98 Wrangler Issues

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by JRull86, Mar 24, 2018.

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  1. JRull86

    JRull86 Registered User

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    First things first, I know diagnosing problems on cars without seeing them firsthand is a pain in the ass, but just some general thoughts would be helpful. The internet has told me so many different things, so before I decide to take it in, I'm going to inquire here.

    I have a 98 Wrangler with 87K miles on it. Lift and 33 inch tires. Aside from some general wear and tear issues that I've dealt with, until recently it's been a solid driver. About a week ago I put it into 4WD to deal with some snow, and ever since then the steering has been a mess, very jerky. It's not stuck in 4WD or anything as that was the first thing I checked. In addition to that, it makes a super loud whining whenever you turn the wheel as well.

    I've had the controls arms replaced within the last 6 months. Frame reinforced and welded due to minor rot. Track bar replaced as well.

    Any ideas? U-Joints?

    Thanks.
     
  2. HansonBro

    HansonBro Registered User

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    Won't be u joints, those are on your drive shaft.

    Sounds like a power steering pump or line. Check the fluid level.
     
  3. JRull86

    JRull86 Registered User

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    Appreciate the response.

    The level was where it should be when I checked initially. Haven't had a chance to really look into it yet, but I'd be shocked if it's the power sterring. I replaced the pump and lines last summer when it was leaking. The line was especially bad.

    At least my wife works from home so it hasn't had to be driven in two weeks.
     
  4. HansonBro

    HansonBro Registered User

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    Could be some air in it. Try bleeding it first. But it would explain the jerking and noise
     
  5. Fixed to Ruin

    Fixed to Ruin Come wit it now!

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    I had a similar issue... maybe you are experiencing the same problem I encountered.

    My vehicle sprung a leak in the power steering hose. Every time I turned the wheel fluid would come gushing out and spray onto the belts underneath the leaky hose. The belt would start squealing and if enough fluid got on there it would be very loud. The mechanic told me that power steering fluid (especially older fluid) can freeze and crack or burst the line on colder days. Obviously as I lost fluid the wheel became more difficult to turn.

    So my guess would be that you have a leaky or burst power steering hose. Maybe if you keep checking your reservoir you will notice it start to lose fluid. The 4WD probably had nothing to do with your problem.

    Here's a video to show you what happens when it's leaking.

     
  6. HansonBro

    HansonBro Registered User

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    Yup. Id say the 4wd is just a coincidence
     
  7. JRull86

    JRull86 Registered User

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    That's exactly what happened to it over the summer that I fixed. Freaking nightmare.

    The weather here in MA has been terrible for weeks, haven't had a chance to get underneath.
     
  8. Fixed to Ruin

    Fixed to Ruin Come wit it now!

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    Yeah it sucks. When it gets colder stuff starts to break and it's very unpleasant.

    If my diagnosis is correct. I think if you just opened the hood and examine your belts with a flashlight you might be able to see where the fluid is hitting your belts. You could also do like in the video and start it up and get your wife to turn the wheel while you look at your power steering system while the wheel is turning and you should be able to spot the leak fairly easily since the fluid moves under pressure or you'll start to hear that loud whining you described and that might help you pin point the area of concern.
     

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