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everybody's opinion on the best track bars


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I just recently ordered KEVINS track bar and mount. http://www.kevinsjeepparts.com/tbconversion.html

 

trackbar6.jpg

 

Here is his pitch:

 

"Due to the superior strength and thickness of this custom JKS bar (.156 wall 1.25" OD tube), my custom interference-fit ultra-thick bushing inserts and the 1/2" Grade 8 hardware that comes included in the kit (50% more strength than stock bolts so that you can really torque it down without worrying about snapping the bolt off), you will see a higher Death Wobble resistance as the entire kit stiffens up the front suspension. An added bonus: There are two additional benefits you may discover as well: an substantial increase in steering response (tighter steering = less wandering) and slightly reduced bump steer, most evident on the taller rigs."

 

Personally, I have almost 7" of lift up front too. With that much lift there are a couple more varibles you need to consider when buying new front suspension parts. For one, in a track bar, you need beef. There is alot of stress on the track bar when you lift this high and the bigger tires that go along with it contribute imensly. The factory and simular will wear much faster.

 

I bought a SKYJACKER unit. I liked the design of moving the axle end up to where the stabilizer mounted. Trouble is that mount is not nearly as strong as the intended mount and flexes. Mine has cracked. I rewelded everything up and stregnthened it where I could. I have chewed up two poly bushings and the Heim at the frame end. Speaking of heims, I am NOT a fan of them on the street. Just too noisy and wear too fast for street applications IMHO.

 

Next thing to consider is your steering. With this much lift, you are very near max on your TRE's. Esp the draglink and pitman arm. I'll bet if you have some miles on and you check the pass side knuckle, your TRE is loose. Mine certainly is, and this is the second drag link since the lift. You will need to upgrade this. Even if its just a dropped pitman arm. Doing this will alter the geometry of the system and create bump steer. I mention this because the KEVINS unit drops the frame end of the track bar to be alligned with the Drop in the pitman arm. Getting your geometry back and helping to eliminate bump steer. Kevins also changes the fram end to a bushing just like the axle end. This allows much increased droop with out resistance from the track bar.

 

There are other good ones out there, this is my choice.

 

CW

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I've never seen an aftermarket track bar that I actually liked.

 

 

I think jeep desinged it wrong to start with, and nobody is going to sell a bar/bracket that's really different.

 

 

The mount on the axle should be the same height as the tie-rod (which shouldn't be an inverted Y), and the tie-rod should have been on top of the arms cast into the knuckles. Then the frame side bracket should be higher to reduce the sheer leverage on it. The joints should be something nice and rebuildable (rod end with an insert) and should be oriented in the direction which offers the most travel.

 

 

But alas, no, I'd have to build something like that myself.

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TNT customs track bar whops everyone hands down but they cost abit more than everyone else as well. ill try to get a pic of mine.

 

oh and its a praticaly 1ton rated track bar. thats plety of strength.

 

and it doesnt use TRE's or heim's. it uses rubber bushings that look like the ones on stock controll arms. i really need to get a pic.

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I have to agree with DC on the way Jeep designed the front axle. If you look at the design of Kevin's , RE's and just about every other make.... they look the same. The difference is in the ends the use, or don't use. I know a couple of guys running JKS, and Kevins, and I don't see where their stuff performs any better then mine. Just my observation

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I have to agree with DC on the way Jeep designed the front axle. If you look at the design of Kevin's , RE's and just about every other make.... they look the same. The difference is in the ends the use, or don't use. I know a couple of guys running JKS, and Kevins, and I don't see where their stuff performs any better then mine. Just my observation

 

I think the mis-information is in the VERSION they used. You obviously used the best version, a direct competitor to the TNT/Kevins (acutally, time frame wise, they compete with RE!!). They have (as memory serves me) two other lower priced versions that compete with "other"track bars, at least in price point (wise decision, at least from a marketing standpoint). You are correct, its down to a joint to joint comparison. The only bad thing Ive heard about the RE HD version is that the bracket come loose easily (don't know if this trait follows the other makers bars, or if its a installers problem. I'm installing this bar along with my RE longarm kit, and Ill be tack welding the bracket on on all three sides of the drivers side frame rail to hopefully avoid loosening, along with either red locktite or self locking nuts to avoid this reputed trait). The only positive design feature that I can find after some "computer research" on all of them, is that if you move your axle forward a bit (I believe TNT says up to like 1 3/4"), the TNT is the best choice, as they move the mount at the frame forward to avoid clearance issues.

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all the track bars posted looked the same to me, just some had different ends, and they all had there own brackets. and they all look better than the stock tie rod end track bar. so technically they would all be an upgrade over a TRE style trackbar.

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Basically yes, I would agree with you.

 

In the factory configuration the TRE TB is just fine. Trouble is as the height increases so does the stress on the parts. As the stress increases we find their short comings. One is the lack of droop from the TRE. Another is flex from the factory brackets.

 

IMHO, switching to a WJ style TB tackles two of these issues.

 

Firstly, being made for a heaver rig its plain beefier.

 

Secondly, because of the two bushing ends there is zero restriction with in its arch of movement.

 

A number of these companies also tackle the brackets. By lowering and strengthening the assembly. (Lowering the frame end, is only a plus if dropped pitman arms are utilized) Both by making new ones and improving the factory units. Still others went and beefed the size and thickness of the WJ TB even further strengthening this set up.

 

I am not aware of the time lines for when these parts where released. But reguardless, from what I see and read the TNT and KEVINS appear the best chhoices. Followed closely by the RE and Rock Crawler units.

The Kevins unit remains my choice.

 

Just my 2 cents,

CW

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But reguardless, from what I see and read the TNT and KEVINS appear the best chhoices. Followed closely by the RE and Rock Crawler units.

The Kevins unit remains my choice.

 

Just my 2 cents,

CW

 

I'm not arguing why you feel those two are better than the other two, but it still hasnt been stated why??? The ONLY differences are as follows:

-RK has solid stock bar for track bar

-TNT moves track bar forward at frame, uses BOTH a rubber bushing and RE end. Bracket is arguably the strongest, as they design it with no horizontal welding for a sturdier construction.

-RE uses chromoly .250 wall tubing (BEEFY), and BOTH are RE joints)

-Kevins is a combination welded on factory mount (weakest of all, just by design), and both ends use rubber bushings

 

TNT/RE/RK all use fabricated HD track bar brackets, and RE has an available brace that bolts on to its bracket and crosses to opposite framerail. All above are adjustable, all use a horizontal bolt/joint at frame rail to avoid binding at full passenger side droop/driver side stuff. These are the FACTS. Sorry, not bashing, I just like the facts!! :D

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I see on rear link systems, people are trying to keep their track bars as horizontal as possible. What is the reasoning for not doing this in the front?

 

Not trying to threadjack, but if this is important, shouldn't it be addressed?

 

Lots more room in the rear, issues with track bar length (obsticles like coils, axle pumpkin), and clearance above (oil pan), and front to rear clearance(all sorts of stuff, swaybar endlinks, again coils, shocks, all welded on axle brackets, steerink drag link/tie rod, etc.). I think its just a big compromise, and a good attempt at strength, and NOT having the track bar bottom out on a bracket or run out of angle like a tie rod end will.

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I see on rear link systems, people are trying to keep their track bars as horizontal as possible. What is the reasoning for not doing this in the front?

 

Not trying to threadjack, but if this is important, shouldn't it be addressed?

 

 

 

Well, actually, regardless of what people tell you... It should be flat. And as long as possible.

 

 

Hence I won't endorse any products out there. Maybe they actually fit - but I still think they suck.

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I'm not arguing why you feel those two are better than the other two, but it still hasn't been stated why??? The ONLY differences are as follows:

-RK has solid stock bar for track bar

-TNT moves track bar forward at frame, uses BOTH a rubber bushing and RE end. Bracket is arguably the strongest, as they design it with no horizontal welding for a sturdier construction.

-RE uses chromoly .250 wall tubing (BEEFY), and BOTH are RE joints)

-Kevins is a combination welded on factory mount (weakest of all, just by design), and both ends use rubber bushings

 

TNT/RE/RK all use fabricated HD track bar brackets, and RE has an available brace that bolts on to its bracket and crosses to opposite frame rail. All above are adjustable, all use a horizontal bolt/joint at frame rail to avoid binding at full passenger side droop/driver side stuff. These are the FACTS. Sorry, not bashing, I just like the facts!! :D

 

I don't take it as flaming at all.

 

Here are my thoughts on your comments:

 

1) The RK TB itself looks fine, but the Heim on the frame end is a no go for me. Especially for a, on the street rig. Just too harsh and noisy. Their bracket is known to flex. Once member on my club has it and wasn't satisfied until we built a brace to attach it to the pass side frame rail. Then it was pretty good.

 

2) No real argument here, but stronger than stock...not so sure, It lacks some of the factory bends that provide mush twisting resistance.

 

3) RE bar itself fairly strong, but NOT as strong as the Kevins OR TNT bars. YES I have seen two bent one on the trail and one from another guy on the web. RE joints are better than a Heim but only because they are re buildable.

 

4) I'll argue about it weakness. I agree its dropped so it will have more stress on it than the factory designed it to have. BUT weakest of all, I do not think so. Same as the RK bracket. ALL will benefit from an additional brace running to the other frame rail as the Nth Degree TB set up has. The Kevins bas uses POLY bushings with an option for much stiffer bushings avalible to help combat really tough death wobbles troubles. I like the rubber bushings. They isolate vibes the best and provide adaquite stiffness at the same time. A Rubber bushing will outlast either the Poly, Heim or the RE/jonny joint by a long shot!

 

 

 

The Nth degree is yet another one no one has mentioned.It also LOOKS, pretty good, but all I know about it is what I have read. It utilizes a factory WJ bar and ties both frame horns together.

 

CW

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