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Jeep XJ Steering Upgrades: [Review With Installation Guide]

Want to replace the uncomfortable and unreliable stock steering but can’t find decent Jeep XJ steering upgrades? If so, you will love the different options we bring here.

We’ll discuss why they are worth your money and how you can install them on your own.

Also, we made an in-depth guide about some factors you should look into before buying new steering for your Jeep XJ.

Ready to learn more? Then let’s dive in!

3 Best Jeep XJ Steering Upgrades

Here, we’ll go over the parts we chose for the Jeep XJ. They are the perfect fit for replacing your worn-out steering. That said, here are the best upgrades:

01. Rugged Ridge Crossover Conversion Kit  – Best Overall

The Jeep XJ’s stock steering just doesn’t have what it takes to offer reliable steering. Here, we have Rugged Ridge as our first choice due to its heavy-duty design.

With a quarter-inch wall made of high-quality drawn over mandrel, also known as DOM, this steering wheel is a beast when it comes to strength.

In addition to that, this model also features a strong tie rod end. This way, the linkages won’t get damaged if you ever decide to fit in bigger tires.

Unlike the standard factory y-steering system, this is a crossover model. This type of steering comes in handy for anybody that has an adjustable height suspension system.

On top of that, it is the perfect choice for vehicles with 2.4 inches of lift. However, anything above 4 inches will not work with this one. The sweet spot is between 2 inches and 4 inches.

What We Liked

  • Does not mess the linkage
  • Super easy to install
  • Heavy-duty model
  • Perfect for lifted vehicles
  • Works like a charm with air systems

What We Didn’t Like

  • Does not hold up well off-road

02. Detroit Axle Steering Kit – Premium Option

For our next choice for Jeep XJ steering upgrades, we have this powerful kit from Detroit Axle.

Unlike the previous model we covered above, this is a kit for those who have a lifted vehicle.

This kit comes with a sturdy adjusting sleeve, which only connects the tie rod to the steering components.

It can be adjusted to ensure you have proper wheel alignment on your Jeep.

Besides that, this kit has a heavy-duty stabilizer bar.

Due to its durability and previous quality that Detroit Axle ensures, it will keep the two sides of your suspension connected.

Furthermore, this steering wheel comes with both an upper bolt joint and a lower bolt joint.

But more importantly, they both have undergone extreme wear testing to meet quality control standards.

The kit also includes outer tie rods as well as both driver and passenger side tie rods.

Last but not least, we also get a sturdy front track bar on the kit. It is built to withstand heavy-use, especially when driving over bumps.

What We Liked

  • Excellent replacement for the stock
  • Certified parts to meet quality controls
  • Convenient and affordable kit
  • Pretty easy to get running
  • The ball joints can be greased

What We Didn’t Like

  • The threaded sleeve can be hard to adjust

03. Rough Country Steering Damper/Stabilizer – Best for Smooth Rides

You could say Rough Country never sells unreliable products. And you wouldn’t be wrong with that statement.

Whether you want to replace your worn-out steering or install larger tires, this stabilizer will help you enormously fit.

It does not take much space, and it won’t mess your larger tires.

One exciting part is that it is not as expensive as the two previous models, but you’re not going to catch this one lacking.

For instance, its unique system reduces any vibration when going down the road.

Moreover, this is a bolt-on steering, meaning you can easily install it within 30 minutes just by using a couple of tools.

This model comes in handy for lifted vehicles as it reduces any wear the tie rods might experience when driving for long periods.

As far as the design goes, it is specifically designed for replacing the factory steering.

So, there is a high chance it might not work with an aftermarket drag link.

And finally, we love how stable and smooth this steering feels.

If you’ve noticed a lack of smoothness when driving, this model will improve your driving experience.

What We Liked

  • Gets rid of the jolting feeling
  • Perfect when driving on bumpy roads
  • Bolt-on design makes the installation easy
  • Improves overall driving
  • Reduces tire wear

What We Didn’t Like

  • May not get rid of death wobble

Jeep XJ Steering Upgrade Buying Guide

With this buying guide, you’ll safely spend your money on the perfect steering for your Jeep XJ. That said, let’s jump right into the features you must look out for when upgrading.

Jeep XJ Crossover Steering vs Inverted-Y Steering

There is this never-ending discussion about whether the crossover system or the inverted-Y is better.

But in reality, it all boils down to what you actually need.

Say, for instance, you plan on adding an adjustable height suspension system to your Jeep.

That’d be an excellent opportunity to pick up a crossover steering as you’d be able to install bigger tires.

Moreover, if you have an air system designed for off-road, the ride height continually changes, and with an inverted-Y system, your toe will change as you move to off-road height, which is quite obnoxious.

On the other hand, the crossover does not have this problem.

However, that is not to say the stock steering is terrible. It does a great job of working correctly. But if you want to avoid toe changes, the crossover is the better choice.

Construction

The drag link on your vehicle plays a huge role. Without it, you would have a hard time turning left or right.

A low-quality drag link can cause many problems on your vehicles, such as play and vibration when going down the road.

As expected, it is not safe to drive like that. So, we suggest going for a drag link made of heavy-duty steel to ensure your drag link’s durability.

Bump Dampening

Hitting bumps as you drive will cause the toe to change. When this happens, the geometry of your vehicle is not quite right.

In other words, the vehicle does not know which direction it should go.

However, the best way to mitigate this issue is to make sure your steering features an anti-bump steer system.

Wheel Compatibility

Be careful when choosing a steering linkage. Your aftermarket wheels might not be compatible with the steering you want to buy.

When choosing the steering, you always want to know how much backspacing there is on the wheels.

You also want to know whether the model you want can handle your 4 inches of lift.

Some brands provide large tie rod ends that are most likely compatible with your large aftermarket wheels. So, you might be good to go.

How To Install A Steering On Your Jeep

The general process of installing a steering stabilizer on your Jeep is relatively simple. Having such a useful skill under your belt will allow you to save up a lot of money.

What You’ll Need

The tools you’ll need for the install are the following:

  • A large pry bar—there is a clamp you must remove using them
  • An impact gun—to tighten the nuts, you need an impact gun
  • A 19mm and an 18mm ratcheting wrench—to remove the bolts, you need a ratcheting wrench
  • An open-ended 19mm wrench—there are a couple of bolts you need to tighten on the center bracket
  • 9/16th-inch deep socket and a ratcheting wrench—on the bracket, there are a couple of nuts which you want to tighten using them
  • 21, 19, 18, and 15mm deep socket—for inaccessible places, you need a couple of sockets

01. Remove The Two Bolts From Tie Rod

The first thing you want to do before installing the steering is to remove the steering bolts.

For this, you want to take your 19mm ratcheting wrench. Loosen them up and then proceed to take them off by hand.

The tie rod might get in your way as you try to remove it. If that happens, you need to turn the tie rod up.

If that does not work, you have to take the wheel off and then drop the tie rods.

02. Remove The Nut On The Steering

Here, you just have to remove the nut holding the steering stabilizer.

Once you’ve removed the nut, you want to take your 15mm socket and remove the clamp. You should now be able to slide it along the rail.

Next, use your pry bars to get in-between the clamp. This way, it’ll come off right away.

03. Mount Up the Steering Upgrade

The first step to installing the center bracket is to make sure the tab is facing the differential.

From there, you want to grab the U-bolts and then put them on the axle.

Next, take the flange nuts and then thread them on.

Now, you need to install the brackets on the end of the tie tod.

Take the bracket and make sure the offset tab is placed towards the differential. After that, install the U-bolts.

From there, you want to attach the cover to the bottom of the center bracket. You also have to make sure the end of the shock is in the middle.

Next, you want to stretch out the end of the dampener and install them on the brackets.

04. Tighten The Nuts

Here, you want to tighten the end of the dampener. To tighten it, you want to use a 19mm deep socket.

You also need a 19mm wrench. This way, you’ll be able to keep the bolt still.

Make sure the brackets are next to the collar. There should not be any space between them.

Next, grab the bracket and put it back into place. To tighten the nuts on the bracket, use a 9/16th-inch socket.

After that, tighten the center bracket and then tighten the dampener bolts.

If you want to watch a video on this process, we recommend watching this one:

Advantages Of Power Steering

Here are a couple of reasons why you should get a Jeep XJ Power steering upgrade:

Ease Of Movement

A simple tool that makes driving a lot easier is the power steering on your Jeep.

Without it, it gets pretty hard to turn the vehicle as lots of force is required. The power steering, on the other hand, makes it reasonably easy.

Parallel Parking

There is a lot that goes behind parallel parking. Lining up the rear bumpers, lining up the mirror, etc.

With power steering, you can quickly turn the wheel to the right or left, making it easier to parallel park.

Low Speed

Turning your car at low speed can be a daunting task without power steering. With it, however, turning your vehicle is not nearly as hard.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here, we’ve answered the most frequent questions about the steering for the Jeep XP.

What does the XJ mean on a jeep?

Letters are used to express the type of vehicle made by the automaker. In this case, the XJ on the Jeep stands for eXperimental Jeep.

What causes death wobble on Jeep XJ?

If you’ve recently noticed that your front end became noticeably louder, you should check up on the front end components.

The control arm, the steering linkages, and even the wheel bearings might be loose.

Can you drive with death wobble?

Yes, you can drive with death wobble. However, you should never go over 40mph as anything above that number might trigger the death wobble.

Conclusion

We covered the best Jeep XJ steering upgrades you can buy to improve your ride and how you can install it.

Replacing your worn-out steering can be a great way to enhance the lack of smoothness in your ride.

Essentially, the steering stabilizer will get rid of that annoying jolting feeling when driving over bumps.

However, it will not fix the death wobble in your front end.

If you’ve experienced any wobble when going over a certain speed, it could be a problem related to the suspension geometry.

Nonetheless, if you get any of the steering upgrades we talked about, you’ll definitely improve your vehicle’s performance.

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