Click for Coverage
  • JP Magazine
  • Dirt Sports + Off-Road
  • 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • Four Wheeler
Subscribe to the Free
Newsletter

PSC Motorsports Big Bore XD Jeep JK Steering Gear Review

Posted in Product Reviews on June 24, 2017
Share this

When it comes to weak points on the ’07-’17 Jeep Wrangler JK, there are a few. One failure point in particular we often see on the trail is a broken steering sector shaft. The added stress of going off-road, along with larger tires and a front differential locker can sometimes prove to be too much for the stock steering gear to handle. While there are sector shaft braces on the market, they don’t solve the other critical steering issue: heavy steering feedback off-road.

Until recently, the only real steering upgrade for the JK was a hydraulic-assist steering kit. By using a hydraulic steering ram to help remove the load from the steering gear, you not only reduce the likelihood of snapping the sector shaft, but you increase the ease of steering on-road and off. The main issue with hydro-assist is that it’s largely overkill for most daily driven JKs. Thankfully, there’s now an easy and cost-effective option designed specifically for the Jeep Wrangler JK.

It’s called the Big Bore XD, and the steering experts at PSC Motorsports make it. The Big Bore XD steering gear is a bolt-on upgrade aimed at JKs running up to 37-inch-tall tires. It’s pricing and performance traits allow it to nicely fill the gap between stock and hydraulic-assist steering systems. This isn’t for the hardcore rockcrawler necessarily, but that’s not to say that it’s not a heavy-duty upgrade.

For Wranglers such as our ’13 Unlimited Rubicon on 35-inch tires, it’s a great fit. Given that our Jeep serves as a daily driver, wheeler, and occasional long-distance overlander, we didn’t need an assist kit, but wanted something better than stock. To get some real world testing of the new box, we bolted one up to our JK and headed to Moab for some seriously fun research. Here’s what we found.

The Big Bore XD steering gear sector shaft is 35 percent stronger than stock. In addition, a large 80mm piston is used to help ease the steering overall. A new pitman arm (stock drop) and larger nut are included.
Despite the fact that PSC added more material to the base to make the steering gear stronger, there’s no modification needed to bolt it up to the JK. In fact, you can even reuse your stock steering lines, pump, fluid reservoir, and drag link. We had the benefit of a two-post lift at Low Range 4x4 in Wilmington, North Carolina, for our install, but you could easily install the box at home. It took the Jeep pros at Low Range around an hour to get the job done.
A 5,000 mile-plus road trip from North Carolina to Moab and back was a great way to see how the box would work in a variety of environments. On-road, you’ll immediately notice that the steering feels lighter and more responsive. We could easily dry steer our Jeep on pavement, making negotiating tight city conditions a bit easier.

On The Trail
With our 35x12.50R17 Nitto Ridge Grappler’s air pressure dropped to the teens, we spent the week in Moab crawling over the traction-rich red rock. Most of the time, our JK was in four-wheel-drive Low. Here, we found the steering remained incredibly light and easy. Even crawling over obstacles, we didn’t have to fight to stay on course as much as we normally did with the stock box. With the frontend locked, we found we still had to plan our path out ahead of time, but steering was easier than before.

It’s important to understand that this box isn’t a replacement for hydraulic-assist. If you want to be able to turn off-road with the front axle fully locked using only your pinky, PSC has a hydro-assist kit for you. This gearbox almost makes you feel as though you’re driving with the stock-sized front tires again. Everything is just easier. Overall, we are extremely happy with the upgrade. We would definitely recommend giving it a close look for anyone looking to improve their Jeep’s steering, but doesn’t need the added cost and complexity of hydraulic assist.

Sources

Nitto Tire
Cypress, CA 90630
714-252-0007
www.nittotire.com
PSC Motorsports
Azle, TX 76020
817-270-0102
www.pscmotorsports.com
Low Range 4x4
Wilimington, NC 28412
910-392-3204
www.lowrange4x4.com

Connect With Us

Newsletter Sign Up

Subscribe to the Magazine

Browse Articles By Vehicle

See Results