Heat track bar or put it in a shop press? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Heat track bar or put it in a shop press?

I have a metallurgy question. If I were to heat up a spot red hot on my JKS track bar so that i can tweak it a little would that make that spot weak and brittle? Or will it make it harder like being heat treated? The issue is the JJ end on the frame is not sitting in a neutral position and at ride height is already pointed down to the passenger side. So theres not as much travel left in JJ as Id like for axle droop on that side.
I would like to tweak it a little close to the JJ so it sits closer to centered and neutral.

The other option is to put it in my shop press but im afraid without dies and such i will kink it. Ive done that on my rear track bar and it dimpled it some but thats ok back there since the rear doesnt see nearly the forces the front axle does.


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post #2 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 11:11 AM
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Heat and bend, no issues. Just let it cool slow. I bent a track bar in a U shape to build a bracket for a mount and its still there with no cracks.
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 11:31 AM
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Disassemble the JJ first so you don't melt the bushing halves.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fromme View Post
I have a metallurgy question. If I were to heat up a spot red hot on my JKS track bar so that i can tweak it a little would that make that spot weak and brittle? Or will it make it harder like being heat treated?
...
The other option is to put it in my shop press but im afraid without dies and such i will kink it. Ive done that on my rear track bar and it dimpled it some but thats ok back there since the rear doesnt see nearly the forces the front axle does.
yea, the heat is gonna change the metal some. will it matter? probably not.

the bigger issue is the JKS track bar is tube. if you were doing this to a stock solid steel track bar, I'd say go for it...but with the tube, you're risking a kink and/or changing the structural integrity of the walls. the shop press without dies will likely kink it and make things even worse.

i think the best option is cut the JJ off and reweld it in the position you need. that means taking the JJ all apart.


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post #5 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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I don't need it bent that much, just a little nudge.
Ideally I'd cut and turn the JJ horizontally and fab up a different bracket. You guys have already went over that with me and helped out. I'd like to see if I can make it work like this before I throw in the towell. I've made some minor changes to control arm lengths and the front diff cover for clearance and I've finally got it, other than getting this thing to sit a more centered position. The JJ doesn't have to be exactly centered, just a little better than it is and I should have the travel I need.

I really should invest in a JJ tool, but in the meantime won't the old socket and bench vise trick work to disassemble and assemble one?

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 12:05 PM
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I thought it didn't matter if the JJ was off center?
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 12:40 PM
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^^^ it doesn't have to be centered. Just has to not bind through the entire range of axle movement. OP seems to be saying that it binds at full droop and if he moved the joint to be more neutral at ride height, it wouldn't bind anymore at droop.


Bending tubing is tough. For a front trackbar, I would only use a tube bender with the correct die. Potion B would be cut and reweld.

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 12:50 PM
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So how much droop do you have there to pull it into bind? Different mounts of some sort?

The JJ tool is certainly a valuable asset if you have bunch-I am SO glad I got mine, works great and so much easier!

But yes, the vice/socket method works as well and would be just fine for this. I'd pull the JJ out before doing any heating/welding you plan on doing there just to prevent issue with the bushing halves. It's very simple and easy to do and with only one joint to worry about, won't be any big deal at all.

You've certainly had a long battle with this. Wonder what the difference is???

Best of Luck,

Mike
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks I'll try the vice/socket. No different mounts, just between the OME L shocks and the JJs offset position at ride height, it maxes it out and there's still travel left in the spring and shock. Not a huge deal but it can be better. A spring change was made from 2" soft OME to AEV 3" springs and that is certainly why the angles are all wrong now. I suppose I could try a 4"+ JKS track bar or the new Currie track bar and it would probably fit correctly. I'd like to salvage the one I have if possible.

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 02:10 PM
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Does anybody know off the top of their head what size sockets you use to assemble a JJ using a vise? I really need to clean and regrease my joints...sorry for the hijack!

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post #11 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Barcus View Post
Does anybody know off the top of their head what size sockets you use to assemble a JJ using a vise? I really need to clean and regrease my joints...sorry for the hijack!
The trick is to use a socket big enough to fit over the mounting flange of the ball, but small enough yet to allow you to remove the snap ring without issue.

On the small 2" joints, a 7/8" and 15/16" work OK.

It appears for the bigger 2.5" joints, a 1 1/8" and 1 1/4" should work.

While the vice method certainly works, it's FAR easier using the right JJ tool for the job. The vice kinda sucks really after using the real tool.

Best of Luck,

Mike
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fromme View Post
Thanks I'll try the vice/socket. No different mounts, just between the OME L shocks and the JJs offset position at ride height, it maxes it out and there's still travel left in the spring and shock. Not a huge deal but it can be better. A spring change was made from 2" soft OME to AEV 3" springs and that is certainly why the angles are all wrong now. I suppose I could try a 4"+ JKS track bar or the new Currie track bar and it would probably fit correctly. I'd like to salvage the one I have if possible.
I've broken 2 JKS trackbars tweaking them in a shop press. Don't do it cold.

The first thing I would do is go to the axle side where the solid end link is threaded in and tweak that up after the bend. It's solid and much more receptive to bending.

If that didn't work, I would cut and re-weld the JJ at the frame side before I tried to tweak it.

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post #13 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Sweet, thanks for the advice. So you are saying straighten the "gold" solid end that threads in to the track bar?


Funny, because a couple weeks ago on our trail ride my friend wasn't paying attention, hit a tree hard with his passenger tire and bent that end in a U. We heated it and bent it back. Ruined the threads on it, but that's because we were unbending a bend.

This is what I'm trying to band aid if someone is looking for a visual.

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 05:55 PM
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This is what I'm trying to band aid if someone is looking for a visual.
looks fine.

have you actually dropped the axle to full droop, to actually find the JJ is binding?

you can't do much with the threaded end because it will hit the stock bracket under droop...thats the reason it has that bend it in.


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post #15 of 16 Old 09-28-2012, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55willystruck View Post
The trick is to use a socket big enough to fit over the mounting flange of the ball, but small enough yet to allow you to remove the snap ring without issue.

On the small 2" joints, a 7/8" and 15/16" work OK.

It appears for the bigger 2.5" joints, a 1 1/8" and 1 1/4" should work.

While the vice method certainly works, it's FAR easier using the right JJ tool for the job. The vice kinda sucks really after using the real tool.

Best of Luck,

Mike
appreciate the info!

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