(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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The Steer Smarts Yeti XD No Drill Top Mount Draglink with the Griffin XD Attenuator and Red Bellow is for those of you that have a 2017 to 2018 JK that are looking for a new draglink that's going to be much stronger than the factory one and also have a lot of additional features built right in. This is going to be a two out of three wrenches for the installation, not because it's overly difficult, but because getting these factory tie rod ends out of their tapered fit joints can be a little bit difficult. Stay tuned for the installation, I'm gonna walk you through it and show you exactly how to get it done.Now, when you're looking for draglinks, there's gonna be a couple of reasons that you might want to buy one. You might have already bent your factory one, you may have a little bit of a loose or wobbly feeling because yours is bending on the road. Or maybe you just want to eliminate the possibility of bending yours by getting something that's much beefier. I'm gonna show you this in comparison to the factory one in just a second, this is much much bigger.So, on top of being much larger, this also has a few additional features like I mentioned before, this attenuator is designed to dampen a lot of the stressthat you would otherwise feel through the steering wheel when driving. And you're also going to get a draglink flip out of this draglink where normally the draglink is mounted on the bottom side of the steering knuckle, now it's on the top side. So, that's going to help change up your steering geometry a little bit, it's going to help provide a little bit of additional clearance when you're off-road. But do keep in mind that you shouldn't change just the mounting point of your draglink without also changing the mounting point, at least one, of your track bar. You want the track bar and the draglink to remain parallel or you're going to end up with bump steer. As you can see here, these bars are not parallel, we would have bumps steer if we were driving down the road in this configuration, you would either need to raise this side of the track bar or drop this side down to get these back into parallel. So again, keep that in mind, it's very, very important.One other thing I wanna talk about with this draglink is the price of it. Now, because this thing is so beefy, it is very well built, it has the attenuator which is not something that any of the other brands out there are going to have, this is certainly going to be more expensive than almost any other draglink out there that you can buy, coming in at right around that $670 mark. Now, is it worth it? If you like the idea of this attenuator, if you really want something that's big and beefy like this, yeah, I do think it's worth it. Steer Smart makes a really high-quality piece. So, if you have the budget, if this has the features you're looking for, I do think it's gonna be a pretty good buy. But like I mentioned before, we're gonna get two out of three wrenches for this installation, let me show you how to do it. For this installation we use a 13/16-inch wrench, an 18-millimeter and 10-millimeter wrench as well. Also a few sockets, a 13/16, a 15-millimeter and a T40 Torx end socket. We also use a 19-millimeter deep well to remove our tire but that's not a completely necessary step. We drove all of those sockets with a combination of a 3/8 socket driver and a half-inch pneumatic impact and, of course we also needed a big hammer.So, as we mentioned before, this is gonna be a two out of three wrenches for the installation. There isn't any cutting or any major modification of the Jeep to do but this can be a little bit difficult to get accomplished, I'm gonna tell you why right now. Obviously, you are going to have to remove your draglink in order to get this new draglink installed. And the way that the draglink is attached to the Jeep is with tie rod ends on both ends, the Pitman arm and the steering knuckle arm, and those tie rod ends are going to be taper fits. So, as you drive that nut on there, it pulls those two pieces together and they make a really strong connection. However, when you're removing those nuts because these are locking nuts, and they're not castle nuts with cotter pins, the only way sometimes to get those nuts off without spinning the whole stud inside tie rod end is with an impact. Now, over here, as you can see we've taken the tire off, that gives you a little bit of a better view and lets us get tools in there a little bit better. We're able to get a big half-inch impact on top of this nut, and we can buzz this off without spinning the stud and that's not so much of a problem for us. But over here, if this nut is spinning the stud in here, the only way to get an impact on here is to first to pull the larger nut that's on the Pitman arm. Use a Pitman arm puller to get the Pitman arm down to give you room to work. In order to get the Pitman arm puller on there, you might also have to remove the track bar, you can see that this gets a lot more involved. Now, once you do have those nuts removed or at least almost completely loosened, the way that you get those taper fits broken is not necessarily by hitting down on top of the nut. If you don't have these pieces pressed that well together, that might work just fine. But if you really have to start wailing on things, you can mushroom the top of your tie rod end, you can screw up the threads, you can really cause a whole lot of issues. The way to actually get these removed is to strike the side of, in this case, the steering arm or up here the Pitman arm, of course, you don't want to damage your steering box. But if you strike these on the side actually perpendicular to the stud of the tie rod end, that's the way to get these popped down. So, we really wanna get that nut pretty much completely removed, spin it on just enough that this isn't gonna fall to the ground when it does release, and hit the end of the steering knuckle or the Pitman arm pretty hard to get those two pop apart. So, that's pretty much the explanation for how to get everything removed and again, that's why this is a two out of three wrenches because there's a little bit to it. Now, let me show you how to do it, then we'll get our new draglink installed.So, our first step is going to be our big impact, a 13/16 socket on the steering knuckle end of the draglink here. And we're gonna remove this nut completely then spin it on a couple of threads in order to pop the draglink out of the steering knuckle. So, there we go. We have the nut removed, like I said, spin it back on just a couple of threads. All that's really there to do is to catch this draglink when it falls so it doesn't completely swing down or hit the floor. So, like I said before, this is where you wanna strike this in order to pop that tapered bit apart. We're going to be using this 24-ounce hammer here but depending on how pressed everything is, how rusted everything is, you may need an even larger hammer to get this job done. As you can see a couple of whacks and that taper fit comes apart. Everything is still held together by nut that we threaded on a couple of threads here. So, this side is completely taken care of, we'll move on to the Pitman arm end.Now, we moved on to the Pitman arm end of our draglink. Now, we got really lucky here, we were able to spin this nut off without the stud spinning inside the tie rod with just a regular wrench. Again, if you aren't able to do this, if the stud is spinning, you're gonna have to get an impact on it of some kind and that can require a little bit more removal of the steering system. So, we ended up actually getting a ratcheting wrench on here and we were able to spin our locking nut completely off without spinning the stud inside the tie rod end which is always really nice. So, this point, not gonna be able to get our wrench back out of here. So, we're just going to put a couple of quick turns on the end of our nut again to make sure that nothing's gonna fall when we strike the Pitman arm and throughout the tie rod end out of it. And again, you don't wanna hit on the Pitman arm too hard because you can cause damage and leaking to the steering box. So, some of you may feel more comfortable using a pulling tool here or even a pickling fork to get in between. But you certainly don't wanna rip this rubber bushing on the tie rod end, if you ever plan on reusing this draglink. Here we go, able to get that drop down, get our wrench out of there. Now, we can spin the nut off the rest of the way and drop the draglink out [inaudible 00:08:01]. Now, we can come back to the steering knuckle end of our draglink, remove the nut and get the draglink completely out of the Jeep.As you can see, when you have your stock draglink side by side with your new Steer Smarts draglink, there are a ton of differences. So, the biggest thing you're gonna notice is just the size of these, this is going to be a much larger tie rod end when you compare it to the factory one. Of course, this is going to be the same over here, all of the tooling, all of the threading, everything is just a lot bigger. So, that means your tie rod ends are gonna hold up a lot better, they're not gonna wear out as quickly and you're going to have much less of a chance of your draglink bending in maybe an off-road situation. In fact, I've even seen situations where this draglink can have a little bit of flex in it on the road, which can make it feel like something's loose in your steering or almost like you have a wobble but ultimately it's just you're draglink flexing. So, you're certainly not gonna have any of those issues with your new much larger Steer Smarts draglink. The other big thing that you're gonna notice and it's a little bit hard to tell on the table here, you'll be able to see it better when we get it in the vehicle, is that this is backwards. And that's because this is a flipped draglink. So, instead of the draglink coming up from the bottom of the steering knuckle, it's gonna come down from the top. And what's unique about this setup is it has this little taper piece right here. This does not require any drilling at all. In the past and even with a lot of other brands out there now, in order to do a flip draglink kit, you need a specific tapered drill which can be very expensive, also very hard to find. And you need to drill out that steering knuckle in order to flip the taper and get this installed. So, this is very different from this one. But with this setup that has this little sleeve here, no drilling required, makes the install nice and easy. But as you can see here, this is going to be an opposite bend because this is a flipped draglink.But let's talk about the biggest difference and it's gonna be right here. Your factory draglink is just the tubing, your Steer Smarts has this attenuator built into it. And essentially what it is is a another version of a steering dampener, you can think of it like that. And what it's designed to do is to suck up a lot of that jolt that you might get when you're driving down the highway, you're driving off-road at speed, and any sort of harsh input comes in from this end from the steering end, it's going to get sucked up in the attenuator before it ever gets to the Pitman arm, which would then translate it to your arms, your hands while you're driving. So, it's gonna give a much smoother feel when you're driving, especially over those rough roads, or those rougher trails. So, the similarities here are that they are modes draglinks, but the differences definitely outweigh the similarities. This is going to be a much beefier piece that has a lot more features than that factory draglink.So, here we have your new draglink. The way that you get this assembled because it does come out of the box in three pieces is to thread this end just about three threads into the attenuator. On the other end, the same thing, just about three threads, then hold both tie rod ends while you spin the attenuator. The idea there is that as it closes in, you're going to have the same amount of threads on both ends here. That way when you're adjusting, things aren't gonna be out of whack. You do wanna leave these clamps completely loose because we are going to go ahead and adjust that in order to recenter the steering wheel. So, we'll take care of that in just a second. Now, normally with a tie rod end the way that you need to get it installed is to apply pressure for the tie rod end, that taper end of the tie rod end to lock into the steering knuckle and the Pitman arm and then drive these nuts on pretty hard, usually with an impact. Now, the benefits of something like this is it has a way that you can hold those studs on either side. So on this end, we're just gonna use a large adjustable wrench or we'll find the actual size range that we need here to hold on to that. And on this end, you're going to need a Torx bit on the inside of that tie rod end in order to keep that stud from spinning. So, that's a big benefit because on the bottom of these, you have these really nice polished caps, you have your grease fittings. So, in order to get a pry bar in there and put enough pressure on this thing to keep that stuff from spinning while you tighten the nut, that's gonna be a tall order. So, with all of that being said, it's finally time to get this thing installed in the jeep. So, we're gonna remove the nuts off the top of these. We'll probably start up here at the Pitman arm getting in hung from the Jeep, and then we'll get our steering and installed on the steering knuckle.All right, so we'll spin the nut off the pitman arm side of our draglink here. Get that tie rod end set up inside the Pitman arm and start our nut back on the top to hold everything together. All right, now we can move over to the steering arm side. On this and we're going to do the same thing, we're gonna remove the nut, we're also going to remove this taper piece. Sit our tie rod end in the top of the steering knuckle. And then before we put our nut on, gonna set that tapered piece right up inside from the bottom. And that's really what does all the magic here. That's what keeps us from having to drill out the steering knuckle in order to get this draglink flipped. As you can see draglink on top instead of on the bottom like it is in factory. While we're on this end, we're gonnao get things tightened down, so we have a 13/16 ratcheting wrench for the nut and then we have a 10-millimeter ratcheting wrench that's gonna hold this stud in place and we'll go ahead and get this tightened down. Now, this does need to be torqued to 105-foot-pounds. So, make sure after you get this tight enough that your stud isn't going to spin inside the steering knuckle that you get a torque wrench on here and get this torque down properly.Now we can tighten down this side. We have the same 13/16 ratcheting wrench here, but instead of holding the center stud with a 10-millimeter, we have a T40 Torx. Now, we have a Torx bit in a wrench here, so it's gonna be a little bit tight to fit, we're not gonna be able to get on there quite squarely. But if you have a different Torx that might work a little bit better, or you can, of course, use an Allen key in there as well. Make this nice and tight. At this point, all we need to do is adjust our draglink for length. What this is going to affect is the relationship between the tires and the steering wheel. So, when you get this on the ground, you wanna make sure the tires are facing exactly forward, have someone looking at the steering wheel and as you turn the attenuator this center section here changing the length of the draglink. It's going to turn the steering wheel inside the vehicle so you want the tires to be straight, and you want the steering wheel to be straight. At that point you can tighten down these the adjusters, take it around the block and you might need to do a little bit of fine-tuning to make sure everything is nice and straight. We have all of our adjustments done, we use a couple of wrenches on here and get these tightened. Now, it's important to note about this is if your steering wheel is off-center, the Jeep can go into limp mode and or cause an issue with your stability control. So, when you do take your test drive to make sure that your steering wheel is straight, make sure it's just a short drive just in case you have any issues.So, that's gonna do it for the installation of our new draglink. If you are looking for a very strong draglink that's gonna also offer a lot more features than the factory one, I would recommend this option from Steer Smarts and you can find it right here at extremeterrain.com.
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Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation
Superior On and Off Road Stability. Steer Smart's YETI XD No Drill Top Mount Draglink with a Griffin Attenuator and Red Bellow gives your Wrangler JK superior stability for the highest level of performance both on and off the road. The powder-coated draglink threads offer your Wrangler's front-end durability and a lasting appearance when you tackle punishing environments. This Draglink with a Griffin Attenuator doesn't require any modification to your existing steering knuckle.
Engineered From the Ground Up. This YETI XD draglink offers carbon alloy, heat-treated steel ball studs giving your Wrangler the ultimate in fatigue strength and impact toughness. Street Smart's design is built for extreme duty use and off-road durability by using superior seals, which guarantee an extended ball joint life. The Draglink ends are constructed from heat-treated, medium carbon steel that resists buckling. The Griffin attenuator is forged from ¼ inch thick 4130 Chromalloy steel tubing.
Installation. The YETI XD's no drill top mount design offers right and left-hand threads for easier installation. There is no need to alter your factory steering knuckle, and there is no drilling or cutting required.
Application. Street Smart's YETI XD "No Drill" Top Mount Draglink fits left-hand drive 2007-2018 Wrangler JKs including the Unlimited and Rubicon. Street Smarts recommends a minimum of 17" wheels. 16" wheels may fit with a maximum backspace of 4.5", but Street Smarts does not guarantee fitment.
Fitment: 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 Details
Steer Smarts 78071002
CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov
(approx) 1 Hour
Light to Moderate mechanical skill required.
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