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Old 01-28-2020, 04:21 PM
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Steer Smarts Issue

Had a fellow install the Steer Smarts package that I bought awhile back. When I picked the Jeep up, he told me that I'd need to get an alignment, which I had assumed would be the case.

So I headed on over to the nearest place to get it aligned. They couldn't get to it right then so I left it and went home. Just got a call from them and they said I need to replace the ball joints to get the alignment correct. I asked him what would cause that? He said probably the lift. I mentioned that the lift had been on there for 2 years and no problems.

So they said they would do the best they could with it but it probably came from the factory like that.

So I'm calling BS on the lift being the problem and I can't see how installing the Steer Smarts package would cause such a problem. So I'm left with wondering if the Steer Smarts kit was installed incorrectly or if the alignment guys are just full of crap?

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Old 01-28-2020, 04:28 PM   #2
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How many miles on your jeep? Tire size? Factory ball joints? If your ball joints are warn out I’m betting it’s just a coincidence and your ball joints were worn out before steer smarts install.

Edit, I see your running 35s. Stock ball joints and 35s don’t play well long term.

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Old 01-28-2020, 04:31 PM
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How many miles on your jeep? Tire size? If your ball joints are warn out I’m betting it’s just a coincidence and your ball joints were worn out before steer smarts install.
About 12,000 miles on the Jeep. 35" wheels. It handled well, no indication of bad ball joints. Still under warranty.
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Old 01-28-2020, 04:32 PM   #4
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About 12,000 miles on the Jeep. It handled well, no indication of bad ball joints. Still under warranty.
Maybe a second opinion is in order.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:34 PM   #5
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When I added the steer smarts I never got an alignment afterwards. I wrapped tape around the the drag link on one side of the adjusting collar. Then measured over 12" on the other side of the adjuster and wrapped another tape. Took the adjusting collar out and replaced it with the steer smarts. Just adjusted the steer smarts until the distance between the tape was 12" again. Might be too late for you to do this.
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Old 01-28-2020, 05:43 PM   #6
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I bet they are saying your camber is out of spec. Many jk wranglers come with Camber out of spec and no real way to adjust it unless you get adjustable ball joints.
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Old 01-28-2020, 06:33 PM
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When I added the steer smarts I never got an alignment afterwards. I wrapped tape around the the drag link on one side of the adjusting collar. Then measured over 12" on the other side of the adjuster and wrapped another tape. Took the adjusting collar out and replaced it with the steer smarts. Just adjusted the steer smarts until the distance between the tape was 12" again. Might be too late for you to do this.
Good to know. But yes, too late for me but hopefully not for the next guy.
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Old 01-28-2020, 07:10 PM   #8
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About 12,000 miles on the Jeep. 35" wheels. It handled well, no indication of bad ball joints. Still under warranty.
What are you trying to solve with the steer smarts install?
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:08 AM
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What are you trying to solve with the steer smarts install?
None really. But I had heard so much good about the product that I decided to give it a try. The roads out here suck and the crosswinds are vicious. Felt it would be a good addition to the ride and handling of the Jeep.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:50 AM   #10
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None really. But I had heard so much good about the product that I decided to give it a try. The roads out here suck and the crosswinds are vicious. Felt it would be a good addition to the ride and handling of the Jeep.
I ran the regular attenuator until I upgraded to their larger unit. Took the edge off the feel in the steering. I think your ball joints most likely are fine also. Probably out of spec from factory, but not needing replacement. Get a second opinion there for sure. As far as the crosswinds on highway, I believe those springs in your kit are dual rate. I would strongly consider the Hellwig rear sway bar. Not very expensive and it will make a very noticeable difference on the road in handling curves,crosswinds and blow by from tractor trailers. It will limit your articulation a bit if you really care/need it in the rocks. I would add quick disconnects in rear if it matters. If you go on the aev forum or their site they recommend it as an upgrade. I think your springs are similar to their kit, it will be a nice affordable upgrade.
My wife and daughter riding as passengers noticed immediately the first time they were in the jeep after I installed it. It was about $160, best mod for the $ by far for me.
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Old 01-29-2020, 08:39 AM   #11
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None really. But I had heard so much good about the product that I decided to give it a try. The roads out here suck and the crosswinds are vicious. Felt it would be a good addition to the ride and handling of the Jeep.
OK. Sorry you are dealing with alignment issues. I hope and am confidant you will get this sorted out soon. I agree with others on getting a second opinion. I am checking out you build thread. Sweet Rig!
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:12 AM   #12
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OP maybe next time you could put more thought into a thread title that isn't misleading. By all means please let us know if steer smarts is the issue but I highly doubt it.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:20 AM
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OP maybe next time you could put more thought into a thread title that isn't misleading. By all means please let us know if steer smarts is the issue but I highly doubt it.
Sorry, short sighted on my end for sure. Nothing wrong with the Steer Smarts product. Quality and support are great.

If there had been a problem with the SS product, it would have been on the install side, not the product itself. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:43 AM   #14
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Post up your alignment results when you get them.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:49 AM   #15
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We do a ton of Steer Smarts here at the shop. We have NEVER seen the Steer Smarts cause the ball joints to go bad nor you not to be able to do a alignment. I would like more info on why they are saying the ball joints are bad and why they cant do the alignment?

My thoughts... is there another alignment shop in your town? I would go there.

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Old 01-29-2020, 12:03 PM   #16
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Without knowing why the shop is saying they can't align it we really don't know.
If we knew why the shop says they can't align it we might be able to give some valid feedback.
Failing that, The things a drag link and / or tie rod upgrade should affect alignment wise are Toe and centering the steering wheel. Neither requires an alignment to fix, although an alignment shop should be able to do it. Both aspects can be set fairly accurately in the driveway with little more than two people and a tape measure. And centering the steering wheel can be done by yourself without a tape measure.

Also, do you have any adjustable control arms or geometry brackets? If you don't, there isn't much an alignment shop can adjust other than Toe and centering the steering wheel unless they start throwing BS parts at it like offset ball joints and cam bolts. I would not let them go down that road.
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Old 01-29-2020, 02:53 PM
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I picked up the Jeep a little while ago after getting an alignment. But upon arriving home, I looked under the Jeep and found that the Sway Bar End Link on the passenger side, was not straight up/down, it was at a sevire angle. The one on the drivers side was straight.

Two things really bother me. 1) that the shop that did the install actually installed it that way and 2) that the alignment shop didn't notice it.

I found the install instructions on Steer Smarts website and after comparing them to the way the End Link was installed on my Jeep, the installer put the End Link on the outside of the bracket on the passenger side and on the inside of the bracket on the drivers side.

I took the end link off the passenger side and moved it to the inside of the bracket like the one on the drivers side. There is a 1/2" spacer that goes between the end link and the sway bar, and when I put that spacer in, the end link goes off at an angle. If I remove the spacer, the end link is perfectly straight.

I'm beginning to wonder if maybe my sway bar is bent although I can't imagine how it would have happened.

Picture 1 is the drivers side, which I believe is installed correctly.
Picture 2 is the passenger side, without the 1/2" spacer between the sway bar and the end link. Both the top and bottom of the end link fit nicely against their intended area.
Picture 3 is the passenger side with the 1/2" spacer inserted. You can see that the bottom of the end link is not happy and the space at the bottom of the end link is become larger.
Picture 4 is of the bottom of the end link, and Picture 5 is a more exaggerated picture of the bottom of that end link.

I imagine a certain amount of the gap will close when I torque the bolt to 75lbs., but still, it just doesn't look right to me.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:16 PM   #18
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Wow, you bought those sway bar end links?

There are a number of factors that come to mind with that issue. The first is that the axle on a JK / JKU is not always centered side to side, and if it is off to one side it could make the sway bar links sit at an angle. You look to have an adjustable SteerSmart track bar, is it adjusted so the axle is centered side to side?
A sway bar is spring steel and it is really unlikely it is bent. The sway bar can be moved a little side to side, and maybe yours needs to be better centered.
But I would definitely run the spacer on both links. I am surprised they don't have spacers for the lower mount point. As the axle moves up and down the angle on those links changes, both at the sway bar and at the axle. I would be more concerned about making sure the spacer is there than I would be about a little angle to those links. As the axle moves in an arc, those links don't work in a straight up and down vertical plane anyway. Close would be nice, but a little off shouldn't matter.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:55 PM
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Wow, you bought those sway bar end links?
emm, yes I did. Not a good idea?

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You look to have an adjustable SteerSmart track bar, is it adjusted so the axle is centered side to side?
I'm not sure but while I was laying under the Jeep I found this. Is there a required modification to this metal guard necessary when installing the SteerSmarts?

Currently, there is -0- tolerance and the dust cover has already torn itself up from getting caught on the rock guard/skid plat (or whatever it's technically called). You can't see the damage to the cover (in this picture) but the back side is torn up pretty good and will have to be replaced.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:01 PM
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alignment results

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee H View Post
Post up your alignment results when you get them.

Before measurements
Left Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.02

Right Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.00*

Total Toe 0.02*
Steer Ahead 0.01*


After Measurements
Left Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.13*

Right Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.12*

Total Toe 0.25*
Steer Ahead 0.01*
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:20 PM   #21
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I picked up the Jeep a little while ago after getting an alignment. But upon arriving home, I looked under the Jeep and found that the Sway Bar End Link on the passenger side, was not straight up/down, it was at a sevire angle. The one on the drivers side was straight.

Two things really bother me. 1) that the shop that did the install actually installed it that way and 2) that the alignment shop didn't notice it.

I found the install instructions on Steer Smarts website and after comparing them to the way the End Link was installed on my Jeep, the installer put the End Link on the outside of the bracket on the passenger side and on the inside of the bracket on the drivers side.

I took the end link off the passenger side and moved it to the inside of the bracket like the one on the drivers side. There is a 1/2" spacer that goes between the end link and the sway bar, and when I put that spacer in, the end link goes off at an angle. If I remove the spacer, the end link is perfectly straight.

I'm beginning to wonder if maybe my sway bar is bent although I can't imagine how it would have happened.

Picture 1 is the drivers side, which I believe is installed correctly.
Picture 2 is the passenger side, without the 1/2" spacer between the sway bar and the end link. Both the top and bottom of the end link fit nicely against their intended area.
Picture 3 is the passenger side with the 1/2" spacer inserted. You can see that the bottom of the end link is not happy and the space at the bottom of the end link is become larger.
Picture 4 is of the bottom of the end link, and Picture 5 is a more exaggerated picture of the bottom of that end link.

I imagine a certain amount of the gap will close when I torque the bolt to 75lbs., but still, it just doesn't look right to me.
You should use the spacer on both links. The sway bar passes through a couple of rubber bushings mounted to the frame. All you need to do is push the sway bar to the driver side about 1/4 or 3/8 of an inch. Use a small pry bar for that. It will move side to side easily enough. Your links will then be vertical.
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Old 01-29-2020, 05:22 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
Before measurements
Left Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.02

Right Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.00*

Total Toe 0.02*
Steer Ahead 0.01*


After Measurements
Left Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.13*

Right Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.12*

Total Toe 0.25*
Steer Ahead 0.01*
see post #6
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:19 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
Before measurements
Left Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.02

Right Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.00*

Total Toe 0.02*
Steer Ahead 0.01*


After Measurements
Left Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.13*

Right Front
Camber -0.9*
Caster 5.7*
Toe 0.12*

Total Toe 0.25*
Steer Ahead 0.01*
The numbers look pretty good. You toe was low, they seem to have adjusted that. The camber isn't something you can easily change, and really not something I would worry about. You caster is a little higher than I would expect, but it should be fine.
As to the SteerSmart attenuator and its red rubber boot rubbing on the skid, that should not happen and something is wrong if it is rubbing when you turn. Nothing should rub or bind.
As has been mentioned, you should run the spacers on both sway bar links. They are there to allow the links to move freely. And the sway bar itself can be moved side to side a little to better center it over your axle. I find it easier to move side to side if both sides are not connected. That allows you to rotate the bar while applying pressure to move it in one direction or the other.

And my comment about you buying those links is based on the high price of those links vs what you get for your money. They are expensive and don't include a quick disconnect feature. Also, SteerSmart makes some crazy claims as to what they do that are just flat out crazy.
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:35 AM
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And my comment about you buying those links is based on the high price of those links vs what you get for your money. They are expensive and don't include a quick disconnect feature. Also, SteerSmart makes some crazy claims as to what they do that are just flat out crazy.
Thank you for that information, GuzzMoto. I understand the end link doesn't provide a "quick disconnect feature" but my Jeep already has a quick disconnect (access from the dash). I hope you're not saying that these end links defeat that stock option?
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:45 AM   #25
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emm, yes I did. Not a good idea?

I'm not sure but while I was laying under the Jeep I found this. Is there a required modification to this metal guard necessary when installing the SteerSmarts?

Currently, there is -0- tolerance and the dust cover has already torn itself up from getting caught on the rock guard/skid plat (or whatever it's technically called). You can't see the damage to the cover (in this picture) but the back side is torn up pretty good and will have to be replaced.
I've read somewhere you have to trim the metal skid plate. It might have been on the steersmart site. Not a big deal. Changing the boot is a bigger job unfortunately.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:05 AM   #26
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Thank you for that information, GuzzMoto. I understand the end link doesn't provide a "quick disconnect feature" but my Jeep already has a quick disconnect (access from the dash). I hope you're not saying that these end links defeat that stock option?
No, these end links don't affect the push button on the dash. But even people with the push button on the dash can and do benefit from adding physical quick disconnects. When you push the button on the dash the ends of the sway bar are still connected to the axle. If the suspension articulates far enough the link can flip and try to come back down towards the front of the Jeep. That will cause an instant bad day.
Also, those links are a fixed length while many better links are adjustable. That allows you to properly set the sway bar angle. Those links, being a fixed length, mean the sway bar angle is whatever it is, right or wrong. The sway bar angle being correctly set affect sway bar performance, and it is also related to preventing the aforementioned sway bar link flipping. Proper sway bar angle helps prevent the sway bar from flipping.

They are cool looking links, though. But I wish they had put more effort into them.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:20 AM
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If the suspension articulates far enough the link can flip and try to come back down towards the front of the Jeep. That will cause an instant bad day.
Wouldn't that would be the case with stock links as well?

I wish I had a little better insight into this prior to the purchase. But I had heard a lot of positive things about Steersmarts, so I figured keeping everything SteerSmarts would produce a better, all around, functioning Jeep. I really didn't need to spend the money replacing parts if there wasn't gain to be had.

So it appears I will need to be cut the skid plate to accommodate the attenuator and then replace the boot. I hadn't heard of trimming the skid plate but then again, I didn't do the install. I wonder if that is mentioned in the install directions or left to the installer's common sense.

Either way, thank you everyone for your help. At lease I know what has to be done now to get this mess cleaned up.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:32 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
Wouldn't that would be the case with stock links as well?

I wish I had a little better insight into this prior to the purchase. But I had heard a lot of positive things about Steersmarts, so I figured keeping everything SteerSmarts would produce a better, all around, functioning Jeep. I really didn't need to spend the money replacing parts if there wasn't gain to be had.

So it appears I will need to be cut the skid plate to accommodate the attenuator and then replace the boot. I hadn't heard of trimming the skid plate but then again, I didn't do the install. I wonder if that is mentioned in the install directions or left to the installer's common sense.

Either way, thank you everyone for your help. At lease I know what has to be done now to get this mess cleaned up.
Yes, it would be the case with the stock links as well. The links that eliminate that concern are the links that allow you to disconnect the axle from the sway bar. And they only eliminate that concern if you actually use them to disconnect both sides of the sway bar from the axle.

I don't know if the install directions mention trimming the skid, but any installer who knows and cares about what he is doing wouldn't have handed it back to you like that.

Some people like SteerSmart, others not so much. Like all companies they have their good and bad. My sister in-law had some SteerSmart stuff on her JK, and had issues. The issues got worse when they talked to SteerSmart about replacing the defective part(s). It went downhill from there. We have a SteerSmart attenuator on ours. It is the smaller one, not the larger one like you have, and it seems to work OK. It seemed to make a big difference when we first got it, but now I think we need to remove it as we are running more lift and bigger tires than we used to. I fear it may be doing more harm than good now. But that isn't their fault.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:46 AM   #29
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If you don't do any hard off roading, flipping your sway bar links isn't likely to happen.
For dirt roads and easier trails the push button disconnect is fine and flipping your sway bar link isn't likely to happen. It is mainly an issue with lifted Jeeps and when doing harder off road stuff where the suspension is articulating a lot. It is when the suspension droops really far that he sway bar link might go past being in a direct line with the sway bar and thus allow it to come back up on the other side of the sway bar resulting in a bent link and a jammed suspension.
The two main factors are length of the shocks extended and the sway bar angle at normal ride height. If the shocks are long enough and the sway bar is at a low enough angle at ride height this can happen. You can test to see where you are at by jacking up the right front corner of the Jeep by the chassis (not by the axle or the wheel) to the point the right front tire comes off the ground. That would be the right front suspension at full droop. The sway bar and the link should still have a little angle between them, they should not be near straight in a line.
But, as mentioned, if you don't off road on stuff that tests your suspension you shouldn't have this issue. It isn't going to happen just driving down the road.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:59 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squerly View Post
Thank you for that information, GuzzMoto. I understand the end link doesn't provide a "quick disconnect feature" but my Jeep already has a quick disconnect (access from the dash). I hope you're not saying that these end links defeat that stock option?
I was taken back by the initial claims/marketing and cost of these too when they first came to market. However, granted with a disclaimer, since it's on their site, they do get very good reviews and they do look cool. I like aluminum here, very rigid and without the movable joint it should provide a tighter, less sway ride. As long as it doesn't bind. It's certainly not going to rust or get play in the joints. I'm sure the bushings are an oem quality grade. No maintenance either. On a Rubi, don't need the quick disconnect. Steermarts makes good stuff,I believe they use real engineers......, in the USA and they do a lot of work with our domestic automotive industry. They reduced the initial price to $165. I spend more than that in gas a week. I emailed them just now for the length measurement "eye to eye" seeing if I can use these in the rear since I believe I do not have enough lift to run in the front. At least they don't do cheesy videos, insult your intelligence, import it from China out of inferior steel with poor coatings with no quality control. As long as YOU like them, it's all good. Get your rig sorted out and enjoy it.

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