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inferno red wk 07-07-2012 09:36 PM

steering wheel play
so i know have slop in my steering wheel. along with a thud from my steering colum when i hit a bump.

2005JGC 07-07-2012 11:59 PM

Re: steering wheel play
typically this is a sign of a worn u-joint on the intermediate steering shaft (from the bottom of the column to the steering gear. If you can get someone to rock the wheel back and fourth (vehicle not running) and watch and even feel both of these joints while its rocking.

inferno red wk 07-08-2012 10:03 PM

Re: steering wheel play
is it a easy fix man its a list of crap on this jeep it always is

2005JGC 07-09-2012 01:17 AM

Re: steering wheel play
its 2 13mm bolts... they are typically very tight.

inferno red wk 07-09-2012 11:33 AM

Re: steering wheel play
sorry for the million and on questions. but is this a case of where i replace the whole shaft or just tighten a the bolts

swing4terps 07-13-2012 10:24 AM

Re: steering wheel play
Going to piggy back on this thread since this is one of my symptoms along with the following:

- an overall rough ride
- a lot of road noise transferring to the cabin (seems like everything rattles)
- banging when the steering wheel is wiggled side to side with engine off
note: the actual wheels do not move during this process
- the same bang (one time) when making hard turns into parking spaces

The poor ride started after I got my tires rotated, an alignment, and replaced my UCAs. I thought maybe I didn't tighten something properly but I realized that's crazy since I used a breaker bar on everything. Tight is tight. Thought it might be because I was breaking in some new tread after a very long time since last rotation. It's been 1 month +, so I'm ruling that out. Alignment seems fine.

A mechanic said it sounds like the bang is coming from the rack & pinion and I'd be looking at a $1K to replace it. I was leaving for vacation the next day so I told him not to tear into it. Not sure I want to put any more crazy amounts of money into the Jeep and would strongly consider parting ways if a new R&P is what's needed.

So I'm hoping to do some investigating myself, and looking for any suggestions. I don't mind getting my hands dirty, but with all the problems and $ lately, I'm thinking I should have started mechanic's school rather than grad school back in January.

2005JGC 07-13-2012 11:47 PM

Re: steering wheel play
you can try tightening the bolts, honestly I dont think you will be able to make much of a dent without a 3/8ths impact, there is not much room to get a swing on a rachet. None the less, if that doesnt help you get the whole shaft (from the base of the steering column to the steering rack). Its typically not SUPER expensive... Again if you have someone to rock the wheel for you you can feel the slop in the joints before you waste a bunch of time and money on this lead.

Swinger... no grad school is a better choice... you will have the bank roll to pay schmucks like me to fix your problems and my only saving grace is ill be poor the rest of my life but never have to pay the man to fix my cars ;)

how in the hell did you get a breaker bar on your rear UCA nuts? I could hardly get a ratcheting wrench in there. I would double verify all is tight, The first place to look when a problem starts after a "repair" is the repair naturally.

swing4terps 07-15-2012 07:54 PM

Re: steering wheel play
I replaced my front UCAs and had the breaker bar on the frame and spindle bolts. Unless any of those bolts need to be ridiculously tight I think I'm good there. Not sure if I screwed something up lowering and raising the LCA multiple times on each side. Also unsure if the guys at Firestone screwed something up during the alignment.

I am still not convinced the rack is the cause of my rough ride. The bang sure, but ride, I don't know. I did notice when looking around that the driver's side rubber boot is attached to the rack with a zip tie. I'm guessing it's probably had some previous work done prior to me owning it.

Just got back from a 350 mile trip and i can definitely say the "roughness" of the ride is similar to overinflated tires. (they are not however) When going over larger bumps the springs seem to work fine, and I don't continue to bounce all over the place so I would say shocks are good as well. It is the initial contact with small bumps as well as road imperfections that makes the ride feel rough. It's almost as if whatever stress is on the tires gets transferred all the way to the cabin.

I learned a lot about suspension parts when changing the UCAs, but still don't know enought to pinpoint my problem. What suspension parts act as dampeners that may need inspection?

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