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Odd Steering Problem - Please Help


 
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A34D4ME
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:27 am    Post subject: Odd Steering Problem - Please Help Reply with quote

Hi everyone. I'm new here and I have a problem that is making me crazy.

I recently purchased a 1997 Cherokee and it has a tricky steering problem that nobody can manage to fix.

The probem is that when I turn, the wheels stay turned after I release the steering wheel. Normally, the wheels should straighten up when the steering wheel is released. Mine will to some degree, but not all the way. If I cut the wheels hard, I can release the steering wheel and drive in circles. I worry that this could prove dangerous.

I have had it aligned and two (aftermarket) gearboxes put in. None of this corrected the problem. I took it to a dealership and they could not find the probem. There is no play in the steering, it just won't return.

Some people are thinking that it might just be the way the truck is. I have a hard time buying that.

Has anybody ever experienced this? What could cause it?

This is driving me crazy, please help.
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quadna71
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Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Location: Delaware

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

since you said it's been aligned i'm gonna assume the caster angles are okay. how about a seized ball joint? maybe one is holding it in whatever position you power the wheels too?
chris
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Lowrider
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Joined: 08 Nov 2005
Location: Washington State

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My '97 Cherokee 2-wheel-drive does exactly the same thing. Not to mention damn near plowing the rubber off the front tires when you turn the steering to the extreme in either direction. The front-end shop told me that's just the way they are. The front wheels have such a radical lean angle (camber?) when turned tight-over that they won't straighten out on their own. I just got in the habit of never turning it that tight.
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She was only a fisherman's daughter,
But when she saw my rod she reeled.


2006 Wrangler Unlimited
1997 Cherokee Sport 2WD
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A34D4ME
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lowrider wrote:
My '97 Cherokee 2-wheel-drive does exactly the same thing. Not to mention damn near plowing the rubber off the front tires when you turn the steering to the extreme in either direction. The front-end shop told me that's just the way they are. The front wheels have such a radical lean angle (camber?) when turned tight-over that they won't straighten out on their own. I just got in the habit of never turning it that tight.


Are you kidding? Does yours constantly sway from side to side also? No accidents or anything? How long has it done that? Have you changed anything on the vehicle? I can't believe a company would let something like that off the lot. I almost ran into a semi once.

Mine is a 97 RWD (sport) too.
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A34D4ME
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

quadna71 wrote:
since you said it's been aligned i'm gonna assume the caster angles are okay. how about a seized ball joint? maybe one is holding it in whatever position you power the wheels too?
chris


Neither my mechanic nor the dealership could find anything wrong.
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JeepinNH
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Joined: 13 Sep 2005
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: steering Reply with quote

Wow, I'm on my 4th Jeep and only 1 of them did something similiar and that was because it sat for a year. After a couple days of use it stopped doing it. I would say either a ball joint is stuck or maybe it's your tires. May be worth moving the rear tires to the front to eliminate them. I had a car that the steering changed dramatically with different tires. The wheels are off camber when in tight turns but it should still go back to center. Is the steering hard to turn?
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Mike

Present: 99 Cherokee
Past: 86, 87 Cherokee; 94 Grand Cherokee
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Ptown_bogger
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject: my steering does it too Reply with quote

My jeep does the same thing too! My steering is hard, especially at slow speeds or idle. i hope its just tires cause the guy who had it before me flat towed it behind his RV, so do you think that made for really uneven tire wear or something?

Does anyone know a remedy or if its ball joints or something? I thought this problem was just me but im glad to hear im not the only one.
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A34D4ME
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I sure do appreciate all the help. The tires are fairly new but I will try swaping them.

As for ball joints, my mechanic said that he went over it with a fine tooth comb and could not find anything wrong.

I'm begining to suspect that the aftermarket gear boxes that have been installed have been universal type gear boxes that may be set wrong for this vehicle.

My mechanic told me that the same gear box is also used in larger trucks. I'm thinking that this might be the culprit.
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offroading.net
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Joined: 22 Feb 2006
Location: Malpas, Cheshire, UK

PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2006 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd check the following:

check your steering damper is straight (take it off and go for a drive)

grease up the track rod ends and hub ball joints

bleed the power steering system

would have thought it was one of the first 2 though
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steve@offroading.net
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A34D4ME
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Joined: 24 Feb 2006
Location: Detroit

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Removed steering damper. Seemed to help a little but still have to turn the steering wheel back after a sharp turn. Soft turns will spin the wheel back.

Mechanic had gear box out and insists that everything moves free and easy. I'm begining to suspect the aftermarket gearbox.
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