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Unread 12-22-2010, 06:26 PM   #1
m361
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Front track bar & drop pitman arm

I've been struggling to find the source of my steering slop for quite some time. With the help of this forum, I think I have narrowed it down to the track bar. I definitely have some movement where the track bar attaches to the frame when the wheel is turned. I am assuming I can not just replace that bushing, so I guess I am in the market for a replacement track bar. I'm thinking I might as well get an adjustable track bar, but I need to find one that is affordable yet is decent quality. I'm not a hard core wheeler, but I do get it off the pavement from time to time. Any suggestions on brand?

Also, I have a drop pitman arm. I've read in some forums that it is not really necessary, and may also cause some steering slop. Should I try to find a stock pitman arm and replace it?

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Unread 12-22-2010, 07:16 PM   #2
m361
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Bump.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 07:19 PM   #3
cheapjeep06
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Unless you have an aftermarket track bar with a drop bracket at the frame, you do not need a DPA. This will cause bumpsteer. I don't have much experience with aftermarket track bars except for the Rough Country one that I have. It does not require a DPA, has a beefy bracket on the frame, uses a poly bushing at frame end, and a heim joint on the axle end. Only concerns are the tb is hollow, and the heim doesn't seem that beefy. Other than that, I haven't had a problem with it.

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Unread 12-22-2010, 07:23 PM   #4
rondak46
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JKS, and you will not have problems in the future with diff cover clearance.
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Unread 12-22-2010, 07:30 PM   #5
m361
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Hey...thanks cheapjeep06 and Rondak46. I'll look into both of those track bars.
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Unread 12-23-2010, 02:38 PM   #6
m361
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Update:
I decided to go with a Pro Comp adjustable track bar, only because my local 4 Wheel Parts store had it in stock and I am not patient enough to order online and wait for delivery. Definitely have much improved steering and very little steering slop, but it still drifts a bit on the road. Can't decide if I should remove the drop pitman arm or just take it in for an alignment...or both. Any thoughts on the matter?
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Unread 12-23-2010, 03:55 PM   #7
conrasm
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If the pitman is lower than where the track bar attaches to the frame, then take it off and put a stock one on. Ypu will end up with bump steer with axle articulation if the track bar and drag link are not parallel. You only need a drop pitman arm if you have a track bar lowering bracket. 4wd.com has stock pitman arms for about $18.
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Unread 12-23-2010, 04:44 PM   #8
m361
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Originally Posted by conrasm View Post
If the pitman is lower than where the track bar attaches to the frame, then take it off and put a stock one on. Ypu will end up with bump steer with axle articulation if the track bar and drag link are not parallel. You only need a drop pitman arm if you have a track bar lowering bracket. 4wd.com has stock pitman arms for about $18.
Excellent advise, thank you. I will stop by there tomorrow and get one.
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