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  • CJ Steering issues

    I have an 82 cj7 that I just bought. It has 59000 miles, the only lift that I can see is a small shackle lift in the front, 4 inches bolt to bolt. This Jeep drives like crap, it is all over the road. I took it to check the alignment and the tech said the steering gearbox was worn out, he said the rest of the front end components looked ok. . I replaced the gearbox (PITA) and it is no better. The wheel bearings are good. I am going to replace the shocks and steering stabilizer for lack of any other ideas. There is no rust in this Jeep and the frame looks great. I would welcome any feedback as to what to do next.

  • #2
    If all other front end components are in good shape, you might try and rotate your tires to see if that has any effect on your handling. No other ideas yet. Good luck!

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    • #3
      Double check the balljoints.

      Steering stabilizer will help.

      You're on the right track with shocks also, bad/no shocks in the rear will make a CJ go all over the place.

      What size tires you running? Wide tires (like a 12.5 or 13.5) will make it wander, they also catch every seam and crack in the road.

      4" shackles on the front should be OK. I believe stock is 3 3/4" C-C (hole to hole).

      Look to see if there are degree shims up front, between the leafpack and perh on the axle. To big of shim or shims installed backwards will cuase it to steer bad also.

      Thats all I can think of right now, good luck!

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hill, Bill E View Post
        Double check the balljoints.

        Steering stabilizer will help.

        You're on the right track with shocks also, bad/no shocks in the rear will make a CJ go all over the place.

        What size tires you running? Wide tires (like a 12.5 or 13.5) will make it wander, they also catch every seam and crack in the road.

        4" shackles on the front should be OK. I believe stock is 3 3/4" C-C (hole to hole).

        Look to see if there are degree shims up front, between the leafpack and perh on the axle. To big of shim or shims installed backwards will cuase it to steer bad also.

        Thats all I can think of right now, good luck!

        I went out and put a tape on my shackles (of which I believe are stock) from the centers of each hole the length is 3 1/2". I am with Hill, check shocks and put a new stabilizer on there and see if that helps.

        Nice job getting a Jeep with no rust, it sounds like it'll be really nice once you fix the steering. Good luck with it!

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        • #5
          even though the tech said everything else looked good up front, recheck all the bushings. worn spring /hanger bushings can make it wander all over the road.

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          • #6
            i would check spring bushings to, but i would bet your springs are just worn out.

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            • #7
              check your steering shaft from the bottom of the column to the box, mine was shot and i had all kinds of play in the steering, you might also want to check your brake calipers, i had a frozen caliper and had a hard pull that threw me all over the road during braking

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              • #8
                Hate to say it, but don't go by what a shop tech says. Get under there and check for yourself. Hang off the rods, twist, pry, kick, jack it up, put the frame on stands and let the full suspension droop. Do it all again (just be careful to not knock it off the stands!). Anything that moves or is loose is probably not good.

                Dangdest thing, I finally cured my death wobble by repacking the hubs. Ran into a local old Jeeper told me to do that. It was about time anyway so I did. Stopped the wobble!

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                • #9
                  Tires are Michelin 31 10.50 15, New Shocks and steering stabilizer helped some. New body and front end bushings have been ordered. Is toe in all that can be set as far as alignment on a cj7? Thanks for all the input, I'll keep updating as I go.
                  Last edited by Topsail,NC; 03-17-2008, 03:30 AM.

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                  • #10
                    This might help:http://www.jeepfan.com/projects/adjusting-toein.htm Came across it while trying to remember which is which with caster and camber.

                    Anyway, toe in is the easy one to do, jst measuring and adjusting the tie rod sleeve.

                    Caster is slightly adjustable by using degree wedges, or shims, inbetween the spring pack and perch on the axle. (for a solid axle rig)

                    Camber is also adjustable, but is probably the least of your worries. This is what a camer shim looks like. They go between the spindle and the knuckle, with the thick side up, to push the top of the tire out slightly, creating positive camber.

                    Camber shim:
                    http://i114.photobucket.com/albums/n...ringbox002.jpg

                    Hope this helps! HB

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                    • #11
                      I had to put a double stabilizer (2 shocks) on mine (4" lift, 33 x 12.5 tires). No wander now. Just a thought.

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                      • #12
                        Hey Topsail, did the shocks help any? I just installed new SkyJacker nitro 8000's on the front end, made a world of dfference. My Jeep runs nice and straight now, and I don't even have the steering damper on yet.

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                        • #13
                          Caster, caster, caster. Check your caster. Should be +4° to +6°.

                          If caster is good (and even if it is not) check your spring perches. Make sure they have not colapsed and are welded on properly.

                          My caster was a perfect +5° when sitting still. Spring perches were tacked on by PO and tack welds were cracked causing the axle to "roll" on top of the springs. This resulted in my caster changing as it was driven.

                          White knuckle driving doesn't even begin to describe driving or riding in a CJ with dynamic caster.

                          Once the perches were replaced and properly welded, AWESOME!

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                          • #14
                            Yes, shocks helped, it drives much better. Picked up the body and front end bushings today, but it will be a while before I put them on. The jeep is going to the beach tomorrow! Plan is to bring it back in a couple of months and continue the efforts. Want to paint underneath and do something in the tub. Haven't decided yet, thinking either Rhino or Rustoleum.

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                            • #15
                              What shocks did you buy?

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