Help!!! Steering issues - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 04:23 AM Thread Starter
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Help!!! Steering issues

Hey guys, so I have an issue and at this point I'm lost. In the winter I hit some rough packed snow pretty fast and plowed through some deep packed snow. After that my steering has been horrible. I've changed out my sets of tires, replaced drag link, tie rod, track bar, ball joints, u joints, calipers, ss, wheel bearings, shocks, and still no luck, pitman seems fine, even had an alignment. The only thing I can think of is the intermediate shaft. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 05:43 AM
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If you stick to just one damm thread instead of shotgunning all over the place you will only have one place to go to find help. What if someone posts the correct fix in one of your shotgun posts and you never see it?

Oh yeah and thanks for introducing yourself.

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post #3 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Robert Ferry View Post
Hey guys, so I have an issue and at this point I'm lost. In the winter I hit some rough packed snow pretty fast and plowed through some deep packed snow. After that my steering has been horrible. I've changed out my sets of tires, replaced drag link, tie rod, track bar, ball joints, u joints, calipers, ss, wheel bearings, shocks, and still no luck, pitman seems fine, even had an alignment. The only thing I can think of is the intermediate shaft. Any thoughts?
it is commonly considered courteous to introduce oneself prior to consuming the host's hor'dourves or requesting medical attn or help on a forum but maybe OP is just blasting any/all Jeep resources at once trying to get that steering that is horrible since he hit snow in his Jeep fixed. (edit: starting-off with a familiar phrase of ," hey guys" as-if you have established some common rapport already here is pretty presumptuous ; we don't know you from a tree branch... but we could if you would make the effort.)(edit2: why is this in chitchat?)

Hello, Mr. M.R.Ferry. Welcome to the forum.
it really can help to know wtf your description of "horrible" might mean ; Does it turn at all?
Can you only turn left by 30 degrees?
Does the steering wheel come off in your hands when you touch it?
Do mad dogs try to bite you once you initiate a turn?
Have you cleared caked-up snow that may still be under the Jeep?

All of those could be something I would consider 'horrible' relative to my steering. See how with the info you have provided you cannot REALLY expect any useful answer returned for you based-upon it, right?
Let's take a deep breath then please- and as Gunny pointed out, stick to this thread if you've created others + mark the others as moot and direct comments and replies to this thread - as much as possible, describe the symptoms of your steering input and maybe someone here can help you.


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Last edited by j3ff3ry_j33p; 06-12-2017 at 06:42 AM.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 08:37 AM Thread Starter
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Pardon my Rudness, I wasn't aware I needed to introduce myself. As far as the threads go, I was sure where exactly to post. Accounting for 'horrible'... I had death wobble with stock tires,put on my 35s and no death wobble, but still very loose steering and very wondersome. As well as it likes to jump when I hit a bump
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 10:24 AM
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OP

Check out this thread. Give it a good read and go through the videos.

If you are really having death wobble, this is where you need to start. Lots and lots of good information

https://www.jkowners.com/forum/write-...s-wobbles.html

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post #6 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 01:01 PM
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it's all good, Matthew Robert Ferry; just letting you see how difficult it can be to evaluate or assist with too little info. You didnt kwo we had a Welcome Room that you can hit sometime down the road for a nice intro,
my bad.
@TCdawg has provided you the defacto thread for diagnosing all things DW and steering ,suspension linkages; we all use it.

I will give ya a potentially useful sggtnfor catching possible oddly, hard to see bends in sector shafts:
lie with your head directly beneath the pitman arm under front of your Jeep on the ground , on your back looking directly up at the center of the sector shaft that the pitman arm connects to and have a friend turn the wheel while the Jeep is running (EDIT: AND IN PARK ). Without getting your head or anything caught in any of the Jeep parts ,observe for orbital or elliptical bends in the sector shaft that are not apparent unless one lies beneath and watches the steering cycle lock to lock.
you'll see if the sector shaft has a wonky bend in it - as I had last year or two - very quickly. You could not see mine head on when watching it turn back & forth.
(edit2: fwiw, if you impacted the snow that hard, it could be the OEM trackbar bracket at frame or axle side; these stock ones can bend funky. )


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Last edited by j3ff3ry_j33p; 06-12-2017 at 01:05 PM.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post
it's all good, Matthew Robert Ferry; just letting you see how difficult it can be to evaluate or assist with too little info. You didnt kwo we had a Welcome Room that you can hit sometime down the road for a nice intro,
my bad.
@TCdawg has provided you the defacto thread for diagnosing all things DW and steering ,suspension linkages; we all use it.

I will give ya a potentially useful sggtnfor catching possible oddly, hard to see bends in sector shafts:
lie with your head directly beneath the pitman arm under front of your Jeep on the ground , on your back looking directly up at the center of the sector shaft that the pitman arm connects to and have a friend turn the wheel while the Jeep is running (EDIT: AND IN PARK ). Without getting your head or anything caught in any of the Jeep parts ,observe for orbital or elliptical bends in the sector shaft that are not apparent unless one lies beneath and watches the steering cycle lock to lock.
you'll see if the sector shaft has a wonky bend in it - as I had last year or two - very quickly. You could not see mine head on when watching it turn back & forth.
(edit2: fwiw, if you impacted the snow that hard, it could be the OEM trackbar bracket at frame or axle side; these stock ones can bend funky. )




Thankyou, I feel like this is the only possible answer, it's got to be the intermediate shaft! & honestly hope it is because after that I'm out of options, aside from control arms.
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fusion 4x4 View Post
Good chance you bent the axle housing or a C ("plowing" through snow seems to be the most common activity to taking out a housing). A bent sector shaft could be possible, but doubt that would cause a steering issue.
How do you check for bent housing? I've inspected mine and couldn't see any indication what so ever of any bending
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Robert Ferry View Post
How do you check for bent housing? I've inspected mine and couldn't see any indication what so ever of any bending
If you had an alignment done the shop would tell you. Camber would be out of spec, for which there is no adjustments.

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post #10 of 20 Old 06-12-2017, 09:52 PM
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As far as a bent sector shaft you would have 2 possible things happening if the shaft was bent. One would be the steering box leaking and the other would be a tight spot when turning the steering wheel.

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post #11 of 20 Old 06-13-2017, 03:15 AM Thread Starter
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How do you check for bent housing? I've inspected mine and couldn't see any indication what so ever of any bending
If you had an alignment done the shop would tell you. Camber would be out of spec, for which there is no adjustments.

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Had it aligned twice, camber was in the green both times
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post #12 of 20 Old 06-13-2017, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Rb6700 View Post
As far as a bent sector shaft you would have 2 possible things happening if the shaft was bent. One would be the steering box leaking and the other would be a tight spot when turning the steering wheel.

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mine was bent from a pssgr side wheel hit on a fall from a 2' step down with entire front half of the Unlimited's weight striking. Sharp , 100 lb sharp slab of cracked limestone as the single P.O.I. @Rb6700 .
It had no splines twisted, no hard radius spot in the steering cycle nor did any leaking occur. It took me many weekends & parts replaced before I lied down in defeat under the front and my wife turned the wheel for me to catch that the final 30% of the radius of the cycle towards driver side caused the sector shaft to pull backwards and towards driver side , caused by a 'dogleg' outward facing bend that when you looked right at it from front or sidecwheelwell , simply was not appearent at all. New steering gear resolved. Once it was off the jeep , I was shocked at how deceptively unappearent it was.
So, not always gonna leak nor have tight turn , tho that is commonly a symptom. Just sayin'

Fwiw, use an angle finder - digital is better - to determine a bent housing . This site has tons of info on procedure for checking that


you are sure from the alignment that the Cs aren't bent , I guess.
Gotta be the weak factory steering gear.
(edit: IF the axlehousing and all of its brackets are not bent nor any control arm bend)


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post #13 of 20 Old 06-13-2017, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
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As far as a bent sector shaft you would have 2 possible things happening if the shaft was bent. One would be the steering box leaking and the other would be a tight spot when turning the steering wheel.

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mine was bent from a pssgr side wheel hit on a fall from a 2' step down with entire front half of the Unlimited's weight striking. Sharp , 100 lb sharp slab of cracked limestone as the single P.O.I. @Rb6700 .
It had no splines twisted, no hard radius spot in the steering cycle nor did any leaking occur. It took me many weekends & parts replaced before I lied down in defeat under the front and my wife turned the wheel for me to catch that the final 30% of the radius of the cycle towards driver side caused the sector shaft to pull backwards and towards driver side , caused by a 'dogleg' outward facing bend that when you looked right at it from front or sidecwheelwell , simply was not appearent at all. New steering gear resolved. Once it was off the jeep , I was shocked at how deceptively unappearent it was.
So, not always gonna leak nor have tight turn , tho that is commonly a symptom. Just sayin'

Fwiw, use an angle finder - digital is better - to determine a bent housing . This site has tons of info on procedure for checking that


you are sure from the alignment that the Cs aren't bent , I guess.
Gotta be the weak factory steering gear.
(edit: IF the axlehousing and all of its brackets are not bent nor any control arm bend)
if it makes any difference, every now and then my traction will go off on a turn usually thru way ramps
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post #14 of 20 Old 06-13-2017, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Robert Ferry View Post
if it makes any difference, every now and then my traction will go off on a turn usually thru way ramps
Can be indicative of an off center steering wheel. Traction control may be reading a skid. Can be caused by a slightly bent tie rod which might also cause steering to seem normal in one direction but not other.

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post #15 of 20 Old 06-14-2017, 05:35 AM
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yep. What Coil said plus I had the ETC 'skid' indicator regardless of how I aligned and adjusted the draglink or tierod when I had that bent sector shaft. I drove around with my Killswitch engaged and no stability control the whole time until I found that bend. My steering wheel was 180 inverted for months and it sucked driving around like that . Did you get s chance to observe the sector shaft/steering gear box while somebody turns wheel for you , Matthew?


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post #16 of 20 Old 06-14-2017, 07:15 AM
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have you taken a straight edge to the axle tube to see if it have a slight bend in it

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post #17 of 20 Old 06-14-2017, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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yep. What Coil said plus I had the ETC 'skid' indicator regardless of how I aligned and adjusted the draglink or tierod when I had that bent sector shaft. I drove around with my Killswitch engaged and no stability control the whole time until I found that bend. My steering wheel was 180 inverted for months and it sucked driving around like that . Did you get s chance to observe the sector shaft/steering gear box while somebody turns wheel for you , Matthew?
I did, however I was an idiot and didn't know the difference between the sector shaft and the intermediate shaft, so I'll have to do it again today haha. It sucks though because I can't find any place that sells just the sector shaft, have to buy the whole gear box. Any leads for me?
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post #18 of 20 Old 06-14-2017, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Robert Ferry View Post
I did, however I was an idiot and didn't know the difference between the sector shaft and the intermediate shaft, so I'll have to do it again today haha. It sucks though because I can't find any place that sells just the sector shaft, have to buy the whole gear box. Any leads for me?
Buy a good used steering box. Rebuilding a steering box is not an easy rebuild for a novice.

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post #19 of 20 Old 06-15-2017, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Matthew Robert Ferry View Post
I did, however I was an idiot and didn't know the difference between the sector shaft and the intermediate shaft, so I'll have to do it again today haha. It sucks though because I can't find any place that sells just the sector shaft, have to buy the whole gear box. Any leads for me?
no sir. I had the same results and sucked it up and bought a new ,tapped-for-hyrdraulic assist,PSC steering gearbox to use for approx. a year ( other upgrades had been planned prior to this & stood-in-front of this unanticipated steering gearbox upgrade ) in tandem w/ Synergy Mfg's sector shaft brace and trackbar reinforcing bracket until I can afford to buy the rest of the PSC hydraulic assist solution . It was not a crazy amount more to buy that than a factory replacement ; keep in mind I have an '11 and the steering gearbox isn't rebuildable on those.


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post #20 of 20 Old 06-16-2017, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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I did, however I was an idiot and didn't know the difference between the sector shaft and the intermediate shaft, so I'll have to do it again today haha. It sucks though because I can't find any place that sells just the sector shaft, have to buy the whole gear box. Any leads for me?
no sir. I had the same results and sucked it up and bought a new ,tapped-for-hyrdraulic assist,PSC steering gearbox to use for approx. a year ( other upgrades had been planned prior to this & stood-in-front of this unanticipated steering gearbox upgrade ) in tandem w/ Synergy Mfg's sector shaft brace and trackbar reinforcing bracket until I can afford to buy the rest of the PSC hydraulic assist solution . It was not a crazy amount more to buy that than a factory replacement ; keep in mind I have an '11 and the steering gearbox isn't rebuildable on those.
shit, I have an 11 as well
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