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post #1 of 19 Old 09-05-2010, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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steering help

i just upgraded from 35 to 37s. i would like to do something about my steering now. i know it it a jeep but the 37s are hard to turn off road on rocks. i was thinking going hydro but that is some serious coin to drop. i was just wondering if there was another way to go that wont run me so much.
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 10:02 AM
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Kind of timely for me to comment on this as I've just discovered my '09 has a twisted sector shaft & needs replacement.

With 37s you'll soon begin to have issues beyond steering effort. It's becoming apparent the stock steering box has weak points such as the pitman shaft, bearings, etc. Lots of reports popping up on the forums ranging from pitman (sector) shaft wobble, which is the real source of flighty steering and the dreaded "clunk", all the way to the shaft simply shearing in half above the pitman arm. No one as yet has offered an upgraded, more durable steering box for the JK. The one PSC was offering has been withdrawn from the market. This leaves ram-assist as the only option. PSC has an attractive bolt-on kit that includes a new box, but I'm not sure if the bx they include is any stronger than the stocker. You can have your box drilled and adapted by Redneck Ram (westtexasoffroad.com) in a process that's is supposed to include an overhaul, but again I'm not sure you'll have anything stronger than what you already have.

I read somewhere that Jeep changed the box in '09 to either a different Delphi part number, or a Chinese sourced box. (Bet that one's a beauty!) The problem extends beyond Jeep to the Dodge Ram line as well, numerous similar complaints of premature steering box failures. Only time will tell if Jeep is forced to upgrade the stock steering box or if the aftermarket will step up with more robust offerings. Everyone should pay attention to this matter as it's a critical safety issue.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 12:23 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the help. sounds like i need to do something about it fast
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 01:02 PM
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Proper steering geometry can HELP you with some of this.
What lift do you have and what have you done to correct the steering?
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 01:10 PM
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Go RNR.... way less than the PSC option. You may find yourself in need of an upgraded pump, you may not. Depends on how you feel about the low RPM issues (some claim to have none, some claim it is enough of an issue to upgrade the pump). So with the RNR, you are looking at 500 (or 900 w/PSC pump).

PSC will cost you around 1600.

One thing to note with the RNR, you have to send them your box... so you'll be down for about three weeks.

Then... of course you have to relearn the way you drive. Hydro assist maybe wonderful in the rocks, but on the street not so much... sneeze while going down the interstate at 70 and you'll see what I mean.

BTW.... can't think of anything anything else this side of full hydro that will address your issue.

EDIT: Plenty of people have 37s and bigger without steering box issues. It's no fun to end up there, but don't be frightened into needing this. It is purely a functional upgrade, nothing to do with safety. If you are excessively worried about steering box strength, they have products on the market to address this that are MUCH less expensive.

Last edited by abendx; 09-06-2010 at 01:12 PM.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abendx View Post
One thing to note with the RNR, you have to send them your box... so you'll be down for about three weeks.

Then... of course you have to relearn the way you drive. Hydro assist maybe wonderful in the rocks, but on the street not so much... sneeze while going down the interstate at 70 and you'll see what I mean.

BTW.... can't think of anything else this side of full hydro that will address your issue.

EDIT: Plenty of people have 37s and bigger without steering box issues. It's no fun to end up there, but don't be frightened into needing this. It is purely a functional upgrade, nothing to do with safety. If you are excessively worried about steering box strength, they have products on the market to address this that are MUCH less expensive.
Not true brotha...Call up Debbie at RNR..ask her to keep you in mind as soon as a steering box comes in that will fit your application (2dr or 4dr). Then she will send you that box. When you get it. Change everything out. And send them your old one for a $400 credit. This is what I did. I didn't have any down time.

She's really good about calling you. I called her one day..They next day she called back to say she had a modified box and was sending it to me...Matt is the main guy.So if you have any questions he'll get em answered right away.

$1600 vs $499. + shipping of your old steering box $20.

Pretty cheap.

Current project jeep 08' wrangler 2dr
Past jeep:
- 07' Rubicon 4 dr, RAMICON- 3.5" ROCK KRAWLER Coil-Over lift
- 5.38 gears- Gusseted/Trussed/inner sleeved
- 40" Pro Comp X-Terrain

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post #7 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 01:57 PM
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I don't think this was an option when I did mine... in fact I know that to be the case.

I needed a new box and they did not have a source... I had one sent to them and they may be using that to source boxes now... or they are just sending out another customer's box (such as yours).

No matter... WTO is a good deal when compared to PSC.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 02:01 PM
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For most of us hydro-assist steering will be overkill and really just dances around the basic problem, weak steering box. The only product I've seen is a wacky looking brace that attaches to the pitman shaft itself and doesn't get many good reviews. The real fix is going to be a stronger box out of a 3/4 ton pickup, etc. Here's a fun link on this. If you've been on this trail (Golden Spike) and done this obstacle you'll have some appreciation of what it took to get the rig either out of there, or a new box to the rig for a trailside repair.
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 04:17 PM
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Your talkin bout Evo's Sector shaft brace..

Current project jeep 08' wrangler 2dr
Past jeep:
- 07' Rubicon 4 dr, RAMICON- 3.5" ROCK KRAWLER Coil-Over lift
- 5.38 gears- Gusseted/Trussed/inner sleeved
- 40" Pro Comp X-Terrain

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post #10 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoK66 View Post
For most of us hydro-assist steering will be overkill and really just dances around the basic problem, weak steering box. The only product I've seen is a wacky looking brace that attaches to the pitman shaft itself and doesn't get many good reviews. The real fix is going to be a stronger box out of a 3/4 ton pickup, etc. Here's a fun link on this. If you've been on this trail (Golden Spike) and done this obstacle you'll have some appreciation of what it took to get the rig either out of there, or a new box to the rig for a trailside repair.
Ooops, sorry, forgot to post the link:

YouTube - Jeep JK snaps power steering gear (sector) shaft on the Golden Crack in Moab, Utah

I love her comment: "That's not good!"

"What the f*&^ now, Batman?"
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post #11 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 06:29 PM
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I know from experience how bad it sucks to get off the trail in that situation... couple that with some dickhead that leaves you on the trail and you can see that it can easily become more of a nightmare rather quickly.

I think there are a lot of JKs out there running 37s and bigger and we don't hear about this too often. But maybe I am running that Chinese box you speak of and maybe this will become more of an issue in the future?

Last edited by abendx; 01-09-2012 at 09:33 AM.
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post #12 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 10:59 PM
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I'm trying to avoid THAT particular nightmare. I have a new box ordered and am now curious what kind of POS I''ll get. If the one on the JK can be salvaged I'll have WTO do a Ram conversion on it and replace the twisted shaft. I'm pretty much parking it until I get a new box in there.
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post #13 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoK66 View Post
I'm trying to avoid THAT particular nightmare. I have a new box ordered and am now curious what kind of POS I''ll get. If the one on the JK can be salvaged I'll have WTO do a Ram conversion on it and replace the twisted shaft. I'm pretty much parking it until I get a new box in there.
When I did mine with them back in March or April, they could not source a sector shaft... Matt had me dissect the box and tell him exactly how the shaft and gear was setup... and was sure he could salvage the box, but once he had it, he realized the shaft was different than anything he can source. I ended up having to get a new box and have it shipped to him (if you end up needing a new box, PM me and I'll key you in to a much less expensive alternative to buying it from him).

I honestly think, in my case, the sector shaft was a bad casting... but not being a metallurgist or lawyer, there was no way I was going to prove that to Chrysler.

Good luck... you will love your RNR! Even with it's on road lack of manners.
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post #14 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fourplyn View Post
Your talkin bout Evo's Sector shaft brace..
Only if you're running a drop bracket on the frame side for the front Track bar....

http://www.evomfg.com/store/proddeta...?prod=EVO-1015
"Can be used with any suspension kit that has a drop trackbar bracket on the frame side (Full Traction, Rubicon Express, RanchoÖ)"

So if you corrected your steering via the axle side.....the sector brace is not for you. Typically, I would think its from using a different pitman arm that would put more stress on the shaft and gear box......but thats just my thoughts. Maybe? Maybe Not?
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post #15 of 19 Old 09-06-2010, 11:34 PM
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Good call BENFOO... I had forgotten that I was running the drop pitman from Currie when mine went... still think it was a poor casting, but the additional leverage wasn't helping.
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post #16 of 19 Old 09-08-2010, 09:37 PM
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I have a new box supposed to arrive tomorrow, so the wrenches will be out shortly thereafter. Doesn't look too hard to swap out, but on my JK EVERYTHING turns out to be a righteous PITA.
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post #17 of 19 Old 09-09-2010, 02:27 PM
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Turned out to be a fairly easy removal. Fed Ex showed up, I swear never rang the bell, then left. So, I get to schlep on over to the Fed Ex HQ later to pick up the new box.

I'll be damned if I can find anything wrong with the old box. There's very little or no slop in the gearing and the splines look fine. The one thing I did find was the pitman arm nut was not torqued. Probably had less than 40 ft lbs on it. The pitman arm was on good and tight, however, took quite a bit of torque on the puller and a few BMF hammer blows to get it to pop loose. If the shaft is bent, it's bent up inside the box somewhere. The oly other thing that could be wrong might be it's just indexed internally a tooth too far to the left.

If I put the new box on and this thing still has the same problem I'm setting fire to the SOB and collecting the insurance. (You read it here first!)
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post #18 of 19 Old 09-09-2010, 10:42 PM
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Ok, it's in. Pretty easy install. Test drive later on showed the flighty, wandering crap is gone. Unfortunately, the damn pitman arm is still going to hit the friggin' sway bar! So, here's the fix...I'm grinding about 1/4" off the spot on the sway bar where the pitman arm hits and saying bye bye to this issue. Only thing I can figure at this point is there's something amiss with the way Jeep did the bends on the sway bar. Screw it, the angle grinder comes out tomorrow.

BTW, the OEM Jeep replacement steering box I got from Mopar Parts America is one of those Chinese jewels. Made by Julong...oh, joy. No issues to report yet, of course, but only time will tell how strong it is.
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post #19 of 19 Old 09-10-2010, 07:32 PM
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Actually, that's not what the fix is going to be. New thread req'd.
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