Have you noticed looseness in your steering? Have you checked the mounting bolts on your steering gear? Do they come loose often? If so, then you need to check out our Hard-KOR Jeep XJ Cherokee Steering Box Brace!
Let me impress upon you how important it is to KNOW that those bolts are tight! On a trip through Pritchett Canyon in Moab, I had a bolt sheer off AND rip off one of the ears on the steering box, rendering my steering pretty much useless. Not a good situation to be in. Your steering box is essentially a hydraulic-assisted lever with a bracket on only one end to brace it. As you may remember from high school physics, every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When you turn the steering wheel to the right, the pitman arm forces the tie-rod to the right, pushing the front of the wheel rightward so you can turn the Jeep. It also pushes the driver’s side frame rail leftward at the same time which is where the steering box is mounted.
The steering gear has no problem overcoming the friction of the stock tires’ contact patch on the pavement. When you add taller and wider tires, the contact patch can easily TRIPLE OR MORE in size, adding quite a bit of force to the system. That’s just on pavement, imagine the forces when you’re offroad pushing up against an obstacle! The bolts holding the steering box to the frame are all at the top, not down at the bottom where you need them in order to brace the forces of the larger contact patch. Do you know that there are exactly THREE bolts holding the steering box to the frame? How long until it fails? If the bolts loosen up, the box can work back and forth, eventually breaking off a bolt or three, or ripping the box right off the frame (like what happened to me in Moab). So, you can see why it’s important to have a steering brace for your steering box.
Without further adieu, allow me to introduce our Hard-KOR Jeep XJ Cherokee steering box brace! (It also fits the MJ Comanches) Many competitors make a brace that mounts to the steering box and the opposite frame rail ONLY! They let the steering box itself take all the opposing stress! This works fine if you only plan on turning one direction the entire time you own your Jeep. Our brace bolts up to both frame rails to let the vehicle take the stress and hold the steering box in place. It’ll increase your steering response (because you have FAR less “accidental” movement), and takes so much force off of the factory gear bolts, keeping them tight on the frame so you don’t break them or the box off.
The Hard-KOR Jeep XJ Cherokee steering box brace comes powdercoated to resist the elements and includes all the hardware you need to bolt it right in. No cutting, welding, or modifying necessary. It fits both 6cyl and 4cyl XJ Cherokees and MJ Comanches. You can re-use the worthless front factory skid if you elect to do so, but you’ll need to modify the rear tabs just a bit so that they don’t come inboard as far. No biggie. It’ll be obvious what to do when you get it under there. Once you’re lifted there isn’t anything that that skid really protects, most customers just toss it.
NOTE: If you still have the stock front anti-sway bar, you’ll need to purchase our optional Energy Suspension grease-able anti-sway bar bushing kits (KOR-9-5161-G) which has more clearance than the stock bushing clamps, and allows the steering brace to mount to the frame properly without having to modify the factory clamps.
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The Jeep XJ Cherokee was built from 1984 to 2001, and the MJ Comanche from 1985 to 1992.