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Help on Steering issue


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  • Help on Steering issue

    I am new to the Jeep world. I am building my jeep slow but sure. I bought the jeep with a 4" body lift and 31" tires already on it. Most everything is stock..... including the 2.5L engine. With that I must admit that this is my daily driver so I can't have to much down time. So enough of the small sh#$%.

    My problems are:

    1) I need to fix the steering. I have a lot of slop (really should say one of my knukles are slipping) I need advise on what to put in. Should I go stock again (If I can) or what is my next option?

    2) Exhaust is about to go. So I would like some sujestions on that also. That also is stock.

    I want to upgrade in a reasonable matter not just go out and buy the most expensive parts and put them on. I want to understand what is best and I know that stock is STOCK (crap).

    So if anyone can help guide me I would appreciate it.

  • #2
    There are three places play in the steering system will get you:

    1. The steering column itself (including the steering shaft to the PS box)
    2. PS box
    3. Tie rod ends

    Unless you have a gazillion miles on the jeep, it is not likely a problem with the steering box. On my CJ, I had to replace the steering shaft, the steering column, and all the rod ends before I got rid of my slop. The column is tilt, so there is a universal joint inside there. After a couple hundred thousand miles and 18 years, they wear out. You will need a helper to locate all of your steering slop - have them wiggle the wheel back and forth (with the jeep off) and look at each link along the way. Start at the rod ends and work your way through to the steering shaft. The column may be difficult to tell... Take a bar or rod and hold the upper portion of the steering shaft still and move the steering wheel to see if there is play in the column ujoint.

    As far as exhaust goes, we need more info to be able to reccommend anything - what are you after? Headers are expensive almost regardless of who makes them. Stay away from cheaper headers like Pacesetter. All of them are more prone to cracking and leaking than a stock manifold. You will gain some performance. As far as the rest of the exhaust goes, my favorite way to deal with that is to take the jeep down to the local muffler shop and have them put new pipe/muffler/cat whatever it needs. Unless you have a torch, I don't think you will be able to remove the exhaust on an 14 year old vehicle from Michigan without one! As far as components, stick with high flow mufflers (Magnaflow, FLowmaster, etc) and you'll have a slight increase in performance.
    1986 CJ-7; 4.6L stroker, balanced & blueprinted; 5" lift, 35x1250 MTRs, Poison Spyder Full Width kit,
    My Jeep

    Moab Rocker Knocker Video:shades:


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick response. I know where the slop is comming from it is the lower knuckle (u joint) it looks like it is about to fall apart. I hit a hard bump while driving the kid to school and boy did I feel the difference. So I know that I can't take another bump like that.

      But about the exhaust. First off I have only the 2.5L engine. So I know that there isn't much I can do to get more power. But every little bit helps. I am looking for either cat back or just after the cat. I don't know much about mufflers and what is good and what is bad. All I know is when I went to the muffler guy here in town. Not a big name guy I had to go back to him after 8 months because the muffler got a crack from the vibrations. He replaced it and you would never guess what it is doing again but not on the back of the muffler like it did the first time. It has a crack in the front now and it has only been mabye 10 months. GO figure. So it looks like I can do the work myself this time since everything is not welded to each other. If you know what I mean.

      If there is anything else you need let me know. Thanks


      • #4
        You might want to check the ball joints! You need two people to check the ball joints. first you want to jack up the jeep by the axle so the tire is like 5 inches off the ground then take a long strong bar or pipe slid it under the tire and lift up on then release and repeat while you or your buddy is doing that look at the ball joints and if they are wiggling at all they are worn out. You say it at the knuckle and that is what attaches the knuckle to the axle and it is where the pivot point is. If it is the U-joint at the knuckle thats an easy fix like $10 (for the part) plus labor if you dont know how to do it yourself.I'm originaly from MI so I know how bad the exhaust gets after a winter ect. I like Flowmaster mufflers heavy duty and are made out of aluminized metal so if you gonna replace the exhaust from the cat. back have the rest of the exhaust pipe replaced with aluminzed pipe it will last much longer. I had it done on my jeep and it was trouble free. I still have the mufflers to this day and that was like back in 1993.
        75 blazer + 81 CJ-7 + 90 Wrangler = Tonka Jeep Dave


        • #5
          First off, I'd ditch the 4 inch body lift That'll cause more problems then its worth. Plus, most stock Jeeps can fit 31's stock w/o a lift. Secondly, do you have a picture of the item you are talking about. It sounds like the Ball joints, like Tonka dave said. If you notice abnormal tire wear, like the inside of the tread wearing faster, that is an indication of worn out ball joints. I would replace all the tie rod ends and ball joints, and go from there. Its about a day job, or less. As for the exhaust, I would go to a local shop and have them stick on what ever you want. Its a 4 banger, so its not going to sound all that good. I have a Borla on my Jeep and it sounds pretty good . . . nice and mellow. It's personal preference. Good luck!
          Ya Savvy?

          Motech Performance


          • #6
            Ok..... It is NOT the ball joints. I have checked those and they are good. It is on the lower steering shaft that I am talking about.

            Thanks for the advise on the muffler also.


            • #7
              A 4" body lift??? Are you sure about that? 3" body lifts are bad enough, I didn't even know anyone made a 4" body lift. Do you mean it has a 4" suspension lift?
              The Geezer Jeep:


              • #8
                Ok it could be a 3" body lift... It is NOT a suspension lift. What is so bad about body lifts?


                • #9
                  If it is on the lower steering rod which is called the drag link or tei rod bar. Have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth like 4-5 inches left to right. while they are doing that you look at all the steering linkages and see which one have slop or wiggle on the ends of each drag links and tei rod bars are tei rods they bolt up through the pitman arm, knuckles, tie rod bar/ drag link. if any of these are bad your gonna have bad steering and possible vibration. After you replace these you will have to have an alinment done.
                  Body lifts are bad (well some people think) because they put stress on the body mounting points and in a sudden stop or if you hit something the levrage put on the bolts that are 3 inches long could break or pull through ect. and cause the body to shift or come off to a point.
                  75 blazer + 81 CJ-7 + 90 Wrangler = Tonka Jeep Dave