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What actually _is_ normal steering?

californiajeeping

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JL Steering Troubleshooting

1. Perform the powers steering reset procedure. Several people have reported success even after upgrading several components didn’t make a difference.

2. Check torque on all steering and suspension parts.

3. Get an alignment report print out so you can at least document caster, camber, toe, steer ahead, etc. Many have reported increasing caster improves steering.

4. Print out the steering Star case which shows how to check the steering box, confirms that steering and suspension parts torque should be checked, etc.

5. Test drive another JL from the dealer lot so you have something to defend when they say “it’s a Jeep thing” and tell them you want your JL to steer like the one that steers correctly.

6. Test drive with and without the steering stabilizer which people have reported the cause of several different symptoms.

7. Of course verify your tire pressure isn’t way over the door jam of 37PSI. Some say dropping it to 32PSI helps.

Steering Star Case: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...has-play-and-drifts.3691/page-142#post-426243 Dated 2018 but troubleshooting info still applies.

Torque Specs: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...rangler-jl-steering-related-components.18510/

Power Steering Reset Procedure: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/fo...as-play-and-drifts.3691/page-405#post-1132084



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RoadiJeff

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I've been asking my wife several times per week if she is having any trouble with her Recon and loose steering, since people on the forums say it is common on all of the JL Wranglers. She insisted again today that she has had no problem with it at all and even offered to let me drive it to see for myself. I'll take her word for it. She uses it as her DD to work, including around 10 miles on the highway each way, so she would know if there was a problem.

I did drive it several hours on the highway soon after she bought when we were meeting up with some friends and I didn't give any thought to loose steering. That was before I started reading these kinds of threads. However, I don't think anything would be different if I drive it for another highway speed trip now.

What I would really like to do is drive one of these loose steering Jeeps and see for myself what all the hubbub is about.
 

sdynak

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What I would really like to do is drive one of these loose steering Jeeps and see for myself what all the hubbub is about.
Exactly.. I get on the highway and this thought is always on my mind.. I'm thinking what am I missing as it feels fine. It must be bad on those that are affected. I would really like to see myself.
 

californiajeeping

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TEXGOAT

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On road, a JLU in proper order will drive about like a late model half ton 2 door pickup with an 8 foot bed and 400 lbs of chickenfeed in the back, if not better.
 

2mnycars

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I'm watching this thread to see what I can learn.
I don't understand why some Wranglers handle well, and why some don't. Is it parts? Is it assembly? Is it design?
I can't believe how many people have posted here and in the Gladiator forum. Clearly JEEP has a problem
 

guarnibl

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Hi All,

Yes, groan, another steering question, and for my first post too.... suppose i should go post on the Welcome thread first.

Anyway, it was my wife's dream from when she first learned to drive to own a Jeep, and now finally some 30 years later we've got the opportunity! Picked up a 20 Sahara Altitude a little over a week ago, Sting Grey with Sky Touch. It is a thing of beauty. Found it on a dealer lot about 2 hours away, it had just came off the truck, build date of 7/20, had 5 miles on it!

We take it for a quick test drive, all seems well, we sign the papers and we are off, heading back home. I'm in my Ram 1500, she's following in the Jeep. After stopping for dinner, she says that the drive was frankly terrifying. She felt like she was all over the road and had no control. We were driving back from Baltimore area, through lots of road construction and traffic. It was an unfamiliar area, with an unfamiliar car, so we chalked it up to that.

I drove the remainder of the way home and it really wasn't a fun experience. I don't think it was terrifying, but really wasn't all that enjoyable.

I checked the tire pressures when we got home and realized that yes, as a lot of others reported, they were way too high. Over 50, actually. Lowered to 38, per door panel, and eventually down to about 35.

The Jeep drives better now, but it still wants to wander, and the question is how much is normal for a solid axle, and how much would be considered a defect. My wife indicates that the way home from work is far worse than the way to work. Its been super hot here in the Philly area lately, in case that has anything to do with it.

But now I find myself obsessed with the steering, ready to swap out the track bar, install some magic stabilizing brace cause i saw a few youtube guys promote it (further reading on that Synergy brace makes me realize i do not want to go down that route) and do whatever else i need to make it acceptable to drive, when it occurs to me that I shouldn't have to do that for a brand new 50k vehicle.

So, what should normal steering on the JL feel like? I loathe taking a car to the dealer for them to tell me nothing is wrong, so if there is something wrong, how can i defend/prove my position? Never had a solid front axle before, and I currently drive a 2016 Ram. The Ram ride/steering is light-years better/different than the Jeep.

(sorry, long winded)

IMG_1455 2.jpg

Mine drives like shit on "bad roads" ... wanders everywhere. But on smooth highway/pavement that's been properly maintained it drives great. No fatigue, no darting... etc. But yeah, if you go onto a road that hasn't been very well maintained, all bets are off. And that's been the case for every Wrangler I've ever had, so I think it's normal.

That said, I will say that my steering feels tight, and not loose. I.e., no dead spots. So the steering gear is good. Also my alignment is good. My JL was not aligned properly from the factory and was actually out of spec when I got it. I have 37's and it drives nearly identical to what it was factory other than some increased body roll from the lift.

As others have pointed out, it comes down to perception and what you just got out of. If you are driving a non-lifted, IFS vehicle, you will probably be disappointed in how the Jeep drives. This is probably why the Bronco went IFS as well.

Overall though, I can drive on a properly maintained road going 80 mph on 37's with a single hand on the wheel without issue.
 

blschaefer1

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Maybe, but the brain is a powerful thing. And maybe if the tires were not at 50+ when I picked up the Jeep, I would have never questioned it. Cause it drove like shit at that tire pressure, but now the doubt is cemented in my head!
New JL Sport S 2 door owner here. Took delivery last Wednesday. First drive I thought oh no, this thing handles terribly, wanders, and ride was extremely choppy. Checked tire pressure and dealer had them set at 44 psi. Lowered to 34 psi, and it is behaving beautifully now. I’ve had this same issue on other new car deliveries. Dealers need to pay attention on the pre delivery inspections!!
 

PeeCeeJunior

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Driving home from the dealership I felt like my new Jeep was going to careen off the road at any time. I didn’t notice it during the test drives, but the wind was out and the 2d wheelbase doesn’t like wind.

Since then it’s been fine, but I was driving a rental last month and my sister was freaked out because I couldn’t drive straight. I kept autocorrecting like I do in my Jeep when it wasn’t necessary in a Chevy. I eventually adjusted and drove okay after I got the hang of it.

I don’t think my steering in the Jeep is a problem*, but it’s definitely different and the first time driving at speed in less than perfect conditions had me white knuckling it.

* at least not my Jeep. There’s definitely something weird going on in other people’s Jeeps beyond the standard Jeep steering.
 

Avar928

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Compared to other cars I've driven (older JKs, sports cars, sedans, luxury SUVs), my JLU has very light steering and requires input. I had a slight wandering issue prior to the steering stabilizer factory replacement. Now it is stiffer but I do have to put some attention to staying in lane.

For me it's not crazy that I feel unsafe or anyone who drives it complains actually. You feel how responsive it is and adjust fairly quickly. Again, compared to other cars it takes more effort but that effort isn't a lot by any means.
 

22Mag

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I have a new JL willy's unlimited and from the get go to me it had strange steering, wandering here and there. It does have some very aggressive tires on it (Firestone destination M/T2) and I've talked to other jeep owners and they say they understand what I'm saying. The first week was a learning curve for me and it has gotten better, I did deflate to a more normal pressure of 37 pounds and that did help. When the tires are cold it drives almost normal, when they are hot later in the day it slightly worse. As the tires are wearing in a bit it has gotten better and I'm getting use to it more so I really don't think about it as much. I'm not complaining here just trying to understand my vehicle more everyday, I love my jeep. I have the 2.0L turbo engine and it always leaves me smiling every time I hit the accelerator and it keeps getting better. My previous vehicle was a newer Chevy Colorado, this jeep just blows it away.
 

PeeCeeJunior

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I think the steering is a feature not a bug; just takes some getting used to. Unfortunately it also means that when you have a real steering issue everyone is likely to say "oh that's just a Jeep thing."
 

Kathysue

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Hi All,

Yes, groan, another steering question, and for my first post too.... suppose i should go post on the Welcome thread first.

Anyway, it was my wife's dream from when she first learned to drive to own a Jeep, and now finally some 30 years later we've got the opportunity! Picked up a 20 Sahara Altitude a little over a week ago, Sting Grey with Sky Touch. It is a thing of beauty. Found it on a dealer lot about 2 hours away, it had just came off the truck, build date of 7/20, had 5 miles on it!

We take it for a quick test drive, all seems well, we sign the papers and we are off, heading back home. I'm in my Ram 1500, she's following in the Jeep. After stopping for dinner, she says that the drive was frankly terrifying. She felt like she was all over the road and had no control. We were driving back from Baltimore area, through lots of road construction and traffic. It was an unfamiliar area, with an unfamiliar car, so we chalked it up to that.

I drove the remainder of the way home and it really wasn't a fun experience. I don't think it was terrifying, but really wasn't all that enjoyable.

I checked the tire pressures when we got home and realized that yes, as a lot of others reported, they were way too high. Over 50, actually. Lowered to 38, per door panel, and eventually down to about 35.

The Jeep drives better now, but it still wants to wander, and the question is how much is normal for a solid axle, and how much would be considered a defect. My wife indicates that the way home from work is far worse than the way to work. Its been super hot here in the Philly area lately, in case that has anything to do with it.

But now I find myself obsessed with the steering, ready to swap out the track bar, install some magic stabilizing brace cause i saw a few youtube guys promote it (further reading on that Synergy brace makes me realize i do not want to go down that route) and do whatever else i need to make it acceptable to drive, when it occurs to me that I shouldn't have to do that for a brand new 50k vehicle.

So, what should normal steering on the JL feel like? I loathe taking a car to the dealer for them to tell me nothing is wrong, so if there is something wrong, how can i defend/prove my position? Never had a solid front axle before, and I currently drive a 2016 Ram. The Ram ride/steering is light-years better/different than the Jeep.

(sorry, long winded)

IMG_1455 2.jpg
I picked up a 2020 2 door Rubicon in March. I have had steering issues also. Jeep was wandering all over the road. My husband took it to the dealer and they checked everything but told him they couldn't do anything until it had 1000 miles. My husband lowered tire pressures from 43 to 32. Jeep rode much better but it was still not right. When it reached 1000 miles it went back to the dealer. This time they test drove it and saw for themselves that there was a problem. Long story short they ordered and replaced the steering box and Jeep is much better on the road
 

Avar928

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@22Mag Bring it down more, if I recall the TPMS alert doesn't kick in until 28 so you can bring it to 32. The dealership had me at over 40 and when I bring it in for oil changes they top it back up to that so I always lower it. You'll handle better in the rain also.
 

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