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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
hdr424
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What's NOT bent in these pics ??

Long story short, I finally took the Jeep out wheeling at the Badlands (IN) last weekend for the first time. A couple of hours in, I realize the steering wheel is off to the left by about 90 degrees. Jump out and realize that the stock tie rod is bent about 10" in from the driver's side wheel. Finished wheeling for the day, trailered it home, and stuck in it the garage.

Did my research on here and decided to go with the ZJ tie rod upgrade. As I'm installing the new tie rod, I notice the track bar looks like it also might be bent. I remember it having a bend at the passenger's side frame mount, but can't recall just how much. Also, I know it's not stock so I'm guessing it's made by RC. (I know the pics aren't great, but I had to use my phone.)

Also, while I'm checking everything out, I notice that the stock TR had been rubbing against the track bar; therefore, I checked it against the new TR and sure enough it rubs @ halfway when turning the wheel. More reading/research on here leads me to believe the original TR was most likely bent from smacking into the bottom of the drop bracket for the track bar. And then there's the DPA that also comes very close to hitting the drop bracket.

I did take it for a test drive after installing the ZJ TR, centering the wheel via the drag link, and setting the toe-in per this forum. The steering has some play in it before the wheels actually move. And the front driver's side wheel (couldn't see the other side since I was by myself) wobbles pretty good between 45-55 ish. It feels like it wants to wonder left/right a bit too. And no, I have not had it aligned yet since I'm waiting to see what else needs replaced/fixed.

So, here's my questions/concerns:

1. Is that an RC TB (possibly adjustable?) and is it bent at the frame mount more than it should be?
2. If the TB is damaged, what suggestions/options are there for a replacement? (I don't wheel a whole lot, so something in the mid-price range.)
3. Once the TB is replaced can and/or should I remove the DPA and drop bracket for the new TB to provide more clearance for the PA and diff?
4. Does the drag link appear okay? I thought so but am not sure.

Thanks in Advance for the help. I can take additional pics if it would be helpful.

img_20130518_162748.jpg   img_20130518_162800.jpg   img_20130518_162828.jpg  
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
hdr424
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Here's some more pics that didn't load the first time. Thanks again
img_20130518_163547.jpg   img_20130518_163610.jpg   img_20130518_191959.jpg  
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Unread 05-19-2013, 08:54 AM   #3
BLK00TJ
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That TB looks pretty bent, but I'm not sure how it would be possible to bend it that way wheeling. The PO had to have done that butcher job. I'd look into replacing that since bending it back may weaken it. Also, loose the drop pitman and trackbar drop.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 09:01 AM   #4
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when you stand back and look at the rig head on, does the axel look centered with the chassis its self? that thing looks really bad. replace the track bar and make sure your tires have the right pressure and are balanced and that will take some guesses out of the equation. i did the same tie rod upgrade and love it, but make sure the ends are nice and tight.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 09:45 AM   #5
hdr424
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The passenger's side wheel does stick out beyond the fender a little bit more than the driver's side. I noticed this when I initally purchased it so I had the entire vehicle checked out after I bought it and the shop said it wasn't enough to wory about. Guess he was wrong.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 10:05 AM   #6
Patrick H
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The bend in the track bar makes it look like it's installed backwards. That looks like the bend that's supposed to be onm the frame side to clear the differential. Not sure how it could be installed backwards, though.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 10:18 AM   #7
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK00TJ View Post
That TB looks pretty bent, but I'm not sure how it would be possible to bend it that way wheeling. The PO had to have done that butcher job. I'd look into replacing that since bending it back may weaken it. Also, loose the drop pitman and trackbar drop.
It's very easy to bend a trackbar like that. Remember, that link is responsible for centering the body, frame, engine and everything else over the axle.

Lean the rig over to the passenger side and nothing but the trackbar is holding it up. Put the other side tire against a rock and try to turn while it leaned over and wedged and it will fold a trackbar up like a wet noodle.

When I do custom suspension and steering in the front, I only use straight trackbars that are much harder to bend like that.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 10:37 AM   #8
hdr424
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
It's very easy to bend a trackbar like that. Remember, that link is responsible for centering the body, frame, engine and everything else over the axle.

Lean the rig over to the passenger side and nothing but the trackbar is holding it up. Put the other side tire against a rock and try to turn while it leaned over and wedged and it will fold a trackbar up like a wet noodle.

When I do custom suspension and steering in the front, I only use straight trackbars that are much harder to bend like that.

Soooooo...maybe something like this little predicament I got into my first time out?
img950541.jpg   img950540.jpg  
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Unread 05-19-2013, 11:30 AM   #9
dwbrown
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I looks like the TB is on backwords, IIRC, the bend is supposed to be on the frame-side, and not axle-side.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 11:33 AM   #10
aparke4
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Take it off and hold that track bar in your hands- those things are so thin! I have bent mine by doing mild wheeling and it happens when the front tire drops of a ledge, etc... Rc uses too small a tube IMHO. I am looking for a

If you have a stock set up, a straight track bar with low lifts are really hard to fit. With stock locations for mounting, you have to have bends for clearance.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 11:34 AM   #11
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Oh snap- yeah- bushing goes at frame side

Heim at axle side

My Heim is loose and I might replace with a narrow JJ 3/4 thread
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Unread 05-19-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwbrown View Post
I looks like the TB is on backwords, IIRC, the bend is supposed to be on the frame-side, and not axle-side.
The bend you are seeing was caused by the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aparke4 View Post
Oh snap- yeah- bushing goes at frame side

Heim at axle side

My Heim is loose and I might replace with a narrow JJ 3/4 thread
Its installed right, heim on frame end, bushing on axle end is correct.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
hdr424
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Okay, so I think it's quite clear that the TB is trashed. Any suggestions/opinions on a replacement (other than stock)? And are there certain TB's that will allow me to remove the DPA and bracket or should I do that no matter what TB I go to? (I was thinking about going with the JKS adjustable TB.) For now I'll assume the drag link is okay since visually it appears to be and nobody has noted anything wrong with it. Thanks again.
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Unread 05-19-2013, 02:52 PM   #14
aparke4
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http://www.roughcountry.com/install/1083.pdf

According to these directions Heim in at axle...
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Unread 05-19-2013, 02:55 PM   #15
Wheelin98TJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aparke4 View Post
http://www.roughcountry.com/install/1083.pdf

According to these directions Heim in at axle...
Well crap, I'm sorry for the confusion.

I wrongfully assumed the RC TB installed like other TBs with the heim on the frame side.
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