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  #1  
Old March 15th, 2007, 04:17
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Archdukeferdinand Archdukeferdinand is offline
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magical trackbar destroyer

Alright, since I've lifted my jeep last year I've had problems with the trackbar. This may be a case where I'm making things more difficult than they have to be.

I'm lifted 3.5" in front and I keep blowing trackbars. I've been through 2 stock bars and now the RE trackbar I put on a month or two ago has done my frame side bracket in. I'm on 31s and the heep sees some highspeed gravel road runs, some minor trail crawling.


is it likely that some other form of adjustment has been neglected and that's what's causing the undue stress on the track bars (they always die at the TRE side, or in the latest case, the heim joint wallowed the frame bracket out).

OR is the fact that I run no swaybars the cause? I can't really see that anything else in the front end is reponsible for keeping the axle laterally centered (other than the control arms loosely). That seems like a lot of stress for a relatively small link to undergo all the time. I really like the feel of no swaybars, but $500 in swaybars in the last 6 months has me convinced to try other things.


I'd put my front sway bar back on to see if that helped, but I threw it away. (Yeah, I'm an idiot). Anyone else trashed a bunch of trackbars?
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  #2  
Old March 15th, 2007, 05:37
RCP Phx RCP Phx is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Definately not uncommon for a stocker,and not real uncommon with the RE 1600 bar.Get a good trackbar and bracket like RE1660 or TNT's.My 1660 is almost 7 years old with Zero issues(6" and mostly off-road only).
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  #3  
Old March 15th, 2007, 06:13
rstarch345 rstarch345 is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

You might also want to check out Kevins horizontal tractbar conversion. I think it would do better in your need for speed http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/tbconversion.html
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  #4  
Old March 15th, 2007, 10:49
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Harlee&Tahoe Harlee&Tahoe is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Just installed K.O.R. trackbar and really like it so far, I haven't installed the extra hard (60d) poly bushings yet. Feels solid, now I look for pot holes and giggle with no worries of wobble.
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  #5  
Old March 17th, 2007, 06:32
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Archdukeferdinand Archdukeferdinand is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

I appreciate the replies, but my question hasn't really been addressed.

To put it simply:

DOES RUNNING WITHOUT SWAYBARS CONTRIBUTE TO A DECREASE IN THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR TRACKBAR?


At 3 trackbars in the past 6 months, I'd say it's painfully obvious to me that failing trackbars are common in XJs.

as far as I can tell the only difference between the RE 1600 trackbar and the HD trackbar is the heim joint vs super flex joint (held them in my hands side by side when purchasing and the dude at our local 4x4 shop said that was the case). My heim joint isn't blown out, so I don't think I need to switch to the HD.

Before I buy the RE bracket, I want to know on a DD if going back to the front swaybar will aid in the longevity of my trackbars.




IF YOU'RE GOING TO SUGGEST A TRACK BAR SETUP THAT YOU'VE USED, PLEASE TELL ME WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAD YOUR FRONT ANTI-SWAY BAR CONNECTED.
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  #6  
Old March 17th, 2007, 06:52
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HaleYes HaleYes is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

TNT, Lifetime warranty on the bracket.
This thing is pretty stout.
TNT is also a sponsor, click the banner.




My swaybar is connected while on road.
Disco'd while offroad.
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  #7  
Old March 17th, 2007, 06:55
TomH TomH is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

I think the lack of a swaybar would cause the track bar to do more work. You are going to get more body roll which will put more load on the rest of your front end components. I run a swaybar on the street and do not have trackbar issues. 4.5" lift.
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  #8  
Old March 17th, 2007, 08:03
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Archdukeferdinand Archdukeferdinand is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomH
I think the lack of a swaybar would cause the track bar to do more work. You are going to get more body roll which will put more load on the rest of your front end components. I run a swaybar on the street and do not have trackbar issues. 4.5" lift.

Yeah, that's what I was thinking, it's gotta make the track bar work harder. Mine's long since been thrown away though. I don't mind the body roll and rarely get above 50 mph living in the mountains.

The TNT thing is interesting, I love me some lifetime warranties...

Thanks for the replies.
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  #9  
Old March 17th, 2007, 08:16
ktm racer 419 ktm racer 419 is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

i definately fail to see how not running a swaybar leads to premature tracbar failure.

perhaps if your running poly or rubber bushings in your control arms those will see a wee bit more stress. But How can heim joints, cartridge joints or rubber bushings in the trackbar wear quicker. The joint will just move around the bolt, no funky angles or anything. The only thing i can think of leading to premature wear is not having your tracbar adjusted properly leading to a binding suspension.

With that said Ive run no swaybars with the stock trackbar for about 6 months and for another 8 months ive run the tnt customs.
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  #10  
Old March 17th, 2007, 09:02
Wounded XJ Wounded XJ is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

I have had no sways on my xj for three years now and have not had a problem with trackbar. My only thought is after some hard wheelen I would make sure to get under there and make sure everything is nice and tight. I have hand bolts hand turn loose before and let the bracket and bar move. My jeep is a trail rig now, but for the past 2 it was a DD.
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  #11  
Old March 17th, 2007, 09:35
WB9YZU WB9YZU is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archdukeferdinand
I appreciate the replies, but my question hasn't really been addressed.

To put it simply:

DOES RUNNING WITHOUT SWAYBARS CONTRIBUTE TO A DECREASE IN THE LIFESPAN OF YOUR TRACKBAR?


At 3 trackbars in the past 6 months, I'd say it's painfully obvious to me that failing trackbars are common in XJs.


Before I buy the RE bracket, I want to know on a DD if going back to the front swaybar will aid in the longevity of my trackbars.

IF YOU'RE GOING TO SUGGEST A TRACK BAR SETUP THAT YOU'VE USED, PLEASE TELL ME WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAD YOUR FRONT ANTI-SWAY BAR CONNECTED.
I would say, no. Not unless you sway like a hay wagon

Track bar issues are not that common. I run a stock swaybar at 4" lft with the stock track bar brackets, the Jeep gets off-road every month or more, and I am generally not real kind to it when I am. Sometimes I put the swaybar links back on, but most of the time, it's not hooked up (PITA RE links ). In the last 4 years, I replaced my trackbar once, and it was the OEM bar at 150K miles (It now has 185K miles). I lube the ball end every trip off-road and check the bolt end every once in a while. I did relieve the axle side bracket when I did the lift and moved the hole slightly inboard. The bracket, in stock form, stops upward movement of the track bar, you just cut a little bit off the top so the bar can contunue it's upward movement (same with LCA mounts at the axle).

There is some part of this equation which seems missing. A pix of your front end may be of help.
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  #12  
Old March 17th, 2007, 09:46
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87manche 87manche is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

I'd have to agree with Ron.
I've abused my stock trackbar at 3", the Mj is my DD, and it's seen it's fair share of use in the rocks and trails. I don't even know how many miles are on it, but I've put 20K on it in the last year.
Is it possible that your frame side bracket is loose, or there are cracks in the unibody, that would allow the bracket to flex, and might put some real odd loads on the joint that it wasn't meant to take.
Otherwise, I'd say you've got something else going on. A listing of what you've got in your front end. Perhaps some measurements of your tire to frame, so we know your axle is centered properly.
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  #13  
Old March 17th, 2007, 20:49
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Archdukeferdinand Archdukeferdinand is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktm racer 419
i definately fail to see how not running a swaybar leads to premature tracbar failure.

perhaps if your running poly or rubber bushings in your control arms those will see a wee bit more stress. But How can heim joints, cartridge joints or rubber bushings in the trackbar wear quicker. The joint will just move around the bolt, no funky angles or anything. The only thing i can think of leading to premature wear is not having your tracbar adjusted properly leading to a binding suspension.

With that said Ive run no swaybars with the stock trackbar for about 6 months and for another 8 months ive run the tnt customs.
To picture how running swayless puts more stress on the track bar, instead of thinking of the track bar's range of motion in the individual sense,think of what links help keep the axle in place laterally after impacts or in bumps (not necessarily as their intended function). I don't think that it leads to premature track bar failure (never would have thrown away my anti-sways if I did), I was just trying to find out if somehow I'd missed something and it was common for lifted XJs before I went and got a new bracket. Most people I know run sways on the road and disco them for the trail. I don't mind the body roll and like the bump compliance that comes from having no anti-sway up front.

As for how they've failed, the 2 stockers died at the TRE, the bolt for the heim joint on my RE track bar wallowed out the stock bracket on the frame side. The heim joint is still good, and I was expecting the bracket to fail considering it took me all of 1 minute to drill it out to fit the heim, it just happened quickly enough that I know it wasn't just because the bracket's made out of soft folded sheetmetal.


I'm pretty sure it's an issue of adjustment for me though, and with the play I have now I can't really get any better than it is. I'm just gonna order that TNT bracket, get a superflex end from RE so I don't have to drill out the TNT bracket and then I'll have the track bar adjusted at my local shop. If that doesn't fix it I'll resurrect this thread.

The biggest thing for me was identifying where to put my energy. It's driveable now, so if tons of people had said they'd blown trackbars by going without sways I was going to work on getting a new antisway for the front rather than fixing the trackbar problem right away.

Thanks for all the responses.
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  #14  
Old March 17th, 2007, 22:10
John90XJ John90XJ is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Archdukeferdinand
As for how they've failed, the 2 stockers died at the TRE, the bolt for the heim joint on my RE track bar wallowed out the stock bracket on the frame side. The heim joint is still good, and I was expecting the bracket to fail considering it took me all of 1 minute to drill it out to fit the heim, it just happened quickly enough that I know it wasn't just because the bracket's made out of soft folded sheetmetal.
.
The problem sounds like the original TREs were being fitted to a wallowed out hole and would fail due to movement. It was probably screwed up before you changed to the RE1600, especially if you didn't have much material to drill out.

And the heim on your RE1600 trackbar doesn't work as well as it's designed when in single shear using the factory bracket, which is likely not fitting that bolt well either.

Order the RE bracket and be done with it. I've got a zillion miles on my RE1600 with the correct bracket putting the heim in double shear and it works great, with or without a swaybar.
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  #15  
Old March 17th, 2007, 22:30
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Archdukeferdinand Archdukeferdinand is offline
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Re: magical trackbar destroyer

Quote:
Originally Posted by John90XJ
The problem sounds like the original TREs were being fitted to a wallowed out hole and would fail due to movement. It was probably screwed up before you changed to the RE1600, especially if you didn't have much material to drill out.

And the heim on your RE1600 trackbar doesn't work as well as it's designed when in single shear using the factory bracket, which is likely not fitting that bolt well either.

Order the RE bracket and be done with it. I've got a zillion miles on my RE1600 with the correct bracket putting the heim in double shear and it works great, with or without a swaybar.

That's good to hear about the the RE bracket, I may get that instead of the TNT. I like the lifetime warranty on the TNT though.

As far as the bracket, it was not blown out amazingly enough. Had to use a pickle fork to get out both stock bars, and I drilled out plenty of material- I just have the right tools at work so it only took me a minute. It fit quite snugly on the heim bolt when I installed it, it now has 1/8-1/4" of play in it with the locknut at factory torque.
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