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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen? Background:
AEV 3.5 DualSport SC lift
37" Toyos
Redneck Ram hydrolic assist
4.88 gears
Trussed and sleeved Dana 44 axles

The AEV lift includes brackets that bolt to the factory track bar bracket which is of course welded to the Dana 44 axle. Last weekend on a mild trail ride my steering failed which after inspection was found to be caused by the factory welds holding the factory track bar bracket to the axle failing. Which caused the force of the drag link when turning to simply push or pull the entire jeep back and forth over the axle rather than the force going into the steering knuckle causing it to turn.

Now that it happened, it's not that surprising considering the additional / increased demands placed on the bracket with 37's and a hydro-assist. Should the guy who installed the hydro have known that this bracket needed reinforcement?

I'm just very thankful that it failed on the trail and not when I was going 80 mph down the highway just hours earlier.

I'm just
1- curious if this is a known issue with my mods and I or my mechanic should have known this bracket was a weak link and needs upgraded.
2- want to let anyone with similar mods know that this is a possible problem that could have dire consequences.
 

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Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen? Background:
AEV 3.5 DualSport SC lift
37" Toyos
Redneck Ram hydrolic assist
4.88 gears
Trussed and sleeved Dana 44 axles

The AEV lift includes brackets that bolt to the factory track bar bracket which is of course welded to the Dana 44 axle. Last weekend on a mild trail ride my steering failed which after inspection was found to be caused by the factory welds holding the factory track bar bracket to the axle failing. Which caused the force of the drag link when turning to simply push or pull the entire jeep back and forth over the axle rather than the force going into the steering knuckle causing it to turn.

Now that it happened, it's not that surprising considering the additional / increased demands placed on the bracket with 37's and a hydro-assist. Should the guy who installed the hydro have known that this bracket needed reinforcement?

I'm just very thankful that it failed on the trail and not when I was going 80 mph down the highway just hours earlier.

I'm just
1- curious if this is a known issue with my mods and I or my mechanic should have known this bracket was a weak link and needs upgraded.
2- want to let anyone with similar mods know that this is a possible problem that could have dire consequences.
I can't speak to the bracket causing any issues with the welds to the axle. but I will say the bracket itself is pretty weak to begin with. 2 piece just like their Geo Brackets. My AEV 3.5 front TR bracket bent within weeks of installing the 3.5. I ended up replacing it with a once piece steersmarts bracket, which is essentially the same design as synergy's front TB bracket. No issues since (knock on wood).
 

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I can't speak to the bracket causing any issues with the welds to the axle. but I will say the bracket itself is pretty weak to begin with. 2 piece just like their Geo Brackets.
OP is saying the weld failed, not the bracket. In this case the bracket was obviously tougher than the weld.

To the OP, most trackbar brackets aren't really designed to handle the forces hydro assist can produce. Keep in mind that ram can push your wheels with several thousand pounds of force. The bracket should be reinforced when installing hydro if that's going to be a mounting point, unless it's been specifically designed for that application and installed correctly. Usually fully boxing it with 1/4" plate will do the trick. There's tons of people who have ripped off an unreinforced bracket using hydro.

On the positive side, these incidents usually happen at low speed on the trail when steering forces are higher. On the highway at 80, it actually takes very little force to turn the wheels.
 

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OP is saying the weld failed, not the bracket. In this case the bracket was obviously tougher than the weld.

To the OP, most trackbar brackets aren't really designed to handle the forces hydro assist can produce. Keep in mind that ram can push your wheels with several thousand pounds of force. The bracket should be reinforced when installing hydro if that's going to be a mounting point, unless it's been specifically designed for that application and installed correctly. Usually fully boxing it with 1/4" plate will do the trick. There's tons of people who have ripped off an unreinforced bracket using hydro.

On the positive side, these incidents usually happen at low speed on the trail when steering forces are higher. On the highway at 80, it actually takes very little force to turn the wheels.
I get that, which is why I qualified that I couldn't speak to the weld strength of the factory bracket in the axle (particularly with hydro assist).

The OP did ask if the bracket was a weak link, and in my experience the AEV front TB bracket is relatively weak, particularly due to the 2 piece construction, which is why I shared my experience with it.

Whether a one piece option of thicker steel from Synergy or SS would fare better if welded or reinforced in a hydro-assist application I can only guess. Logic tells me the fewer potential failure points the better (one is better than two in that scenario) but I don't have real world experience to draw from there.

I will be checking my axle welds regardless after reading this though!
 

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I will be checking my axle welds regardless after reading this though!
Definitely a good idea. The factory axle welds don't have to be defective to fail either, especially if the aftermarket bracket isn't providing sufficient extra support. As long as the left and right, along with the top or bottom of the bracket, are boxed it should be okay. It's when the support is lacking...the steel's just not strong enough to resist that shear force forever.
 
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