I can turn my steering wheel 2in both left and right before the jeep turns. on the highway my jeep sways left and right without moving the steering wheel. i put a 4in lift kit on 3 years ago. and my pitman arm is1/2in from the top of the gearbox but its tight.
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Re: loose steering on 2001 wrangler
I agree with Saint. When ever a lift is installed, the strain on all steering components is amplified. So is the play when a ball joint starts to go. Checking all ball joints for rigidity is needed. If you can move one easily by hand, replace it.
Have a look at the truck I'm standing in front of in my avatar. I've got some experience in this area. ; )
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Cgeck for play in the track bar , it goes from frame to front diff. Get a friend to move the steering wheel from left to right ( engine off ) about an 1/8 of a turn back and forth and watch for play in the steering and suspension parts. good luck.
No pump should be noisy, though if only noisy when wheels are turned all the way to either side, that is normal. Once turned to the point where the pump first begins to make noise you really don't have any more wheel movement and turning the steering wheel further does very little except cause the noise. I've found that on many Jeeps the steering stop bolts on the lower control arms are set too far in and can be turned back a bit. That may help somewhat.
check all the front end moving parts for looseness, ball joints, tie rods, upper and lower arm bushings, wheel bearings, brake mounting supports, swaybar bushings, if it makes noise and shifts it its dangerous to drive
with engine off, have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth. Check under the hood along the steering shaft for loose u-joints. check the steering box, check joints at either end of drag link(from steering box down to passenter wheel) and tie rod ends. do this with engine off so wheels dont turn. and by the way, jeeps have sloppy steering boxes from the factory, so don't expect excellent, tight steering when you're done. good luck
Your desctiption sounds like your settings are incorrect. I reccomend that an alignment shop adjust for you.
A common mistake on this type of project is steering box centerning. to test, from straight ahead, stop.., turn wheel from dead center to the stop, and measure exactly how many turns. From dead center, it must be the same both ways.
Steering boxes have an exact center setting, and get looser (so to speak) as turned right or left off of that spot. SOOO, if set to one side or the other, steering gets tighter when turning in one direction as compared to the other.
Get an alignment shop to set this up, it is common problem.
Everyone always gravitates to the suspension but folks, it's 99% sure that it is the EVO. The EVO is the sensor built into the steering column that senses movement of the steering wheel then controls the power steering pump accordingly. When it goes out (which is all too frequently) you get sloppy and loose steering at lower speeds and it does tighten up a bit on the highway at higher speeds. This is the way it is supposed to work but when it fails it's downright scary trying to keep the truck straight on a narrow two lane road!
jack up the front wheels one at a time, turn the steering wheel all the way to the right or left and turn the wheel by hand. i think you have a bad u-joint behind the front wheel(s). if you have a bad u-joint then the wheels won't turn smoothly.