Steering Issues

Lifted straight six

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
Oct 26, 2020
Messages
106
Location
arizona
I have looked at almost every forum trying to find the exact issue that I am having, but am posting because I had no luck…

My steering is somewhat sloppy, has an issue whenever I turn left, it will making a creaking noise, doesn’t do it when i turn right, only left. I got my girlfriend to turn the wheel and the creaking seems to be coming from either the steering column. or at the top of the box where the column goes in, I also noticed that my pitman arm that connects the drag link can move slightly… it doesn’t turn any worse than it used to, but it does make the noises(which are new). I planned to swap my leaking box eventually, but is this something that needs to be done asap?
 
Theres a u joint in the steering column that sounds like it's worn out. Thats proably you problem.

I thought the same thing, but it seems to be at the top of the box(obviously sound travels so i’m not 100% sure) but i just thought it was weird that it only makes the noise turning left, it also makes a creaking when i hit bumps, which i believe is that pitman arm bumping around because it’s loose.
 
So are you saying the shaft that the pitman arm is on wobbles around as opposed to just rotating? Are you certain that the pitman arm is not just loose? Have you performed a dry steering test with an assistant to look for issues in the system?

Just looking for clarity so you don't get wild ass guesses on the issue.
 
So are you saying the shaft that the pitman arm is on wobbles around as opposed to just rotating? Are you certain that the pitman arm is not just loose? Have you performed a dry steering test with an assistant to look for issues in the system?

Just looking for clarity so you don't get wild ass guesses on the issue.


Yes, had the girlfriend turn it, but I was really looking for the noise more than pitman arm movement, i can grab the pitman arm and move it up and down, don’t know what is loose, but it looks to me that where it connects to the bottom of the box is down slightly further than it should be.
 
Yes, had the girlfriend turn it, but I was really looking for the noise more than pitman arm movement, i can grab the pitman arm and move it up and down, don’t know what is loose, but it looks to me that where it connects to the bottom of the box is down slightly further than it should be.

I also can feel my steering is notably loose, i have a couple inches of play in the wheel before it even starts to turn
 
here is a video of the sound, and you can see the movement of the pittman arm, the noise is coming from the top of the box where the column connects, but as i said before, it only freaks when turning left. Not at all when turning the wheel to the right

to go back to this, it has gotten noticeably louder @Jerry Bransford you may know what could cause this, or maybe know someone who does, it’s coming from the top of the box, sounds like inside most likely.
 

It looks like your pitman arm nut is loose. Your pitman arm isn't seated up against the splines of the sector shaft (splined shaft coming out of your steering box). If you tighten that nut it should push the pitman arm up into the tapered splines and lock the arm into place. There should be zero play between the pitman arm and that splined shaft.

It also looks like the sector shafts splines may have some damage/wear from the pitman arm rotating along its axis. Hard to tell though as it could also just be dirt.
 
It looks like your pitman arm nut is loose. Your pitman arm isn't seated up against the splines of the sector shaft (splined shaft coming out of your steering box). If you tighten that nut it should push the pitman arm up into the tapered splines and lock the arm into place. There should be zero play between the pitman arm and that splined shaft.

It also looks like the sector shafts splines may have some damage/wear from the pitman arm rotating along its axis. Hard to tell though as it could also just be dirt.

If i were to replace the box, would that solve all the issues? I am about 2 seconds away from just ordering an entire new box all in all.
 
If i were to replace the box, would that solve all the issues? I am about 2 seconds away from just ordering an entire new box all in all.

The reason I say this, is because that is what i thought it looked like as well, but everybody i’ve talked to who’s tried tightening it(aside from me) has said it doesn’t budge and it’s as tight as it’ll get
 
If i were to replace the box, would that solve all the issues? I am about 2 seconds away from just ordering an entire new box all in all.


If you are going to replace the entire box, you would probably want to replace the pitman arm as well. No way to know for sure if both parts are damage unless you take the pitman arm off the gearbox and inspect the splines on both. Id bet money on both splines being worn/damaged. That play between the pitman arm and steering box is definitely causing some of that steering slop you feel.