Steering shaft slop

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by randomguy, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. randomguy

    randomguy I'm Awesome

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    Before anyone suggests an XJ shaft, I don’t have a yard real close to me and the shaft I bought from deadjeeps on eBay was so rusty I couldn’t break it apart.

    My steering shaft needs a new rag joint, no big deal I have the part on the way.

    What I’m wondering is how much play should there be in the joint at the column end of the shaft. I just checked it and realized I can grab the shaft and move it quite a bit. Seems like a lot of play in that shaft.

    Am I just stuck paying full retail for a new Jeep shaft?
     
  2. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder B31-3 (6-G) certified

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    After changing my rag joint, it took almost all of the play out of the shaft. Before I replaced the rag joint, I could move the steering wheel about 4 inches in ether direction before the tires would move. Now the tires move with less than 1 inch of movement. Replacing the rag joint can make a huge difference.
     
  3. sewlow

    sewlow Bitchin' Stitchin'

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    IIRC, the jeep shaft has to be persuaded with some heat so that the adhesive inside melts, in order to separate the 1/2's.
    Hit it with the blue bottle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019
  4. WILWAXU

    WILWAXU I'm Awesome

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    I went one step further and replaced mine with a new Borgeson shaft. Nearly all the play is gone.
     
  5. tinfoil_hat

    tinfoil_hat I'm Awesome

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    I was leery of the XJ shaft mod after doing a lot of reading on it. It isn't a drop in solution and there are some who claim the additional unsupported U joint can bind while driving. I bought a Lares rag joint off Rock Auto and it was only $15. I think it's the Lares 205.
    You will need a grinder to remove the rivets on the old joint but otherwise it's a 20 minute job.
     
  6. RichLo

    RichLo E I E I O

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    Flaming River u-joint :deal:
     
  7. sewlow

    sewlow Bitchin' Stitchin'

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    The over-centering/binding thing is only on the '97+ trucks with the 3rd universal in the column under the dash.
    It's not just a claim about that causing probs. I've actually seen how that works. Or doesn't, if you will.
    Installed one in my '97, along with a bunch of other front-end work. Before I knew about the 3rd joint thing.
    Drove to the alignment shop. The tech jumps in to drive the truck from the front of the shop around to the bay doors out back. 100'? Got to the doors, got out & called me over. Hadn't even popped the hood yet, & he says, " '97? '98? Jeep shaft?"
    "Ahhh...yea? '97 & an XJ shaft."
    They wouldn't pull it onto the rack. Then he showed me why.
    2nd guy jumps in. 1st guy pulls up on the jeep shaft just about in the middle while the guy in the truck turned the wheel.
    All was fine until it reached a certain point when all of a sudden, the shaft jumped up about 1.5", & bound up.
    They didn't think it was safe for me to drive it the 10 miles home.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
    Urambo Tauro and kennythewelder like this.
  8. Crookedaxle

    Crookedaxle OBS Enthusiast

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    I think it's been discussed here quite a bit that this XJ mod is fine for certain models and not others. Earlier models have 2 universal joints and later ones have three. The problem you're talking about crops up on the ones with three.


    EDIT: The Canuck beat me to it....
     
  9. sewlow

    sewlow Bitchin' Stitchin'

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    Lol!
     
  10. Supercharged111

    Supercharged111 I'm Awesome

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    Well that sucks, my 98 feels like it has a bunch of slop upstream of the rag joint.
     

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