Jeep Wagoneer/Commando/Cherokee 1957-1983 Repair Information

Manual Steering Gear

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION FC Series



  1. Remove the steering wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the turn signal assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the floor access panel at the base of the steering column.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the clutch cable from the pedal shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lower left portion of the instrument panel.
  10.  
  11. Remove the steering column clamp U-bolt.
  12.  
  13. Loosen the radiator screen and swing it down, out of the way, to gain access to the steering gear.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the steering connecting rod from the steering gear arm.
  16.  
  17. Remove the steering gear-to-frame and trunnion, or spacer, mounting bolts.
  18.  
  19. Disconnect the horn wire.
  20.  
  21. Matchmark the steering arm position with the gear housing. Remove the steering gear arm with a puller.
  22.  
  23. Remove the gear by sliding the assembly through the frame opening and up through the cab floor.
  24.  
  25. Installation is the reverse of removal. Observe the following torques:
  26.  



Pteering arm-to-gear nut: 115 ft. lb.
 
3 / 8 in. steering gear mounting bolts: 40 ft. lb.
 
7 / 16 in. steering gear mounting bolts: 55 ft. lb.
 

1962-69 Wagoneer and J-Series Truck See Figure 1

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Fig. Fig. 1: Manual steering gear adjustment points 1962-69 models

  1. Disconnect the gear from the steering column at the flexible coupling.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the connecting rod from the steering arm.
  4.  
  5. Unbolt the gear from the frame, slide it slightly forward and to the right, and out of the truck.
  6.  
  7. Align the gear with the flexible coupling.
  8.  
  9. Bolt the gear to the frame.
  10.  
  11. Install the allen head bolt that holds the flexible coupling to the gear shaft and torque the bolt to 20-30 ft. lb.
  12.  
  13. Check gear-to-column alignment and attach the steering arm to the connecting rod.
  14.  

Jeepster/Commando 1970-84 J-Series Truck 1970-83 Wagoneer and Cherokee See Figure 2

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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the pitman arm with a puller

  1. Disconnect the gear at the flexible steering shaft coupling.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the connecting rod at the pitman arm.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the pitman arm and shaft and remove the nut and washer.
  6.  
  7. Using a puller, remove the pitman arm from the shaft.
  8.  
  9. Unbolt and remove the gear.
  10.  

Proper installation procedures are very important. Follow all steps precisely. Clean all bolts thoroughly prior to installation. When Loctite 271® Adhesive/Sealant is called for, use it, or its equivalent, no more than five minutes prior to installation of the part to which it is applied.

  1. Apply Loctite 271®, or equivalent, to all gear-to-frame mounting bolts.
  2.  
  3. Align and engage the steering intermediate shaft and gear at the flexible coupling.
  4.  
  5. Position the gear on the frame and install the bolts. Tighten the bolts to 18-30 ft. lb. on Jeepsters with the Ross gear, 42-52 ft. lb. on Jeepsters and Commandos with the Saginaw gear and 55 ft. lb. on all other models.
  6.  
  7. Install the flexible coupling bolt and nut and torque to 45 ft. lb.
  8.  
  9. Install the pitman arm and torque the nut to 185 ft. lb.
  10.  
  11. Turn the steering wheel 10-15 times, lock-to-lock, to eliminate any rough feel.
  12.  

ADJUSTMENT FC Series



STEERING SHAFT END PLAY ADJUSTMENT
  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the housing side cover adjusting screw to free the pins in the cam groove.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the housing cover so that you can cut and remove one or more shims, as required, for proper adjustment.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the screws. Steering effort should allow a slight drag, with the steering wheel turning freely with the thumb and forefinger lightly gripping the rim.
  8.  
  9. If shims must be added, remove the cover. Shims are available in thicknesses of 0.002 in., 0.003 in. and 0.010 in.
  10.  

LEVER STUD (TAPERED PIN) ADJUSTMENT
  1. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the adjusting screw locknut, on the side cover, and turn the adjusting screw in or out until a slight drag is felt when the steering wheel is turned through its mid-point, when turning the wheel from lock to lock. No backlash is acceptable through the mid-point, however, some backlash at the extreme left and right lock points is acceptable.
  4.  

Jeepster/Commando See Figures 3 and 4

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Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the Ross steering gear and linkage Jeepster/Commando through 1971



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Fig. Fig. 4: Steering and linkage components 1972-73 Commando models

Early models used a Ross gear and linkage system, while later models used a Saginaw gear and linkage system.

ROSS GEAR PRELOAD ADJUSTMENT

This adjustment is necessary only if the steering effort is noticeably high.

  1. Remove the gear from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. If the turning effort on the worm gear is high, loosen the end cap screws.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the cap screws alternately and evenly, a little bit at a time, and rotate the worm gear while tightening the screws. Torque the screws, eventually, to 18-22 ft. lb.
  6.  
  7. Using an inch pound (in. lb.) torque wrench and socket, on the worm gear shaft, check the turning torque. Turning torque should be 2-5 in. lb.
  8.  
  9. If turning torque is not correct, add or delete shims between the end cap and housing, repeating Step 3 after each shim change.
  10.  

ROSS GEAR BACKLASH ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the gear from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the adjusting screw locknut, on the side cover.
  4.  
  5. Using an inch pound (in. lb.) torque wrench and socket on the worm shaft, check the turning torque of the shaft through the mid-point of its travel. Acceptable turning torque is 7-18 in. lb.
  6.  
  7. Turn the adjusting screw in or out until the proper torque is achieved when the steering wheel is turned through its mid-point, when turning the wheel from lock to lock. No backlash is acceptable through the mid-point, however, some backlash at the extreme left and right lock points is acceptable.
  8.  

SAGINAW GEAR WORM BEARING PRELOAD ADJUSTMENT

See Figure 5

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Fig. Fig. 5: View of the steering gear and linkage Jeepster/Commando used through 1971

Always perform a worm gear adjustment before any other steering adjustment.

  1. Remove the gear from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Attach an inch pound (in. lb.) torque wrench and socket to the splined end of the worm shaft and turn it to the full left and right limits of its travel, noting the rotating torque. Rotating torque should be 8 in. lb. If not:
  4.  
  5. Loosen the locknut on the adjusting screw and turn the screw to obtain the proper torque. Tighten the locknut to 75-100 ft. lb. and recheck the turning torque.
  6.  

SAGINAW STEERING GEAR BACKLASH ADJUSTMENT
  1. Remove the gear from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Turn the pitman shaft from one extreme stop to the other, counting the total number of full turns.
  4.  
  5. Turn the shaft back 1 / 2 that number of turns to the exact mid-point.
  6.  
  7. Place an inch pound (in. lb.) torque wrench and socket on the pitman shaft, with the beam of the wrench in a vertical position, and turn the shaft to a point 45º either side of the mid-point. Note the torque as the shaft is turned through its mid-point. Torque should be less than 18 in. lb. If not:
  8.  
  9. Loosen the lash adjuster screw locknut and turn the adjuster screw in until a figure less than 18 in. lb. is recorded. Tighten the locknut to 18-27 ft. lb. and recheck the turning torque.
  10.  

1962-69 Wagoneer and J-Series Truck See Figures 6, 7 and 8

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Fig. Fig. 6: Steering column and gear alignment 1962-69 models



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Fig. Fig. 7: Steering linkage with the solid front axle 1962-69 models



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Fig. Fig. 8: Steering linkage with the independent front driving axle 1962-69 models

With the gear out of the vehicle, and the lubricant at the proper level:

  1. Check the input shaft torque using an inch pound torque wrench. Torque should be 12 in. lb. If too high a torque is found, back off on the lever shaft adjusting screw and readjust it with the roller stud set on the high point of the worm. If a low enough torque cannot be obtained, remove the gear cover and lever shaft and adjust the roller stud bearing preload to 1-2 in. lb. Adjust the preload with the stud nut. If the tangs on the roller stud locking washer are turned down against the thrust washer, they must be turned up to obtain a proper adjustment.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the cam bearing preload to 1-5 in. lb. by removing or adding shims as necessary. Install the lever shaft so it is engaged with a high spot on the worm. Back off on the lever shaft adjusting screw on the cover and install the cover. Turn the lever shaft adjusting screw in, until there is no end-play when the roller stud is on the high point of the cam.
  4.  
  5. Recheck the input shaft torque. Proper torque is 12 in. lb. Install the gear in the truck. A slight roughness will be felt turning the gear lock to lock. Turning it completely, 10-12 times, will eliminate the roughness.
  6.  

1970-83 Models See Figures 9, 10 and 11

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Fig. Fig. 9: Exploded view of the steering linkage 1970-83 Wagoneer, Cherokee and J-series truck



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Fig. Fig. 10: Adjusting worm bearing preload on manual steering gears



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Fig. Fig. 11: Adjusting pitman shaft overcenter drag


CAUTION
Follow the adjustment procedures in the order listed below. Failure to follow the procedures exactly will result in gear failure.

  1. Raise and support the truck on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Check the steering gear mounting bolt torque.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the pitman arm and shaft, and remove the pitman arm nut. Remove the arm with a puller.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the pitman adjusting screw locknut, then back off the adjusting screw 2-3 turns.
  8.  
  9. Remove the horn button and cover. Slowly turn the steering wheel in one direction as far as it will go, then back 1 / 2 turn.
  10.  
  11. Install a socket and inch-pound torque wrench in the steering wheel nut. Measure the worm bearing preload by turning the wheel through a 90º arc ( 1 / 4 ) turn with the wrench. Preload should be 5-8 in. lb.
  12.  
  13. If preload is not within specifications, turn the adjuster screw clockwise to increase, or counterclockwise to decrease, the preload.
  14.  
  15. When the desired preload is attained, tighten the adjuster locknut to 90 ft. lb. and recheck the adjustment.
  16.  
  17. Rotate the steering wheel slowly from lock-to-lock, counting the number of turns. Turn the wheel back, 1 / 2 the number of turns to center the gear, then turn the wheel 1 / 2 turn off of center.
  18.  
  19. Install the inch-pound torque wrench and socket on the steering wheel nut. Measure the torque required to tun the gear through the center point of travel. The drag should equal the worm bearing preload torque plus 4-10 in. lb., but not exceed a total of 18 in. lb.
  20.  
  21. If adjustment is required, loosen the pitman shaft screw locknut and turn the adjusting screw to obtain the desired torque. Tighten the locknut to 25 ft. lb. and recheck the overcenter drag.
  22.  
  23. Install all parts and check steering wheel alignment.
  24.  

 
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