Great deals on TJ parts on Amazon!

Looking for parts for your Jeep Wrangler TJ? Checkout the selection of TJ parts Amazon has to offer, many with 2-day Prime shipping!

Click the image below to browse TJ parts on Amazon.

Jeep Wrangler TJ Parts on Amazon

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Steering issues (SOLVED!)

OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Had some time today and I worked through my steering. The ONLY place I can find any play is in the intermediate shaft. I took it out today and the bearing is trashed. Its full of rust. I suspected that, so I had bought another, used one. That one is much better, but still not great. The U-joints feel pretty good. They are loose, but I can't feel any extra movement in them. I have a couple options...

1) pony up the big bucks (like 500+) for a new mopar intermediate shaft. There are only a few left
2) Spend about half that and get a shaft for the 97-2002 wrangler. I'm not sure what the difference is...I think I've heard its shorter. They are available aftermarket and for some reason, the 03 and up are not.
3) Run the better but not great bearing. Honestly, I'll probably do this to see if my issues get any better. If they do, I'll feel better about spending almost 600 dollars to fix it. I just don't want to take that gamble.

Has anyone done a 97 to 02 intermediate shaft into an 03+? @AndyG and @Irun, you guys have played with these before, right?
 
  • Like
Reactions: tworley

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
12,755
Location
Alabama
I haven’t- rumor has it the 03-06 Liberty shaft bearing is a direct fit and can be located- be worth checking into- it is a clamshell housing

If I ever get into one again I’m adding a zero or lube port-
 
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
I haven’t- rumor has it the 03-06 Liberty shaft bearing is a direct fit and can be located- be worth checking into- it is a clamshell housing

If I ever get into one again I’m adding a zero or lube port-

Mine is so trashed, I'm sure the shaft is junk too. It measured out at 1.086" and I've seen other post that a new one is 1.094." Eight thousandths of an inch is HUGE when you're looking at shaft fits.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AndyG
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
After some research, the 03 and up is the same part from the bearing to the bottom u joint. Because of the change to the merc steering box, Chrysler lengthened the shaft from the lower joint to the steering box. Others (I think it was @Chasitek) figured out that you can drive a pin out and free the section that is different and swap them between the early intermediate shaft and late.

So, last night I purchased a dorman intermediate shaft for an early model TJ for 200 bucks off Amazon. Should be here tomorrow. I'll drive there pin out tonight and get that lower section cleaned up. Probably put a "how-to" together for future reference. I don't know why they don't make an aftermarket version of the later model intermediate shaft.
 

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
12,755
Location
Alabama
Mine is so trashed, I'm sure the shaft is junk too. It measured out at 1.086" and I've seen other post that a new one is 1.094." Eight thousandths of an inch is HUGE when you're looking at shaft fits.

What you are doing is exactly what fixed a huge clunk in mine too man- made a huge difference in quality feel-
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blondie70

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
12,755
Location
Alabama
After some research, the 03 and up is the same part from the bearing to the bottom u joint. Because of the change to the merc steering box, Chrysler lengthened the shaft from the lower joint to the steering box. Others (I think it was @Chasitek) figured out that you can drive a pin out and free the section that is different and swap them between the early intermediate shaft and late.

So, last night I purchased a dorman intermediate shaft for an early model TJ for 200 bucks off Amazon. Should be here tomorrow. I'll drive there pin out tonight and get that lower section cleaned up. Probably put a "how-to" together for future reference. I don't know why they don't make an aftermarket version of the later model intermediate shaft.

Please post what you get into- be great for us down the road.
 

mrblaine

Crew Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
24,011
Location
Quail Valley, CA
After some research, the 03 and up is the same part from the bearing to the bottom u joint. Because of the change to the merc steering box, Chrysler lengthened the shaft from the lower joint to the steering box. Others (I think it was @Chasitek) figured out that you can drive a pin out and free the section that is different and swap them between the early intermediate shaft and late.

So, last night I purchased a dorman intermediate shaft for an early model TJ for 200 bucks off Amazon. Should be here tomorrow. I'll drive there pin out tonight and get that lower section cleaned up. Probably put a "how-to" together for future reference. I don't know why they don't make an aftermarket version of the later model intermediate shaft.

Which pin are we talking about?
 
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Which pin are we talking about?

We talked, but in the interest of providing clarity to the thread...This is the roll pin I am planning on knocking out. Now that I know its rubber bonded...not sure that is the hot ticket anymore.

1656340924933.png



I suppose another option would be to pull the U-joints apart and replace it that way...I know they are staked in place, but that is pretty easily rectified.
 

mrblaine

Crew Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
24,011
Location
Quail Valley, CA
We talked, but in the interest of providing clarity to the thread...This is the roll pin I am planning on knocking out. Now that I know its rubber bonded...not sure that is the hot ticket anymore.

View attachment 339456


I suppose another option would be to pull the U-joints apart and replace it that way...I know they are staked in place, but that is pretty easily rectified.

We've had to replace a new one from Mopar due to the lower pin being clocked over and already rubbing on the side of the hole or slot.
 
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
I tried to drive that pin out at lunch...Its not moving easily. It looks like they may have assembled the steel parts together, placed the pin in, then injected some sort of rubber isolator into the joint. I'll play with it more this evening.
 

mrblaine

Crew Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 20, 2015
Messages
24,011
Location
Quail Valley, CA
I tried to drive that pin out at lunch...Its not moving easily. It looks like they may have assembled the steel parts together, placed the pin in, then injected some sort of rubber isolator into the joint. I'll play with it more this evening.

We performed a light forensic examination on several of the carrier bearings. What is happening to most of them is the rubber single lip wiper type seal is deteriorated and allowing crap into the bearing. It also induces play at the end of the white ball clamshells that is not entirely indicative of the bearing's actual state and the amount of play it has on the plastic shaft liner. I suspect some lube and a couple of good o-rings at the ends in the original grooves would help a bunch.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jablinski
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
We performed a light forensic examination on several of the carrier bearings. What is happening to most of them is the rubber single lip wiper type seal is deteriorated and allowing crap into the bearing. It also induces play at the end of the white ball clamshells that is not entirely indicative of the bearing's actual state and the amount of play it has on the plastic shaft liner. I suspect some lube and a couple of good o-rings at the ends in the original grooves would help a bunch.

I'll post some pictures of mine when I get home. I believe the lip seals have failed many years and miles ago. My needle rollers are totally seized and the plastic "shaft liner" is worn (according to other's measurements).
 
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
Here is the trash that came out of my support bearing

IMG_20220627_170423096_HDR.jpg


These are the "white" collars that are supposed to keep crap out of the bearing. I believe they are supposed to be filled with grease. Mine have worn grooves into the plastic shaft.

Here are the actual seals. This is after some cleanup.

IMG_20220627_170728070.jpg


IMG_20220627_170712327_HDR.jpg


And my bearing
IMG_20220627_170453780_HDR.jpg


IMG_20220627_170503857_HDR.jpg


The rollers are no bueno.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blondie70
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
This issue is now solved. Thanks to @mrblaine for some high quality used parts, I replaced my intermediate steering shaft and the weird, off center feel has been eliminated. Now, I can feel the tires getting pushed around by bumps and potholes but the steering is tight and easy to correct. What a difference.

As an aside, the Dorman replacement piece I bought for the early model TJ's is kinda loose and sloppy too. I don't think that it would be worth a damn installed.
 

freedom_in_4low

I'm a rooster illusion
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Sep 26, 2019
Messages
5,523
Location
Edmond, OK
should we think about this as a preventative maintenance issue, to pull this stuff out, clean it up, grease the bearing, and add o-rings to extend the life of the hard parts?
 
OP
Mike_H

Mike_H

Favorite mushroom
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
9,286
Location
Grand Rapids, MI, United States
should we think about this as a preventative maintenance issue, to pull this stuff out, clean it up, grease the bearing, and add o-rings to extend the life of the hard parts?

At least pull it apart and grease it. I've been looking for o rings. The closest I've come up with is 1 mm (CS) x 27.5 mm (id)... But I can't find them in a store. Next time I place a McMaster order, I'll probably try a couple.
 
  • Like
Reactions: psrivats