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Thread: Who's done steering upgrades?

  1. #1
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    Who's done steering upgrades?

    Found my draglink has a crack in it, so I'm wondering about options for replacing it. Stock D30 with new uppers, lowers and U's. I like the idea of going to one ton steering joints, and briefly read about flipping the TREs to the top.
    Who can school me on what's good vs overkill? 35's, no plans for bigger, all mud and street.
    ....-Noltz
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    Can't school you but i have "heard" the V8 ZJ's are a lot beefier and are a bolt on.

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    I went over the top with GM ends (what people refer to as 1-ton, but really are used on everything from the 1/4 ton K5 Blazer all the way up to the 1-ton) on an otherwise stock LJ D30.


    Used 1.5" 1/4" wall DOM, had to go back to a stock pitman (from the drop pitman I had previously installed - with the drop pitman I had less than 1" clearance between joint at pitman and the tie rod at ride height), new fabbed trackbar (made from same DOM as steering links using rod ends), cut off and replaced trackbar mounts on both ends with fabbed mounts, clearanced lower coil spring pads (basically chopped a good chunk off the leading edge because the tie rod interfered at full lock - it still hits some, but not enough to be concerned), cut off and replaced the lower sway bar mounts with new mounts from Staang's, picked up the rod ends, bungs, and jam nuts from TMR, was able to get a great deal on the reamer from another user.

    Been under the Jeep for a year now (installed May of last year), very happy with how it works, I don't have a steering stabilizer and I don't feel I need one.

    Only downside, it is VERY susceptible to death wobble if your alignment is off, get the alignment sorted out and you will have no issues with this.


    A couple things of note:

    - replace the tie rod end boots (at both knuckles and the joint where the drag link attaches to the tie rod) with poly spacers (1.5" OD, 0.75" ID, 3/16" thick - I sent the specs to TMR and had them cut the bushings) to eliminate tie rod roll when turning, this will eliminate the "dead spot" in the steering.

    - use good quality tie rod ends from the beginning, I grabbed white box to keep the cost down and replaced the end at the pitman within a few months (that end is built different than the others to allow more movement at the pitman, this causes it to wear faster than the others).

    - if I did it again, I would have bought the tapered inserts, drilled the holes out and had the tapers welded in, that way there is no screwing around with a reamer and trying to make sure you get the taper the right depth, etc.




    I know you are in a YJ, so it is likely a lot less work to go over the knuckle than I had to do in the LJ, also depends on whether you are running a trackbar and/or sway bar. Obviously you would have to see how the leaf springs come into play. On the LJ I could have saved a lot of work if I stayed under the knuckle, but I am happy overall that I didn't. I get a lot more droop with ZERO binding in the steering linkage on flex...it droops out so much that driveshaft compression is now my limiting factor (short arm lift causing a big change in driveshaft length from full stuff to full droop) and the coil springs still don't unseat.
    Last edited by igotafrigginjeep; 05-12-2013 at 11:36 PM.
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    im interested in this thread as well...TMR has a a couple good kits with both hemi joints and tie rod ends depending on your usage/preference, and currie is always recommend... i'm looking into doing this this year as well...would welcome any recommendations!
    OF4WD # 6856
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWG View Post
    Can't school you but i have "heard" the V8 ZJ's are a lot beefier and are a bolt on.
    I did this swap.
    Straight forward install. Readily available parts. Cost effective. MUCH beefier than stock.
    However, it's not comparable to doing a hydro assist, high steer gee gaw setup (nor is it nearly as expensive).
    You're going to get what you pay for. The question you need to ask yourself is 'what do you need/want?'

    Here's the write up for the swap on Stu Olson's site: http://www.stu-offroad.com/steering/zjtie/tierod-1.htm
    OF4WD 2750

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    Who's done steering upgrades?

    Bolt on beef is plenty for me. I like the idea of poly bushings to eliminate the joint roll.

    No track bar, no sway bar. I don't drive it like a car on the street and it almost never sees highway.

    Exactly what year ZJ do I order from for these bigger bars?

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    '98 ZJ - Stu's got all of the Napa part #'s in his post that I linked (although I can't remember if the part #'s were different for us in Canada)

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    The ZJ upgrade is only the tie rod, the drag link is the same. I wasted money on it years ago, basically you are exchanging your stock hollow bar for a solid one if I remember correctly.

    I bent it just as easy as a stock piece. It is a useless bandaid in my book and a complete waste of money. If you are going to put money into your steering do it once and do it right.
    I run a common gm 1 ton TRE inverted T setup over the knuckle. The road feel sucks but it is plenty strong. As my jeep is basically offroad only steering feel is a mute point as once aired down offroad a small bit of steering play becomes irrelevant.
    2000 XJ 6" lift,strongbox+dana 300, 35 MTR Kevlars, 8.8 swap, lockers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonzer12 View Post
    I bent it just as easy as a stock piece.
    Funny, I smucked mine on a low stump on the far side of an obstacle at Rocktoberfest and was shocked it didn't bend. Thought I'd have a warble at least when I got back on pavement and absolutely no problem. I drive my Jeep to and from the trail so road manners matter to me.
    Totally a good upgrade.
    Last edited by Sideshow; 05-13-2013 at 10:00 AM.

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    Re: Who's done steering upgrades?

    I've got crossover steering with hime joints and dom for the tie rod and drag link. Ran into an underwater rock last time out, stopped the jeep dead but there's been 0 change in handling since. The passanger knuckle is drilled stright through with the drag link on top and the tie rod on the bottom. Works great, has excellent on road manners is sold as hell. Only down side is himes don't like salt so I suspect after a winter or 2 of dd use they will be cooked. You will need safety washers on the tie rod to keep it from binding and misalignment spacers on the drag link.
    2010 JK Unlimited Sahara, rubi axles, 35" duratracs, OME lift: Written off, RIP.
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    Quote Originally Posted by igotafrigginjeep View Post
    Listen to the wise Drizit
    Hey he said it not me.
    There Must have been a time when we could have said no.

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    There is a way to do an OTK setup using stock "export" parts...

    The "Go Jeep XJ" site out of Australia has a right up for the RHD Jeeps but the concept is the same for LHD Jeeps and he includes the parts numbers needed. The draglink can be sourced in North America because the XJ was available as a RHD for mail delivery.

    Drag link part number required 52006582 for 91 - 01 XJ.

    Here is the writeup http://jeep-xj.info/HowtoOTKSteeringLinks.htm and a second writeup for upgrading using stock parts http://jeep-xj.info/HowtoTierodUpgrade.htm for those still running track bar and sway bar, you will still need to alter track bar mounts and lower sway bar link mounts. As somebody else has said, if you are going OTK in isn't worth the money/time to stick with stock parts, you are doing the same amount of work and not really upgrading the beef of the parts.

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    Who's done steering upgrades?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonzer12
    I run a common gm 1 ton TRE inverted T setup over the knuckle. The road feel sucks but it is plenty strong. As my jeep is basically offroad only steering feel is a mute point as once aired down offroad a small bit of steering play becomes irrelevant.
    Ohh really... Ok good to know its the draglink that's slightly cracked (age) but I'm not happy with the amount of movement in the wheel. I'm sure a Durango box will help too, but this is a safety thing so I figure now's a good time.

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    "Who's done steering upgrades?"

    Took out a couple of the week links

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverage View Post
    Took out a couple of the week links
    Wow! What an understatement. Awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noltz View Post
    Exactly what year ZJ do I order from for these bigger bars?
    must be from a 'V8 model ZJ' 93-98 I believe as the 4.0L has the same steering as a wrangler I'm pretty sure.

    I have the older 'V8 ZJ' tie rod, its FAR more solid then the stock one for sure... easily double the strength atleast and is pre-bent to clear a thicker dif cover if you have one. Well worth it and easy to change for a daily driver vehicle (I'm only on 33's)

    **this ALSO gives you a sleeve before the driver side tie-rod so that you can do an alignment by just twisting the sleeve and not the whole damn tie-rod! even easier!

    -but as stated doesn't compare to a full DOM tube setup, but its FAR cheaper.

    I personally also did a gopher-it flip insert only on the driverside knuckle and now my tierod is pretty parallel with the top side of my axle and alot more up and out of the way.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noltz View Post
    I'm not happy with the amount of movement in the wheel. .
    check the input shaft going into the steering box... try and twist it right at the back of the steering box with your hands. you can adjust it with the center nut/bolt on the top of the steering box.
    Last edited by sk8snwmx; 05-13-2013 at 08:08 PM.
    OF4WD MEMBER# 6656

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    Jeff, I totally missed your links there from Stu. Was reading and replying on tapatalk while waiting on customer parts. I'll go over and have a better look tomorrow. While I'd really like OTK, unless it's cost effective I haven't actually broken anything with the stock setup a bolt-on is probably just fine for me.

    Rev, you disgust me with your overkill solutions to simple problems. Everyone else would just go AROUND the mountain. But no...


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