Rock Krawler steel tie rod clunking/noisy - JeepForum.com
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Unread 07-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #1
780406jeeper
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Rock Krawler steel tie rod clunking/noisy

One and all,
My name is Kevin and usually frequent the WJ side of this forum. I have a question for those of you JK owners with the RK steel tie rod. I have recently swapped in a sleeved, C-gussetted, JK Rubi front axle under my '04 WJ. It came with the AEV drag link flip and a Rock Krawler solid steel tie rod and Bilstein stabilizer. All brackets were removed, and Clayton WJ brackets welded on to the axle including the Currie JJ conversion on the upper control arm axle bushings. Here is my problem.

That RK tie rod weights grip, enough that it pulls itself down to a max amount limited by the movement of the rod ends. When I go down a graded dirt road and/or hit bumps on the pavement, I am getting a clunking noise that I have traced back to the tie rod. It is literally bouncing off the limits of the tie rod end movement and making a ton of noise. I tried searching the problem but don't come up with much. Has anyone else had this issue? If so, is there another manufcturer such as the Poly Perf. one that would not clunk like this. In my unit-body WJ, noise transmits so much worse. Thanks for any and all insight.
Kevin

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Unread 07-19-2013, 08:36 AM   #2
KrawlOff-Road
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Kevin,

Are you sure it is a RK tie rod? How long has it been on there? For the last few years, RK has only had a Aluminum tie rod option.

-Jason
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Unread 07-19-2013, 11:15 AM   #3
780406jeeper
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Jason,
I would say it is 2.5 years old. The guy I got the front axle from is a local jeeper here in AZ and I knew him when he got it. I think he even got it on a close-out price or something like that. Definitely an older RK tie rod, but only 10-15k miles on it total. Did they go away from the steel for this reason? I am sure on a steel framed JK with body mounts the noise is not as noticable, but in the WJ, it sounds like the suspension is coming apart. Thanks for replying. Have you heard of the clunking issue before?
Kevin
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Unread 07-21-2013, 02:57 PM   #4
780406jeeper
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So, does anyone else have the Rock Krawler solid steel tierod? If so, is it clunking when going down gravel roads or hitting bumps?
Kevin
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Unread 07-21-2013, 03:22 PM   #5
brianjw
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I don't, but I'm running the synergy/poly chromoly tie rod and have zero complaints. It's solid, easily adjustable and doesn't come loose or clunk.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
780406jeeper
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brianjw,
thanks for the reply, had one question as I am considering the Poly.

As it sits there at ride height, since the bar is basically off-set forward to clear the JK swaybar mounts, does the weight of the bar pull it down or does it 'rest' in the middle of the swing travel of the tie-rod ends?

Thanks,
Kevin
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Unread 07-21-2013, 07:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 780406jeeper
brianjw,
thanks for the reply, had one question as I am considering the Poly.

As it sits there at ride height, since the bar is basically off-set forward to clear the JK swaybar mounts, does the weight of the bar pull it down or does it 'rest' in the middle of the swing travel of the tie-rod ends?

Thanks,
Kevin
Mine sits right in the middle like it should. I'm not sure if the steering stabilizer helps it or not. My synergy drag link does tend to tilt down for whatever reason, though the ends are the same.
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Unread 07-21-2013, 09:05 PM   #8
JLC08JK
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I have the first generation Rock Krawler tie-rod and it does lean forward most of the time though I don't notice any clunking from it. The stabilizer may help to keep it from bouncing around.
I did have a lot of noise from the stock tie-rod as the end links were very loose from day one. I could easily rotate it with my hand.

Does anyone have the Moog or other brand part number for the ends on the first generation R.K. tie-rod? I think they are 1 ton ends and both are right hand threads.

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Unread 07-21-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 780406jeeper View Post
brianjw,
thanks for the reply, had one question as I am considering the Poly.

As it sits there at ride height, since the bar is basically off-set forward to clear the JK swaybar mounts, does the weight of the bar pull it down or does it 'rest' in the middle of the swing travel of the tie-rod ends?

Thanks,
Kevin
I run the next gen currie, 1 5/8" heat treated 4130, currie ends...it's snug as bug, no clanking or rattles, no forward or rearward lean. Big beefy sonuva gun. I don't think my ram has anything to do with where it rests, as the ram has heim joints at the axle and the tie rod.
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Unread 07-23-2013, 08:16 AM   #10
KrawlOff-Road
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Kevin,

Have you looked into or thought about replacing just the tie rod ends?

-Jason
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Unread 07-23-2013, 11:09 AM   #11
780406jeeper
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I did think about changing out just the rod ends, but honestly with the unit-body noise-amplifying nature of the WJ body, I went ahead and orderd the Poly tie-rod. I am one of those that hates any noises and rattles. Plus the easier adjustablilty and less than 20 lb weight appeals to me too. Thanks all for you replies.
Kevin
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