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

Market Price $359.99 You Save 17% ($60.00)
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$299.99

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  • Item J12678
  • MPN# 18050.82

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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

    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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    13 Questions / 10 Answers

    Ask a Question

    Is it possible to just buy the tie rod tube formthis with or without the tie rod ends? Bent the tie rod into a V but do not want to have to buy thismwholemsetupmagain when Imjust need the tie rod tube itself.

    TroyH

    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.

    DeniseC

    • 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.

      XTRichS

    Helpful (0)

    What is the full length of the tie rod with ends? Just need an estimate doesn’t have to be exact.

    JoshD

    I have a 2000 TJ with a 6” lift and 35 x 12.50R17LT tires. Will this fit?

    AndrewW

    • This is intended for use with 2 - 4 Inches of Lift and will not work with anything beyond 4".

      XTBrianT

    Helpful (0)

    I have 33" x 12.50 BGF KO2's on Dick Cepek DC2's. I also have a 3 inch BDS Suspension Lift with a dropped Pitman Arm. The Dick Cepeck's have 3.625" Back Spacking. Is this acceptable for this linkage?

    SteveS

    Why will this only fit on a lifted jeep? I have a TJ 97 no lift but with 31" tires 17" wheels (JK stock)

    LeoL

    • The Rugged Ridge Heavy Duty Monster Complete Steering Linkage will not work with JK stock wheels due to the high backspacing, you'd want a lower backspacing for use with this kit or wheel spacers for proper clearance of the tie rod ends. Additionally, this kit has been designed to extend the drag link as far to one side as possible to help relieve bump steer that can develop in lifted vehicles which would make it incompatible with your stock Wrangler.

      XTStaffHelenW

    Helpful (0)

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    Customer Reviews (34) Write a Review

    Overall Rating 4.5

    out of 5 stars

    • Fit 4.647059 4.6
    • Bang For Your Buck 4.558824 4.6



    • 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 (3)

    • 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 (1)

    • 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 (1)

    • 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 (1)

    • 5/5

      March 20, 2018

      tough

      built tough not going to bend or flex like stock linkage

      JosephM

      Year: 1997Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (1)

    • 4/5

      March 18, 2018

      Would buy again

      This kit is a very big upgrade over the stock set up, my only complaints are that the clamps hit each other when the suspension flexs, they should've never made the bars with slits and clamps and just made it with solid bars and nuts to lock in place, the clamps hit each other and the slits in the bar is a weak point. But for the price you can't go wrong, I would buy it again.

      CarterK

      Year: 1998Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (2)

    • 4/5

      March 13, 2018

      Did the trick

      Extreme deal good job getting this part on time and he did everything I needed thanks

      ToddP

      Year: 2002Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (2)

    • 5/5

      March 11, 2018

      Purchase

      I have literally searched multiple places in need of information and exploration needed to keep my Jeep up to the standards needed top keep my family safe and give them the some enjoyment along the way. If you truly take the time, you will find the app has the ability to take you from "man I wish I had that", to "check or ride out guys, isn't it AWESOME"!!!!!!!

      EarlH

      Year: 2004Submodel: Wrangler Unlimited

      Helpful (2)

    • 4/5

      March 06, 2018

      Good fit and ready for the trails

      Pros: -it was a good fit with all the hardware. -Much heaver duty than original linkage - in now horizontal which the factory was not after a 3" lift Cons: Grease boot on both ends became unseated during installation and later tore off. Final thought: Not my first Rugged Ridge product and is what I expected. Good product at a good price and I would highly recommend it.

      RB

      Year: 2005Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (1)

    • 4/5

      February 15, 2018

      Lock clamps.

      The lock clamps get in the way when trying to adjust tow in and tow out. Plus you have to loosen the stabilizer to adjust the steering link. Should have locking nuts instead of lock clamps.

      James

      Year: 2002Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (2)

    • 4/5

      February 06, 2018

      Good product - instructions lacking

      This was an easy install - it would have been even easier with more specific instructions. I like how sturdy the tubing and tie rod ends are. It is a great improvement over the existing stock steering components. Somehow I broke one of the clamp bolts - must have been defective because I was only torquing it to 35#.

      CreekerJeeper

      Year: 1998Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      January 25, 2018

      Great buy!

      Install was very easy and didn’t take more than 2 hours ish. Tightened up my steering. Would recommend this part.

      Codgod90

      Year: 2003Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (2)

    • 5/5

      December 17, 2017

      Beefy

      Easy installl. Measure Definitely beefy over stock.

      AndrewH

      Year: 1999Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (4)

    • 4/5

      December 10, 2017

      Good buy

      easy install and looks a lot tougher. Steering stabilizer bracket can be less bulky, it almost hits my radiator, but everything else was worth the buy.

      MoiseM

      Year: 2003Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      November 20, 2017

      Nice Upgrade - Better Handling

      I got this on sale and with a coupon, so the bang for buck was even better. I prefer this type of linkage since the tie rod can be adjusted independently of the drag link. Once you set the tie rod length, you don't have to worry about the drag affecting your alignment. The shipping container should be better. There was slight marking and damage to the joint at the drag link to tie rod connection. That end is slightly larger which makes it easier to get knocked around. Ended up replacing the boot and now it is all good.

      MatthewL

      Year: 2006Submodel: Wrangler Unlimited

      Helpful (3)

    • 5/5

      November 07, 2017

      Wow!!!!

      Like driving a brand new jeep and very easy to install!!!

      JasonH

      Year: 2003Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (4)

    • 4/5

      July 27, 2017

      I'm happy now

      Bought as a replacement for stock steering and a upgrade at the same time. The old one was very hard to take off, and consumed most of the time the job took. New one was easy to put on. You will need an alinement after doing this job. But the part was strong and seems great so far. My jeep fills great now.

      JamesN

      Year: 2003Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 3/5

      July 26, 2017

      Mostly satisfied

      Mostly good. But they slit the ends where the tie rod screws in and they give you clamps. I see this as being weak spot. A jamb nut would make it much stronger and they must know that because that's what the picture in the add shows! I've only had a chance to drive on pavement and has solid steering feed back. Haven't had time for any trail use yet.

      JonD

      Year: 1999Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (4)

    • 5/5

      July 09, 2017

      wow what a difference

      no more herding the jeep down the road. It drives like a new one again.

      TJ5

      Year: 2005Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (3)

    • 1/5

      July 08, 2017

      Rugged ridge monster steering

      Not very happy the rod bent on one rock. Will not waste money again on this setup. Will be going different route for steering.

      JustinV

      Year: 1998Submodel: Wrangler

      Helpful (4)