Grand Cherokee Steering Linkage Repair – EricTheCarGuy

Grand Cherokee Steering Linkage Repair – EricTheCarGuy

I got some help from my friend and owner of this Jeep, Jason Matherson with the camera on this one. He brought me his Jeep a few months ago with a loose steering wheel and I showed him the trouble that was brewing. At first it was noisy like a rusty hinge, he tried to inject grease into the boots and that quieted things down for a bit but they still wore to the point you see here. I have to confess that this job took a lot longer than pictured as YT only allows me 10min of video (any longer is too long in my opinion anyway). I was almost done with the job when I ran out of gas for my torch and I had quite a bit of trouble putting one side back in, I ended up lubing the heck out of it. I hope this helps you get a better idea of how steering linkage works and how to fix it (with big hammers and torches). This work can be fun but if you don’t have the tools that I showed in this video forget it.

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Due to factors beyond the control of EricTheCarGuy, it cannot guarantee against unauthorized modifications of this information, or improper use of this information.  EricTheCarGuy assumes no liability for property damage or injury incurred as a result of any of the information contained in this video. EricTheCarGuy recommends safe practices when working with power tools, automotive lifts, lifting tools, jack stands, electrical equipment, blunt instruments, chemicals, lubricants, or any other tools or equipment seen or implied in this video.  Due to factors beyond the control of EricTheCarGuy, no information contained in this video shall create any express or implied warranty or guarantee of any particular result.  Any injury, damage or loss that may result from improper use of these tools, equipment, or the information contained in this video is the sole responsibility of the user and not EricTheCarGuy.


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45 thoughts on “Grand Cherokee Steering Linkage Repair – EricTheCarGuy

  1. The part you replaced only determines the steering wheel alignment. Adjusting the center shaft only rotates the steering wheel right or left. The toe is adjusted at the wheels as they each have an outer tie rod to adjust each steering knuckle/wheel toe. Other than that the demonstration was spot on and easy to follow. So if the only problem is slip in the steering and either joint to the right steering knuckle or to the steering pitman arm is worn replacing either or both does not effect the tire wheel toe or alignment. No alignment is necessary. To adjust the steering wheel after joint change just find a flat surface and go straight forward 20’ and reverse 20’ a few times without looking at the wheel. Then come to a stop place in park and then adjust the link to align the wheel. A road test would determine if it’s in need of fine adjustment. It’s like adjusting a tractor trailer steering wheel

  2. Eric, I'm having this problem on my Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 2002, I was told that PROBABLY what was wrong is that my pitman arm on the front passenger part and my left passenger steering knuckle were probably oblong where the bolt or whatever goes through both, that the holes are more than likely no longer perfectly round , but oblong now from wear , thus causing my steering wheel to be very loose and doing exactly what it's doing in your video, so they say the pitman arm needs changed and the steering knuckle replaced ?? All costing 700.00 + dollars if I don't do it myself, what you show in your video I can do , but don't know about changing the pitman arm and steering knuckle lol. What u think about them saying this ?

  3. I know this video is from 10 years ago, just thought i would share a helpful tip. Instead of counting the number of threads, i like to take a measurement. The old and new part may not be the exact same, u can have the same exact number of threads showing, and still be way off. If possible, i like to take a measurement of the steering knuckle from side to side before removing and of the the tie rods. If doing both tie rods, i remove from vehicle, and like to take another measurement from the center of each tie rod bolt to get me just about where I need to be, and after i reinstall, i only have to make a small adjustment to get the alignment to where it was before.

  4. Thanks for the know how !!! I replaced all steering parts and took for a short test drive so I can get to shop for alignment and it vibrated on the way why did that happen thank for any help

  5. Who needs a torque wrench! hahaha thanks for the vid man. my father in laws jeep feels like the steering wheel gonna fall off. now I know how to fix it. he was saying it was the tires I was like no man. it's the tie rods most likely. and…… looks who's right. lol

  6. EricI just bought a used Jeep Grand Cherokee. Immediately replaced the drivers side wheel bearing. Owner said he had just replaced the passenger side wheel bearing. I have this roar when I drive it from the drivers side front. Took it to a mechanic he can't figure out where the grinding is coming from. Second problem the wheel bearings on the passenger side front wheel come loose after a trip around the block– what!!??? Why would that be going on?Tim Martin

  7. hey will this fix torque steer. i got 2001 Ford escape xlt v6 4wd whe. i give gas pulls to left when let go pulls to right. got new new motor mounts n tranni mount. new struts loaded quick whatever wanna call it .so all new. new stabilizers new swat bar bushings. got alignment. back passenger tire is lil off other than that hace bad issue i dont know what it is

  8. Ive got a pretty good idea of the name of these parts that you have fixed ,but could you maybe tell what each part is like this is the tie rod or the drag link , or the ball joint , so that others cross-referencing this video with the repair manual can know what there doing please.

  9. having the same problem but nothing moves when I try to move  it its solid but when driving I can hear something clunking like its loose down their n have play in the steering colom

  10. Hey Eric,
    I've been watching your channel for a while now and I want to say thanks for all the awesome information you've provided me over the years. I have now come across a problem I need you insight with. I have a 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 2wd. The front suspension was redone along with the steering linkage and pitman arm. The steering wheel came unsecured and now that the truck was put back together the steering is reversed. When you turn left the truck goes right. Please help. Any ideas?

  11. my 2009 jeep grand cherokee dose not lock all the way into park and my key gets stuck in the ignition i have to fiddle with the shifter to get the key to unlock and come out i hear a clicking noise when it locks into park and lets me take the key out what could be causing this issue?

  12. A few quick tips:

    1. It makes no structural difference to the coupling where the cotter key hole is in rotational arc of the stud; therefore, I find ti helpful to rotate the stud when I insert it so that the hole will be in position to have a clear workspace on either side.  This makes it much easier to remove the key at a later date.

    2.  Bending the cotter key clear back over the top of the stud is not necessary and, in fact, not wise.  All you have to do, with the right sized key, is insert it and spread it enough, left and right, that it cannot "rattle" or "roll" in the hole enough to cause wear.  When it comes time to remove the key, a pair of long-nosed pliers is generally all that is needed.  

    3. Many replacement parts include keys that are too small for their intended purpose. Parts companies do this on purpose because it is easier to insert the key if the nut is not quite lined up when the key is slightly undersized. Unfortunately, the key may come loose and start rattling if the nut shifts slightly. I test nuts and keys before I install. I stock a selection of keys and, if the factory keys "rattle," I replace them with the correct size. If the hole is "between sizes, I am not above drilling it out to fit the next-size-larger key. Again, the key should not rattle.

    4. When possible, I use stainless steel cotter keys. If that is not feasible, a light coating of DeOx(tm) on the key before insertion will keep if from rusting in place. Regular "axle grease" works, too… 

    I've had people tell me that the cotter keys will "wear through and drop out" unless they are twisted clear around.  This  is not true.  The key (pun intended) is having the right sized cotter key, properly installed, so it will not move.  I've seen keys that were twisted clear back over the stud wear half-way through and lose the more twisted side! These were generally undersized keys! I've seen keys installed with a simple, but proper,  "spread" work just fine.  After doing this, give or take, for roughly 50 years, I've never had a "spread" key fail.  

    And as a side note, if you don't get carried away bending the key, it is, absent rust, wear, cracks, or metal fatigue, safe to reuse a cotter key multiple times.  Of course, in today's world, I can't tell anybody that, lest they not inspect the key properly and have a failure 🙁

    Over the years, I've found that using the wrong key and excessively bending it only makes more work for those who follow me — which in my case, is usually… me…

  13. Great videos.Hi my name is devin.I feel a little steering play with my 2007 grand Cherokee srt8 front and would like to know what I can do to fix and what to change.I already got an alignment.Thks.

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