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Kel 30-06-2011 07:21 PM

Steering Box Bolts Sheared Off!!!

I am a tad confused and concerned after my partner was driving the XJ to work this morning and lost steering at 90 - 100 kph, yes, it did scare the *&$# out of her, and yes she was extremely lucky not to hit anything as she brought the car to a stop. The car was towed home by the RAA.... Thanks guys :) Further investigation found that all 3 bolts holding the steering box on had sheared off about halfway down the thread. Has anyone heard of this happening before??? If so, how does it happen and how do I stop it from happening again??

All help/suggestions welcome

kj69 30-06-2011 07:26 PM

more info on the xj might help is it stock,what year is it,?

Hamsteh 30-06-2011 07:36 PM

Had the same thing happen to me while pulling into my driveway, glad to hear no one was hurt mate - can understand how scary that would be.

There was a recall for my model (most likely yours) a few years back. Call Jeep and ask them to check if you had the work done (they'll have your VIN recorded). If not I believe they install some form of spacer between steering box and body rails.

Mine supposingly HAD had the recall performed but was missing the spacer so get them to look at it. I haven't had any problems since but you can be sure that I check those bolts fairly regularly since what usually happens is one gets loose and as a result the other two cannot take the strain and fail.

Kel 30-06-2011 07:56 PM

The Xj is a 96 Limited, all stock standard, but it is running 30" tyres. (wouldn't think they would be a problem though)

TheOoz 01-07-2011 04:41 AM

This is a known issue on the XJ. Mine is a 1995 limited, and I had the same thing occur about 3 years ago now. It was fixed by Chrysler under warranty.

There are many threads about it on this site, so do a quick search if you want more info. To summarise them, the chassis rail that the steering box is bolted to can flex (not properly engineered when they designed the right hand drive version), and over time this flexing softens the steel. High tensile bolts are not designed to flex so at some stage they snap in half. Have a look, it is impressive.

The dealers did a "check" when a recall was introduced a long time ago, but if your XJ passed the "check" it was never looked at again - but the problem becomes worse over time. So the warranty recall check had been done on my XJ, it passed, so they left the time bomb on the road until it finally failed.

ring your local dealer and explain the problem. You should have no issue having them repair it under the factory recall. They weld plates around the chassis and then re-assmble. An expensive job for them, free for you. they should have engineered it properly in the first place.

Billnick 01-07-2011 06:08 AM

Can one presume it was fixed on the '98??? or do I drive around expecting any moment to spear off into a tree??? Bit worrying.


TheOoz 01-07-2011 09:02 AM

the issue related to the pre-update, and a 98 is the update model. I have not heard of any issues after 96 as the cost for the repair would have been very high for Jeep too!

My bolts broke incrementally when backing out of the driveway I heard one go - a big bang. I then realised something was wrong, inspected it, and found the steering box wobbling back and forth with a few bolts still holding it. I then was showing a mate who got under the car as I moved the steering wheel back and forth - and that is when it let go.

Needless to say the resulting action of my mates sphincter chomped an enormous hole in his underpants. This was followed by hysterical laughter from me when we realised there were no injuries - just a shock.

And it remains one of the all time great fire side stories.

DriftR 01-07-2011 09:43 AM

damn i better check mine out..
i've found numerous loose bolts in the engine bay lately

Rosie 01-07-2011 10:09 AM

I had the same issue on my XJ when i was wheeling one day. My repair was huge because of the bullbar and winch and all but even with a 5" lift and 33"s they didn't question it.

I wouldnt buy another XJ unless it had been done or if not i'd be getting it in for the recall straight away.

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