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Unread 05-09-2012, 08:12 PM   #1
Uniblurb
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Trouble aligning lower track bar bolt.

I removed the lower track bar bolt on the axle bracket to drop the axle and remove the oil pan. Now I can't figure out how to align the track bar with the hole in the bracket to put the bolt back in. I'm only 1/4" away but can't seem to get any more slack in it. Have a jack under the frame on the passenger side and one under the axle on the same side. No amount of tweaking seems to be aligning the track bar with the hole.

When I removed the bolt it was on a bind and ended up damaging the threads. Would rather not do the same thing with the new bolt. Have the wheel off of the right side but it's still on the drivers side but maybe it shouldn't be? Had a jack along with stands under the drivers side and it didn't seem to be doing anything.

Sure would appreciate some advise on how to do this since have everything spread out in the dark. Would rather not remove all the bolts on the track bar bracket on the driver's side frame because they're rusted big time.

Thanks for any help.

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Unread 05-09-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
PolkaPower
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Why don't you turn the steering wheel and let the body move it? You don't even need to turn it on.
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Unread 05-09-2012, 08:19 PM   #3
mudruna
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have someone turn the wheel slowly while you lay under there and watch until it lines up, the wheels need to be on the ground for this. I have even had my 5 year old help me with this
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Unread 05-09-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolkaPower View Post
Why don't you turn the steering wheel and let the body move it? You don't even need to turn it on.
x2

except i had better luck with the jeep on
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Unread 05-09-2012, 08:25 PM   #5
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Unread 05-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the quick help guys and sounds like a winner. Wish I knew that tip when I removed the bolt! I ran out and turned the wheel but looks like I'll need to put the other wheel on.

Yeah, it's going to be a no start situation. Have the intake, header and power steering pump off and just trying to get it lower to finish the work. BTW, I didn't know so much power steering fluid could run out so quick with open lines and no pump attached.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 09:05 AM   #7
PolkaPower
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rofl nice. Just as good as the time I changed my oil without a filter on.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 09:38 AM   #8
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Yeah, wouldn't have been so bad about the stream of leaking brake fluid but looked over and my fav Jeep-working hat was right under it! LOL. Believe we've all learned by our mistakes and I remember pouring 6 qts of new oil in my ZJ and it helps to put the drain plug in! Ha!

I did get the the track bar bolt in smoothly once I got it on the ground and the hole lined up perfect. Helps hard to come by around here with wife going to bed early and me working on my ZJ late. Kept moving the steering wheel to line the hole up and put a bungee cord from steering wheel to the shifter to hold it in place. Had a center punch in the hole and took a whole bunch of times getting in/out of my ZJ but got her lined up.

Wonder what rocket scientist came up with the idea of the L-shaped metal tab with the nut on it for attaching to the back side of the bolt?? Guess it's better than no tab but hard to see/line up in the crack where it goes.

Thanks again for the help! It's now onto replacing the water pump, freeze out plugs, installing a new header w/gasket and the intake. Never ending....
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Unread 05-10-2012, 09:43 AM   #9
PolkaPower
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Yea, it's called the flag nut. Now you can sound professional. The IRO TB doesn't use the flag nut because it comes with a larger bolt. It's a real pita wedging a flat head in there to keep the nut from spinning while you tighten it. SO no matter what it's a pita.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 11:05 AM   #10
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I'll remember that, flag nut. I just hope I'm not wasting my time doing all this work on my ZJ because the rust on the axle parts/welds/TB-steering stabilizer bracket is unbelievable. Road salt, and rock salt I put on my drive, ate these parts up. It would never pass inspection and glad we don't have them. Rest of the ZJ is still in good shape so may end up going to a JY and getting whole new axles for safety reasons. Dread thinking about if that bracket broke off the axle while driving down the freeway.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 11:07 AM   #11
PolkaPower
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If the track bar comes apart while you are driving at highway speeds you can kiss it goodby. I doubt you will have much control of where it wants to go.

Here is what can happen. This is a Rusty's track bar that separated by the way. My Rusty's TB on my first ZJ separated as well. Luckily I was only going around 30.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 11:10 AM   #12
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Kind of figured that and wonder if you can buy a new stock bracket to have it welded on?
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Unread 05-10-2012, 11:22 AM   #13
PolkaPower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uniblurb View Post
Kind of figured that and wonder if you can buy a new stock bracket to have it welded on?
I think you would be custom fabbing that one. I have never seen them for sale.
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Unread 05-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #14
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Wow, I must have only saw the 1st couple lines in your last post and didn't see the video. That is bad and w/no roll bar could be much worse on my end.

Once I get it running I'm going to take it to the local welding shop and see if they can't at least reinforce the TB bracket or see what they would charge to fabricate one.

I still want to buy a mig welder and used to be pretty good w/a stick welder. But don't need to re-orient myself to welding a part so important to start off.
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Unread 05-13-2012, 10:50 PM   #15
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I just had the track bar on mine fall out when I was driving. I had just changed it about 3 days earlier and I must have over torqued it or maybe it was just rusty cause the bolt sheared right off the flag nut and the bar dropped down. I was actually just going down an off ramp from the highway when it happened. Felt extremely fortunate that it didn't happen earlier. Managed to limp home since I was only a few blocks away but finding a replacement bolt was a pain in the ***. Luckily I found one at the wreckers but no part store or even the dealership carried one. Although the dealership did want $35 for just the flag nut
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