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View Full Version : Drag Link Popping Help 96 xj


4x4Phil
July 20th, 2017, 15:45
Vehicle: 1996 XJ SE

Lift: 4 inch

Last year I installed a Rugged Ridge heavy duty crossover steering conversion kit. A few days ago I noticed a popping sound when turning the wheel in either direction. I went under and noticed that the ball joint at the pittman arm / drag link was totally shot (see photo attached).

http://i66.tinypic.com/35daz6a.jpg

The other ball joints in the kit are fine. I also filmed the entire assembly twisting and popping when I turn the wheel (see gif attached)

https://media.giphy.com/media/13aNuPa3Qxx7Yk/giphy.gif

Question 1: Even with my lowered pittman arm, is the angle of the drag link too severe still and is that the cause of the premature failure of this relatively new part?

Question 2: Is a high steer kit from terra flex the only fix for this problem and are they worth the cost?

Question 3: Assuming the other ball joints are fine (visual inspection shows them to be fine and they don't feel loose) what else could have caused this?

Thanks

Phil

Jeep Driver
July 20th, 2017, 19:10
https://cdn.website-editor.net/2995a8bdc44c41f08ceda187dfc11f54/dms3rep/multi/synergy.jpg

Tim_MN
July 22nd, 2017, 08:40
IMO most Rugged Ridge parts are low quality parts. If the tie rod end is worn, install a better quality replacement.

An XJ with 4 inches of lift does require, or even need, a drop pitman arm. I strongly suggest installing a stock pitman arm.

The value of high steering depends on your needs and budget. IMO the Off Road Only U-Turn steering is the best bolt on kit, or you can look into the WJ steering modification. At 4 inches of lift, the stock steering is adequate and functional, not ideal, but certainly usable. Consider ditching the RR kit.

Use the Google, and research tie rod roll associated with the RR kit, and other kits of similar design.

Tim_MN
July 23rd, 2017, 07:24
An XJ with 4 inches of lift does NOT require, or even need, a drop pitman arm. ( must proof read better next time )

4x4Phil
July 24th, 2017, 14:58
Thanks for the info. Isn't the reason for the drop pitman arm to slightly decrease the angle of the drag link thereby reducing the stress to the ball joints? Same principle for the high steering kit?

I replaced the one ball joint at the pitman arm and it's still rolling and popping pretty bad. I'm going to replace the others since it's cheaper than buying a whole new kit and I'll have to look for a new kit for the future.

As a side, can you overpack ball joints with grease? Mine looked like it was bulging and I ended up taking some out so I could see the folds.


IMO most Rugged Ridge parts are low quality parts. If the tie rod end is worn, install a better quality replacement.

An XJ with 4 inches of lift does require, or even need, a drop pitman arm. I strongly suggest installing a stock pitman arm.

The value of high steering depends on your needs and budget. IMO the Off Road Only U-Turn steering is the best bolt on kit, or you can look into the WJ steering modification. At 4 inches of lift, the stock steering is adequate and functional, not ideal, but certainly usable. Consider ditching the RR kit.

Use the Google, and research tie rod roll associated with the RR kit, and other kits of similar design.

Tim_MN
July 24th, 2017, 16:00
An XJ with 4 inches of lift does NOT require, or even need, a drop pitman arm. A drop pitman is used to bring the drag link angle more in line with the track bar angle, to reduce bump steer.

Grease the tie rod ends until a small amount of grease comes out. Unless the grease is terribly contaminated, there is no need for extra grease, it just will squirt out.

4x4Phil
July 24th, 2017, 16:55
Hey Man, what company is that kit from and how much you pay?

https://cdn.website-editor.net/2995a8bdc44c41f08ceda187dfc11f54/dms3rep/multi/synergy.jpg

Jeep Driver
July 25th, 2017, 06:06
It's Synergy.

I chose it over Currie because all four rod ends are replaceable, and fully adjustable without removing a rod end.


$550 no matter where you buy, but many sellers were out of stock. AZ 4X4 had it in stock.


I have not really driven it as I'm waiting on Wilwood brakes and I have to swap knuckles.......waiting for an alignment.

What I can tell you is, it is very well made and makes stock components look like a joke.


I intended to go WJ with custom links.........for various reasons, I changed my mind, I think I made the best choice.

4x4Phil
August 7th, 2017, 15:08
Has anyone heard of an incorrectly angled steering stabilizer causing tie-rod roll?