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Unread 05-30-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
yippieayae
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Inverted T steering hitting front diff cover!

Hello all. My name is Carlos and I am new to the community. I am writing because I have a question. I have (just yesterday) installed a Rugged Ridge inverted T steering on my '04 Rubicon. The jeep is lifted 4.5 inches and I am running 33's on 3.5: of backspacing. My clearance issues are between the steering tie rod and the differential cover. It is the stock cover. Has anyone else experienced the tie rod coming into contact with the diff cover on this type of setup??? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Unread 05-30-2009, 10:28 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yippieayae View Post
Hello all. My name is Carlos and I am new to the community. I am writing because I have a question. I have (just yesterday) installed a Rugged Ridge inverted T steering on my '04 Rubicon. The jeep is lifted 4.5 inches and I am running 33's on 3.5: of backspacing. My clearance issues are between the steering tie rod and the differential cover. It is the stock cover. Has anyone else experienced the tie rod coming into contact with the diff cover on this type of setup??? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
I'm no fan of inverted T steering in any brand, but a small bit of contact with the diff cover will not hurt anything in the slightest. If you think about how much time you spend with your tires at full lock either direction, it's pretty much a non issue.

The only time it becomes an issue is if the contact stops you from turning the wheels fully one way or the other and even then, it takes a very stout tie rod to prevent that from happening. Every tie rod I've ever seen will bow first when it hits the cover.
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Unread 05-31-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
yippieayae
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Thank you for the input!! I should share that the majority of my technical training comes from the U.S.A.F. I am an old school crew chief and any time I see ANYTHING that doesn't look 100% rock steady, I start to question it. After slapping a fresh coat of rattle can paint on it and carefully running my steering from full lock to full lock, it seems that the tie rod is just barely making contact with the diff cover at full left turn. The fresh (and still soft) paint wasn't scratched off. This leads me to surmise that the contact against the diff cover is just enough to irritate me and not enough to bend, break my diff cover or cause any serious internal ring/pinion damage. I like to look at things in terms of "worst case scenario". I took her out for a test drive around the block and down the country roads. Got her up to 60 mph without the steering stabilizer installed. It is handling very well actually. I did not notice a dead spot at all. Of course, this is the first time it's been driven with the new steering. We'll see how she behaves once the TRE's break in a little. My perfectionism might still get the best of me causing me to custom fabricate a driver side TRE with a 10 degree bend in it to keep the tie rod off the diff. Whaddya'll think???
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Unread 05-31-2009, 01:13 PM   #4
Mean Max
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Can you adjust the steering stop just a bit to avoid contact?

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Unread 05-31-2009, 02:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by yippieayae View Post
Thank you for the input!! I should share that the majority of my technical training comes from the U.S.A.F. I am an old school crew chief and any time I see ANYTHING that doesn't look 100% rock steady, I start to question it. After slapping a fresh coat of rattle can paint on it and carefully running my steering from full lock to full lock, it seems that the tie rod is just barely making contact with the diff cover at full left turn. The fresh (and still soft) paint wasn't scratched off. This leads me to surmise that the contact against the diff cover is just enough to irritate me and not enough to bend, break my diff cover or cause any serious internal ring/pinion damage. I like to look at things in terms of "worst case scenario". I took her out for a test drive around the block and down the country roads. Got her up to 60 mph without the steering stabilizer installed. It is handling very well actually. I did not notice a dead spot at all. Of course, this is the first time it's been driven with the new steering. We'll see how she behaves once the TRE's break in a little. My perfectionism might still get the best of me causing me to custom fabricate a driver side TRE with a 10 degree bend in it to keep the tie rod off the diff. Whaddya'll think???
Take a ball peen hammer and dent the skid in slightly where the paint mark is. You have plenty of room and it won't hurt a thing. That will satisfy the Air Force training you have and work perfectly.
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Unread 05-31-2009, 02:47 PM   #6
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Take a ball peen hammer and dent the skid in slightly where the paint mark is. You have plenty of room and it won't hurt a thing. That will satisfy the Air Force training you have and work perfectly.
As long as it's not a "cast" part!

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Unread 06-01-2009, 12:05 AM   #7
yippieayae
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Can you adjust the steering stop just a bit to avoid contact?

Max
I thought about that, and that might actually be what happens. Of course, now I am looking at all sorts of high steering knuckles for my axle, but since I don't have hordes and hordes of cash for disposal right now, it looks like breaking a tack weld and re-tacking a bolt a couple of threads out might be the more economical way to go! The true test will be when we get her offroad, disconnect the sway bar and let the axle droop down to full flex. This jeep is not by any means going to be a super-delux monster 4x4 anytime soon, so as long as I can safely and reliably drive her up some class 3 and maybe 4 trails and on city streets, I'm a happy wheeler! I'll post up the final approach I take as soon as it's ops checked! Thanks to all for the posts and please keep 'em comin'! Always looking for good info and always learning!
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Unread 04-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #8
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Updating the situation: I purchased and ARB Dana 44 front diff cover and I have washered the tie rod ends to almost completely eliminate the roll factor. The diff cover is a very close fitting cover and it provides me with a ton of clearance. Also, she's been wheeled quite a bit since the original post. Both the diff cover and the steering rods have been in 'gentle' contact with rocks that were anchored to the center of the Earth and neither has failed.
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Unread 04-17-2011, 06:49 PM   #9
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yippieayae in your first post you said you have a stock diff cover but in your specs you have a front ARB diff cover listed. update your information to make it easier for people to help you. if you had the arb cover you should not try to bend it in hitting it with a hammer. a few hits with a hammer like blaine suggested should work fine with the stock stamped steel cover. dont hit it in any farther than you have to.
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Unread 04-17-2011, 06:59 PM   #10
yippieayae
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Profile updated.
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Unread 04-17-2011, 07:03 PM   #11
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Profile updated.
well now im gonna sound like an anal ******* but you spelled rubicon wrong in your specs also. not that i really care but i just thought id let you know.
welcome to the forum
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Unread 04-17-2011, 07:09 PM   #12
yippieayae
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Profile update updated. However, I did spell Jagermeister correctly on my shopping list...
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