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Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage (97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ)

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  • Item J12678

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    Features, Video & Details

    • Monster Complete Steering Linkage
    • Heavy Duty Steel DOM Tubing
    • Black
    • No Seams or Welds to Fail
    • 1/4 Inch Wall Thickness
    • Stronger Than Stock Setup
    • For Use with 2 - 4 Inches of Lift
    • All Hardware Included
    • Fits 1997 - 2006 Wranglers

    Review & Installation Video

    Review & Install Video

    I'm Ryan from extremeterrain.com, and this is my review and installation of the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage, for all 1997-2006 TJs. Today we're gonna talk through the installation of the steering linkage set up, which is a very simple one out of three wrenches, because it is designed to bolt right in place of your factory steering linkage. And then we're also going to talk about the construction and a few of the other features of this system. Now this system is a knuckle to knuckle tie rod system, that also includes a drag link. The factory system in your TJ is what's known as an inverted-Y system, where the drag link actually connects the pitman arm to one of the steering knuckles, and the tie rod end connects from midway down the drag link to the other steering knuckle. Now, there's absolutely nothing wrong with an inverted-Y system. The TJs have been running them for a long time with almost any lift kit system that you would run that's an out of the box lift. The inverted-Y is absolutely fine and you're not going to have a problem with it. So, the argument for upgrading to a knuckle to knuckle tie rod system is a heated debate. Some people will say that this system is better, but there isn't a lot of factual information for why this is better. Unless you're somebody who does have an adjustable height suspension system. If you have one of those air systems that are designed for off-road. If you have the inverted-Y, and you change your right height on the fly, it is going to change your tow. With a knuckle to knuckle tie rod system like this, of course you're not going to have that issue. However, if you're on a fixed-height suspension, there is a lot of debate whether this system or the factory style inverted-Y is better. So, I'll let you make that decision for yourself. There are a few systems out there that are stronger, knuckle to knuckle systems and also some beefed up inverted-Y systems. So, regardless of what style of steering linkage you wanna go with, there are a lot of options for getting a system that's a lot beefier, that's gonna hold up to large tires in off-road scenarios. This system is made of quarter-inch wall DOM tubing with really high strength tie rod ends. This does have a clamping style adjustment where the DOM tubing is split, this does come with a couple of clamps. So, you'll screw the tie rod ends in or out to adjust for length and to reset your steering wheel, and then use those clamps to keep everything held into place. The tie rod ends themselves are of course greaseable, as the factory system is and this is definitely going to be a lot stronger. You are not going to have an issue with this system bending when you're off-road. Now one thing to note is that, this is still and under the knuckle system. A lot of people when they go to a knuckle to knuckle tie rod system, will want something that puts a tie rod on top of the steering knuckles to gain a little bit of clearance. However, that does require either aftermarket knuckles or modifying the knuckles. This will bolt into the factory location underneath the knuckles, so that is something to consider. This system is designed for TJs that have 2-4 inches of lift, and Rugged Ridge does caution against aftermarket wheels that have a lot of back spacing, and that's all they say they don't give you a number. Now with the larger tie rod ends that are included with this system, there is the possibility of having an issue with a smaller wheel with certain back spacings. You could have some clearance issues, so that's something to consider, they don't give you an exact number, so I can't tell you that you will absolutely, will or will not work with this system. But, chances are if you're running a larger wheel or a normal amount of backspacing for a TJ, you should be just fine. Like I said, this installation is a very simple one out of three wrenches. All you're going to need to do is remove your factory steering linkage, by removing the cotter pins and the castle nuts to get the tie rod ends out of the knuckles and out of the pitman arm. Now, these are a taper fits. So, things are going to be tight depending on the last time you had the system apart, it may be difficult. What's important to remember is, don't hit down on the top of the tie rod in order to get it out. Chances are, even if you leave the nut on there, you're just going to mess up the threads, mushroom the end of the tie rod end making it more difficult on yourself. Where you actually wanna hit with your hammer would be perpendicular to the tie rod and threaded rod. Actually hitting on the side of the steering knuckle. There's usually a flat spot on there, if you hit that hard enough because it is a tappered fit, this will pop down. There are also a number of different pullers that you could use in order to get the tie rod ends out of there tapered holes, in both the knuckles and in the pitman arm. Once the system is out of the way, you can go ahead and bolt up the new system. You'll attach your tie rod end, making the adjustments so that the tie rod is long enough to fit in the factory knuckles and from there, attach your new drag link to the tie rod and back up to your pitman arm, again making your adjustments. From there, it's just a matter of taking down all of the clamps. You can certainly change your tow and changes center of your steering wheel by adjusting the system further. The whole installation will probably take you around two hours by the time you get everything apart, back together and adjusted properly. But you won't need any specialty tools, just a good set of sockets. Rugged Ridge is known for making parts that are generally less expensive than some of the others on the market. With this system here, DOM tubing is DOM tubing there isn't a lot to it. So, the only thing that you would really be looking at is from a quality perspective, would be the tie rod ends, and these are one ton styled tie rod ends that are going to be very very strong. So in my opinion, if you're looking for an upgraded strength steering system, you want a knuckle that have got a tie rod system that is underneath the knuckles. This is going to be an economical choice that is going to add a ton of strength. So, if you have big tires on your Jeep and you've either damaged your steering linkage off-road already, or you're looking to upgrade your system so that you don't have to worry about it bending, this is going to be a great option. This is a tie rod system that keeps the tie rod underneath the knuckles, getting rid of the factory inverted-Y system. So, again if that's something you're after this is a system that is really fairly priced. So, that's my review for the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster complete Steering Linkage, fitting all 1997 to 2006 TJs. That you can find it right here at extremeterrain.com.

    Specs. The Rugged Ridge steering linkage is crafted from DOM tubing which has no seams or welds. This kit is not compatible with factory Rubicon wheels or aftermarket wheels with deep backspacing.

    Construction. This bolt-on crossover steering conversion kit is a great addition to Wranglers with 2-4 inches of lift. It gives you a stronger front suspension that provides one ton strength without needing to purchase aftermarket steering knuckles.

    Application. For use with 1997 - 2006 TJ Wranglers with a 2-4 inch lift.

    Fitment: 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 Details

    MPN# 18050.82

    CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

    What's in the Box
    • (4) Tie rod ends
    • (2) Rods
    • Steering damper bracket
    Installation Info
    Tech Specs
    • Not recommended for vehicles with under 2" of lift.
    • Not recommended for vehicles with over 4" of lift
    • Not compatible with smaller OEM steel wheels or wheels with deep backspacing
    • Will not work with Right Hand Drive vehicles
    • Will not work with Factory Rubicon Wheels
    Will it fit my Wrangler?
    • TJ Rubicon 2 Door - 03, 04, 05, 06
    • TJ Rubicon Unlimited 2 Door - 05, 06
    • TJ Wrangler 2 Door - 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06
    • TJ Wrangler Unlimited 2 Door - 04, 05, 06

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    Questions & Answers (23)

    5 Top Rated Questions

    What is the difference between the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Crossover Steering Conversion Kit and this Kit? They look very similar, but the price point is less for this one.

    • The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Crossover Steering Conversion Kit, item J114048, comes with a new steering stabilizer while the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage, item J12678, reuses the factory stabilizer.

    Helpful (1)

    I have an 02 TJ with stock Canyon Wheels that have 5.5" backspacing (according to spec sheets) will this fit or is this too deep? Description only mentions stock Rubicon wheels that are listed as having 5" backspacing.

    • Unfortunately having wheels with that backspacing would be deeper than what the Rubicon wheels are, which would be too deep to use with this steering linkage.

    Helpful (1)

    Will this work with wheels with a 3.75 inch backspacing?

    • Without knowing the wheel width and diameter we would be unable to determine fitment.

    Helpful (0)

    Does a 3" body lift, equate to a 2-4" lift stated here as a requirement?

    • A body lift would not be taken into consideration with the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage.

    Helpful (0)

    I have a drop pitman arm will this kit work with that or should I go back to stock

    • The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage will work with a drop pitman arm.

    Helpful (0)
    Post Your Question
    1 More Question
    Does this steering kit clear the Rugged Ridge after market diff cover I have on ? 1 answer

    Recommended For You

    Customer Reviews (50) Write a Review

    Overall Rating 4.5

    out of 5 stars

    • Fit 4.64 4.6
    • Bang For Your Buck 4.6 4.6



    • 4/5

      April 16, 2019

      Good for the price

      It seems real solid, strong and grease-able tie rod ends joints. It severely tightened up my steering and I don’t think these are going to wear out any time soon. Just a heavy construction all around. Only complaint was the instructions were really lacking, but I was able to work it out. After a couple months of use I am still very pleased with this kit.

      IanT

      Year: 2000Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (0)

    • 5/5

      April 13, 2019

      Rugged Ridge Monster Steering

      This product is a major difference over the stock set up and any one who is running 35's I would defiantly recommend this product. I installed it with in under two hours and fast shipping.

      NewMexico505LJ

      Year: 2006Submodel: Wrangler Unlimited

      Helpful (0)

    • 3/5

      April 09, 2019

      You get what you pay for

      It works, but it isn't designed well. It doesn't tighten up the steering at all and the directions are HORRIBLE. Save your money a little bit longer and get the currie or others

      AlexanderS

      Year: 1998Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (0)

    • 5/5

      April 02, 2019

      Excellent replacement

      Replaced the factory tie rod and drag link with this Rugged Ridge steering linkage .. great quality and straight forward install .. I went ahead and replaced the lower control arms with the Rugged Ridge arms .. the track bar is next ! .. after an alignment at the local 4 WD shop ($55) .. death wobble is gone and steering is better than ever ..

      DaleF

      Year: 1997Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (0)

    • 5/5

      March 28, 2019

      Better system than stock

      Took longer to get the old front end off than the new one on. Took a little bit to get it all fitted right, but well worth the time

      Bowers

      Year: 1997Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (0)

    • 5/5

      March 10, 2019

      Awesome Upgrade

      Running 3.5" lift on 35's. Outstanding upgrade, tightened steering right up. Handling is way more responsive now. Should have upgraded sooner.

      Ringer

      Year: 2000Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (0)

    • 5/5

      February 14, 2019

      Big n beefy

      Very thick and easy to install can’t wait to try and bend it lol

      Flee

      Year: 2001Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (1)

    • 5/5

      February 11, 2019

      Best bang for your buck

      Install was straight forward. Got lazy and still haven't set the drag link straight yet. Dont be lazy like me. Finish what you started and dont forget TJ grease. Best bang for your buck would buy agian

      CalebD

      Year: 2002Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (1)

    • 4/5

      February 08, 2019

      Heavy duty

      Definitely worth it. Easy install, great product. The name says it all.. a lot more heavier then stock.

      RussellS

      Year: 2006Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 4/5

      January 26, 2019

      new steering

      this is a great upgrade for your tj . its awesome. can't wait to get this installed on my tj. next to upgrade will be the track bar.

      WilliamJ

      Year: 1997Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (2)

    • 2/5

      November 28, 2018

      DW fix?

      The R.R. steering linkage was purchased as an upgrade for the stock steering. After my last trail ride I developed a case of Death Wobble, I'm not really a front end guy, but the tie rods had a lot of play in them I looked around and found that for a little more cash I could significantly upgrade my front suspension. The Kit had a was a decent price and was received in a few days. Installation was easy only advice is to install the pinch sleeves before putting the tie rods on. Instillation took all of about an hour and a half including the minor mistakes all part of the learning curve. Unfortunately it wasn't the cure for the DW but the steering feels tighter. I would recommend this kit for a good stock upgrade for a fair price. I don't know how sturdy the tie rods are, only time will tell.

      SnickleFritz

      Year: 2005Submodel: Wrangler Unlimited

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      November 21, 2018

      Awesome

      Easy install and great steering upgrade! Have had installed for 3 months now and have punished it without having any issues.

      Matthew

      Year: 2006Submodel: Rubicon

      Helpful (5)

    • 5/5

      October 21, 2018

      steering problems

      very heavy duty bolted rite on no problem took about 15 mins to install very happy with this product huge upgrade from fractory set up

      EricR

      Year: 2006Submodel: Rubicon

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      October 11, 2018

      Did what I needed it to

      Fixed my death wobble and swaying issues. Way bigger than stock steering. Love it

      Cade

      Year: 2002Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      August 24, 2018

      Works great easy!

      Worked Great! held up in the dunes! Was super easy to install. Took less then a hour to take down told and replace!

      DaleC

      Year: 2003Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      August 18, 2018

      Better

      A lot bigger then stock was easy install the directions were good and in color

      Derek

      Year: 2005Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      June 10, 2018

      Awesome! However -

      I have read the reviews about the clamps, and I have to agree IF you have a dropped pitman. I have a 3 inch lift and a dropped pitman and because of this, I am going to get rid of the dropped pitman. WIth the drop, my clamps and the drag link come 1mm (litterally) from touching the bottom steering link at a full right turn. If I am on any type of incline on my right side, they are going to hit. I do love this linkage; it is extremely well built and very heavy duty. You should always think about the other things that you might have to change when adding a customization such as this. (hence - the pitman arm.) My kit came with only 2 cotter pins and 2 zerk fittings.

      SteveS

      Year: 1997Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (8)

    • 5/5

      May 31, 2018

      Ruuged Ridge HD steering

      Easy to install, no drilling like other 1 ton kits. Once the old steering is removed, installs in about 30 minutes.

      JW

      Year: 1998Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (5)

    • 5/5

      May 09, 2018

      Steering is cherry.

      It fits on my 03 TJ . easy to install steering is good ,Solid .

      William

      Year: 2003Submodel: Rubicon

      Helpful (5)

    • 5/5

      April 04, 2018

      Tight

      My steering is smooth and tight. Rods are twice the size of stock parts. Nice addition.

      BarryC

      Year: 2003Submodel: Rubicon

      Helpful (4)