Keller

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Thanks for the video. So if I’m thinking about this correctly, the gears on the Pitman shaft are cut at an angle so the top of the center gear is fatter than the bottom?? as the gear drops down, there is more surface area intersecting? This correct?



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Brfertig

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Over-Center Test Procedure.jpg


The test above is the reason they are installed in the jeep with a high rate of slop, as the community has come to call it.

Read step 5. What is happening is that the worm gear and the sector gear is only as good as the 1 to 5 inch lbs of load on the gear. In an inch lbs wrench this is almost at the same level of error built into the wrench itself. This is going to allow for a lot of error in the setup.

Read step 5. If the box is set loose but within spec; you, me, and every one that has a sloppy steering box has to deal with it.
 

Factoid

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Frankly, I would rather have it on the tight end of the spec, than the loose end. Both an overly loose and overly tight box will wear faster. Any mechanical interfaces that depend on one surface pressing on another will wear. Gear lash is simply the adjustment that both optimizes performance and minimizes wear. Too loose and you get a smaller bearing surface between the gears and faster wear. Too tight and you get extreme friction between the gears and faster wear. The more stress on the gear set (larger, heavier wheels/tires or turning the wheel while stationary) the faster it wears. On most sector style steering set ups, you need a rebuild or a replacement when the top of the adjuster is level with the top of the locknut.
 
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Let me add some more food for thought. I hand built a steering system for my 1965 Shelby Cobra. They are built manual steer but I retrofitted a 93 mustang rack, pump, and made my own lines at a hydraulic store. In the system it called for a filter to be installed in the low pressure side AFTER the rack. Even Ford designed some wear after the rack. I still for the life of me, dont understand why we have reached a level of misplaced trust in our dealer techs to not allow them to fix this; all the while, save jeep thousands of complaints, wasted man hours, and bad press.
 

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I installed a Borgeson power steering box in my 1964 Corvette. Look familiar? The irony is that it is a Jeep box and is considered a significant upgrade to the oem GM system. The adjustment procedure is exactly that posted in this thread by Brandon.

3B013632-1170-4068-B031-54A420922C8A.jpeg
 

DreamedofaJeepSomeday

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I still for the life of me, don't understand why we have reached a level of misplaced trust in our dealer techs to not allow them to fix this; all the while, save jeep thousands of complaints, wasted man hours, and bad press.
It is obvious that the play in the steering box has to be set at some point in the manufacture of the vehicle. Is it made by the steering box supplier before being shipped to Jeep? Or during vehicle assembly? During the inspection phase after vehicle assembly? Yes, and why doesn't Jeep send a memo to service departments how to adjust this?

50 years ago I bought a MB 280SL. After 3 years the fuel injection pump started acting up a bit. The dealer told me that Daimler-Benz would not allow anybody to adjust them except Bosch technicians (at that time in short supply in SC), so it had to be replaced or live with the slight imperfection in running. I chose the latter.

But an all mechanical fuel injection pump is an order of magnitude more complex than a steering box.
 

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It is obvious that the play in the steering box has to be set at some point in the manufacture of the vehicle. Is it made by the steering box supplier before being shipped to Jeep? Or during vehicle assembly? During the inspection phase after vehicle assembly? Yes, and why doesn't Jeep send a memo to service departments how to adjust this?

Last year I got the chance to walk the manufacturing lines at two reman steering component factories in Mexico (reman racks, pumps, gear boxes, etc). I would say that most likely this adjustment is set by the steering box supplier before shipping to Jeep. The Jeep production line is really more of installing sub-assemblies (ex, axles are installed as a finished unit; no gear backlash checks/adjustments on the line).

My guess is that the tolerance range may be too loose. If the range is 1.3-5.8 in/lbs, then boxes at the lower end may be the ones that experience a "loose" steering feel. The only way to determine that for sure would be to do the over-center test on a box set at the high and low end of the tolerance range and then see how that impacted the actual steering feel.

As seen in the video above, if the adjustment is set too tight, it can cause the steering to bind, which could obviously be a serious liability issue. It could be that Jeep would rather replace steering box assemblies rather than have individual technicians trying to make this adjustment. There's always a percentage of technicians who may not accurately understand how the adjustment should be done, or simply could make a mistake. And if the risk in those scenarios is steering that could bind, then that may be too much liability. Early in my career I worked in the service department at a Honda dealership. Honestly the technicians were mostly parts changers. Not a lot of deep diagnostics or technical adjustments/tuning. Part of that is simply a business decision; techs are paid flat rate. No means to recover the cost of a technician spending 8 hours doing diagnostic work to change a part that only pays 1 hour.

Of course, it is also possible there is another issue in the gear box that is causing the issue.
 

DreamedofaJeepSomeday

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Last year I got the chance to walk the manufacturing lines at two reman steering component factories in Mexico (reman racks, pumps, gear boxes, etc). I would say that most likely this adjustment is set by the steering box supplier before shipping to Jeep. The Jeep production line is really more of installing sub-assemblies (ex, axles are installed as a finished unit; no gear backlash checks/adjustments on the line).

My guess is that the tolerance range may be too loose. If the range is 1.3-5.8 in/lbs, then boxes at the lower end may be the ones that experience a "loose" steering feel. The only way to determine that for sure would be to do the over-center test on a box set at the high and low end of the tolerance range and then see how that impacted the actual steering feel.

As seen in the video above, if the adjustment is set too tight, it can cause the steering to bind, which could obviously be a serious liability issue. It could be that Jeep would rather replace steering box assemblies rather than have individual technicians trying to make this adjustment. There's always a percentage of technicians who may not accurately understand how the adjustment should be done, or simply could make a mistake. And if the risk in those scenarios is steering that could bind, then that may be too much liability. Early in my career I worked in the service department at a Honda dealership. Honestly the technicians were mostly parts changers. Not a lot of deep diagnostics or technical adjustments/tuning.

Of course, it is also possible there is another issue in the gear box that is causing the issue.
Thanks for your insight. This makes a lot of sense.

Having read many of these threads on this subject, I am at least reassured that there is a fix, should I be one of the unlucky ones once I get my Gladiator. Thanks, Brandon.
 

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I attempted to adjust mine. The allen screw won't budge. Any more force and I would be worried about it stripping. I was using a socket allen head 4mm as well. I feel I could have easily broken it free if it was able to.

Anyone else have this issue?
 

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The supplier uses varying amounts of locktite on the threads. Rather than heating it directly, insert the Allen key and heat the key until you can turn it (properly gloved hand of course and remember, a hot Allen key looks like a cold Allen key!).
 

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Not sloppy steering but drifting. Dealership has preformed three alignments, a tire rotation, re-torquing the suspension bolts, a fourth alignment, a diagnosis from a second dealership that the vehicle drifts Left (into oncoming traffic) and the steering wheel is off center and the FCA rep tells me operating as designed. Thirty days multiple trips to different dealerships and FCA says there is nothing they can do, They love to say operating as designed or similar to other vehicles. No service bulletins so no repairs? Anyone know the next step to get something like this corrected. There are only two jeep dealerships in Hawaii.
IMG_2503.jpeg
 

Keller

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I attempted to adjust mine. The allen screw won't budge. Any more force and I would be worried about it stripping. I was using a socket allen head 4mm as well. I feel I could have easily broken it free if it was able to.

Anyone else have this issue?
Yes, mine took enough force the break loose that it was bending the Allen wrench but it did come loose after a few tries. I believe there’s a bit of lock tight on the screw from the factory.
 

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4 was sloppy too. My point was if there was something between 4 and 4.5 it would have been nice to have
Yes, mine took enough force the break loose that it was bending the Allen wrench but it did come loose after a few tries. I believe there’s a bit of lock tight on the screw from the factory.

4mm hex socket on a long extension with 1/2" ratchet broke it loose pretty easily. :)
 

                           
























































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