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Steering Spacer And Brace


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There's no doubt that with bigger tires you need a beefier steering system, tie rod, tie rod ends and dampener. But what about the gear box? I know the aluminum spacer from the factory likes to break under the load of bigger tires, but would buying a beefier spacer like this one: http://www.jcroffroad.com/product/XJMISC/STSPC.html be enough to strengthen the box, or would a brace still be required? I'm running 33s and my steering is fine, but I know it'll probably shear something the second I hit a big rock a little too hard. If you feel a brace is required, which braces do you recommend? 

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The aluminum one likes to break when removing the steering box because of corrosion between the steel bolts and aluminum spacer "welding" them together.

 

Bigger tires and front locker *can* cause the box to rip the bolts through the frame rail, though. Ask me how I know.

 

I plated my frame rail with 3/16" steel inside and out. Still run the stock aluminum spacer with one tons and 37s on a welded front diff. Bent the F350 drag link into a U last Saturday but the aluminum spacer is still fine.

 

Some people have run a brace from the steering box to the opposing frame rail to strengthen things up, but I believe Wade (89eliminator) still had problems despite the brace.

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The nicer aftermarket bumpers re-enforce the steering box area. You can also buy bolt-in or weld-on plates to do that job. Replacement steel spacers are available as you found in that link. Here is an example of a brace that runs from the box over to the passenger side that is supposed to prevent the flex in the first place.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12590_0523_07.htm 

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The nicer aftermarket bumpers re-enforce the steering box area. You can also buy bolt-in or weld-on plates to do that job. Replacement steel spacers are available as you found in that link. Here is an example of a brace that runs from the box over to the passenger side that is supposed to prevent the flex in the first place.

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12590_0523_07.htm 

 

 

I have a brace that is very similar in design on mine.  I also made a brace that goes from the trackbar mount to the opposite frame rail.   After years of wheeling it, I get a nice loud clunk everytime I turn the steering wheel.  From what I can tell, a few of the factory spot welds near the steering box have popped, even with the braces.    My next step will be to use some frame plates on the inside and out and tie them together with tubing.   Rusty's sells a set and so does Liquid Iron Industries.  

 

http://www.rustysoffroad.com/builder-parts/jeepspeed-racing-parts/rustys-steering-box-frame-plate-xj-cherokee-drivers-side.html

Or for both sides...

 

http://www.rustysoffroad.com/builder-parts/jeepspeed-racing-parts/rustys-steering-box-frame-plates-xj-cherokee-drivers-passenger.html

 

http://liquidironindustries.com/XJ-Front-Frame-Plating-kit.html

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Alright, from the experiences you guys have had, it sounds like I would benefit from the steel spacer and a metal plate to reinforce the gearbox bolts and the frame, but don't need the brace. I am getting a front bumper with reinforcing 'tie in' uni-body plates, with all new grade 8 hardware. That, plus the steel spacer, sounds like I'm set. Opinions?

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yes i still cracked my stock spacer even with a cross brace and bumper that ties into the mounts.  i bought the JCR spacer plate.

 

How difficult was it to get the aluminum spacer out? Steel, aluminum and water is an awesome way to naturally weld, so did it take some prying, or did it slide out? 

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