Redo of Steering TSB 08-074-20

Dusty

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My dealership thinks I'm being too picky with the steering fix because I keep bringing my 2018 JLU Sport back to them after performing the steering TSB to, of all things, fix the steering. Today makes the 7th steering related visit since July when I bought the Jeep used with 8,500 road miles on it.

Like many of you, the steering on my JL was simply a poorly designed and dangerous solution to a problem that hadn't existed before. It makes for white knuckle driving at any speed.

Originally, I took the Jeep to my dealer in July just after I bought it and they said they'd look at it. They couldn't repeat the condition (which they never can) and said it was normal. Well, 2" of slop isn't normal. My 1954 Chevy pickup didn't even have that much slop back in 1974. I took the Jeep back in.

In August, they tightened things up and that effort made no difference. They said it did, but it didn't.

In September, I brought a printed copy of TSB 08-074-20 to them to which they said, "huh... hadn't seen that one."

They eventually got a TSB kit from FCA and called me in to have it installed. I was excited to finally get this ugly cyst resolved, though was disappointed to lose the aluminum weight savings on the front axle. Having real steering was the goal and they installed it all in just 2 days.

I was thrilled to pick it up, but then dumfounded when the steering wheel was not level, it pulled to one side, and the slop was reduced by only 1/2" leaving 1.5" of vagueness remaining. A brand new iron box, lines, bolts, and whatever else, and it still steering like a Radio Flyer wagon.

When I brought it back, they apologized for the steering wheel being out of alignment. The slop itself wasn't acknowledged as still being present.

After owning 31 vehicles (seven 4x4s with solid front drive axles), 3 semi tractors, and building sports cars for racing, I'm a snob when it comes to handling. So, when the service advisor tells me nothing is wrong and it is actually terrible, my frustration level soared to 10,000'. This is all after they've had my Jeep so many times for the same issue: a totally failed steering design!

In complaining to you all in this forum, @JeepCares wrote to me to see what they could do to help. After two more trips to the dealership and risking being hauled off for trespassing, FCA assigned a case number and stepped up to help. They sent some parts (unannounced and unexplained) to the dealership. They even called to make an appointment. I went in this morning to have the solution installed. I was very excited to finally have this disaster behind me.

My frustrated service advisor gave me a "what are you doing here" look and I told him FCA had sent in some parts to finally fix the problem. He marched off to the parts department and checked the new part number with the original TSB part number - same part number. No extension or superseded appendix nomenclature, just the same part number of the TSB iron box. He asked me kindly to go away and he'd look into why FCA sent them the same problem box.

So, what's your story?





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cball508

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I had the tsb for the AA box done and tomorrow I'm going back. Honestly I liked my AE box better so far. Jeep cares told me to go back and have the dealer create a Star case to have the dealership correct it. Mine was completed in two hours on new year's Eve right before they closed. Steering was way off. Needed to go back for an alignment. Still pulls right and wanders. We'll see how tomorrow goes!
 
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Dusty

Dusty

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I had the tsb for the AA box done and tomorrow I'm going back. Honestly I liked my AE box better so far. Jeep cares told me to go back and have the dealer create a Star case to have the dealership correct it. Mine was completed in two hours on new year's Eve right before they closed. Steering was way off. Needed to go back for an alignment. Still pulls right and wanders. We'll see how tomorrow goes!
Good luck. Hope it works this time. Let us know...
 

JeepCares

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@Dusty - Is your case manager aware of this? Please follow up with me in private messages if you are in need of assistance.

Darlene
Jeep Cares
 

SouthCo

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So you've owned it for 8 months and have taken it in 7 times for steering issues? I'd have sold it long ago... Good luck.

Thankfully my '18 with just shy of 30k miles drives great. No steering issues and it still has the original steering box it came with. Hopefully it stays that way lol...
 
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Dusty

Dusty

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Just got my JLU back from the dealership this afternoon. They replaced the front track bar (?) to correct the play in the steering. I wish I had less of an understanding of mechanical systems so I would have believed this would help the steering system, but I knew better.

Well, there's still 1 - 2" of on-center steering wheel play. It feels more secure in a corner (which the new track bar should accomplish), but nothing in the steering has changed. Nothing. 7 or 8 visits to the dealership and there's still free-play in the steering wheel and no one knows anything. I have sent in my report to the FCA case manager so we'll see what they say...

And they design, engineer, sell, and service these things. No one knows. No idea. Eight visits.
 

2mnycars

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Russ there are countless posts here on the forum about the steering gear replacement.

A lot of people have had problems. Now there's a new TSB and it adds the track bar and alignment after.

My steering gear was replaced. It's about an 80% fix. It doesn't steer out of lane anymore. It has about 2" of play on centre. Had lots of cars; too many. Started with Jeep with an old army surplus jeep as a driver for a summer job. '1965.

Dealer that fixed it is good. Next service will be wanting to see proof that the software updates were done.
Just in case....

Dave
 

FunWagon

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I've been driving Wrangler Rubicons for almost 20 years. I currently own a 2008 JK, and have been contemplating in recent months about getting a new Wrangler or Gladiator Rubicon, but I see people having so many problems. Wranglers and Gladiators are so much more expensive than they used to be and seem to come with so many more problems when new. My JK never had any problems in 12 years. With a $60,000 brand new Wrangler I am already potentially facing the manual transmission problem and this steering issue. This is so discouraging.
 
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Dusty

Dusty

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Russ there are countless posts here on the forum about the steering gear replacement.

A lot of people have had problems. Now there's a new TSB and it adds the track bar and alignment after.

My steering gear was replaced. It's about an 80% fix. It doesn't steer out of lane anymore. It has about 2" of play on centre. Had lots of cars; too many. Started with Jeep with an old army surplus jeep as a driver for a summer job. '1965.

Dealer that fixed it is good. Next service will be wanting to see proof that the software updates were done.
Just in case....

Dave
Thanks, Dave
My dealer, through Jeep Cares/Stars System, replaced my front track bar a few weeks ago. The result has been the cross wind wandering and mid-corner vagueness has been reduced.

The steering box still has about 1.5 - 2.0” of center play. There’s also a rattle/tick sound coming from the steering shaft. As you know, when entering a corner there’s a stall in changing forward movement to a turning movement. That stall causes vagueness at turn in which makes driving smoothly hardly possible. When a mid-corner correction is needed, the play retards the steering input which again causes vagueness and wandering - mid-corner, no less.
@JeepCares worked to get a case manager assigned to me, but the manager seemed more interested in closing cases than actually listening to me and pushing for a solution. The manager said I should go to a different dealer. Well, in Nevada, that’s many miles away and makes for a long walk!

I’ve given some thought to trying to get Jeep’s attention, but with new owners, I don’t see a better path than through @JeepCares

I’ll update when something interesting happens, until then, I drive a dangerous Jeep.
 
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Dusty

Dusty

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I've been driving Wrangler Rubicons for almost 20 years. I currently own a 2008 JK, and have been contemplating in recent months about getting a new Wrangler or Gladiator Rubicon, but I see people having so many problems. Wranglers and Gladiators are so much more expensive than they used to be and seem to come with so many more problems when new. My JK never had any problems in 12 years. With a $60,000 brand new Wrangler I am already potentially facing the manual transmission problem and this steering issue. This is so discouraging.
It is discouraging to have a simple vehicle, priced like a Mercedes, have so many issues. I think the gov’t mandated fuel economy laws have forced OEMs to go past their budget constrained engineering expertise to meet the steep requirements.
 

entropy

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I still have my Aluminum box and have never had steering issues.

But I feel your pain. My JL left me stranded in the middle of nowhere when it had about 500 miles because an issue with the front seats. Initially I thought it would be easy to fix and just a bad experience. It was a nightmare. I forget how many times I took it to the dealer to get it fixed just to not be fixed or break again in a week. One time they even broke more stuff instead of fixing it. It took almost two years for a dealer to fix my seats. I tried different dealers until I found one with a good record and they actually knew what they were doing. Finally my seat problems are in the past and the nightmare is over.

I know you don't want to drive to another dealer, but it is the only solution. They already returned the Jeep to you with a misssaligned steering wheel. Who knows what else they did wrong. In my case a dealer broke all my seats including the back bench, I dont even know why they messed with that.
 

ErAcEr

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Truth that it really does come down to the dealer. I had mine in for service yesterday 3-9-21 for a couple of minor issues. One issue I caused by taking a knee to my light switch. I bought the part and was going to install my self. The mechanic and service advisor comes up to me while waiting says gimme the part we will install free of charge. WOW! Thats what im talking about and I was even contplating asking about a reduced labor prior to since they will be working in the area. These guys are gonna get some Longs Doughnuts next time I have service (weather is warranty or not). So yea, gotta find the right dealer. And seeing how many wranglers they have employee parking kinda tipped me off to what I might expect service wise.
 

Boogey

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Russ there are countless posts here on the forum about the steering gear replacement.

A lot of people have had problems. Now there's a new TSB and it adds the track bar and alignment after.

My steering gear was replaced. It's about an 80% fix. It doesn't steer out of lane anymore. It has about 2" of play on centre. Had lots of cars; too many. Started with Jeep with an old army surplus jeep as a driver for a summer job. '1965.

Dealer that fixed it is good. Next service will be wanting to see proof that the software updates were done.
Just in case....

Dave
Wait, I have the 2021 JLU and it came with the Steel box, when i went to the service the next day and told them it has play /not correct return to center etc they told me it s a jeep thing and they cant do anything since i have the new box.I rotated tyres a month ago and changed oil and the only way to lessen the wandering and track str8 was to deflate to 35 ish PSI. When i got it back after the oil change and tyre rotation as i said, the return to center from the left back to center is much worse...

AS i understood, there is also a NEW TSB for this whole fiasco? even for 2021 that have the steel box? any links for that? From the day i bought my Jeep and i sensed my dealer was not the type that wants to do anything to be honest.If i take it to another dealer will they charge me for looking at it or re aligning or what not? sorry but This is my first purchase here in the US and i have no clue how it goes.
 

entropy

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Wait, I have the 2021 JLU and it came with the Steel box, when i went to the service the next day and told them it has play /not correct return to center etc they told me it s a jeep thing and they cant do anything since i have the new box.I rotated tyres a month ago and changed oil and the only way to lessen the wandering and track str8 was to deflate to 35 ish PSI. When i got it back after the oil change and tyre rotation as i said, the return to center from the left back to center is much worse...

AS i understood, there is also a NEW TSB for this whole fiasco? even for 2021 that have the steel box? any links for that? From the day i bought my Jeep and i sensed my dealer was not the type that wants to do anything to be honest.If i take it to another dealer will they charge me for looking at it or re aligning or what not? sorry but This is my first purchase here in the US and i have no clue how it goes.
A few things. It is a cast iron box, not steel. Also what pressure were you running your tires? 35 is not low, it is normal.

Your Jeep is under warranty, you can take it to any dealer you want. You will not be charged if you think your jeep has a warranty issue, such as bad steering.

then let me ask you a question. Is this your first jeep/solid front axle vehicle? not all jeeps have bad steering, only a handful. Are you used to driving jeeps?
 

Boogey

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A few things. It is a cast iron box, not steel. Also what pressure were you running your tires? 35 is not low, it is normal.

Your Jeep is under warranty, you can take it to any dealer you want. You will not be charged if you think your jeep has a warranty issue, such as bad steering.

then let me ask you a question. Is this your first jeep/solid front axle vehicle? not all jeeps have bad steering, only a handful. Are you used to driving jeeps?
Yes, My steering is the Black Iron box my bad did not elaborate, i had checked the number on it previously when i started to learn about things with Jeeps.
Yes it is my First Jeep and first Solid axle.
I have been driving for nearly 30years and i know what and how cars should handle on any normal given day.
The first day i took it home, back in October, tires were 38psi and all along the way the feel was "different" , chalked it up to being a Jeep with Axles etc..was expecting it...but when i learnt about the steering on the forums it opened my eyes to things i thought were normal.

First, it tracks well but you have to keep giving small nudges , left or right all the time, so if im in my lane, its like playing pong in between it....people would think im drunk.
So after asking here i was advised to lower the tires a bit, so i did to 33-34 cold and it runs around
35 max 36 (winter time) and it did feel much better but the steering had a small gap ( not that much of an issue but still) and if i turn to the left by about 10Oclock it stays at 10.....NEVER goes back to center...unless its more than a 10 O'clock turn...
If i turn right then it does return to center but not fully but much much better, they say solid axles are like this but i'm sure turning left has an issue.

Right next day after i bought it i went back to finish some paper work and told the advisors, she said "first jeep?'
Yes i replied..
"That's how it is and its a jeep thing". I swear to you they did not even wanna look at it.

Now, i did tyre rotation and oil change at 6K miles and the problem got worse ....I can drive straight when the steering is at the 11 oclock ....I am sur eit needs an alignment but if i were to take it to them what should i tell them exactly to look at or check? bolts? tighten stuff up? etc? i want to be specific so they dont brush me off.

I am not very technically knowledgeable with Jeeps but i am learning.
My first mods are gonna be aesthetic mostly as i dont offroad much on this kind of terrain (moved here from Dubai where we did sand mostly in defenders and landrovers and toyotas etc) so its a different game.

Sorry for the long post just wanted to give as much as i can background . As for the TSB i saw there's many revisions for the same thing and cant find any difference....i dont want to go to the dealer looking ignorant especially if i go to another dealer they might tell me not our problem or pay for alignment etc...

Thanks again
 

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