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Replacing a lower intermediate steering shaft - Oh Yay!

Discussion in 'Wrangler TJ (1996-2006)' started by eyeohknee, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. Nov 4, 2019 at 1:32 PM
    #1
    eyeohknee

    eyeohknee [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2019
    Member:
    #4037
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    ione
    Vehicle:
    02 Jeep Wrangler TJ
    2" body lift, 2" wheel spacers,
    Hi - As a determined, stubborn, independent female, I have this bad habit of diving into projects (automotive, home improvement, motorcycle related, etc) believing that any problem I might run into along the way can be solved via the internet. This time, I'm fixing the play/clunk in my steering. I narrowed the clunking to the U joint on the lower intermediate steering column.
    First off, if you are ever ISO this part for a '02 Jeep Wrangler TJ, I learned the hard way that a lot of aftermarket parts dealers will promote it as the correct part for this year, however, it's NOT. DO NOT ORDER Part #52078705AD or you'll find out the hard way too. The CORRECT Part # is 55315044AA - just order it through Jeep. The descript will say this part fits 03-06 (WTF?), but it's for a 2002 as well.
    So... It took me 2 afternoons of sweating and grunting to get the 2 bolts off of the top and bottom pinch thingies. You'll need a looong ratchet with a looong handle for leverage. Two more afternoons and a lot of bruises and grease covered skin later, I was successful in pulling out the 2 bolts on the bracket (at the bearing do-hicky) and the 2 bolts that hold the shaft to the bracket.
    NOTE; If you put a body lift on your Jeep, you'll want to replace the factory bracket with one that's taller to compensate for the changed shaft angle. Otherwise, that brand new bearing's gonna wear out faster. Back to the story...
    Saturday and Sunday afternoons later, I was able to sand and paint the bracket to protect it from further rusting (hopefully), and maneuver the new shaft back into position without disturbing brake lines, etc. It took a lot of determination, but I was able to slip the shaft ends back onto their male parts correctly... only a chick would say it that way, right?
    Here's where things are currently. The U joint end is on, secured and bolted tight. The shaft is bolted to the bracket, and the bracket is bolted back to the frame.... and the hip bone's connected to the - thigh bone and the thigh bone's .... sorry... I digress.
    Problem - I have the top end of the shaft slipped on the upper column, but it needs to slide up just a smidgen more to get the groove on the column lined up with the bolt hole on the pinch thingy so I can bolt the sucker tight. I mean, aside from reconnecting a few vacuum hoses, this is the last thing needed, and I am absolutely stuck. Tried loosening the other end bolt. No luck. tried sliding the new shaft before I installed it (it's supposed to be telescopic) so I'd have some play for reconnecting... No luck. I strategically used my crowbar and heavy duty monster wrench to bang it up into place. No luck.
    Who's got the magic answer to help make this happen?
    Thanks guys!
     
    aggrex likes this.
  2. Nov 5, 2019 at 6:51 AM
    #2
    Awrench

    Awrench Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Welcome to the forum - I have an interest in your post.
    Sorry no one replied Are you still working this ? Part #14 in attachment?

    The attachment is a jeep diagram and allows me to say AGAIN - see your authorized jeep dealer for parts. Time will teach which aftermarket parts to use. Blah Blah.

    Still neeed help?

    The SHAFT.jpg
     
    aggrex likes this.
  3. Nov 5, 2019 at 10:19 AM
    #3
    eyeohknee

    eyeohknee [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2019
    Member:
    #4037
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    ione
    Vehicle:
    02 Jeep Wrangler TJ
    2" body lift, 2" wheel spacers,
    Hey Awrench (I should change my username to AWench ~laughing~),
    Thanks for the 411. I actually have the diagram you linked and it has been helpful. I'm stuck on the last part of the install - can't get the bearing end of the shaft to slide all the way into the upper U joint to line the groove on the shaft so I can get that last bolt in. I'm talkin less than an eighth of an inch.
    I ended up unbolting the lower end and bracket to start over and secure the top end first this time. Hopefully it slides in all the way and I don't have the same problem sliding the lower end back on.
    This project is kickin my butt!
     
  4. Nov 5, 2019 at 12:02 PM
    #4
    Awrench

    Awrench Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2018
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    889
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    Male
    Vehicle:
    3 jeeps
  5. Nov 6, 2019 at 2:12 PM
    #5
    eyeohknee

    eyeohknee [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2019
    Member:
    #4037
    Messages:
    4
    Gender:
    Female
    First Name:
    ione
    Vehicle:
    02 Jeep Wrangler TJ
    2" body lift, 2" wheel spacers,
    Took a couple of days off from this project. Goin back at it fresh this afternoon. If you recall, I started this msg post stating I'm stubborn and determined...?
     
  6. Nov 6, 2019 at 4:12 PM
    #6
    aggrex

    aggrex Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    DE
    Vehicle:
    Backcountry '16
    Tuffy>AEV>TTO>JW>STech>EVOcage>MagnaFlow>SpiderTrax>RockHard>TF>SpringTail>67design>Bolt>GPCA>Curt>
    Successful DIY repairs usually call for a bit of stubbornness and mostly determination to succeed. Good traits I'd say to have for repairs whether at home or on the trail.
     
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