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Unread 07-28-2013, 08:55 AM   #1
davegt
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drag link install problems

couple questions about my drag link. Its a HD link from rugged ridge and I'm having trouble with one end not being able to tighten. I can't seem to get it tight enough so i can't turn the tube with my hands. One end (the one i have connected to ths Pitman arm) Is tight no movement..but the tube does not stay tight to that end...and seems like the bolts on that side are attached ...so i can't tighten on that side. When i do think everything is good..i can still grab the tube and twist and the end on the Pitman arm had no movement..but the tube and the end on the knuckle move together?
Wow that seems like a bad description...lol if anyone understands that and had any ideas let me know thanks

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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:11 AM   #2
jeepwhore
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So you are saying you can't get the TRE on the pitman arm end tight enought to stop it from turning inside the link?

Do you have a pic? Does the HD drag link use jam nuts on the TRE's or does it clamp them somehow?
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:28 AM   #3
davegt
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yes that what I'm saying...lol try for a pic after..it has locking nuts. But the nuts at that end dont seem too move like they are fixed?The other end is fine. Its 2 nuts on both ends you tighten one nut then another one after next to the 1st nut. Putting both nuts together...lol
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
82JeepCJ7
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Those threads should be left handed on the TRE. Double check and try going the other direction with the nut.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 05:18 PM   #5
davegt
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The nuts shouldn't be fixed in place should they? Have to find away to move them i guess.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 09:42 PM   #6
Spieg8
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Not sure what you meant when you said you can turn the shaft at the steering knuckle but not at the pitman arm. Either the shaft turns (the whole shaft... at both ends) or it does not turn.
Your tie rod ends should each have a threaded end (like a bolt). When installing them on the tie rod shaft or drag link shaft, you should first screw on a jam nut to each tie rod end and then screw the tie rod end into the shaft. The ends of the shafts will also have a hex that looks like a nut but is welded to the shaft. To ensure that the tie rod ends are centered on the shaft (to enable maximum range of adjustment), you should screw the TREs on to the shaft all the way. After connecting the drag link/TREs to the pitman arm and steering knuckle, you will then adjust the draglink length. You adjust the drag link to the proper length by turning it (the ends of the rod will be threaded in opposite directions so turning the shaft in one direction will increase the overall shaft length and turning the other direction will decrease the length). Once you have the desired length for proper wheel alignment, you will then tighten the jam nut against the hex end of the shafts to lock it in place. Use two wrenches... one to hold the rod in place and one to tighten the jam nut. The jam nuts need to be very tight. That's really about all there is to it. Hope that helps.
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Unread 07-28-2013, 10:43 PM   #7
82JeepCJ7
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The Rugged Ridge HD Drag Link uses two TRE just like a tie rod.

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Unread 07-29-2013, 06:20 AM   #8
davegt
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Ok...thanks for the response...i don't have any fixed nuts on the shaft. Only 2 on both TREs one does seen to be fixed. But i can't get the shaft tight enough up against the nuts on the TRE. This is the Pitman arm side. Other end its good. and when i try to turn the shaft the Pitman end turns while the other end of shaft moves but will move the TRE with it.(the way it should be) I guess what i need to find out is if the nuts on one of the ends are supposed to be fixed... Hoping someone here tried these to confirm they are fixed. I couldnt never move these nuts ...so i assumed they were fixed...now seems like they shouodnt...lol .maybe i will try to contact rugged ridge...lol
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Unread 07-29-2013, 08:21 AM   #9
davegt
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this is the end that seems like the bolts are fixed. cant be moved. i tried to turn the tube enough to seat tight up against the nuts so it wont move. but don't work.
img_20130728_124857.jpg  
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Unread 07-29-2013, 08:50 AM   #10
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It could be that the inner nut won't tighten because the outer is tightened against it.

It looks like that is the end with the left hand threads (see the little grooves in the points on the nuts?). Hold the nut closest to the rod in with a wrench and loosen the outer nut by turning it clockwise. Then tighten the inner nut against the shaft by turning it counter clockwise followed by tightening the outer nut against it (again turning CCW).
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Unread 07-29-2013, 08:52 AM   #11
jdarg
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If I'm reading this right, what you are describing is normal.

If you loosen the outside nut, the TRE -will- move a bit - but then it will stop, and you should be able to loosen it down so you can then tighten the inside nut.

I'd ditch those two skinny locknuts and just use a normal nylock nut too. It won't go anywhere if its tightened down properly.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 09:56 AM   #12
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Seems like a poor design if the inner nut is not permanently attached to the rod. Can you return it and buy something better? If not, I would take the part to someone with a welder and have them tack weld the inner nut to the shaft so it cant turn on you. The idea of a jam nut is that when it is tightened to another surface (in this case, the inner nut),the pressure will prevent the bolt from backing out. In the design you have described, this wont happen... rather, the inner nut and outer nut will act like a single nut and still allow the TRE to back out of the shaft over time once there is a little vibration/motion.

A quality part will have a pair of these welded into the ends of a piece of DOM tube.

If you go to a good shop, they can make you a drag link or tie rod for about the same cost as ordering from a catalog.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 11:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spieg8 View Post
Seems like a poor design if the inner nut is not permanently attached to the rod. Can you return it and buy something better? If not, I would take the part to someone with a welder and have them tack weld the inner nut to the shaft so it cant turn on you. The idea of a jam nut is that when it is tightened to another surface (in this case, the inner nut),the pressure will prevent the bolt from backing out. In the design you have described, this wont happen... rather, the inner nut and outer nut will act like a single nut and still allow the TRE to back out of the shaft over time once there is a little vibration/motion.

A quality part will have a pair of these welded into the ends of a piece of DOM tube.

If you go to a good shop, they can make you a drag link or tie rod for about the same cost as ordering from a catalog.

Tightening one jam nut against the rod end is the same as tightening an outer nut against an inner if it's welded to the rod.

Rather than weld one nut to the rod grind a couple small flat spots on the rod 180 deg from each other. I'm thinking the problem here is that you can't hold the rod firmly enough while you tighten the inner nut against it. Or you can use a pipe wrench to hold the rod while you tighten the inner nut. At that point the outer nut is just insurance.
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<------------and yes, that is her.
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Unread 07-29-2013, 12:10 PM   #14
Spieg8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepwhore View Post
I'm thinking the problem here is that you can't hold the rod firmly enough while you tighten the inner nut against it. Or you can use a pipe wrench to hold the rod while you tighten the inner nut. At that point the outer nut is just insurance.
You stated that better than I could. A pipe wrench would probably do the trick, but it will do a number on the paint too. Given the option, I prefer something permanently attached to the tube that I can get a standard wrench attached to (tack welding the inner nut would accomplish that).
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