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  #1  
Old August 23rd, 2003, 20:43
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Goatman Goatman is offline
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Best track bar frame mount?

I have always thought that the factory track bar frame mount was the stoutest, but since mine has cracked badly, I need to replace it with something else. I know Rusty and Rubicon Express make them, does anyone else? I've seen both of these and the stock part break, and so I still plan to beef up whatever I get. Just wondering what else might be out there that I haven't seen, and if there are any significant experinces with the strength of this particular part. I'm not interested in any bashing.....I've seen parts from nearly every manufacturer fail.....just looking for some more info before I decide what to buy.

My stock mount cracked due to metal fatigue, not at a seam or weld, on the rear side. I carefully welded up the crack inside and out, and eventually added a cross frame brace. Last week on the Dusy Trail, near the top of Thompson Hill, the mount cracked badly on both the front and rear sides and bent badly to the outside (no left turn ability). We were able to get it bent back and put a strong strap on it and I welded it up in camp that evening. The brace also broke, which doesn't say much for the design of my brace, and also opens a discussion of how a brace should be built and mounted. The metal on the mount is so fatigued that a new crack began below the other welded up crack (not on the edge of the weld) before I got back from my vacation.
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  #2  
Old August 23rd, 2003, 21:38
Kaczman Kaczman is offline
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Do you have any 1/4" or 3/8" stock laying around the shop? It looks like it would be easy enough to make one up for cheap, and at the same time you would then be able to set the track bar angle for your raised steering. I thought RE and Rusty's brackets were built with a bit of drop in them, but I've never really looked at them.
-Jon
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 22:45
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I had the same thought. Why not make one up from scratch? You have the stock one to use as a guide in deciding where to make it beefier and/or otherwise braced. If nothing else it'd be an interesting experiment to see how well it would hold up relative to the stocker and existing aftermarket ones.
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Old August 23rd, 2003, 23:29
RCP Phx RCP Phx is offline
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As always I cant say enough good things about the RE XD Trackbar and bracket!Everyone I wheel with has eventually gone this route.The bracket is very well made/sturdy and the new ones are already drilled for a brace.Ive had mine for about two years now with zero maintanance except to grease it.
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Old August 24th, 2003, 00:01
XJZ XJZ is offline
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I have no experience wih this product, but Mark at ORGS MFg has come up with this........ http://www.orgsmfg.com/product/fabparts.htm (bottom of pg.) I'm sure it's just as stout as any of his other products, which is to say there's a very good chance it's overkill . Besides, he's a sponsor, check it out!!
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  #6  
Old August 24th, 2003, 01:00
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I'm trying to get away from the stock mount, since I need to make a change. My old one was already modified to take a JJ horizontally, and the metal still fatigued and cracked in the stock section of the mount. I know I could add metal to the sides of the mount, sort of boxing in the edges of the formed steel, but my coil spring hits the outside of the mount so I'm looking for a mount that has more clearance. I'm becoming annoyed with the squeaking from the coils rubbing on things, and am looking for ways to get away from that (I know, coilovers, but I'm not ready for more fabbing at this time).

I don't want to make my own mount at this point, too little time with too many other things to do. I already have to grind the welds off of my current mount, since it's welded to the frame to keep it from moving around......finally welded the SOB after getting tired of continually tightening it and listening to it creak.

No matter which one I end up getting, it's going to get some additional bracing, and will get welded to the frame.
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  #7  
Old August 24th, 2003, 01:53
vintagespeed vintagespeed is offline
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I like the ORGS piece that adds on to the stock mount, with a little beefing it'd be a good choice. I ended up making my own but that was to clear the hoops and hopefully be stronger than a stock one. If it causes me problems I'll whip one up out of 1/4" for the main body with a 3/16 pocket for the JJ.

Here's some pics of the mount:





Too much beer causes weld boogers.....

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  #8  
Old August 24th, 2003, 03:06
KarmirXJ KarmirXJ is offline
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mount looks pretty good... think of going into business?
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  #9  
Old August 24th, 2003, 11:25
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Gary E Gary E is offline
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on the RE ones you saw break where did they break, just so I know a little bit better where to look?

I can't remember if you looked at my junk or not but It seems to be holding fine. but I have not put anywhere near the trail miles on it that you have/or do. but its an RE bracket, rustys steering box brace, and a homemade trackbar brace. fwiw I would not run a trackbar brace without a steering box brace.

RE would probably be the quickest easiest option, order from your favorite vendor and have it drop shipped. especially if you want to be rolling labor day weekend. I don't know how much their trackbar brace is but if its 40-50 or less it may not be worth fabricating. that being said they are easy to make, I also welded on a tab for a limiting strap, and they are nice to use with a highlift, you can wrap a strap around the TB brace and the axle to keep the wheel from drooping out.
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  #10  
Old August 24th, 2003, 11:30
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gary E
fwiw I would not run a trackbar brace without a steering box brace.

Why, may I ask? I didn't bother putting my steering box brace back on after I installed the ORGS SBS kit and I am running a trackbar brace.

Jes
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  #11  
Old August 24th, 2003, 13:02
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Gary E Gary E is offline
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Of course you may ask

I have not really done a finite element analysis of the front subframe of the xj, but I am mostly going off of Crashes last fordyce run.

I think in a stock XJ the front subrame flexes from the cowl to the front bumper, flexing more at the steering box and less towards the cowl. of course on the street and mild offroading the flex is minimal. With bigger tires and more difficult trails the subframe is put to and past its limit so we get cracks. If you have it solidly braced to the trackbar mount stress is moved instead of from the cowl to the steering box, to the trackbar brace to the steering box. The same amount of stress over a smaller area fatigues the metal much more leading to more cracks.

back to Andys rig, right after he put in the trackbar brace in he broke some spot welds or something cracked up near the end of the frame just past the steering box. (you would know better than I since you know his rig better) Also having a rigidly mounted bumper all the steering stress was placed inbetween the bumper and the trackbar brace. which is of course where the box and where a steering box brace would be.

Of course you having the orgs steering reinforcement kit which adds much needed reinforcement to the area. So its kind of a wildcard. Still in your shoes I would run the SB brace to spread the load more and be a backup. It seems that even with a broken bolt or some cracks the brace is more likely to hold it together to lessen damage and get off the trail or perhaps home.

This is my theory, and is a theory and not a law. Either leave it all to flex or ladder frame it to keep the flex out. By ladder frame I mean make it strong all the way, trackbar brace, SB brace, and real front bumper. I think all three are needed, as one or two of the components may just put the stress in smaller areas.

Richard, another thing to think about which you probably allready have is the clearance between your 44 and the drop put in the RE bracket, at about 6 inches of lift the trackbar brace would hit my Upper control arm where it bolts on to the axle.

Last edited by Gary E; August 24th, 2003 at 13:07.
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  #12  
Old August 24th, 2003, 13:17
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Ya, I get what you're saying.
Looking at my setup though, the only thing a steering box brace would do is to help keep the steering box mounting bolts from shearing off. There is no flex at my steering box so the end of the box(where the brace mounts) doesn't move at all in relation to the opposite "frame" rail.
I'll probably put it back on for the heck of it, when I find some time.

Jes
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  #13  
Old August 24th, 2003, 13:58
vintagespeed vintagespeed is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by KarmirXJ
mount looks pretty good... think of going into business?
I'm now building everything in my 3d modeler first and then fabbing, talk about an improvement! Makes me wish I could build all my mounts over again, lol. Here's a sample of some of the new stuff.

http://www.rockxj.com/images/UCA_plated4.jpg

Thanks for the compliment.

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  #14  
Old August 24th, 2003, 14:26
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I'm sure my current track bar mount hangs as low or lower than the RE mount will, so that shouldn't be a problem. Mine is the stock mount with a bracket added to the bottom so the JJ can be mounted horozontally, very similar to the ORGS design. The only difference is that mine is bolted through the stock mount and then welded. I don't have an upper arm on that side, so arm clearance isn't an issue.

The whole subject of track bar and steering box braces is far from being resolved. My goal is to make the whole structure as rigid as possible, but it will still flex. I've cracked the frame with and without braces, so don't have any definitive conclusions. I was surprised that the mount fatigued and cracked like it did with the brace, which leads me to believe that the design of the brace somehow contributed to the cracking. Unfortunately, it also cracked before the brace went on, so again, nothing conclusive.

I am going to change the design of the next brace. I think I'll use a rod end on the mount side and a poly bushing on the frame side, rather than making it all rigid like the last one was. This should allow some movement without increasing the stress to the track bar mount. I'm also running a steering box brace, and have a plate added to the inside of the frame, but have no firm opinion on that either. I did see a new crack in the outside of the frame next to the top steering box bolt, so the bumper needs to come off and and some additional repairs made to the outside of the frame. Sort of hard to do now, since my cage structure ties into the bumper from under the fenders.........
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  #15  
Old August 24th, 2003, 14:40
vintagespeed vintagespeed is offline
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Richard, get the SBS. It's well designed and worth the $$$$. I finally welded mine in last weekend. Do you think that a single poly bushing will have more 'give' in it then 2 Johnny Joints?
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