I need to start this off with a couple disclaimers.
First, if you are not comfortable with modifying or installing steering componanats then please let a qualified mechanic do this for you.
This thread will include modifying and using a manufacturers product in a manner that was not nessescarily intended and will most likley void any warranty on said parts.
This is what I did and what I went thru to do my steering. There may be and probably is better ways but this is not an opinion thread just some info from my experiences. Also just becuse this is what my jeep ran into does not mean your jeep will have the same issues. All wranglers are different.
That being said I can explain what I am doing. the factory YJ steering tie rod is attached to the bottom of the knuckle via TRE(tie rod ends). I will be moving them to the top is where the troubles came in with using the RR kit.
Here is what the factory steering looks like:
The kit that I purchaced from Baseline 4x4 outfitters was this one:
I am not gonna get into the details of the kit itself but I will say that all the parts are very nice and it seems like a really good quality kit. Time will tell of course. I will also say that if you are just installing it in the factory configuration it should work flawlessly.
So onto flipping it to the top of the knuckle. You need to do a few things and this is where my troubles started. First you will need to drill the knuckles to install the Goforit TRE flip bushings which i got from here:
I ordered 2. When I got them they are a quality unit.
So first you need to get the jeep up in the front and get the old steering stuff off. I'm not gonna explain that too much. Becuse if your working on it you've had it jacked up before. Just make it safe.
Take a couple measurements between the front of the knuckles and the rear to try to get them back to where they were. Mine were 50.5" from inside of the knuckle to knuckle in the front and 50.75" in the back from the same point. Yours my be different but the point is to try to get it back to where it was so you can drive it to an alignment shop. IMHO you can measure the drag link but it's gonna be so different it really won't matter that much.
So now it's time to drill a 3/4 inch hole in the factory knuckle to install the flip bushings. I used a 3/4" 118 degree bit but really you should use a 135 degree bit but I only had the 118 degree bit so...
I made this to try to make sure that the bit stayed centered and did not walk or waller the hole out.
The pin was to make sure that the guide lined up with the factory hole. I used plenty of cutting oil and it drilled really nice. I was able to just use my 18v dewalt cordless to drill both holes. I would also say that making the jig is not nessescary but I did NOT want the hole crooked at all. I have seen people that have drilled them free hand. So take it for what it is but this took very little time and made things go in really nice.
So now you have two 3/4" holes in your knuckles. No turnig back now. LOL!
Pic of hole with Go for it bushing:
Bushing in the hole:
I welded the lip all the way around on the top. It is suggested that you can just tac them in place but I figured why noy just weld in in all the way.
So no i'm ready to install the steering. So I assembled the tie rod and TRE's and set them in place. At this point I realized there was an issue. When flipping the passenger side TRE over it places the morris tapered side of where the drag lnik attaches to the back side. This will not work. The drang link needs to still be mounted on the front. So now what to do? Well i decided just to drill out and flip the morris taper on the passenger TRE. Now I only ordered 2 bushings from goforit but I did measure what they sent me and eneded up turning down my own bushing for the TRE. I copied the bushing from them exactly. I have a small mill and lathe and was able to make this myself. I shlould have just ordered another one to save time but will explain later why I am glad I didn't.
I drilled out the RR yj TRE and installed the bushing and welded it in.
This is basically what you end up with:
So now I am ready to install everything. Well it did no go to plan. I installed the revised kit and ended up with clearence problems between the Tie rod and drag link. Also the drag link was too long adjusted all the way in. Which made sense because you are raising it up by several inches.
Here are some pics of the clearence. Not touching but way to close for my liking:
So now what? Well let me go back some. From the begining i noticed that for some reason RR had placed a bend in the new passenger side TRE. I believe it was there attempt to adjust the location of the drag link and put it more in line with the passenger knuckle helping the twisting action that the factory steering tends to do. Not sure really but this seems to be where my trouble is. You can sorta see the slight bend in the above pics.
When the kit is installed in the factory location the bend is towards the back of the jeep. When you flip it on top now the bend is towards the front of the jeep. Well this places it closer to the draglink
So i did some research and came up with this. I first called RR and to be frank left 2 messages with their customer service tech line and never recieved a call back. So i decided to call Jarrod at Baseline 4x$. He is pretty close and participates a lot with my local Jeep guys. He helped me a TON. It turns out that the RR HD steering kit for the TJ is exactly the same ~EXCEPT for the fact that the passenger side TRE is bent the opposite way of the YJ one. WOW! So really if your gonna flip this kit you need to order a TJ steering kit instead of the YJ one, Go figure.
He eneded up giving me a TJ TRE to try out . So a link to the TJ kit is:
Now you still need to drill it and flip the morris taper just like the Yj one. So this is kinda why I'd glad I did not order another bushing from goforit.
Now becuse I am extra anal I decided to make the bushing differently. I am not gonna get into the specs of it but I have a blue print and can spec it for anyone that wants to make or get one made. Just let me know and I can pm or email the spec sheet. It's sets the drag link connection about 3/16" futher out to gain more clearence.
This is what I did:
So now that I got the bushing made I welded it in and cleaned it up and repainted it.
So now to shorten the drag link. I ended up taking .625" off each end. You need to refile the threads inside by hand but there is plenty of thread in the rod. I could have taken off another 16th or so but it still gives me a small bit of adjustment.
Still tight but plenty of clearence, this is the closest it gets.
So final install notes. I first installed the Tie rod. Set the distances measured from earlier between the knuckles. Then set the wheels straight. The I centered the steering wheel and then attached the drag link. I did end up having to remove the pitman arm and rotate it over one slpine to center the steering and still have proper side to side motion to hit my steering stops. I am still gonna take it to get it aligned or at least to check it.
Tightening the jamb nuts can be a bit tricky. I eneded up getting some thin service wreches in 1 1/4" to tighten them without rounding them off. You need to tighten the first jamb nut to the tub on both sides and then tighten the second jamb against it. It's a bit trickey but one you play with it you'll see what to do. When I am satisfied with the alignment i will blue lock tight the jambs to makse sure they don't back off.
Also when you buy the GOFORIT bushings they supply a spiral flanged nut instead of the standard castle nut and cotter pin. I like the flanged nut because it adds contact surface on the opposite side of the flip bushing but I don't like not having the cotter pin. SO I measuered out and drilled holes int he flange nuts to be able to install cottor pins on the tie rod ends for the knuckles.
I also had to trim the stock track bar mount off. I don't have a trac bar and will never put one on but if you have one and want to retain it this wont work. I took off more than needed but better be safe than sorry. You can see it trimmed off in some of the final install pics.
All in all this went pretty well but I am sure that if I know that I wwas gonna have to modify so much I would have just built my own kit most likley using heim joints. For the money I have in it it seems worth it. and performs pretty well, looks beefy, and adds some difference to the old jeep. Also it lowerd my steering back down and tightened everything up a lot.
I am sure I forgot some things so if there are any questions or more info needed just ask.
I was wondering how I would get my RR kit to work if I decided to go with the GoFerIt flip. I knew that the TJ TRE would be needed, but since the taper runs the wrong way I was kind of stuck. Seems so obvious now to use another GoFerIt bushing on the TRE.
Great work, and great write up!
Originally Posted by wmpiehl
Haha, just don't let Mitch teach you how to wheel, he is really scary
So, to duplicate this, could I just buy the TJ kit, and the GOFERIT TRE bushings?
Or would I only need the TJ TRE, and YJ kit?
My steering is so jacked, I need to replace it, and this thread caught my eye, just got my tax return, so its time to stop rolling the dice every time I go to work...
ok, i oreded and recieved my TJ kit, and the TRE you have to mod is different then what you have posted:
Compared to yours:
It even looks different then the YJ one you posted:
Basically, the tie rod is backward compared to both your YJ and TJ Ends, the recessed area is on the opposite side, Is this something you modified? if not Im thinking the TRE you have is different then what is actually in the TJ kit, and I might have to order the TRE you listed separately.
I could also attempt to modify it myself, if I do have to mod it myslef, I will defiantly need your bushing with the taper....
The one i got does have the correct angle, but Ill have to mod it so the nut has a flat, recessed spot....
The first pic of mine above is the back side of the tj tre is with the bushing in place. I milled the tre to get clean mounting spots and set the recess for the castle nut and a washer.
You can do this by hand but I would recomed taking to the machine shop that you have make the bushing. This way they can check the bushing for clearence as well and bore the tre on the mill.
When i get off my ass and send you the spec sheets it will all be there. Thats why I didn't post it because it would clutter up the thread.
The second pic of mine that you posted is the tre after you weld the bushing in, and clean up the welds and painted. I think i posted the modded tj tre and said it was the yj tre. They looked the same when finished up except for the bend.
You have the right parts. When I send you the papers is will make more sense. This is not super easy or direct bolt up thats kinda why I made this thread because I could never find any of the info all in one place.
Thank you, I had a feeling you machined the other side of the TRE, and yes, the machine shop will be doing all that work, Im starting to think I should go buy another TRE and have it duplicated incase I need to replace that end in the future.
4" lift with only a drop pitman arm and ever since the lift my entire steering twists back and forth when I move the steering wheel back and forth. it wears out my tie rods quickly, and the guy at NAPA laughs at me....
I used Flip Flop, but twisting is actually more accurate.
You will need 3, unless you have the TRE bushing made.
I ordered 3 bushings, but had one made for the TRE anyways, so Ill have an extra in-case that TRE ever wears out.
Also it took the machine shop 3 weeks to get to my TRE mod, didnt find out till the second week that he is moving, meaning hes backlogged, and wont be able to duplicate it later (moving 3 towns north).
I suppose I can use another machine shop, but ill worry about that when parts start wearing out.
Still planing to drill Tonight or tomorrow morning.
So i am doing a frame off resto LCOG v8 build on a yj right now, and I have this RR HD tie rod kit from my TJ left laying around. I gotta say, that kit is horrible for the TJ. at 35 you can see the tires wobble over an inch.
So I called and complained and RR sent me all new TREs... which still didnt fix the issue, so I pulled it off. I want to use this TJ kit on my YJ
Only thing is, the passenger side TRE w/ drag link hole is now a different style. They changed em apparently. I asked them. Instead of the hole being front to back on the tre, it goes top to bottom, inline with the TRE ball joint...
you think I can still use that? (I can put drag link on top) also should I keep my drop pitman or swap the factory back on???