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Old 08-02-2009, 04:25 AM   #1
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Drop Pitman Arm

I had read in a few threads that a drop pit-man arm is not recommended by some. However some lift companies recommend a drop pit-man arm on 4" lift kits. Those that have 4" lift kits have you installed a drop pit-man arm or not? Is it necessary or not. Good or bad results with it?

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:03 AM   #2
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I dont have one either. Seems to be fine. The RE 3.5 kit I have sits to be 4" or a little more, and when I did my suspension I was asking about it too and was told NO! lol.

I was also told that The only time when you should need a drop pitman arm is when you install a drop track bar. The track bar and drag link should be sitting on an angle thats parallel to each other. Installing the drop pitman arm would take away from the angle, and cause the drag link to sit too low.

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Old 08-02-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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I had one installed w my 5.5 RE lift Was told I had too by Rubicon Express No issues.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:24 AM   #4
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Yea Jerry, I think I remember reading for higher lifts...like 5 inches or better you might need one. Not sure about it though.


Here is the exact post from Jerry Bransford explaining it all to me when I asked.

Quote:
Dropped Pitman arms are only occasionally needed for very specific geometric reasons and should never be installed without those reasons. First, many non-TJ people just assume because a Jeep is lifted that a dropped Pitman arm is needed. While that may be true for older CJs and YJs, that's not true for the TJ which has a much improved steering geometry.

Unless your suspension lift also has the extra heavy-duty RE 1610 adjustable trackbar which is mounted to the required RE1611 dropped trackbar mount, or similar aftermarket trackbar and dropped trackbar mount, do not install a dropped Pitman arm.... period. It'll just cause bump steer.

The drag link and track bar must be parallel to each other. If they are not, bump steer is the result. So if you drop the upper end of the drag link with a dropped Pitman arm, you must also drop the upper end of the track bar too. And visa-versa. If one is dropped, both must be dropped to keep death wobble from happening. So they both must either be undropped, or they both must be dropped.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:25 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jerryj View Post
I had one installed w my 5.5 RE lift Was told I had to by Rubicon Express No issues.
Your RE 5.5" LA's requirement for a dropped Pitman arm has nothing to do with its 5.5" height, it's because it has the RE1611 dropped upper trackbar mount that your RE1610 track bar requires. And when the trackbar is dropped, the Pitman arm has to be dropped too so the trackbar and draglink remain parallel which prevents bump steer.

Conversely, no dropped Pitman arm should be used if the trackbar is not also dropped. Those two items need to match... dropped and dropped or undropped and undropped.

Meyers, very few suspension lifts ever need a dropped Pitman arm. With the above in mind, odds are you should not install a dropped Pitman arm even if it comes with the kit.

All older pre-97 Wranglers and CJs usually needed dropped Pitman arms when nearly any height suspension lift was installed. The '97 and newer TJ has a much improved geometry in its steering system that rarely needs a dropped Pitman arm and then usually only if the trackbar is also dropped.

Bump steer caused by installing a dropped Pitman arm when it was not required is not a problem you want to have.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:41 AM   #6
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Does anyone know any good links to articles on the how's and what's of steering geometry on the TJ. I want to understand this stuff and while the forums are good I would like to find a good technical reference to read as well. Why isn't there an Idiots guide to TJ suspension and steering.
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Old 08-02-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by meyers View Post
Why isn't there an Idiots guide to TJ suspension and steering.
You just got it in this thread. If the trackbar and drag link are parallel, life is good and you don't have bump steer. The more they are not parallel, the more bump steer you get.

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