Newbie- CJ8 Scrambler

CJ7Pilot

18436572
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yuba City
State
CA
#21
Wow, what a great looking Scrambler... I'd have loved to drive that around when I was 17!

It looks like the steering shaft and the steering box have been replaced, but the linkage underneath still looks original. Were all the tie rod ends replaced? The only one I can see in the photos is the one attached to the pitman arm, and it looks like it's been there a while.

Anyhow, if you get under there (with the wheels on the ground) and watch while someone moves the steering wheel back and forth (not enough to move the tires, just enough to feel the play), then you should be able to see if anything loose is moving. It will most likely be in the the tie rod ends. If nothing is moving, then maybe the new steering box is out of adjustment.

Aside from that, it may just need a good alignment. Incorrect caster and/or toe-in could allow it to wander on the road.

Good luck, and keep us posted! :wave:
 
Last edited:

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#22
Yes that dude looks like he is really ready to drive that jeep. There has got be some shop around there that will work on your front end. Probably needs new tie rod ends and maybe ball joints even. Find a jeep club in your area and ask some of those guys. Looks like your jeep has good bones
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#23
I expected new steering box to solve, but it didn't, a lot of play still, but tracks pretty well. Just isn't fun to drive with the steering issues. Can't find anyone local to Chattanooga area to look at. I don't know what it needs to make drivable. The electrical system isn't great, probably needs full replacement, drains the battery all the time and wires hanging everywhere from someone that didn't care and took off all the emission stuff. But my son is now 17, been driving a couple years and wants to drive the jeep daily. I don't think this is a terrible idea, and he is working to save for a vehicle, so I'm kinda torn if I can make it safe enough and dependable enough for him. Open to any ideas or comments and suggestions about next steps I should take.
Looks great!! Welcome back!!!

Steering issues on a cj can manifest from a number of sources... you need to grab a mechanical friend a look at them one at a time....

Worn springs/bushings/shackles. Have someone in front of the jeeps turning the wheel throughout the steering range. Watch carefully when the driver turns the wheel; where does the movement go? CJ oe steering shafts were notorious for wearing out the front joint on the steering shaft. Borgelson makes a quality replacement that has 2 u-joints that is much better. I would never put the OE shaft back in.... The initial turn in May also be getting transferred to slop in the suspension....
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#24
Looks great!! Welcome back!!!

Steering issues on a cj can manifest from a number of sources... you need to grab a mechanical friend a look at them one at a time....

Worn springs/bushings/shackles. Have someone in front of the jeeps turning the wheel throughout the steering range. Watch carefully when the driver turns the wheel; where does the movement go? CJ oe steering shafts were notorious for wearing out the front joint on the steering shaft. Borgelson makes a quality replacement that has 2 u-joints that is much better. I would never put the OE shaft back in.... The initial turn in May also be getting transferred to slop in the suspension....

Thanks for the insights. One thing I know for sure, 2 new steering boxes, same issue. It appears that the steering rod turns slightly, before the steering box engages to everything else. So it might be just 2 bad boxes, but, on the road may be exacerbated by all the other things you mention. Best case would be replace everything, and maybe that is what should be done versus trying to diagnose each individual thing? It is almost 40 years old.... :)
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#25
Yes that dude looks like he is really ready to drive that jeep. There has got be some shop around there that will work on your front end. Probably needs new tie rod ends and maybe ball joints even. Find a jeep club in your area and ask some of those guys. Looks like your jeep has good bones
It definitely has good bones, hardly no rust out. Only on driver side fender well metal repairs were needed. That's what's so aggravating, it looks great, but sucks to drive.. One day would love to swap out motor to something more powerful, thought about a wiring harness now, but maybe that should wait for engine swap. Any thoughts on that?
 

FLCJ8

Legacy Registered User
City
Palm Bay
State
FL
#26
As has been said...if your son wants to drive it put him to work.
Just kidding :) looks like he's getting right in there.
One of you turn the wheel just enough to overcome the play while the other watches for movement on each side off the steering box. Should be easy to pinpoint the areas of play.
Like has been said the shaft and tie rod ends are wear items that are best replaced now so you can enjoy it longer before you have to work on it again.
You've put this much time and effort into it so far no sense rushing to get it on the road.

On the electrical... yeah just seeing the wiring under the hood, it looks sad.
If the battery is running down fairly quickly while setting stored you can diagnose the problem with a test light.
Disconnect the positive lead to the battery and connect a test light in series between the positive battery post and the positive cable you disconnected. The test light should illuminate if you have a large enough current draw.
Pull fuses one at a time until the light dims/goes out. This will narrow down the circuit that is giving you the problem.
 

Belizeit

CJ-8 Member
CJ-8.com Member
City
River Ridge
State
La
#27
I've had my CJ for over 35 years now, with the AMC 4 cylinder and it has been a great engine with almost 238,000 miles and still running strong. With that said, I know nothing lasts forever, and I have rebuilt a used 258 I found and a EFI system for it also for when I install it. That will be good for me. Luckily I can do this at my pace since mine still goes down the road with no problem
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#28
Thanks for the insights. One thing I know for sure, 2 new steering boxes, same issue. It appears that the steering rod turns slightly, before the steering box engages to everything else. So it might be just 2 bad boxes, but, on the road may be exacerbated by all the other things you mention. Best case would be replace everything, and maybe that is what should be done versus trying to diagnose each individual thing? It is almost 40 years old.... :)
If the shaft turns immediately; but the box doesn’t; I’d guess you have slop in the Junk oem bottom joint. They were a plastic slip knuckle design that has always been bad....
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#29
If the shaft turns immediately; but the box doesn’t; I’d guess you have slop in the Junk oem bottom joint. They were a plastic slip knuckle design that has always been bad....
is the junk OEM bottom joint in the steering box itself? I'm a newbie here, don't know much... :)
 

CJ7Pilot

18436572
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Yuba City
State
CA
#30
...It appears that the steering rod turns slightly, before the steering box engages to everything else....
Like Tower mentioned, that may be the bottom steering joint, where the steering shaft connects to the steering box.

The steering box itself may also have some play in it, which is adjustable via the lock nut and adjusting screw on the top. This is not as likely as most of the other suggestions, but it's a possibility.
 

tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#31
is the junk OEM bottom joint in the steering box itself? I'm a newbie here, don't know much... :)
No. The oem shaft has a top u-joint and a bottom slip-knuckle that is in a boot. The bottom joint has a splined part that slips onto the box. I’ve had boxes leak; but not have terrible slop in the input (I know others have had this).... the borgelson and rugged ridge replacements both have 2 u joints.....
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#32
No. The oem shaft has a top u-joint and a bottom slip-knuckle that is in a boot. The bottom joint has a splined part that slips onto the box. I’ve had boxes leak; but not have terrible slop in the input (I know others have had this).... the borgelson and rugged ridge replacements both have 2 u joints.....
Yea, looks like mine has had some banging done on it. Maybe I can start with replacing that, and then go ahead with rest of steering assembly. I will research a kit or something similar to do full repairs
 

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tower210

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Olathe
State
KS
#33
Yea, looks like mine has had some banging done on it. Maybe I can start with replacing that, and then go ahead with rest of steering assembly. I will research a kit or something similar to do full repairs
That is the OE type
 
City
Chattanooga
State
TN
#34
Is there any recommendation for finding parts? I've looked at 4wd, rock auto and morris. Hard to find exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks
 

FLCJ8

Legacy Registered User
City
Palm Bay
State
FL
#37
City
Chesterfield
State
MO
#39
I just bought a new crown steering shaft and it was built just like the borgeson, works great and was only $100 from amazon and it was painted. Also, buy a steering box HD mount, that will take a lot of the slop out of the steering right off the bat.
 
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