount points 7-10MM different from one side to the other.
This is terrible. I shouldn't be surprised that frame tolerances are sloppy given the ridiculous amount of weld spatter and weld pitting in and around the frame welds. Bad measurement and bad weld quality go together like PB & J.
 

californiajeeping

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
1,557
Reaction score
1,039
Location
California
Vehicle(s)
JLUR
Question for everyone: On a perfectly straight long road, if you hold the steering wheel perfectly straight, does your JL stay in the lane?
 

SwissSteph

Well-Known Member
First Name
Steph
Joined
Oct 29, 2019
Messages
266
Reaction score
180
Location
Switzerland
Website
www.swissjeepjl.com
Vehicle(s)
JL Wrangler Rubicon - Hella Yella - 2.2 Diesel
Vehicle Showcase
1
Question for everyone: On a perfectly straight long road, if you hold the steering wheel perfectly straight, does your JL stay in the lane?
My jeep with 35" and a 2.5" kit and this despite a steering damper change and other things -> NO.

But it was the same thing with my old YJ and my Toyota Land Cruiser BJ42 ... so, in my opinion, for this type of car, it's mechanically normal.
 

Geekjeep

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2019
Messages
96
Reaction score
29
Location
Florida
Vehicle(s)
Gladiator sport s
There is rumors of a “new” gearbox that is supposed to be released by the end of the year that is cast iron like the Jk. The wandering and the dead spot are two different things, my JLUR was absolutely terrible with the wandering. I replaced all the control arms and installed them correctly ( the way I linked earlier) and am running 6.5* caster. I have a very small dead spot 1/2 in only when the outside temp is below 60-65. In warmer weather it’s as tight as a rack system. I have fixed several of these the same way and have also swapped the AE box and corrected the dead spot. Every box is manually set from the supplier and can be set differently. I went through 5 boxes once before getting one that had acceptable play. You can bench test the box prior to installing them and have a pretty good idea if they are good or not prior to installing.

Not that I would recommend this but I have actually rented a Jl with good steering and was able to swap the box into a Jl with a decent amount of free play. The poor driving Jeep Drove perfect after the swap. A good majority of the issues with the dead spot absolutely Is the box.

so do you agree with the method of tightening the bolt on the top of the box.

is the issue the lack of quality controls on the box or how the box is set with that tightening bolt on the top.
 

Jeep&dogs

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jim
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
775
Reaction score
810
Location
Cedar Lake
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUr
so do you agree with the method of tightening the bolt on the top of the box.

is the issue the lack of quality controls on the box or how the box is set with that tightening bolt on the top.
Honestly I believe it has more to do with the tolerance in the bearings in the recirculating ball assembly. You can take some play out with by adjusting the mesh of the gearbox but there is still a considerable amount of play in the rest of the assembly on some. I also think this is why some have said after making an adjustment it works for a while and then gets sloppy again.
 

DadJokes

Well-Known Member
First Name
Daniel
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
1,609
Reaction score
1,139
Location
Kentucky
Vehicle(s)
Sahara
There is rumors of a “new” gearbox that is supposed to be released by the end of the year that is cast iron like the Jk. The wandering and the dead spot are two different things, my JLUR was absolutely terrible with the wandering. I replaced all the control arms and installed them correctly ( the way I linked earlier) and am running 6.5* caster. I have a very small dead spot 1/2 in only when the outside temp is below 60-65. In warmer weather it’s as tight as a rack system. I have fixed several of these the same way and have also swapped the AE box and corrected the dead spot. Every box is manually set from the supplier and can be set differently. I went through 5 boxes once before getting one that had acceptable play. You can bench test the box prior to installing them and have a pretty good idea if they are good or not prior to installing.

Not that I would recommend this but I have actually rented a Jl with good steering and was able to swap the box into a Jl with a decent amount of free play. The poor driving Jeep Drove perfect after the swap. A good majority of the issues with the dead spot absolutely Is the box.
I considered the route of ordering 4 boxes and testing each on a bench. Would the dealer parts dept be able to accept the return of the others not having been installed?
 

EugeneTheJeep

Well-Known Member
First Name
Mike
Joined
Jul 13, 2019
Messages
113
Reaction score
152
Location
MN
Vehicle(s)
2019 JL Rubicon
After a steering gear box replacement, check your steering fluid. Mine keeps going down I believe because of trapped air. Anyone else?
 

c2m2h3

Well-Known Member
First Name
Chris
Joined
May 13, 2017
Messages
246
Reaction score
58
Location
US
Vehicle(s)
2012 JKU Wrangler Sahara
That was basically my next question, has anyone tested this theory out with the bearings?
 

DadJokes

Well-Known Member
First Name
Daniel
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
1,609
Reaction score
1,139
Location
Kentucky
Vehicle(s)
Sahara
After a steering gear box replacement, check your steering fluid. Mine keeps going down I believe because of trapped air. Anyone else?
It’s always worth checking for the easier solutions first. Where is the reservoir? I’ve not looked yet.
 

Jeep&dogs

Well-Known Member
First Name
Jim
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Messages
775
Reaction score
810
Location
Cedar Lake
Vehicle(s)
2020 JLUr
I considered the route of ordering 4 boxes and testing each on a bench. Would the dealer parts dept be able to accept the return of the others not having been installed?
My dealer did but you have to take into consideration we spend somewhere around 250k-300K a month with their parts department. Even if they had to eat the boxes I sent back they absolutely would have because of the volume we spend with them, and that’s just one dealer in the area. We fix roughly 150,000 vehicles through the shops a month.
 

Advertisement




Freeland Jeep
 



Advertisement
Top