More than usual wandering Jeep


The guy with the Jeep, whose mechanic wants to replace all the front end components, should first check to see where there’s slop. This is easy to do by having a helper turn the steering wheel back and forth 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn while checking all the steering components for slop. Start by replacing all the parts that have obvious slack in them. The ones that don’t have slop don’t need to be replaced.

I’m not absolutely sure, but I think that the slop in the steering box can be adjusted. These rarely go bad and need replacement due to this. There’s a nut, with an allen headed bolt on top of the box. Loosen the nut, and run the bolt into the box until the slop disappears. Re-tighten the nut. This is something that might want to get a second opinion, as I don’t have a whole lot of experience with doing this. I do now that if the bolt is too tight, the steering won’t return to center on it’s own. Keep track of how much the bolt has been adjusted (and which way), so that if the car becomes undrivable, you can go back to the same place it was before. I would guess that all it needs is less than half a turn, if even that.

The cost of tools was also brought up. Most of the bigger parts store chains will rent/loan tools for free. You have to pay for the tool up front, but the whole amount is returned when returning the tool.


IMVHO, something that should have been stressed to the caller, but wasn’t is the steering damper. If this Jeep has oversize tires, it could benefit from an aftermarket damper. I installed 31" tires on my 05 Wrangler, with no history of front suspension problems, and immediately had front end wobble. A larger damper completely cured it.