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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:25 PM   #1
cuzsis
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DW and Track Bar **Update: Cotter Pin Question at end!

So I've been having some "wobble" like issues. Mostly at 50mph and when braking a bit.

So I finally took her in to Les Schwab to see if perhaps it was something simple with a thrown balance on a tire.

Verdict came back that the track bar was worn and needed replacing. They quoted $200 and said it would take a couple hours.

I'm torn. I need this fixed in the next two days. But am not sure if I'm up to doing it when I get back from work (Getting over a nasty cold and I have work from 8am-1pm both days.) If I just "throw money at the problem til it goes away" I would likely spend those couple hours on a bike ride with my 9yr old son and picnic.

I found a pretty sweet video on youtube about what I'd be in for. It doesn't look *that* bad...


But, like I said, I'm torn.

What say you fellow jeepers? Is this thing a quick swap or should I just go enjoy some time with the kiddo?

Bonus: My steering is also fairly loose. I've heard this might fix that too, what do you think?

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Unread 06-11-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
tucsonzj
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Track bar can be either a quick or a very long project. Crawl under and take a look at what you see with your track bar and make sure they made the right call that it's bad. See if it's loose and if you want to take it off on the frame side if the hole is ovaled out.

As far as the actually work, it's a cotter pin/bolt and a bold on the axle side. PB blaster is your friend. There's plenty of write ups on how to install and check measurements, as well as how to adjust if its off. Overall a pretty easy product, but if you're getting a new one. It's worth it to upgrade not do a cheap replacement IMO.
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Unread 06-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #3
96zedjay
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If your track bar is worn/loose either fix it or park it.
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Unread 06-14-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
cuzsis
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Well, we were able to get the old track bar out and the new one in. Old track bar was definitely shot.

Took a lot longer than we expected. Here's a few things we ran into which I'm going to post for future googler's.

-Getting the cotter pin out. Mine was shoved in so far there was barely anything to grab. Eventually we were able to wedge some crooked needle nose pliers into it and start leveraging it out.
-Castle nut came off fine, but of course the ball stud was stuck in there. We found taking off the drivers side wheel gave us better access for the pickle fork. A larger hammer helped too.
-Bolt on the passenger side ended up needing some mechanical leverage before we got it to break open.
-New track bar wouldn't line up with the holes for the bolt and the ball stud at the same time. This took us a while (probably because it was close to 11pm at this point and both of us were tired from work earlier that day). Using the power steering (key was in the "on" position, but the engine wasn't running) one of us cranked the wheels left while the other was lining up the holes. It took some fiddling with turning the wheel back to the right a tad, and then back to the left, but eventually they lined up.
-Put the tire back on and put the jeep back on the floor (it had been on jacks) and tightened the bolts/nut to their specs. However, we had trouble finding the hole for the cotter pin. We backed off the castle bolt a bit and were able to find the hole.

Currently we haven't been able to get the cotter pin back in it. It got late and we needed to go to bed, so I'm going to take another stab at it today...
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Unread 06-14-2013, 11:57 AM   #5
cuzsis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonzj View Post
Track bar can be either a quick or a very long project. Crawl under and take a look at what you see with your track bar and make sure they made the right call that it's bad. See if it's loose and if you want to take it off on the frame side if the hole is ovaled out.

As far as the actually work, it's a cotter pin/bolt and a bold on the axle side. PB blaster is your friend. There's plenty of write ups on how to install and check measurements, as well as how to adjust if its off. Overall a pretty easy product, but if you're getting a new one. It's worth it to upgrade not do a cheap replacement IMO.
Thanks!

Yeah, I tried for the upgrade, but they weren't in stock so I had to go with the standard one. Hopefully it'll hang in there for a while.
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Unread 06-15-2013, 11:38 AM   #6
jeeepguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzsis View Post
Thanks!

Yeah, I tried for the upgrade, but they weren't in stock so I had to go with the standard one. Hopefully it'll hang in there for a while.
Hung in there for 18 years before. Should be fine for a while don'tcha think?
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Unread 06-17-2013, 07:34 PM   #7
cuzsis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeepguy View Post
Hung in there for 18 years before. Should be fine for a while don'tcha think?
Yeahh...it should be good.

But I did have a question... when we torqued it down to spec the cotter pin did not have enough room to get through the hole because the notch in the castle nut didn't line up all the way. It was just a tad short of it. (Actually we ended up getting a one size smaller diameter cotter pin because even without the castle nut it didn't fit the hole, but I digress.)

So I backed the nut off by one notch and was able to get the new pin in. Folded the ends over and it's stuck properly. But... the nut can be moved by hand. It only wiggles as far as the pin will alow it to, but it's not snug. The pin is made of brass because they didn't have a steel one in the size I needed.

Is this good enough, or should I look at getting a new steel pin and trying to use a lever to really crank it down on the other (first) notch?
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:14 PM   #8
jeeepguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cuzsis View Post
Is this good enough, or should I look at getting a new steel pin and trying to use a lever to really crank it down on the other (first) notch?
You need to torque it to the factory spec, then move it forward to the next closest opening and use a steel pin.
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"Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum"

"Great danger lies in the notion that we can reason with evil"
Doug Patton
Quote:
...We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. ...I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post...
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I bought the HI-WAY BLASTER HORN that's 139dB and every time I honk the horn an Angel dies.
Quote:
Revelation 13:16-18
16 - He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,
17 - and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 - Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: (Real ID and RFID chips)
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Unread 06-17-2013, 09:44 PM   #9
Oldfrog
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Next time, try removing the driver's side track bar frame mount to get the track bar off. I dont like beating on pickle forks under there....so I drilled a small (maybe 1/4- 5/16"..I forget) hole in the mounting bracket, inserted a flat headed punch and whacked it once or twice. Came right out.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
cuzsis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeeepguy View Post
You need to torque it to the factory spec, then move it forward to the next closest opening and use a steel pin.
That's the problem. At spec, we can't get the castle nut to line up. It wouldn't tighten any further either.
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Unread 06-17-2013, 11:44 PM   #11
96zedjay
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Get several different thickness washers.(under the nut) Use the one that gets you closest to the perfect alignment of the Nut and Cotter at torque spec.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 12:08 AM   #12
cuzsis
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Good idea!

We may have found the problem. Looks like the hole drilled into the bolt is too small and canted slightly, so it's out of spec. Kind of torn on what to do right now. Don't really want to pull it out again and go get another one, but not keen on having a part that's not to spec either. : \

**Update**

So here's what we're planning to do. Don't particularly want to replace the entire thing again and the bolt itself appears to be fine even though the hole was drilled wrong.

So we left it in. Put on the castle nut and got it tightened down to spec...actually a bit past it. Tomorrow we're getting a one size smaller cotter pin to fit in the bolt hole. Since it's smaller we're also snugging down a nut with teflon in the threads to the top of the bolt.

Between both of those, that should stop that sucker from going anywhere.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 10:36 AM   #13
JohnnyZJ
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dude this isn't rocket science.
crank the nut down to a spot where pin goes through.

you've hit the term 'overthinking the problem' way out of the park.

tighten the bolt up, crank it a bit more so the pin goes in easy, have a beer and call it done.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 11:21 AM   #14
cuzsis
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The pin doesn't go through because they didn't drill the hole correctly when they made it.

So we're getting a smaller pin and putting a teflon nut on top as an added precaution.
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Unread 06-18-2013, 12:17 PM   #15
1ATony
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We carry the stock style track bars too if anyone is looking to replace theirs. Here's a link to them on our website 1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Front Track Bar
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