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Old 03-01-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
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adjustable tack bar vs drop pitman

ive heard some talk about these two, whenever i decide to lift my tj, which should i go with, ive seen more say to toss the pitman and get a track bar

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Old 03-01-2007, 10:12 PM   #2
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both.

track bar doesnt correct your steering geometry, but it does locate your axle side to side. (when you lift your jeep, your axle gets pulled to the drivers side slightly, a longer tracbar fixes this).

the drop pitman arm does fix your steering geometry, which is also needed. if you put on a drop pitman arm, the factory steering geometry is kept.

but it is ALWAYS best to do both at the same time. if your trac-bar and draglink are not parallel, you WILL get bumpsteer to some extent .... how bad it will be depends on the difference in angle

do both

you can skimp on seats, paint, mirrors, fuzzy dice, etc. but NEVER skinp on steering, suspension, brakes, and rollcages ... among other things that could save / endanger you or someone else

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Old 03-01-2007, 10:51 PM   #3
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by affende View Post
you can skimp on seats, paint, mirrors, fuzzy dice, etc. but
yea, who needs suspension seats when you got good milkcrates and fuzzy dice, well, theyre good firestarters i suppose
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by affende View Post
the drop pitman arm does fix your steering geometry, which is also needed. if you put on a drop pitman arm, the factory steering geometry is kept.
If you install a dropped Pitman arm onto a TJ with otherwise stock steering components or a non-dropped upper trackbar mount, you WILL get bumpsteer.

Installing a dropped Pitman arm on a TJ with anything less than at least 6" of lift is guaranteed to screw up the geometry and cause bumpsteer.

While a dropped Pitman arm was required for the older steering geometry used in both the CJ and YJ after installing nearly any suspension lift, the TJ's inverted-Y steering system has a newer improved steering design. The trackbar and draglink remain parallel to at least the 6" suspension lift height and dropping the upper part of the draglink via a dropped Pitman arm will just remove that required parallel relationship.

So unless you have a monster lift and/or you have installed some kind of trackbar that uses a dropped upper mounting point like the Rubicon Express 1610, avoid installing a dropped Pitman arm or it's guaranteed you will then quickly learn what the symptoms of bumpsteer are.
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Old 03-02-2007, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
If you install a dropped Pitman arm onto a TJ with otherwise stock steering components or a non-dropped upper trackbar mount, you WILL get bumpsteer.

Installing a dropped Pitman arm on a TJ with anything less than at least 6" of lift is guaranteed to screw up the geometry and cause bumpsteer.

While a dropped Pitman arm was required for the older steering geometry used in both the CJ and YJ after installing nearly any suspension lift, the TJ's inverted-Y steering system has a newer improved steering design. The trackbar and draglink remain parallel to at least the 6" suspension lift height and dropping the upper part of the draglink via a dropped Pitman arm will just remove that required parallel relationship.

So unless you have a monster lift and/or you have installed some kind of trackbar that uses a dropped upper mounting point like the Rubicon Express 1610, avoid installing a dropped Pitman arm or it's guaranteed you will then quickly learn what the symptoms of bumpsteer are.
Hey Jerry, do you have that exact quote saved in a Word file so you can just copy and paste it when you need to?
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:06 AM   #7
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What Jerry said. I always went by the 6" rule too. If less than 6", the drop pitman causes more problems than it solves. The trackbar will be most noticeable/effective in lifts 3" or over. For under 3" the drop pitman is not needed and the adj trackbar is not a necessary, but a nice to have.

Over 3", the adj trackbar becomes more necessary as the axle shift to the side becomes greater. The drop pitman is not needed until 6".

YMMV.
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Old 03-02-2007, 10:54 AM   #8
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Hey Jerry, do you have that exact quote saved in a Word file so you can just copy and paste it when you need to?
No but I'm kind of on "non-thinking cruise control" when typing that particular answer out.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:03 AM   #9
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No but I'm kind of on "non-thinking cruise control" when typing that particular answer out.
I figured as much. I've seen you answer that question many times.
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Old 03-02-2007, 11:15 AM   #10
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What Jerry said.
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Old 03-02-2007, 02:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
No but I'm kind of on "non-thinking cruise control" when typing that particular answer out.
For all us newbs - thank you for being so patient and answering again and again.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:42 PM   #12
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For a 4" lift use a drop pitman off of a Cherokee. It drops it enough to correct steering geometry but the often included drop pitman for a 4" lift is too much.

As for causing problems....??? That makes no sense. When all of the componenets are lined up properly the gearbox and powersteering pump does not have to fight poor alignment/binding in the steering geometry.

The other reason for NOT leaving a stock pitman all the way up to a six inch lift is the bind that happens at the pitman arm when articulated.
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Old 03-02-2007, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bransford View Post
If you install a dropped Pitman arm onto a TJ with otherwise stock steering components or a non-dropped upper trackbar mount, you WILL get bumpsteer.

Installing a dropped Pitman arm on a TJ with anything less than at least 6" of lift is guaranteed to screw up the geometry and cause bumpsteer.

While a dropped Pitman arm was required for the older steering geometry used in both the CJ and YJ after installing nearly any suspension lift, the TJ's inverted-Y steering system has a newer improved steering design. The trackbar and draglink remain parallel to at least the 6" suspension lift height and dropping the upper part of the draglink via a dropped Pitman arm will just remove that required parallel relationship.

So unless you have a monster lift and/or you have installed some kind of trackbar that uses a dropped upper mounting point like the Rubicon Express 1610, avoid installing a dropped Pitman arm or it's guaranteed you will then quickly learn what the symptoms of bumpsteer are.
which is why i stated that both a dropped pitman arm and a longer / adjustable tracbar shoudl be installed together, not seperately.
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Old 03-03-2007, 02:31 PM   #14
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Question:
My 4" lift came with a dropped pitman arm and a track bar relocation bracket. The bracket mounts in the original location on the axel housing. Would this still cause geometry problems?
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Old 03-03-2007, 04:09 PM   #15
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which is why i stated that both a dropped pitman arm and a longer / adjustable tracbar shoudl be installed together, not seperately.
That a trackbar is adjustable for length has little to do with its angle that impacts whether a dropped Pitman arm is needed or not.. That it is adjustable for length only moves the axle left or right, but its angle barely changes. ONLY if that adjustable trackbar is mounted via a dropped upper frame mount should a dropped Pitman arm be installed. Drop the upper trackbar mount, you need to drop the Pitman arm so the draglink drops. If you don't drop one, you can't drop the other on a typical TJ lift. This isn't true on a CJ or YJ but it IS true on a TJ. Guys, this is a subject I'm very well versed in and there's a dead horse being beaten on the inaccurate info that a dropped Pitman arm should be installed when no matching dropped upper trackbar mount is also being installed like comes with RE's 1610 HD trackbar and matching 1611 dropped trackbar mounting bracket.

If the trackbar and draglink are parallel to each other, a dropped Pitman arm should not be installed. If the draglink's angle is higher than the trackbar and you have bumpsteer, then install a dropped Pitman arm.

If you are lifted under 6" or so, no dropped upper Trackbar mount has been installed, and you don't have bumpsteer, no dropped Pitman arm should be installed. Installing a dropped Pitman arm will just cause bumpsteer in this situation.

This is nothing more than Geometry 101.
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:33 AM   #16
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I agree with Jerry ^. Thats how i thought of it. Dropped arm makes up for the lift and corrects geometry for bumpsteer...

Any how Jerry springer just started and my cat is eating my olives and that 59F looks so sweet compared to the 21F we got here
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Old 03-04-2007, 10:20 AM   #17
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The evil pitman arm conspiracy.
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:44 AM   #18
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give me a symptom of bump steer..

I have 4" of lift and a DPA... I re drilled my tracbar 3/4" over on the axle end..

1) where exactly am I supposed to have bump steer? on the freeway @65mph ? or on the trail at minus 10mph?

2) how am I supposed to know I'm having bump steer caused by my DPA ?

keep in mind the lift has been on my DD for 16 months and If I've had bump steer all this time I must be living with it.. or not know what it feels like, or the DPA has not caused it with my 4'' lift.

PS> this lift is on my 2001 TJ sport with 44K on the ticker
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Old 03-04-2007, 11:52 AM   #19
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Vector i'm still stock but bump steer is preatty much you are driving on road or whatever with 30 some mph or above and you hit a bump and your truck steers.. i'm guessing if you put a lift on and dont put the DPA it will steer one way usually but if you dont put lift on and still install a DPA it will steer the other way. As easy as it sounds its all geometry. Preatty much everything has to be parallel.

On trail i dont think it will be any different from the next big rock you come up to.

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