Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Loose steering / sloppy steering / front end wandering on a 2000 XJ

  1. #1
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Wheatfield, NY USA
    Posts
    739

    Question Loose steering / sloppy steering / front end wandering on a 2000 XJ

    So, lately my 2000 Cherokee seems to have loose steering. This is kind of hard to describe. It seems like I have to turn the wheel to the left or right far before it seems to engage.

    For example, a lane change on the highway. Normally, you would just turn the wheel a little bit to perform the lane change, well it seems like I have to turn the wheel farther than I should, like over compensate.

    The other thing that seems to be going on is when traveling down the road, the front end seems to wander?!? Like I will be heading straight, and then have to correct the steering to keep it in the lane. I am guessing this is what it feels like to drink and drive?!?

    I have checked the power steering fluid, etc, and all seems to be fine. What else can I check? U-Joints, ball joints, etc?

    Give me some ideas, I really don't want to take it to the dealer.

    By the way, how often do you change the power steering fluid?

    So info:
    The truck is a 2000 XJ Sport, 70,900 miles, auto, 3" lift....

    That's about all that I can think of that would be relevant.
    Bryan
    2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo - 4.7L
    http://www.niagara4x4.com
    Sold: 2000 Jeep Cherokee / 2003 Rubicon

  2. #2
    Moderately Senior lunghd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    In "The Comfy Chair".
    Posts
    4,553

    Default

    Check to make sure the steering box is still attached to the frame & that the frame isn't cracking where it bolts up.
    "...the advice given above is somewhat arrogant and in some cases wrong..." . (I'm not an expert... I just play one on the internet.)

    Another Freakin' Jeep Cherokee Website. _____________ Sure you're smart... but do you have what it takes to make "The List"?


    1990 XJ

  3. #3
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Nowhere
    Posts
    5,732

    Default

    -=- originally posted by lunghd -=-
    Check to make sure the steering box is still attached to the frame & that the frame isn't cracking where it bolts up.
    Also, check the steering joint in the steering shaft....on a 2K, it's unlikley that it's bad...but that can cause "Hidden" slop.


    Lunghd...congradulations on the Mod position!:mrwave:

  4. #4
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Wheatfield, NY USA
    Posts
    739

    Default

    I will check the steering shaft.

    Seems like steering posts are pretty unpopular?!?
    Bryan
    2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo - 4.7L
    http://www.niagara4x4.com
    Sold: 2000 Jeep Cherokee / 2003 Rubicon

  5. #5

    Default

    These are good replies. If everything seems tight, there is an adjustment on the steering box itself. It is a screw with a stop nut. You can adjust the amount of play in the steering box with this, but this is completely last rersort. Have somebody watch the steering gear while you turn the wheel left and right. Also, have them bend down and look at all the steering linkage for a loose joint or connection. Also, as mentioned, look at the steering input shaft as you change directions for play. If all is tight, then learn how to adjust the play in the steering gear before you do it. I can tell you more after you check the other items. Don't just start adjusting it. You could very easily make everything worse. With a 2000, likely something else wrong.

  6. #6
    Moderately Senior lunghd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    In "The Comfy Chair".
    Posts
    4,553

    Default

    -=- originally posted by storydude -=-
    Lunghd...congradulations on the Mod position!:mrwave:

    I intend to abuse my power just as soon as I figure out how.

    Meanwhile... here's a whack on the head. :dmb:
    "...the advice given above is somewhat arrogant and in some cases wrong..." . (I'm not an expert... I just play one on the internet.)

    Another Freakin' Jeep Cherokee Website. _____________ Sure you're smart... but do you have what it takes to make "The List"?


    1990 XJ

  7. #7
    Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Nowhere
    Posts
    5,732

    Default

    -=- originally posted by lunghd -=-
    I intend to abuse my power just as soon as I figure out how.

    Meanwhile... here's a whack on the head. :dmb:
    :instaban:

  8. #8

    Default

    Check the trackbar. More than likely the end at the frame is shot.
    Have someone turn the wheel back and forth while you carefully eye the trackbar at the frame end. If it's worn, there will be slop in the end, and it will move up and down prior to the tires turning.
    Course, if the trackbar is loose at the axle end it will slide back and forth in the mount.

  9. #9

    Default

    Also check the trackbar mount at the axle side. Mine, along with about 50 more on this board, ovaled out causing sloppy steering.
    -If we weren't all crazy we'd all go insane...-

  10. #10
    Registered
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Rhode Island
    Posts
    695

    Default

    all good replies.
    to help diagnose, have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you go under and look.
    just trace the entire steering system starting with the box to the draglink to the tie rod ends. definitely the track bar too.

  11. #11
    Registered
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Wheatfield, NY USA
    Posts
    739

    Default

    I did a bunch of the diagnostics that you guys had mentioned. (Thanks for all of the ideas) My steering box is shot. The seal is leaking and the upper bolt hole is stripped out from when the box ripped from the frame. I am not sure if this (stripped hole) is a result of the box ripping or if it is a result of the shop crossthreading it in. I had a feeling something was wrong with the box from the day it ripped off. With all of the clunking and grinding I heard that morning, I didn't think it could have escaped unfazed.

    So after having enough of the lazy sloppy steering, I took it to the dealer this AM. I only told them that the box ripped from the frame before, and a shop reattached it. I wanted them to do their own diagnosis. They looked at everything starting with the suspension, etc to try to diagnose it. They basically came down with the same diagnosis, it needs a new steering box.

    I am just going to bite the bullet and have them do it. I still love the truck, and feel that it has many miles left ahead of it. The dealership that I took it to is pretty good. I have had the truck there a few other times, and they have never given me a problem, even with the lift, etc for warranty work.

    I will let you all know how I make out.
    Thanks again for all of the advice. You guys are what make this a great place.
    Bryan
    2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo - 4.7L
    http://www.niagara4x4.com
    Sold: 2000 Jeep Cherokee / 2003 Rubicon

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Jeep Parts | Jeep Accessories | Trektop NX | Jeep Seat Covers | Jeep Wrangler | Jeep Wrangler Parts | Jeep Wrangler Accessories | Bestop | Jeep Tires | Jeep Stuff | Jeep Wrangler Tires | Jeep Wheels