2001 TJ, this is intermittent which makes it worse to try and diagnose, but perhaps this has happened to someone else?
I recently replaced the steering gear with a new one as the old one was leaking an entire bottle of fluid out over a week. On getting the new one in and bled it works great and is much tighter than the old one as well. However I now have an issue that I did not have before. The Jeep after being parked for a length of time seems to have a bind in the steering when turning to the right. It does not seem to matter if the wheels were left turned or straight, but when I go to turn the wheel right, there is resistance until something goes pop and it frees up. This does not always happen, and has never happened while driving however it worries me that it may… It just does it when I go to get in the jeep to drive to work or drive home from work, but again not all the time. I am at a loss as to what it could be. The TRE’s may be a little loose but there is no real play in them, and there is no play in the ball joints, drag link, pitman arm, track bar etc. The steering shaft U-Joints seem to be moving free as does the bearing it sits in, which has got me stumped. Am I missing something here? I do need a new clock spring, which I have ordered but other than that, could the box need to be bled again due to an air bubble perhaps causing this issue? Any insight is appreciated…. I have been scratching my head for a few weeks now due to this and really don’t want to find out what was wrong after something else breaks due to this..