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Steering Adjustment

Discussion in 'Intermediate CJ-5/6/7/8' started by 1975CJ5, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. Jul 22, 2006

    1975CJ5 Member

    Joplin, MO
    Feb 16, 2005
    I have a lot of "slop" in my steering. The tie rod ends all seem solid. is there a way of adjusting/tightening the manual steering box?
  2. Jul 25, 2006

    jeepdad Member

    Jul 15, 2006
    i have a manual steering on my 77 and the adjustment is above the gear box, it could be seen between the holes if you are looking between front grill and front bumper. (its where the winch would sit) i would make sure none of the components are worn before i adjust it. 1/4 to 1/2 makes a huge difference. .....fyi some say dont adjust, because if st/box needs adjustment its worn and needs to be replaced, some say adjust it....i adjusted mine and it works good.
  3. Jul 25, 2006

    lynn Time machine / Early CJ5 HR Rep Staff Member

    Huntingdon PA
    Sep 20, 2002
    Are you sure the slop in your steering isn't coming from the intermediate steering shaft joints... the shaft between the column and the steering box. Any play in these joints? up/down/side-to-side? Grab the shaft and try to move it at the joints. Shouldn't be any movement, or very minimal...
    Have someone turn the wheel while you watch the interaction of these joints and the box. Could also be the box mount, again watch for movement as the steering wheel is turned by someone else...
  4. Jul 25, 2006

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
    Aug 10, 2003
    If the manual steering box is like th power steering, there are two adjustments. The first is the bearing preload, which adjusts the tightness of the bearings in the axis of the steering shaft (each end of the worm gear). There is also a gear mesh adjustment, which is that screw that you see on the top of the box. I haven't looked at the manual box instructions closely, but I'm pretty sure it wil tell you to adjust the bearing preload before you adjust the gear mesh.
  5. Jul 25, 2006

    Mongo Shadetree Moronic

    Fort Lauderdale
    Nov 12, 2005

    Another good way to diagnose slop is to grab the steering shaft and see how far you can twist it back and forth by hand. If it moves between the steering box and the steering wheel, you know the problem isn't in your tie rods :)

    I replaced the joint at the bottom, then the steering box, and finally put in a borgeson steering shaft (eliminating the brand new joint at the bottom). Each replacement gave me an incrementalk imrpvement and I now have no slop between the wheel and the gear box. I still have some slop between the gear box and the wheels, though, so I have more work ahead of me there.
  6. Jul 31, 2006

    DocsCJ5 73 CJ5

    Northern CA
    Jul 5, 2006
    I did what Jeepdad suggested, turned the screw a little less than a half turn and it didn't take out all the slop, but it sure helped. I figured I'd try it realizing that I probably need to get a rebuilt steering box anyway but it helps for now.
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