Jeep CJ 1945-1970 Repair Information

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Tie Rod Ends

See Figures 1 through 8

Early production CJ models and early production 2WD Utility models with 4-134 engines are equipped with 2-piece tie rods. All other models are equipped with 1-piece tie rods.

  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and nut and disconnect the right tie rod section from the bell crank.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pins and nuts, and, using a puller or separator, disconnect the outer ends from the knuckles.
  6.  
  7. Where applicable, the left and right tie rod sections can now be separated.
  8.  
  9. The tie rod ends can be removed by loosening the clamps and unscrewing the ends. Before unscrewing the ends, note the exact number of threads visible, as an installation reference.
  10.  
  11. All seals that show any sign of wear should be replaced. New tie rod ends should be installed if the old ones show any play or roughness of movement.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Install the new tie rod ends, leaving the exact number of threads exposed, as previously noted. On CJ models, tighten all nuts to 38-42 ft. lbs. (52-57 Nm). On Utility models, tighten the 5 / 16 in. diameter clamp bolts to 121-182 inch lbs. (14-20 Nm) and the 7 / 16 in. diameter clamp bolts to 35-45 ft. lbs. (48-61 Nm).
  2.  

Center Link/Connecting Rod/Drag Link

See Figure 8

  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins from each end of the link.
  4.  
  5. Remove the adjusting plugs, ball seats and spring from each end.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the link and remove the dust cover and dust shield.
  8.  
  9. Replacement kits are available which contain all the above parts. It is best to replace all these parts at once.
  10.  
  11. Install the dust cover and shield at each end and connect the link at the steering arm and bell crank.
  12.  
  13. Install the ball seat and spring at each end and turn the adjusting plugs in until they firmly contact the ball. At the front end, back off the adjusting plug 1 / 2 turn and insert a new cotter pin. At the steering arm end, back off the plug one full turn and insert a new cotter pin.
  14.  

Steering Damper

  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place the wheels in a straight-ahead position.
  4.  
  5. Remove the attaching nut at each end of the damper and remove the damper.
  6.  
  7. Install the damper, making sure that the wheels are still in the straight-ahead position. Tighten the 3 / 8 in. nuts to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm) and the 7 / 16 nuts to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm).
  8.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Identification of the steering system components used on 2WD models with I-beam front suspension



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Fig. Fig. 2: Identification of the steering system components utilized on 4WD CJ-2A (serial No. 22972 and later) and all CJ-3A, CJ-3B, CJ-5 and CJ-6 models



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Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the tie rod assembly used on CJ-3B, CJ-5 and CJ-6 models



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the tie rod end cotter pin ...



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Fig. Fig. 5: ... then remove the tie rod end's castle nut



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Fig. Fig. 6: Separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle arm using a special puller



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Fig. Fig. 7: After the tie rod end is separated, make certain to retain the spring



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Fig. Fig. 8: Exploded view of the drag link used on all models

Pitman Arm
  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place the wheels in a straight-ahead position.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the Pitman arm and gear housing.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the connecting rod/drag link from the arm or, on Utility models, the knuckle.
  8.  
  9. Matchmark the Pitman arm and shaft.
  10.  
  11. Remove the Pitman arm nut and washer.
  12.  
  13. Using a puller, remove the Pitman arm from the gear. Never hammer on the arm or use a wedge tool to remove it!
  14.  

To install:
  1. Install the Pitman arm aligning the matchmarks on the arm and shaft.
  2.  
  3. Install the washer and nut. Tighten the nuts as follows:

    Ross gear, except Utility models-70-90 ft. lbs. (95-122 Nm)
     
    Ross gear, Utility models-95-115 ft. lbs. (129-156 Nm)
     
    Saginaw gear-120-160 ft. lbs. (163-218 Nm)
     

  4.  
  5. Attach the connecting rod/drag link, or knuckle, to the Pitman arm.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the Pitman arm-to-knuckle nut to 65 ft. lbs. (88 Nm). Tighten the Pitman arm-to-link nut to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm) on models.
  8.  

Bell Crank

See Figure 9

The L-shaped component termed "Bell Crank'' is a predecessor of the current idler arm. The bell crank attaches the connecting rod (the other end of which is connected to the steering gear) and the tie rod assembly together, and pivots around a shaft/bracket unit mounted onto the front frame member.

  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Place the wheels in a straight-ahead position.
  4.  
  5. Detach the connecting rod and tie rod from the bell crank.
  6.  
  7. Remove the bell crank-to-support bracket nut and washers.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bell crank from the support bracket. It may be necessary to drive it out of the bracket with a soft drift.
  10.  
  11. To disassemble the bell crank, drive out the pin and remove the parts. Service kits are available for rebuilding the bell crank. CJ-2A models, starting with serial No. 199079, and all CJ models using bell cranks after that, utilize a new bell crank assembly. Most notably, the pin size was increased from 3 / 4 in. diameter (19.05mm) to 7 / 8 in. diameter (22.225mm), a floating hardened sleeve was installed between the pin and needle bearings, and a new arm, with upward facing bearings was used.
  12.  
  13. When assembling the parts, make sure that the new bearings in the bell crank are installed 1 / 8 in. (3mm) below the surface of the bell crank face. When installing the washers, make sure that the chamfer on the washers face the bell crank.
  14.  
  15. After assembling the parts, install the bell crank in the Jeep, but do not connect the linkage. Tighten the bell crank pin nut to the following values:

    CJ-2A models before serial No. 199079, and all Utility Models-70-90 ft. lbs. (95-122 Nm)
     
    All other models-14-19 ft. lbs. (19-26 Nm)
     

  16.  
  17. Loosen the 7 / 16 in. diameter clamp bolt and adjust the locknut on the end of the bell crank shaft until the bell crank just rotates freely, without binding.
  18.  
  19. Tighten the 7 / 16 in. diameter clamp nut to 50-70 ft. lbs. (68-95 Nm).
  20.  
  21. Connect the tie rod to the bell crank and tighten the nut to 38-45 ft. lbs. (52-61 Nm).
  22.  
  23. Attach the connecting rod to the bell crank and adjust it as explained earlier in this section.
  24.  

See Figure 9



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Fig. Fig. 9: Exploded view of the bell crank used on the early CJ and Utility models

 
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