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Old 01-21-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
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drop pitman arm?

i recently purchased the rough country 4" lift kit and ive heard from many not to install the drop pitman arm. Ive also heard to install it. I dont know what to do. Does anyone have any good advice?

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Old 01-21-2007, 07:03 PM   #2
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i´ve read in the JF.com that it isn´t necassary to install the dropped pitman arm with a 4" lift. other people in a german jeepforem say that you have to install it.
i´m a bit confused about that...

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Old 01-21-2007, 07:22 PM   #3
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Keep the stock pit and install a front adjustable track bar.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:23 PM   #4
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I am running a RE 3.5" lift wit hno pitman arm. Not having any drivability problems...
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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i dont have an adjustable track bar. i only have what comes with the kit and i only want to install what comes with the kit. Do i have to buy an adjustable track bar? i only want to buy what is necessary to lift it. Ok, let me specify my question. Do i install the drop pitman arm with only the parts the kit comes with, without buying anything else?
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:13 PM   #6
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i would install an adjustable trackbar and not the pitman arm.
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Old 01-21-2007, 08:44 PM   #7
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The drop pitman arm that comes with most 4" lifts is generally too long and results in a chewing of the tie rod. What we have found is the XJ stock pitman arm is halfway between a stock TJ arm and the 4" drop pitman. This is what we install.

I know some will tell you not to bother and that they run their vehicle without. It is true you can run it this way but it does put greater strain on your steering box when things are out of alignment. People often comment how easy my Jeep turns 35's compared to many others on 35's. It's because I have corrected all the steering geometry. Falls into the category of you just don't know or realize how bad it is until you have corrected it or driven a corrected rig.

Do not dispose of your stock pitman arm because if you go to a high steer setup you need a stock pitman.

As for which to do, pitman or adjustable track bar, you need both. The track bar puts your axle in the right place and the pitman corrects steering geometry.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moab Man View Post
The drop pitman arm that comes with most 4" lifts is generally too long and results in a chewing of the tie rod. What we have found is the XJ stock pitman arm is halfway between a stock TJ arm and the 4" drop pitman. This is what we install.

I know some will tell you not to bother and that they run their vehicle without. It is true you can run it this way but it does put greater strain on your steering box when things are out of alignment. People often comment how easy my Jeep turns 35's compared to many others on 35's. It's because I have corrected all the steering geometry. Falls into the category of you just don't know or realize how bad it is until you have corrected it or driven a corrected rig.

Do not dispose of your stock pitman arm because if you go to a high steer setup you need a stock pitman.

As for which to do, pitman or adjustable track bar, you need both. The track bar puts your axle in the right place and the pitman corrects steering geometry.
I agree. I've heard that the rule on a TJ is any lift over 1.5 inches should use a drop pitman arm. On XJs I believe it is 6.5 inches. With a 2.5 inch lift I had a good bit of steering wobble before I did the drop pitman arm. Just remember that every Jeep is unique.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:47 AM   #9
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any significant lift needs to have a drop pitman arm installed so the steering geometry is returned to factory spec.

listen to Moab Man, he knows his shit.
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Old 01-22-2007, 12:57 AM   #10
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The reason most people say not to use a drop pit arm and go with an adjustible TracBar is becaue when you put on a drop pit arm, its like using a bigger wrench than what is required. There will be too much torque and force exerted on the steering gear box which may later ruin the gear box. Plus an adjustible trac bar is just so much more easy to install, and align.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
The reason most people say not to use a drop pit arm and go with an adjustible TracBar is becaue when you put on a drop pit arm, its like using a bigger wrench than what is required. There will be too much torque and force exerted on the steering gear box which may later ruin the gear box. Plus an adjustible trac bar is just so much more easy to install, and align.

the point of the drop pitman arm is to correct the steering geometry.

the adj trac-bar does not do this.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:19 AM   #12
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Yes it does, thats why its adjustible... and not every kit comes with a drop pitman arm. They'll either have an adjustible trac-bar or trac bar relocation backet.
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Old 01-22-2007, 01:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
Yes it does, thats why its adjustible... and not every kit comes with a drop pitman arm. They'll either have an adjustible trac-bar or trac bar relocation backet.
no it doesnt. it locates the axle from side to side. it does not correct the steering geometry. the only way to correct the steering geometry is to drop the pitman arm or raise the knuckle.

please explain how a trac bar corrects the steering geometry of a lifted vehicle and i will gladly leave this thread.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:24 AM   #14
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Instead of dropping the pitman arm to meet the trac-bar(because the stock trac-bar is shorter), an adjustable trac-bar(longer than stock) is long enough to meet the stock pitman arm. If you are gonna use a drop pitman arm though, you need to modify the trac bar in the same way. A lift that is only 2-3" wont need a pitman arm. I'm reading my JP Magazine(Dec. '05 - BEST '97-'06 LIft Kit Ever!) right now and this is what it says:

"The steering and front track bar on '97-'06 Wranglers work together. You can't modify one without making changes to the other; bumpsteer will result if you do. A dropped pitman arm shouldn't be used unless the track bar is dropped the same ammount. Likewise, the tie rod assembly, drag-link geometry and configuration shouldn't be modified unless your making up for it by relocating the track bar and vise versa. Our Ultimate Wrangler lift kit would feature a heavy-duty, adjustable length track bar that bolts to the factory mounts. It would utilize the stock pitman arm and also include a new heavy-duty, stock like tie-rod system."
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
Instead of dropping the pitman arm to meet the trac-bar(because the stock trac-bar is shorter), an adjustable trac-bar(longer than stock) is long enough to meet the stock pitman arm. If you are gonna use a drop pitman arm though, you need to modify the trac bar in the same way. A lift that is only 2-3" wont need a pitman arm. I'm reading my JP Magazine(Dec. '05 - BEST '97-'06 LIft Kit Ever!) right now and this is what it says:

"The steering and front track bar on '97-'06 Wranglers work together. You can't modify one without making changes to the other; bumpsteer will result if you do. A dropped pitman arm shouldn't be used unless the track bar is dropped the same ammount. Likewise, the tie rod assembly, drag-link geometry and configuration shouldn't be modified unless your making up for it by relocating the track bar and vise versa. Our Ultimate Wrangler lift kit would feature a heavy-duty, adjustable length track bar that bolts to the factory mounts. It would utilize the stock pitman arm and also include a new heavy-duty, stock like tie-rod system."
you have yet to show any evidence that the trac bar changes the steering geometry by any significant amount.

what you just said in no way proves your previous statement.

true, if you change one you need to change the other. I am not negating this. but changing the trac-bar does not significantly change the steering geometry.
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Old 01-22-2007, 02:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzTJ View Post
Instead of dropping the pitman arm to meet the trac-bar(because the stock trac-bar is shorter), an adjustable trac-bar(longer than stock) is long enough to meet the stock pitman arm. If you are gonna use a drop pitman arm though, you need to modify the trac bar in the same way. A lift that is only 2-3" wont need a pitman arm. I'm reading my JP Magazine(Dec. '05 - BEST '97-'06 LIft Kit Ever!) right now and this is what it says:

"The steering and front track bar on '97-'06 Wranglers work together. You can't modify one without making changes to the other; bumpsteer will result if you do. A dropped pitman arm shouldn't be used unless the track bar is dropped the same ammount. Likewise, the tie rod assembly, drag-link geometry and configuration shouldn't be modified unless your making up for it by relocating the track bar and vise versa. Our Ultimate Wrangler lift kit would feature a heavy-duty, adjustable length track bar that bolts to the factory mounts. It would utilize the stock pitman arm and also include a new heavy-duty, stock like tie-rod system."

and yes, i re-read that entire article as i have that issue in my bathroom (golden rubi on the cover with a clayton OR? link system with a 60 rear and a 9" / 60 hybrid front)
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:51 AM   #17
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no it doesnt. it locates the axle from side to side. it does not correct the steering geometry. the only way to correct the steering geometry is to drop the pitman arm or raise the knuckle.

please explain how a trac bar corrects the steering geometry of a lifted vehicle and i will gladly leave this thread.
You do not need a dropped pitman arm with an adj. trac bar. I have a 4 1/2 in lift with an adjustable trac bar and no problems. The adj trac bar locates the axle but also corrects the geometry. The dropped pitman arm simply relocates the stock shorter trackbar to be in the correct place to have the correct geometry.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:53 AM   #18
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O.k.,

Now I'm really . I've been running for a year now a 4 in. rough country lift that came with the drop pitman arm and a track bar relocation bracket wich I installed. Every couple of months I have to retighten the bracket cause it works loose a little( no matter how much I tighten it) and makes a knocking sound when I turn to the left. Since I do have the dropped pitman arm installed can I get rid of this bracket. If I buy a adjustable track arm like I was planning should I get rid of both bracket and the droped pitman arm or just the bracket?
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:15 AM   #19
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Your lift had a relocation bracket for the front track bar and a dropped pitman arm? I ain't ever seen relocation bracket for the front trackbar. If you get the adj. track bar then yes get rid of both of them.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:23 PM   #20
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O.k.,

Now I'm really . I've been running for a year now a 4 in. rough country lift that came with the drop pitman arm and a track bar relocation bracket wich I installed. Every couple of months I have to retighten the bracket cause it works loose a little( no matter how much I tighten it) and makes a knocking sound when I turn to the left. Since I do have the dropped pitman arm installed can I get rid of this bracket. If I buy a adjustable track arm like I was planning should I get rid of both bracket and the droped pitman arm or just the bracket?
Don't be confused as you have said the magic word when needing a drop pitman arm you just said it a little different. You ONLY need a drop pitman arm when you also using a trac-bar relocation bracket. It's not the trac-bar itself that corrects the steering geometry it's the relocation bracket that drops the frame end of the trac-bar down back to a more parrallel state with the drag link. This is why you do not need to utilize a DPA unless you have also dropped your trac-bar down.
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Old 01-22-2007, 03:59 PM   #21
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lol. If you weren't confused before, I bet you are now!

Just go with your gut, if it doesn't work the way you want it to, try another option. Read what you can, and soak it up, make a decision and try it out. You can always go back. Neither of these items are going to break the bank.

Sometimes trial and error is a good way to learn a few things for yourself. IMO
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Old 01-22-2007, 05:31 PM   #22
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when you put on a drop pit arm, its like using a bigger wrench than what is required. There will be too much torque and force exerted on the steering gear box which may later ruin the gear box. Plus an adjustible trac bar is just so much more easy to install, and align.
That is exactly opposite of what happens. It is easier to push the draglink when it is as straight as possible off of the pitman arm than to push when the draglink is on an angle. This is why many go with a high steer setup in conjunction with a large lift.

I must say the misinformation growing on this thread is incredible. There is more to understand than simply reading and regurgitating JP Magazine stuff. So one last time.

The trac bar locates the axle left to right. IT DOES NOT change the angle of your draglink any significant amount and does nothing to bring the draglink back to a close to horizontal position. This is the job of the DROP (as in to lower) pitman arm to correct for the increased angle as a result of the lift.

Now the bumpsteer comes in when you have a steep draglink and hit a bump. It drives the draglink up and over because of the angle as opposed to a up down movement when the draglink is close to horizontal.
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:41 PM   #23
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That is exactly opposite of what happens. It is easier to push the draglink when it is as straight as possible off of the pitman arm than to push when the draglink is on an angle. This is why many go with a high steer setup in conjunction with a large lift.

I must say the misinformation growing on this thread is incredible. There is more to understand than simply reading and regurgitating JP Magazine stuff. So one last time.

The trac bar locates the axle left to right. IT DOES NOT change the angle of your draglink any significant amount and does nothing to bring the draglink back to a close to horizontal position. This is the job of the DROP (as in to lower) pitman arm to correct for the increased angle as a result of the lift.

Now the bumpsteer comes in when you have a steep draglink and hit a bump. It drives the draglink up and over because of the angle as opposed to a up down movement when the draglink is close to horizontal.

thank you. finally someone who understand how suspensions / steering works correctly
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Old 01-22-2007, 06:57 PM   #24
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thank you. finally someone who understand how suspensions / steering works correctly
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:30 PM   #25
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My lift netted me right at 5" of lift with an drop pitman arm and adj tracbar which I had bad wander, After reading several post I decided to put the stock pitman back on and it did align everything so as ALL wander is now gone. As stated trial and error.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:08 PM   #26
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My lift netted me right at 5" of lift with an drop pitman arm and adj tracbar which I had bad wander, After reading several post I decided to put the stock pitman back on and it did align everything so as ALL wander is now gone. As stated trial and error.
No arguement that you can do that but it is so much easier on the steering box when it is set correct. As for the wander, assuming all your bushings are good, it will happen with all that lift and weight shifting around. The binding of the steering helps to hold it straight. While it can also cause bumpsteer. Comes down to whatever you're happy with.

Why so much lift for 33's? I'm at a settled 5.5" of lift for 35's.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:10 PM   #27
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so i put on the trac bar bracket and the drop pitman arm, and if its acting wierd, i put the stock pitman arm back on?
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:20 PM   #28
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I would not. It's really difficult on the steering box.

Depending on what kind of wheeling you do it can be too much stress on the tie-rod ends when flexed out. I know this from busting mine up.

Takes a bit of time to get adjusted to the vehicle again. Provided that your components are in good shape the vehicle is acting like it would stock but in stock form you didn't have all the additional weight and vehicle dynamics.

Just to take it a bit further their are so many other things that go along with this. Springs? Shocks? Wheel base?
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:33 PM   #29
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Why so much lift for 33's? I'm at a settled 5.5" of lift for 35's.

i would be running 35's with that but i do have to say that "mike001" (i think thats the name) is running the 4.5" superflex with 33's and he said he rubs in the rear ("barely") but rubbing is rubbing. yes i know it can be solved with bumpstops. by the way sometimes a 4" lift will net 5" so just because he netted 5" doesn't mean he meant to have that much lift for his 33's.
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:34 PM   #30
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i would be running 35's with that but i do have to say that "mike001" (i think thats the name) is running the 4.5" superflex with 33's and he said he rubs in the rear ("barely") but rubbing is rubbing. yes i know it can be solved with bumpstops. by the way sometimes a 4" lift will net 5" so just because he netted 5" doesn't mean he meant to have that much lift for his 33's.
i have a 2" BB and a 2" BL with 32s. i have rubbing at the front at the back when disconnected.

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