Question about 1989 Jeep Cherokee

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Steering wheel wabbles. 1989 jeep cerokee pioneer. Can I get picture by picture directions to tighten it?

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  • david_davemo May 11, 2010

    Is the steering wheel loose or do you have suspension problems like worn out tie rods?

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This could be multiple things. When you say it wobbles, does it happen at a certain speed, all the time, or??

If this happens at highway speeds, I would say that this is called "death wobble" and it is typical of lifted Cherokees. This problem is indicative of a worn front end and will require replacement of one or more steering components.

I can tell you what I did to mine. I replaced the tracking bar....rather easy but does require some muscle to loosen the bolts. I also replaced a VERY worn lower control arm.

What I would recommend is, put the front of the Jeep on jackstands and while someone turns the steering wheel from side to side (where you hit resistance back to where you hit resistance) you need to be underneath, carefully watching each component for play/movement. If you find play in any parts, remember it........write it down, mark it, whatever you need to do to remember it. You also need to notice if the front axle is moving and if so, where the movement is coming from. Once you do this, you will know what parts are bad and need replaced.

You may also need to adjust your steering box. This involves removing the electric fan on the driver's side of the radiator. 2 bolts at the top and unplugging a wire will accomplish this. You will then see your steering box. There is a stud at the top that has a nut around it. Loosen the nut (a 15 if I recall correctly) and with an allen wrench, tighten the stud down until you meet resistance. Turn the steering wheel back and forth and do it again and then tighten the nut. Now....if you go too far, the Jeep will be a bear to drive. This is simple to fix...just loosen the nut and stud and then retighten the nut.

The next thing to check is your tires. How are they wearing? Are they evenly worn or do they show "Cupping" of the tread? If they do, you need to replace them or at least move them to the back. Balancing them would not be a waste of money.

This is not everything that could be wrong, but is a place to start. If this doesn't help you, then let me know or take it to a reputable tire shop and have them give you a diagnosis. This doesn't mean that you have to have them fix it, but depending on your mechanical skills, it may be a good way to get things done.

When you get this all fixed, get a front end alignment.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010

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I would also check the Upper and lower ball joints. Just jack one wheel up and place a pry bar under it at the 6o'clock location. Lift up and down and have someone look at the upper or lower ball joints. if there is more than 1/4" play there is room to replace the joint. They are replaced in pairs. While the wheel is off the ground grab it at the 9o'clock and 3o'clock locations with the left and right hand respectively. Move left to right. If the whel has excessive play it is the tie rod that requires replacement.

Posted on Feb 15, 2010

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4 Answers

What would be the cause of having the freakn wabble and how can i fix it quickly and less costly for a 93 jeep Cherokee 4wd 4.0 inline 6 with huge 33' tires


asking the net bunnies blind.... wow.
why not go to suspension shop?
and have them check all that out in like 30 minutes work
what is your question":
1: want wild guessing?
2: or a wall of text on how to do a complete front engine inspection, sorry that is not happening.
those giant tires, will exploit ALL front end play
and will be hard to balance.
less costly why ask that? costs vary over every inch of mother earth, for 100 of factors.
1st : is diagnosis, and that alone can cost.
since you had to ask my guess is you are clueless on this aspect.

no elaboration on wabble.
i presume moving sure, but are you turning?
you said wabble,
my guess it's felt in the steering wheel and not SEEN by you or others. right?
endless answers.
1:lug bolts loose.
2: wheel bearings loose.bad
3: tires grossly out of balance, , get em serviced.
4: tie rods loose , lever(pry bar) them to see.
5: ball joints loose, watch 100s demo that on youtube. again done with levers.
6: that wabble can be tire bounce, caused by #2
and by bad DAMPENERS.(aka STRUTS)
or made worse by #5,

so are you asking how to test all 6 class failure?
do the work?
or asking who does it the most cheaper.
you can shop for parts all by yourself and save
so my guess this post is labor cost issues.
well that depends on how many parts are bad.

totally UNKNOWN.

why not find a shop that can diagnose this
here like we've done for 100 years
you call a shop and ask how much is diagnosis
use the yellow pages..?

if you want to learn now, then buy a book first on car repairs.
all that is covered, in all books i've seen.
(my library is huge)
or if books are evil (as it seems today)
google all day.


no photo of rims or tires
the rims my be wrong for this car.
who knows says the blind net bunny men.
we can speculate all day here.
why not crack a book. RTM

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1 Answer

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danger big time, get that fixed now.
or DIY,
defeat air bags (FSM steps ) (if you have em.)
remover cover from center of steering, (air bag, rules)
and tighten that big nut there to factory spec. torque.

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1 Answer

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Unless your entire rack is loose, there's nothing you can tighten, but it sounds like you have a wheel problem, more than a steering problem. It's either out of balance or the rim is bent. Try putting your spare tire on that one, and see if the problem persists. Even if your steering is out of whack completely, it won't cause a vibration... just bad steering.

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