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ZJ steering swap, tie rod hits steering stabilizer bolt. Pics added (9/27/14)


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I just buttoned up putting a 5.5 lift in the front of my Comanche and also swapped to ZJ steering at the same time. I put everything together but when I tried to seat the TRE to the pitman arm I could feel the steering binding on something. After closer inspection I realized the tie rod where it mounts to the drag link is hitting the steering stabilizer bolt. I actually had to remove the bolt to seat the TRE in the pitman arm. It looks that maybe a drop pitman arm may help a tiny bit. I could also replace the bolt with a button head, that might help a bit too. Anyone else experience this? If so how did you fix it? Suggestions?

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Same setup I have on my 86 ( RE drop brackets, 4.5" coils, 1" BB pucks, stock arms and ZJ steering) and had the same exact issue. Pull the lowers back as far as you can and it should clear. I had to remove the alignment shoe in them to get the control arm to slide back the whole way.

 

I have RC drop brackets on my 89 with 4.5" coils, stock arms and stock steering and don't have this issue.

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Same setup I have on my 86 ( RE drop brackets, 4.5" coils, 1" BB pucks, stock arms and ZJ steering) and had the same exact issue. Pull the lowers back as far as you can and it should clear. I had to remove the alignment shoe in them to get the control arm to slide back the whole way.

 

I have RC drop brackets on my 89 with 4.5" coils, stock arms and stock steering and don't have this issue.

I was thinking the alignment shims might be part of the problem with moving the axle to far forward. It also looks like the stabilizer mount may be tweaked forward a bit. I think it might be a combination of a few small things.

I will straighten the mount and remove the shims then see if that fixes the problem.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK, here are some pics. I removed the alignment shims and the tie rod still hit.(sorry blurry pictures.)

So out came the angle grinder. I ground off the little raised ridge on the face of the bolt head.

It just clears.

But now I have a whole new problem. It now hits the end link bolt. No grinder is going to fix this.

Am I missing something? I could add a drop pitman arm but I am not sure if that would give me enough clearance. I don't understand how some people with the same lift have no problem but it just isn't happening on this truck.

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Are your front wheels centered in the wheel wells? Adjustable track bar? I haven't read your build details.......

Yes the tires are centered. I am using the RE double shear track bar. Here is a pic with the track bar installed and the tires on the ground.

The more I look at it the more I think the drop pitman arm may let the tie rod just clear. I am just surprised so many people run this setup without issue.

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Well, I replaced the pitman are with a drop arm and it helps but still hits the end link.

Your sway bar end links look off...
Double check if your axle is centered and it may clear with no problem....

Funny you say that. The old style RE swaybar disconnects were straight. They use a metal spacer to space the link out from the mount. In the first pic you can see I replaced the spacer with a couple washers that were much thinner then the spacer. I was trying to make the tierod clear.

I went to my parts pile and found a pair of Full Traction swaybar disconnects off my buddies old TJ. They have bend in them which eliminates the spacer.

Houston, we have clearance!

Not sure you could slide a piece of paper between them but they clear. It does hit the end link mount at almost full clock but a little love with the grinder should fix that.

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But will it still clear when that wheel drops?

 

I ran a V8 ZJ tie rod for years and never had that problem. My buddy still does and doesn't have that problem. I wonder why you do. Unless you're axle is further forward? Neither I nor him use drop brackets. ~6" lift with longer control arms.

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But will it still clear when that wheel drops?

 

I ran a V8 ZJ tie rod for years and never had that problem. My buddy still does and doesn't have that problem. I wonder why you do. Unless you're axle is further forward? Neither I nor him use drop brackets. ~6" lift with longer control arms.

Good point with the wheel drop. 

I don't really get why the steering does not clear either. The only thing I can think of at this point is that the RE 5.5 coils gave me more than 5.5"s of lift. The front is currently sitting higher then the rear SOA. If that was the case though I would think the drop pitman arm would have fixed it. At this point I really don't know what direction to go in.

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