(approx) 2 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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Hey guys. Today I'm here with the RT Off-Road heavy-duty steering kit fitting all 1997 to 2006 TJ Wranglers. This is gonna be a perfect option if you're looking for a heavy-duty direct replacement to replace any worn out or old steering components. This is also gonna be great if you have larger wheels and tires and you're looking for better and more reliable stability in your steering. At the moment, this is gonna be your most affordable option at $165. And if you want the steering stabilizer, RT Off-Road also has that option for roughly the same price. So the other options that you do see on the page that will be a little bit more expensive will usually be for different variables. So usually, those will come with extra components like a steering stabilizer or they'll be specific to a lift or they could also be for high clearance as well as just some of those premium brands. So if you're looking for just a direct replacement that is a little more reliable than your stock setup, you can save a couple of bucks and this will definitely get the job done. Install is gonna be a two out of three wrenches and it's nothing that you can't do in your driveway in about two to three hours with the right tools. So speaking of the install, let's jump into that. The tools that we used for our install today were a torque wrench, a hammer, a pair of needle nose pliers, an impact wrench, a 19 millimeter wrench, a 14 millimeter wrench, a 17 millimeter deep socket, a 15 millimeter deep socket, a 19 millimeter shallow socket, and a 19 millimeter swivel socket. So after we have our Jeep up on the lift, our first step is to support our front axle. We're not gonna do any suspension work, so you don't necessarily need to support the axle. However, it is a good idea whenever you're working on the front and you have the Jeep up in the air. So since we will be reusing our steering stabilizer, all we have to do is disconnect it from our drag link and move it out of the way. I'm gonna be using a 19 millimeter socket. So after that castle nut is removed, we can knock our steering stabilizer out of the way. So our steering stabilizer is giving us a little bit of trouble to get out. So we are going to disconnect our drag link from our Pitman arm. So first we're gonna remove the cotter pin with a pair of needle nose pliers. After that cotter pin's out, we can remove the castle nut with a 19 millimeter wrench. And from there we can take a hammer to our Pitman arm to release our drag link from there. Just be careful because this is connected to your steering box and you do not want to do any major damage. So our steering stabilizer here is still giving us a lot of trouble to come out and they usually don't come out anyway. And that's why a lot of these steering kits already come with a new steering stabilizer and a new pin. The tapered part gets rusted and it's just a common problem on TJs. But I still wanna show you guys how to put in the new drag link and the new tie rod. So we're gonna disconnect our steering stabilizer from the axle and just show you how to fully disassemble this and then assemble our new steering system. So if you do have to disconnect your steering stabilizer from your axle, we're gonna use a 15 millimeter socket on the front side and a 19 millimeter wrench on the back side. So now on our knuckle we can remove our cotter pin and the castle nut. Bend that back. Squeeze it together. You can grab it from...you can either push it out, grab it from the other side with some needle nose pliers. So now I'm gonna use a 19 millimeter swivel to remove our castle nut. So because this is also tapered just like the top of the drag link, we are going to take a hammer and hit the knuckle until the drag link falls out. There we go. So now we can do the same on the other side. First we're going to remove the cotter pin. Once you're on this side, you'll have more room to work with since you can fully move the wheel out since it's not connected to the other side of our tie rod anymore. And if you do mess these cotter pins up, your new system will also come with some more. So you don't have to worry about that. So now we're ready to smack the steering knuckle to get the tapered stud out. Just be mindful that everything else is disconnected so the steering will completely fall out if you don't have a handle on it. Now we can fully remove it. So you are gonna have some differences and some similarities between the stock system and your new RT Off-Road system. So overall, you are getting the same design. You're still having that Y crossover steering to where your tie rod and your drag link are connected and your steering stabilizer is connected to your drag link here. Also on your drag link you are getting a multi-way design just like you have on your stock drag link. However, on your new tie rod, you are getting a multi-way sleeve that is farther up towards the knuckle instead of having them far apart like a standard tie rod with two tie rod ends. You also are gonna get Zerk fittings to grease all of the ball joints so you can maintain your system and keep it working like brand-new. Now, a big difference between these two systems and why this is an upgrade to go to is that this is gonna be a lot bigger than your stock system and give you some more durability while you have bigger tires on your Jeep or you're just out on the trail. So this is gonna be a one inch in diameter as to where your stock tie rod is gonna be three-quarters of an inch in diameter and your stock drag link will be roughly seven-eights inches in diameter. So this will give you some overall more durability. So with this new system it's also gonna look a lot cleaner. I mean, parts rust and they wear out over time. And that's something that will just give it a little bit of refresh when you're putting in a new system. I also would like to mention again that you will need to get a steering stabilizer with this if you are unable to get the stock stabilizer out of your stock steering system and they aren't very expensive. So it's not gonna jack up the price that much and it's gonna make your life a whole lot easier. So enough about our stock system, let's transfer over some measurements and get this new one in. So you can either do this part while your Jeep is on the ground or when you have the two systems together on a table. So what you're gonna do is you're gonna take a tape measure and measure from the middle of each knuckle and transfer that measure over to your new system. So this is just gonna be a ballpark measurement. You still might have to do some fine tune adjustments. I also would highly recommend an alignment after installing this new system. So on our tie rod, we are going to measure from the middle of the knuckle to the middle of the knuckle on the other side and it's roughly forty two and a half inches up. Lock that there. Then we can go over to our new system. And straighten out our ball joint. Looks like it's pretty close at 42. So we're just gonna adjust it. All right. So we're at forty two and a half. So for our drag link, looks like we are at thirty seven and a half. And we are actually at thirty seven and a half on our new system here. So now we can install this on our Wrangler. So when you're reassembling this, you could start at any point. I am just gonna start with the top of the drag link on our Pitman arm so we can attach it to our passenger side knuckle. So you're gonna wanna move the sleeve out of the way. And after we tighten this down, we can fill it with grease. They do come greased already. However, I would highly recommend to grease them after. Now I'm just going to add the castle nut and now we can attach our other points. And after those are attached, we can go back and insert our cotter pins and tighten everything down to our torque specs. So after the top of the drag link is on, we can insert the bottom. Might have to move the ball joint around. Swallows [SP] the knuckle. Once you tighten these down, it will actually pull that tapered part through. All right. So now that our drag link is installed, we can grab our tie rod. So now we can attach the tie rod to the driver side knuckle. Push that tapered portion through and just hand tighten your castle nut there. So now that we have our tie rod connected at the driver side knuckle, we're just gonna let it hang out on our pole jack here while we disconnect this to shimmy our new ball joint behind here to connect to our drag link. That's why we left it hand tight so we could just maneuver it out. And that can just rest here on our tire while we connect our tie rod to our drag link. Reattach your castle nut and you can reattach your drag link. So after all of our castle nuts are installed, we can tighten everything down with a 19 millimeter socket or a swivel. You wanna make sure there's enough room for a cotter pin to go through. Just wanna make sure that you align the holes for the cotter pin to go through. So now we're gonna take a torque wrench and make sure that all of our castle nuts including your steering stabilizer and the bolt to the frame on your steering stabilizer are all torqued down to 55 foot-pounds. All right. So, that one is at 55. There it goes. So after all of our castle nuts are torqued down, we can insert our cotter pins. So once that is inserted, you can take some needle nose pliers and bend those to where they will not come out. Okay, that looks fine. Move to the next one. So you're gonna use a 17 millimeter deep socket on this front nut here and a 14 millimeter wrench to hold the bolt in place. So you wanna make sure when you tighten it down and you set these in place that this sleeve is at the farthest end of the collar here. You also wanna make sure that they are in a good place so where you can make adjustments in the future. And these have to be torqued down to 20 foot-pounds. We're just gonna tighten them down lightly now since this does have a high torque on it and then adjust it at the end. So same thing goes for the top as well. Now we can make sure that these are torqued down to 20 foot-pounds. So after everything's tightened down, your next step will be to install your steering stabilizer. Like I mentioned before, we don't have a steering stabilizer since ours is stuck on our stock linkage, but I still wanted to show you how this linkage was installed. So all you have to do is connect the bottom bolt through the axle and then stick the steering stabilizer stud through your drag link. Tighten both of those bolts down to 55 foot-pounds and then you're all set. I also would recommend again to get an alignment after this is done as well as to grease all of your ball joints. They will come pre-greased, but you just wanna double check. So that wraps up my review and install. For more videos like this, keep it right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
OEM Replacement. Do you have a problem with your 1997- 2006 wrangler TJ steering controls? It's time to upgrade to this Heavy Duty Steering Kit. The hard, 1-inch heavy duty steel tube provides a direct replacement for the stock tie rod and a lightweight drag link to maximize its stability.
Durable Construction. The steering kit has multi-way sleeves, which make it easy for you to take full control of your Jeep. In addition, the tie end rod has an adjustable collar that ensures convenient control. With the ability to grease the tie end of the rod for maintanance, you will be sure that the steering will last longer and make it easy when you want to improve.
Simple Installation. Installing this steering kit will require light mechanical skills. However, it comes with all the installation hardware, which makes installation direct and takes roughly 2 hours to install. It is designed as a direct fit to the stock system.
Warranty. The manufacturer provides a 1-year/ 12,000-mile warranty.
Application. This Heavy Duty Steering Kit is specifically designed to fit 1997-2006 Wrangler TJ models.
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 2 Hours
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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