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Manual Steering

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Thanks for the help with the brakes; I picked up my needed equipment last night for replacing the line. I am going to give it a go tonight so it is wait and see...

My MJ has manual steering and there is a fair amount of play in the steering wheel. I know with this type of steering, it is not ever going to feel tight (and shouldn't) but looking at the box, there is a possibility for adjustment. My manual (Haynes; hey it was free, just like the truck) doesn't cover how to adjust this. Is this worth it? Also, it says that fluid in the box is gear lube. Is this worth replacing? There is more play in the wheel to the right than left. I had a friend turn the steering wheel and all of the play appears to be in the box. So, what's the thought on this?


Change lube?

Switch to power steering?

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The adjustment is the same as the power steering box. There's an over-center lash adjustment screw. Look down at the top of the steering box and you'll see a cover/access plate. There should be three bolts holding it in place (if it's like the power box -- might be four on the manual), and then a different screw with a locknut in the approximate center of the cover plate. That's the adjustment screw.


First, be absolutely sure the steering is aimed straight ahead. There needs to be more lash off center, so if you adjust it while off-center, it may bind and/or damage the box when turned across the center.


Loosen the locknut. Using a screwdriver of Allen wrench (whichever your adjusting screw requires), use your right hand to gently rotate the steering shaft back and forth while you gradually take up the slack in the box. If you get it too tight you'll damage the box, so don't go nuts. Try to take out "most" of the free play, but don't try to take it all out. Once you have it adjusted, hold the adjusting screw while you tighten the locknut.


Be aware that the manual steering ratio is something like 24:1, which is unbearably slow. Even a fully adjusted box is going to feel sloppy, simply because it takes a lot of steering wheel motion to make anything happen at the tires. The stock power steering ratio is 14:1.

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What is involved in switching from manual to power steering. I know the pump and belt, but it sounds like the box as well. :roll:

yep, you'll need the box too.


Find a cherokee in the junkyard and take it all in one swoop.


Plan on new lines, might as well do a PS cooler as well if this is going to see any serious time offroad. Our wheelbase makes it hard on the power steering stuff, I've overheated mine badly making 12 point turns on the trail.

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