Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
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
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
January 13, 2020
Only had installed for a few months now, but great so far!Helpful (0)
December 26, 2019
This is a solid steering linkage. It was easy to install and has held up nicely to street and off road use in Moab. It would earn 5 stars if the adjustments were tightened with a nut on the rods instead of the big clamps around the split rods. The big grey clamps have to be positioned just right to get the clearance needed for the install, and they are starting to rust a little as the winter salts work on them. Otherwise , a good simple solid part.Helpful (0)
December 06, 2019
Very good product
Very Good product, perfect fit, strong built,couldn’t be happier!,Helpful (0)
August 19, 2019
Easy install. The parts look like a big improvment on quality.Helpful (0)
July 14, 2019
Great upgrade and easy to install. Did it in an hour and a half. Now no worries about bending this oneHelpful (0)
June 21, 2019
The kit was not to hard to install, but could improve on the hardware quality. Great bang for your buck.Helpful (0)
May 23, 2019
Doesn’t solve issue for my setup. Going on 4 inch lift, paired with RC track bar had death wobble about 10 times. Grease is leaking out of all the rubbers. Company’s selling bad parts is killing my love for jeeps, expensive and not built for a daily driver even.Helpful (0)
May 20, 2019
Monster steering Linkage
More than I expected. Very heavy duty and well built. Death wobble’s gone.Helpful (0)
May 18, 2019
Seems solid but hardware is cheap.
Definitely tightened up my steering. But, the drag link didn't tighten all the way with the clamps that were included. Only thing preventing it from spinning all the way around is the steering stabilizer. Not sure if that was an issue with QC or if they were supposed to send jam nuts for the ends, or maybe thats just how its supposed to be but I wouldn't think so. I also snapped one of the castle nuts before it even got to torque specs too, so I had to use an old nut on it. Other than that it seems like it does what it's supposed to!Helpful (0)
May 17, 2019
Easy fit, shoddy hardware
As the title suggests, it was an easy instal but the provided hardware is rubbish. Bolts snap like nothing, torque with care or just go get some decent steel bits!Helpful (0)
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.
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.
Will this system work if my jeep is still at the factory ride height? (No lift)
TheRugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage is for use with 2-4 in. lifts.
Will this Monster kit fit my 03 TJ with a 4 inch suspension lift and 2 inch wheel spacers, and has stock wheels?
The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage will work with your 2003 TJ Wrangler equipped with a 4" Lift Kit.
I bought a steering set up like this from a competitor. it hits on the bolt that holds the track arm on the bottom right side. stopping me from making hard right turns. will this clear that bolt and give me wheel stop to wheel turning?
The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage should not have any clearance issues.
The outer diameter of the drag link tubing is 1.5 inches.
With a 3" lift I would suggest also installing a drop pitman arm to correct geometry.
This steering system will work with your set up yes.
Without knowing the wheel width and diameter we would be unable to determine fitment.
A body lift would not be taken into consideration with the Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage.
The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage will work with a drop pitman arm.
This item should clear the Rugged Ridge differential cover.
This will work on your Jeep with a 2.5" lift and the 15" Rims.
This system will NOT work on right-hand drive vehicles.
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
What's in the Box