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Old 02-02-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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End of rope-need advise

O.k. not exactly Airstream related but has to do with my sons Jeep. He was driving parallel to another car when the driver decided to make a left from the right lane.She stuck him in the right front pushing the bumper into the wheel , damaging the fender etc. His jeep was towed to a nearby repair facility that just happens to work on jeeps so we agreed that they would do the repair work. Their insurance company came out to do an estimate on the work and we agreed to it. They said if there was additional work when they got in to it that the insurance company would make a supplemental payment. Well they finished the work and the day we were suppose to get the car back the shop called and said that the steering wheel wasn't straight although the wheels were and they couldn't figure it out. They then took the Jeep to the nearby Jeep dealer to see it they could fix it. They said it was a bent bracket and got authorization to replace it. Well it didn't fix the problem. The steering wheel is completely upside down. Now they are saying it's the steering box but they won't authorize the work unless we sign for it and if that doesn't solve it we have to pay for the repair.and it still may not be fixed. We refuse to sign for the additional work. We are not the experts and the Jeep wasn't like that before the accident. We are now in the process of getting the Insurance Commissioner involved. Next I guess it court. The only positive thing is we have the check, and haven't paid the repair shop .Any advise???? Sorry for the long post.
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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Assuming that there is nothing wrong the front end to fix this is to line up the front wheels take the steering wheel off and put it on straight. The old school way is to do this while the vehicle is moving forward. Not recommended.

With that said something smells with this one. Try taking it to a front end shop that you trust and have them take a look at it. Estimates are usually free. Some dealers are not honest.Good luck
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:37 PM   #3
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Is the repair shop alledging this was a prexisting condition with the jeep and that is why they are not treating it as a supplemental repair? Even if the steering box was worn and the impact caused the box to jump teeth or whatever its still on them. The fact that you have the check to sign over to the body shop helps expedite this issue right to the top. You might try to contact the other insureds agent. Find out who his or her boss is and go at it that way. You might get some action if they think you are going to hold up payment.. Its not about the money.. its about the money.

Good luck.

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Old 02-02-2009, 04:44 PM   #4
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Lee thanks for the response. That can't be done with newer car steering wheels , there are specific notches that must line up.Plus with the steering wheel completely up-side down it indicates something more serious. I can't take it from the repair shop without paying them for the work done which means signing off on the repairs... which we are unwilling to do since the Jeep isn't drivable in this condition. I'm guessing that their insurance company isn't willing to authorize the fix because the repairs are approaching the value of the vehicle
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Old 02-02-2009, 04:52 PM   #5
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Vinnie. Believe me, they are not getting paid until it is fixed. The body shop doesn't know whats wrong. The Jeep dealership doesn't know what the problem is. The dealership say that they are 90% sure it's the steering box but the insurance company wants them to say in writing that that is the problem and the won't go that far. So they told us we could authorize the repair. Well we aren't front end experts. If their people aren't sure why would I sign a repair consent and then be responable for the cost if that isn't the problem? And if that isn't the problem, then what? Believe me my son wasn't driving around with his steeering wheel upside down,and we just happened to find that this accident was a good time to get it fixed. This Jeep was in pretty nice shape before it was hit
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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Just a thought but if the pitman arm was removed from the steering box during the repair it could have been installed 180 degree's out. The streering secter shaft is splined in such a way that the pitman arm can be installed in 90 degree increments. Adios, John
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:48 PM   #7
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Question

It's hard to believe that a Chrysler/Jeep Dealer Body Shop, or ANY B/S with a good frame machine would not be able to diagnose the problem.

Someone must have put it on an alignment rack by now, is it straight? Does it pull? Solid front axle? It would have to have been quite a substantial direct hit to damage the steering box, (not rack?) It might be that the splines on the pitman arm or steering shaft are damaged.
What exactly did the dealer say was wrong with the box?, have they removed the arm for inspection?
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Old 02-02-2009, 05:55 PM   #8
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I like the idea of removing the steering wheel while driving, but alas, it is no longer the way to go. Would make a good U-tube thingie.

I think Diesel1 is onto something. If the wheel is 180˚ off that is too exact a change to blame on the steering box. I think the chance of the steering box being responsible is 1 in 360 if it's off 180˚.

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:19 PM   #9
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There are two adjusting sleeves on most Jeeps (you didn't say, Cheroklee? Liberty? Wrangler?) that must be turned in the same direction to move the steering wheel and tie rods. One sleeve should be on the drag link, the other is between the tie rods.
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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Got me? Two shops, the first one doing the work from the original insurance adjusters estimate, specializing in Jeeps. The second, a Jeep dealership and authorized service shop, can't say for sure what the problem is. We've gone over the original adjusters head to his supervisor with the same response. They won't authorize the work unless the shop will guarantee replacing the steering box will fix the problem. I think eventually the original repair shop that worked from the insurance estamite is going to have to do what ever is necessary to get this right. They don't want to, they would rather have us sign for the steering box replacement in case it doesn't solve the problem they're not on the hook for the repair. You would think one of these shops could figure this out.
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Old 02-02-2009, 06:43 PM   #11
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It sounds like guys who are too stubborn to think if the first thing that comes to their "minds" may not be correct. I'm no mechanic, but I've had to argue with mechanics who were dead wrong and wouldn't budge from the wrong answer. It's pretty hard to be in the middle of this.

Maybe if you ask them to check the pitman arm and the sleeves to make sure the problem isn't there they'll look. Maybe the insurance supervisor will understand that it could be something else since they seem to doubt it's the steering box. If this standoff continues long enough, they may sell the jeep to get the repair cost, so watch out for that. Have you told the insurance guy you are willing to get in touch with the insurance commissioner?

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Old 02-02-2009, 06:48 PM   #12
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Can you find out what , if any , front end parts were replaced . Hard to guess without knowing what has been done or seeing vehicle . Several things can cause this , some have been mentioned.
Bent frame
Pitman arm turned 180
bent tierods
out of adjustment tierods
Bent spindle
etc
It needs to go to a GOOD front end shop

Best of luck
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftsman View Post
Got me? Two shops, the first one doing the work from the original insurance adjusters estimate, specializing in Jeeps. The second, a Jeep dealership and authorized service shop, can't say for sure what the problem is. We've gone over the original adjusters head to his supervisor with the same response. They won't authorize the work unless the shop will guarantee replacing the steering box will fix the problem. I think eventually the original repair shop that worked from the insurance estamite is going to have to do what ever is necessary to get this right. They don't want to, they would rather have us sign for the steering box replacement in case it doesn't solve the problem they're not on the hook for the repair. You would think one of these shops could figure this out.
Undisclosed defect. I think the insurance company or yourself will have to authorize the repair, it is your jeep. Insurance company feels the same way you do why can't the pros diagnose the problem they are not refusing to pay for the repair they are refusing to pay for guess work. Happens all the time. Probably not worth going to court but is dose sound good to trot out the threat. Seems both Jeep guys aren't such experts.

I wore out 3 adjusters and several bank officers on my insurance claims on my home for Katrina. Just keep at it you will get it covered.
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Old 02-02-2009, 07:45 PM   #14
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If the experts can't agree on what the fix is, I'm not jumping in authorizing them to just try something until they maybe get it right. I don't diagnose and suggest fixes for serious medial problems or car problems that stump the experts. I'm certainly not worried about them selling the Jeep. I'm not refusing to pay them. I'll be happy to... as soon as the Jeep is fixed. What possible preexisting problem would make the steering wheel turn upside down when the car was stuck in the front end? Sounds like a suggestion from the insurance company paying for the repairs. I was a Land Rover tech for a number of years , working on Range Rovers, Discovery and Defenders. Trained in the U.S. as well as the factory in the U.K. and have considered a number of the suggestions. I'm still at a loss because I'm not a front end specialist. I too don't believe it's the steering box, but I could be wrong.
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