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Thread: BTF Cross-Over Steering Knuckle, install write-up

  1. #1
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    BTF Cross-Over Steering Knuckle, install write-up

    So there's always questions about upgraded steering on the D30. There seem to be plenty of options, here's the one I went with.

    I ordered the BlueTorchFabWorks “Cross-Over Steering Bracket for Dana 30/44 Knuckle” about a week ago, was told it would be about 3 weeks to get here, was pleasantly surprised this morning by the brown van guy.

    Here's a quick write-up on how too get it on the knuckle, I'll add to it as the steering parts come in.
    There were no instructions with the new part, and I couldn't find any online.

    So some quick measuring and I came up with a list of parts needed;
    1 - 5/8” bolts 4” long
    2 - 5/8” bolts 4 ½” long
    3 - 5/8” lock washers
    3 - 7/16” standard washers (I bored these out to 5/8th for a smaller footprint than a 5/8th washer)
    2 – ½” bolts 1 1/4” long
    2 – 1/2” washers
    All bolts are Grade 8.
    This is a list just for the new piece, you'll still need bolts for the driver side and the pitman arm. That will come later in the week, hopefully.



    First off, mount the BTFpiece on the knuckle with the 2 hub/bearing bolts. That will get the piece in the right spot to make the 2 holes that need to be tapped into the knuckle.

    Before you mark these holes tho, put a bolt through the knuckle to ensure everything lines up, which it does perfectly.



    I used a ½” drill bit mark the center of the hole. I have a few punches, but there is a casting ridge right in the center so this way was quick and simple.



    Once center is marked, go about drilling. Start small, work your way upto a 27/64th bit, so you can tap the hole with a 1/2-13 Tap.



    Don't forget to use some lubricant, I had some brake fluid, mixed with 10W, worked well.



    Once its all done put the BTFpiece back on, loosely with the hub bolts, than the 2 newly tapped ½” bolts, and tighten them all down. Drop the 5/8” bolt back in, it should drop straight down, which it did. (forgot the washers on the 1/2" bolts, they'll be on in the end)



    The bolts are obviously quite long for these applications, I wanted that so the heims/misalignment spacers would be against shank as opposed to threads. Once the lock washers, washers and nuts were snugged up I used a 2nd washers for a spacer and cut the bolt off. I am contemplating using a locknut with the lock washer, seeing as this is steering, I don't want it coming apart... ever.


    I plan on making a piece for the driver side which will put that heim in double sheer aswell. Once I have that done and get the knuckles clean up and painted I'll post up another portion of the write-up. I should have all the steering picked up and put together, and the pitman arm drilled to 5/8” by the end of the week. That will be another post too.


    So far this has been real easy, mark, drill, tap and voila. Hopefully the rest of this goes as easily.
    insert something witty here

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    someones using there dipstick!
    thats a nice peice i checked the btf website i dont see it.
    where did you pick that up i need one bad!

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    +1 on dipstick factor Beakie, good job, and thanks for sharin.
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    excellent write up... keep up the good work

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    Quote Originally Posted by mud bros.1 View Post
    someones using there dipstick!
    thats a nice peice i checked the btf website i dont see it.
    where did you pick that up i need one bad!
    BTF website > Steering Parts>High Steer Arms> YJDANA30/TJDANA44
    or clicky clicky
    If you order it, they use UPS, no other, I asked. But when the UPS guy brought it he said "make sure they send it expedited or express next time, because that way UPS doesn't charge brokerage fees" which for this was just over $40!! Total to my door was about $230, ouch, but hey its beef and should be sweet once its all done.



    I got the piece for the driver side done today, certainly not as pretty as the BTF piece, but it will put the heim in double shear, and should add a tad of strength.
    But I'm off to work, so I'll post up tomorrow.

  6. #6
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    Well I was able to get the driver side piece done today, well done for now, more on that later.

    Its not quite as aesthetically pleasing in the side by side with the BTF piece, but the end result should be the same.
    The heim will be in double sheer, and it should add a little strength, as opposed to the bolt just through the knuckle.

    The driver side captures one of the hub/bearing bolts, and taps 2 x 1/2" grade 8 bolts like the BTF piece does.
    Check it out


    and one more


    now I said at the start it's 'done for now' because looking at it now I am thinking I could/should add an angled piece to the outside of the piece. Its supported on the inside by the piece going to the hub bolt, but on the other side it could still flex a bit. Since I don't have a press brake I had to cut the 1/4" metal a bit in order to bend it the way I wanted to. Then welded the seam after it was bent.

    Either way, I'm happy with it. Considering some setups have all the heims in single sheer, on both sides... I figure this should beef up everything that much more.

    Now, just waiting on the steering linkages.

  7. #7
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    well its coming together, but I have a dilemma here now.

    mocking the trac bar/tierod/draglink all up it seems I have a decision to make.

    1. Mount the drag link ON TOP of the pitman arm. I can get better drag link-vs-tracbar angle. Plus I can fab up a bracket to make it double sheer for added strength (course gotta find out what the pitmans arms made of and if its ok wo weld to)

    pic of the drag link (broom stick) above the pitman arm



    2. Leave the drag link below the pitman arm. Better angle on the heims. No fabbing required, but it leaves 1 of the 4 heims in single sheer.

    pic of drag link below pitman arm


    I guess neither pic shows the angle of the heims, but the 2" height difference between over/under the pitman arm make the angles a bit different.
    I could go over, and put bends in the drag link, but I'd like to keep it straight if possible to keep it looking clean and minimize flex.


    So if there's any feedback out there on what you have done in a situation like this, or what you think I could/should do, it would be appreciated.

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    Looks good!!

    QA1 make a 62* hiem. I run them on my drag link.. I have yet to max them out.
    1986 2 door XJ, 2.5L 5 spd, 231/300 twin sticked,
    8" lift, 36" IROKs, 44-9 frt axle with 5.13's and a detriot, rear 9" with 5.13's and a spool, custom track bar, custom snorkel,
    9500lbs winch with custom front and rear bumpers, SBS, Staang's FAB front and rear longarms, crossover steering.
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    Need any Mechanical or FAB work done PM me or visit my website

  9. #9
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    oh I'm not worried about maxing out the heims, its still very within limits.

    I guess I am trying to convince myself NOT to stay under.
    It will take some more work, but I like the idea of going over the pitman arm.

    I am wondering if I am missing anything pro-vs-con about one setup over the other. Anything I am forgetting about that may cause a hiccup?

  10. #10
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    got some other feedback on another board.

    I hadn't thought of what things will be like at full droop. So I'll set it up to go under the pitman arm, and see what things look like than. If need be I could goto a bit of a drop pitman arm, but I think after raising it this much already I'm ahead of the game.

  11. #11
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    So a buddy got a parts Waggy, and I grabbed the pitman arm off it (1" less drop than XJ)

    I wanted it to get better angles on my steering, you can see it in this pic.



    Then I built a new trac bar mount (frame side) which moved the trac bar 1" forward and 1" down.
    Rusty's 3/16" piece on the right... home fabbed 1/4" on the left... 1" forward 1" drop



    If your tie-rod has some beef to it, coupled with a dif cover like th RS one I run... there is some clearance issues. Since I don't expect to see many rocks hitting high up on the cover, and the tie rod is 1/4" wall anyway I decided to cut into the cover and re-plate with 1/8".
    Sizable slab cut out, new 1/8" bent and welded in.



    Finally I got everything bolted up, double sheer on each side, the only single sheer joint is the pitman arm. My last idea may be to put the XJ arm back in, heim over the arm and weld a bracket on top to make it double sheer. But first I want to drive this thing again, its been 6months off the road.

    Here's the final angle setup. Just one pic to show how well the angles turned out. Drag link is 32" long, trac bar is 29"... close, it will do for my needs.

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