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Thread: JK and TJ Steering tech

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  1. #1
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    JK and TJ Steering tech

    I recently completed a front axle swap in my TJ, installing a JK Rubicon Dana 44 (I already had the matching rear). When I attached the steering, I used the stock JK drag link and reamed the stock TJ pitman arm to make it fit. That doesn't seem to have worked very well, however, as i sheared the ball joint just above the taper, probably because my taper isn't correct and the force is being concentrated.

    Anyway, I'm looking for some suggestions and confirmation whether or not the following would be possible:

    1. Replace the stock TJ pitman arm with a JK pitman arm. Are the spline counts and shaft size the same?
    2. Replace the pitman arm end TRE with one that matches the TJ taper (a stock TJ TRE won't thread into the JK drag link, they're different sizes)
    3. Build a custom drag link with DOM tubing, a JK-sized TRE at the axle end and a TJ-sized TRE at the pitman arm end
    4. Convert the whole damn thing to heim joints.


    I've tried finding some specifications on the output shafts for the TJ and JK steering boxes, but I can confirm if they're the same or not, as this would be the easiest fix. Repalce the broken TRE and use a matching JK pitman arm. Problem solved, job done. Will that work though?

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    ThanX!
    '08 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon - 3.5" lift, 35" Mickey Thompsons
    '99 TJ Sport - Highline kit, 2" lift, 33" Tires, JK Rubicon springs, Bully Performance Clutch, Tummy Tuck, JK Rubicon axles

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    JK and TJ Steering tech

    Used heims with dom on my jk axle swap. I had to do a slight tweak to clear the track bar bolt so it's not perfectly stright but your setup may allow it.
    2010 JK Unlimited Sahara, rubi axles, 35" duratracs, OME lift: Written off, RIP.
    2006 LJ Rubicon Lots of stuff from TMR installed by CT Motorsports (see profile if you want to know) project once more with feeling
    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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    im doing this swap for a buddy right now and I used tmr chevy 1 ton tie rod on the knuckle end with dom tube that I put a bend in going up to a hiem joint at the box just drilled out the pitman arm
    2012 JKU Sahara, SD HP60 Front, GM 14 Bolt shaved rear, 5.38s, locked/Spooled, 4 link front 3 link rear, Oris, TR Double Beadlocks, 42" tsl sx2, PSC Full Hydro, D3 bumpers, D3 skids, D3 Rock Rails, D3 Cage, and lots more...
    OF4WD #5252

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    Quote Originally Posted by just-lift-it View Post
    im doing this swap for a buddy right now and I used tmr chevy 1 ton tie rod on the knuckle end with dom tube that I put a bend in going up to a hiem joint at the box just drilled out the pitman arm
    I'm curious, how big did you have to drill out the pitman arm to accommodate the hiem joint? Also did the TMR 1 ton tie rod end fit right into the knuckle, or did you have to drill it out and use a taper insert?

    I would really prefer to leave the knuckle stock if I can, at least for the time being.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drizit
    Used heims with dom on my jk axle swap. I had to do a slight tweak to clear the track bar bolt so it's not perfectly stright but your setup may allow it.
    I changed my trackbar to bolt in horizontally instead of vertically at the frame end, so my clearance will surely be different. Not necessarily better, but different.

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    I forget what the bolt is on the pitman arm either 5/8" or 3/4" ill have to look sometime and for the knuckle I drilled it to I think 1" and used tmr one ton insert and tie rod just tig welded the insert in... 1.5" OD DOM with 1/4" wall

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    JK and TJ Steering tech

    My clearance issue is at the axle end, however my track bar mount is also raised and the top arm was cut off the knuckle before I got it so YMMV. I used 3/4" bolts with misalignment spacers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drizit View Post
    My clearance issue is at the axle end, however my track bar mount is also raised and the top arm was cut off the knuckle before I got it so YMMV. I used 3/4" bolts with misalignment spacers.
    Interesting. I think my geometry is very different. My trackbar mount sits below my spring perch. I don't have a photo of it installed, and this one doesn't have the hole drilled for the trackbar yet, but I think you'll get the idea.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by prdufresne View Post
    Interesting. I think my geometry is very different. My trackbar mount sits below my spring perch. I don't have a photo of it installed, and this one doesn't have the hole drilled for the trackbar yet, but I think you'll get the idea.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    how do you plan on running that unless you put a massive frame side drop bracket you will get brutal bump steer because the drag link is so high... and I am not one for lifting the drag link at axle and lowering the trac bar at the frame even though some bolt on kits come that way its very piss poor design and I say stay away! haha

    ill snap some pics of what I did later so you can see

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    I wish I had a picture of it installed, but with my converted trackbar mount (more like a JK with the bolt running horizontally), my drag link and track bar are almost perfectly parallel. Are you running a drop pitman arm? I'm using a stock one. The picture is deceiving, because the drag link and trackbar are mounted at the same height at the axle end. Also, I'm only running 2" of lift in my TJ. I have an AEV highline kit to provide clearance for the larger tires.

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    the one I did uses a JK artec axle trac bar mount designed for high steer and my drag link mounted on top of the knuckle with a stop pitman arm with hiem joint and misalignment spacers on the bottom side of the pitman arm

    it came out looking almost exactly like the Synergy JK front setup you can buy when I was done wish I had pics on my phone haha ill try and remember tonight

    I just hate lowering the trac bars at the frame because you loose roll center I always lift it at the axle end instead it also puts a ton of stress on the frame from leverage along with the steering box right there already makes me cringe

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    JK and TJ Steering tech

    Yah, mine is way above and outboard of the spring purch.

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    JK and TJ Steering tech



    Best pics I have atm

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    JK and TJ Steering tech

    I'm running a 3.5" lift, stock Pittman arm. Equal length matters a lot to. Originally I ran just inboard of the spring and even though it was perfectly parallel, the truck was almost undrivable on the highway due to bump steer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drizit View Post
    I'm running a 3.5" lift, stock Pittman arm. Equal length matters a lot to. Originally I ran just inboard of the spring and even though it was perfectly parallel, the truck was almost undrivable on the highway due to bump steer.
    I find this interesting because I have been arguing with myself over this recently haha factory components are not the same length not even close but people say you need to try and get them the same length when building..

    starting to think its more because of the angle at right height stock is parallel to the ground and only swings maybe an inch up and down not enough to feel bump steer not many lifted rigs drag links are close to flat at right height even with high steer it seems so it magnifies the bump steer... should put it all into cad and prove it out

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    With my setup, I'm using a nearly stock length TJ trackbar and it is significantly shorter than my drag link. That said, my drag link runs almost horizontal since I have so little lift.

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    Quote Originally Posted by prdufresne View Post
    With my setup, I'm using a nearly stock length TJ trackbar and it is significantly shorter than my drag link. That said, my drag link runs almost horizontal since I have so little lift.
    ya same as what I did for buddy trac bar is a lot shorter its not done yet though so I don't know how it will handle...

    what I will say is I will never put jk axles in a tj again it is not worth it at all people say they fit no problem haha maybe if they get hack job install it took just as much time if not more then swapping in 1 ton axles just not worth the effort if you ask me I wont do it again

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    JK and TJ Steering tech

    Quote Originally Posted by just-lift-it View Post
    I find this interesting because I have been arguing with myself over this recently haha factory components are not the same length not even close but people say you need to try and get them the same length when building..

    starting to think its more because of the angle at right height stock is parallel to the ground and only swings maybe an inch up and down not enough to feel bump steer not many lifted rigs drag links are close to flat at right height even with high steer it seems so it magnifies the bump steer... should put it all into cad and prove it out
    You are bang on. If everything is parallel to the ground you can get away with murder. However to get that I'd need a big drop Pittman arm, and huge track bar brackets. As is I have no bump steer but my axle shifts several inches side to side from ride to full droop.

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    Pitman arms between the tj and jk are not the same.

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