Diagnose steering wandering.

Rosco1216

Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
83
Location
Oklahoma
My Jeep has always tracked perfectly straight and never had any problems like this but I took the Jeep in for an oil change, tire rotation and to grease up all links and joints.

When I got the Jeep back it is wandering, pretty bad. They had aired the 35’s up to 34 psi so I took them back down to 26 and it helped but it’s still wandering a bit. Both ways and tough to keep tracking if there’s any uneven pavement and speed over 35-40.

It has been aligned and never had these problems before. I had did a slight tightening of the steering pump prior and wheeled it for the first time with the end links disconnected, but didn’t notice anything like this afterwards. Only after having them rotated and greasing up the joints.

So what could be causing this? Tires out of balance and need re-balanced? Re-alignment? Steering pump need looked at it replaced?
 
Try swapping the tires back to their original positions and see what happens, if the problems gone then you know it’s a wheel/tire problem… Prime example is on VW golfs tire dealers demand you install a new pair of tires on on the rear wheels which will cause a serious problem with the vehicles computer sensing the front wheels are turning faster than the rear wheels and it’s computer starts trying to compensate since it thinks the wheels have lost traction. This causes a dangerous situation, so much so VW sent out warning that when installing a new pair of tires they must be installed on the front… So while our TJ’s don’t have this type of advanced computer monitoring of our drive trains, it does highlight the effects such slight variations in tire wear has on the handling…
So by swapping the tires back you’ll immediately narrow down where to look for your problem…
Hope this helps…
 
Adjusting the steering box leads me to believe you were trying to fix sloppy steering. The steering box "adjustment" isn't an adjustment that is used to solve a sloppy box. There are gears in there that are lashed just like a set of gears in an axle. Messing with that either loosens or tightens the lash. Your box is now worse for wear having messed with it. So with that said, turn the steering wheel and see if your steering shaft rotates before the pitman arm moves. If it does, there is excessive play in the box. Take a look at the large nut that holds the pitman arm on as well while you turn the steering, if the lower sector shaft has play, its another indicator your steering box is shot.

@Chris this thread also needs moved
 
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Well luckily I found the culprit and it was an easy fix. I realigned everything and rotated the tires back to how they were before and then afterwards I decided to pull my steering stabilizer that I bought put on last match and, low and behold, it was basically seized up. I could BARELY pull it out about 1/2” and BARELY push it back the same 1/2” and I’m a strong guy.

Hindsight it makes sense because any slight turn of the wheel it would pull/track that way and not correct. Both ways. Like it couldn’t stay straight. So I just removed it all together until the new one comes in.


 
Last edited:
Well luckily I found the culprit and it was an easy fix. I realigned everything and rotated the tires back to how they were before and then afterwards I decided to pull my steering stabilizer that I bought put on last match and, low and behold, it was basically seized up. I could BARELY pull it out about 1/2” and BARELY push it back the same 1/2” and I’m a strong guy.

Hindsight it makes sense because any slight turn of the wheel it would pull/track that way and not correct. Both ways. Like it couldn’t stay straight. So I just removed it all together until the new one comes in.


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Thank you for this!! Im doing a lot all on my own and this helps tremendously!!!!