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Discussion Starter #1
I want to replace my tie rod. Looks like just going with a Moog will cost $225 after tax. Anything available that’s better for just a little more cash? I have 17” wheels with 4.75” backspacing
 

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If you wheel at all, upgrade to an aluminum tie rod! You may second guess it until that first time you really bash it on something. After that first time you'll never run steel again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I see ruff stuff has one for a reasonable price, but max BS of 3.25”. Anyone else have something that fits with my wheels?
 

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Barnes: 4.5” bs or less

Ahh, but stinky fab says “at least 3.75” bs”
I have a Stinky Fab alum tie rod. My 17" wheels have 4.75" and 4.61" of backspacing respectively (summer alloy/winter steelies) and no problem clearing the tie rod ends.

I beat the crap out of that tie rod, and it's still good!

 

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Fusion 4x4 aluminum 2.5 ton set up will work with factory backspace and less.

It is a freaking fantastic tie rod.... and drag link.
 

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Fusion 4x4 aluminum 2.5 ton set up will work with factory backspace and less.

It is a freaking fantastic tie rod.... and drag link.
:jawdrop::drool:
 

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If you wheel at all, upgrade to an aluminum tie rod! You may second guess it until that first time you really bash it on something. After that first time you'll never run steel again.
I have a Steer Smarts tie rod assembly. I have hit the center steel tube several times without any bending issues. But last time I was wheeling, it took a hit to the LH tie rod end, just outboard of the tube, and it bent the tie rod end itself.


I was going to change to the Fusion 4X4 7075 tie rod assembly because I run stock 17" wheels, but I'm not sure it would have prevented what happened to me. It still has steel tie rod ends, but maybe the 7075 tube will flex to 'save' the tie rod end, even if the end takes a direct hit? I ended up installing a new SS tie rod end instead of spending the $550 (plus whatever a new stabilizer clamp would cost) on the Fusion.
 

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I just installed a Fusion 4x4 tie rod. It looks like it would work with near stock levels of backspacing, but I don't currently run stock so I can't confirm.
There are other brands that are basically the same as Fusion 4x4, using the Rare Parts tie rod ends and a massive aluminum bar. The Rare Parts tie rod ends are a beefy forging and an easily replaceable cartridge style joint. It would take way more force to bend the Rare Parts forging than it would to bend a more pedestrian end like Steer Smart. Anything can bend, but there is an obvious difference in strength there. And I think I like the idea of simply replacing the cartridge if / when the joint wears out.
But the real kicker is the Fusion 4x4 aluminum tie rod is only a little more than the more pedestrian HD tie rods, and it is clearly stronger.
I have not tested that strength yet, but I am very happy with it so far.
 

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It would take way more force to bend the Rare Parts forging than it would to bend a more pedestrian end like Steer Smart. Anything can bend, but there is an obvious difference in strength there.
Both the Rare Parts and Steer Smarts Yeti tie rod ends are heat treated forgings with 1.25" threaded ends. Just wondering - what about the RP ends makes them stronger?



Edit: I'm asking specifically about the threaded area, which is where my SS tie rod end bent. It seems that the RP and SS ends are essentially the same in that area. Of course, I don't know what material and heat treat each is using, so there could be a difference there.
 

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Both the Rare Parts and Steer Smarts Yeti tie rod ends are heat treated forgings with 1.25" threaded ends. Just wondering - what about the RP ends makes them stronger?



Edit: I'm asking specifically about the threaded area, which is where my SS tie rod end bent. It seems that the RP and SS ends are essentially the same in that area. Of course, I don't know what material and heat treat each is using, so there could be a difference there.
The Rare Parts tie rod end used in the Fusion 4x4 (and others) is a 2.5 ton tie rod end. It is bigger and stronger. It is physically more massive.
I believe Steer Smart uses 1.5 ton tie rod ends, and while they may be nice ends, they just aren't as big and strong as 2.5 ton tie rod ends.
Perhaps it would have made no difference, but I would think a 2.5 ton end would be stronger than a 1.5 ton end.
The other aspect is the aluminum tie rod is designed to flex, and that flexing is supposed to keep things from bending. It is a way of absorbing the energy without causing a failure.
But I could be wrong.
 

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Perhaps it would have made no difference, but I would think a 2.5 ton end would be stronger than a 1.5 ton end.
Right, the joint itself is bigger (stronger), but both still use a 1.25" threaded connection to the center tube. Mine bent in the threaded area, so that's what concerns me most.

The other aspect is the aluminum tie rod is designed to flex, and that flexing is supposed to keep things from bending. It is a way of absorbing the energy without causing a failure.
That's what I was thinking as well. Just not sure how much the flexing helps if the impact is out at the tie rod end. It's got to help some.

It took me 4 years of wheeling to bend the SS tie rod end, but I wasn't expecting it to happen at all. If it happens again, I'll probably switch over to the Fusion tie rod assembly.
 
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