Question for anyone running Rancho Knuckles ... - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 05-15-2017, 06:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question for anyone running Rancho Knuckles ...

I'm running the rancho highsteer knuckles for about 5 months. Since the install I've had 3 inner axle seal leaks on the passenger side, the original I left in since replacing the knuckle and then 2 new seals I installed. I used an angle finder app on my phone and as near as I can tell my housing long tube (leaker) is perfectly straight and both driver and passenger tubes are within 1/2 a degree of each other.

Also my housing is trussed and been trussed for 4 years and I had no seal leaks before the knuckle install 5 months ago. Troubleshooting other causes today I noticed my Axle Shafts are sitting high in the housing where they exit the tubes.

Like I can fit the tip of my jeep key sideways between the axle shaft and housing under the axle shaft and wiggle it like 1/16" Up and down where the shaft exits the axle tube.

Above the axle shaft I can't even get the key sideways between the shaft and housing.

(This is the case on both sides where the axle shaft exits the housing. I know this is not normal or within spec because I would not be able to fit aftermarket front outer seals with this situation and you can normally fit those to any housing.)

I think the knuckels may be mounting too high onto my ball joints and pulling the shafts up. I was wondering if someone with these Rancho knuckles could tell me the amount of gap they are seeing here:



I think mine is too little gap, especially compared to the Reid knuckle pic I found online. Here they are side by side:




Also for anyone running the Rancho knuckles, are your Axle Shafts centered (within reason) where they exit the housing tube into the knuckle area? Mine are visably (to the naked eye) sitting high in the tube.

Last edited by Biginboca; 05-15-2017 at 06:35 PM.
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post #2 of 73 Old 05-15-2017, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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I just realized it could also be a ball joint issue. I installed them (Rare Parts) at the same time as the knuckles. I kind of suspect it's the knuckles and not the ball joints though. It's hard to imagine the rare parts BJ's would have an incorrect taper.

I even installed a new axle shaft 3 weeks ago with the latest seal so I know it's not an axle shaft issue causing the leak. If anyone else has any other ideas as to what could be causing the inner seal leak I'm all ears too...
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post #3 of 73 Old 05-15-2017, 07:37 PM
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Have you contacted Rare parts or Rancho? The lower ball joint is what sets the height of the knuckle, with standard ball joints it is the load bearing part. With your Rare parts upper you just set the preload after install don't you?
I would think that there must be a problem with the taper on the lower ball joint or hole in the knuckle.

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post #4 of 73 Old 05-15-2017, 10:26 PM
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Man that sucks. Worse case you may have to just sell the Rancho's and get some Reid's instead but the Rancho's should sell pretty easy.

The gap between my C and Reid's at the top are pretty considerable but I'm using the ProSteer BJ.

The only other person I know of running Rancho's knuckles is Ryan0260 on JKF but he's also running the ProSteer's. You can see pics of both our top knuckle separation on the ProGrip review thread....

As much as I like tinkering around on the Jeep, after 5 years I'm at the point of getting tired of tinkering on the Jeep so now I'm trying my best to make sure I get the aftermarket mods that I know will work together.

Good luck man.

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post #5 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlee View Post
Have you contacted Rare parts or Rancho? The lower ball joint is what sets the height of the knuckle, with standard ball joints it is the load bearing part. With your Rare parts upper you just set the preload after install don't you?
I would think that there must be a problem with the taper on the lower ball joint or hole in the knuckle.
I sent Rancho an email asking if they have a spec for what that gap should be with their knuckles where I drew the arrow. I think they are a stand up company I would imagine if my knuckles are the problem they would be warrantied they are only 5 months old. Just would suck to have to install them again!
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post #6 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 05:42 AM
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Looks like those ball joints are causing the issue.
Looks like it's up way too far. With the prosteers there is a gap like that picture of the Reid knuckles.
I have the Rancho knuckles with privateers.
My axles have the evo sleeves with that axle outer seal and they are still centered.
Been running them a few months so far.

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Last edited by Rottenbelly; 05-16-2017 at 05:49 AM.
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post #7 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 05:48 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottenbelly View Post
Looks like those ball joints are causing the issue.
Looks like it's up way too far. With the prosteers there is a gap like that picture of the Reid knuckles.
I have the Rancho knuckles with privateers.
My axles have the evo sleeves with that axle outer seal and they are still centered.
Been running them a few months so far.
Thanks for the reply. Any chance you can get a measurement for me of the gap between the top of the Rancho knuckle and the underside of the upper C, like where that red arrow shows?
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post #8 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
Thanks for the reply. Any chance you can get a measurement for me of the gap between the top of the Rancho knuckle and the underside of the upper C, like where that red arrow shows?
Closer in towards my gusset it is 101mm and tapers out to about 111mm at the end. Measured here...
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post #9 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome thanks man! I'll measure mine tonight and report back I'm really curious to see what I get.
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post #10 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
Awesome thanks man! I'll measure mine tonight and report back I'm really curious to see what I get.
No problem. Curious to see myself!

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post #11 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 07:04 AM
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What was the allure for the rancho over the reid?
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post #12 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dkjeep View Post
What was the allure for the rancho over the reid?
I got the Rancho for about $350 for the pair with a coupon at Christmas, so they were substantially cheaper than the Reid's
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post #13 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 07:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
I got the Rancho for about $350 for the pair with a coupon at Christmas, so they were substantially cheaper than the Reid's
Are they the same spec wise to the reids? I know the teraflex version is not and does not raise the tie rod as high.
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post #14 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 07:42 AM Thread Starter
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My knuckles are sitting about 2 mm higher than the ones measured above on both sides. That's about the same my Axle Shafts are off centered in the tubes.

Damn now I need to figure it if the ball joints or the knuckles and I'm kind of thinking it's the ball joints.



Anyone know how to figure out which part is the culprit?

Last edited by Biginboca; 05-16-2017 at 07:52 AM.
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post #15 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
My knuckles are sitting about 2.0mm higher than the ones measured above on both sides. That's about the same my Axle Shafts are off centered in the tubes.

Damn now I need to figure it if the ball joints or the knuckles and I'm kind of thinking it's the ball joints.



Anyone know how to figure out which part is the culprit?
I don't know much about those rare parts ball joints but are they adjustable? They have a lot of threads above the knuckle. Can they be tighted down and push the joint down more?
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post #16 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rottenbelly View Post
I don't know much about those rare parts ball joints but are they adjustable? They have a lot of threads above the knuckle. Can they be tighted down and push the joint down more?
No, they are pressed in and sit flush. The threaded part (orange nut) on top of the upper is just a retainer and a preload adjust inside it. The lower joint is just pressed in from below like any other lower.

So I don't know how to figure out which part is causing the issue, could be knuckle or ball joint. I emailed both rare parts and Rancho to see what they say. I'd welcome any input as to how to diagnose which is at fault.

Last edited by Biginboca; 05-16-2017 at 08:37 AM.
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post #17 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 11:54 AM
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Measure the stock knuckle BJ holes for diameter and taper.
Measure the stock BJ studs taper and major/minor diameters.
Measure the Rancho knuckle BJ holes.
Measure the Rarepart studs.

Start extrapolating the data.
Seriously, I don't know of any other way to investigate it unless you have CAD files for them all.
I think it's just going to take some good ol measuring. Hopefully you figure it out though. I have Ried knuckles and Poly BJ's in my Terra44, and I have a passenger side inner seal leaking (NOT happy about that showing up a year after the axle was built, bought, and installed!) but have yet to dig into it. Wonder if I don't have the same issue.

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post #18 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 01:48 PM
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post #19 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 06:06 PM
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Is there a way to verify that the Rareparts BJ's you received are in fact the ones for a JK? That is going to suck if you have to swap those out....




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post #20 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 07:37 PM
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Put the old knuckles back on and see how it looks .

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post #21 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 08:03 PM
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The Rancho knuckles are designed like the JK's. I see no reason why the RP joints wouldn't work unless you got the wrong BJ or the knuckles are bad.


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post #22 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 08:37 PM
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Is 2mm really going to blow out seals? Back at the seal, which is very close to the splines, that's only maybe 0.2mm error at the seal at the very most. Can't believe that'd cause a failure...

Do your axle shafts have the plastic centering discs that the factory shafts have when first removed? If not you might be destroying the new seals every time you re-install the shafts. It's pretty hard to get them in without damage unless you have those on the shafts.


a 2mm error is so tiny, for example if it were a tube bending causing that it would be about 0.1 degrees of bend error on the tube (your phone sure can't measure that sort of error, you'd need to have some high end professional measuring equipment to come close to detecting that sort of thing). I doubt they even come out of the factory that good. And everyone who wheels stock axles has probably tweaked the housing that much. I just don't buy it that this error could possibly be causing premature seal damage.

Last edited by christensent; 05-16-2017 at 08:45 PM.
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post #23 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 08:40 PM
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yeah, I recall @kjeeper10 and others talking about the Rancho's being same as OEM at the BJ mount...


'Boca, you certain the preloading option up top on those high tech RareParts cannot be loaded further to the amount of, what was it .08mm -1.1mm more than they are ? I dunno that much about them except for that thread where they introduced them back when...but I thought that adjustability up top for load bearing versus conventional BJs was the benefit of them...I must have it wrong ,I'll go read but that was my first thought from your picture ; that "those don't look like the graphic illustration cuz there's a bit more thread showing on boca's..."


I guess to me from that graphic it sure appears those are threaded to that orange collar all the way thru for full height adjustability but ,again, I am not running them so don't have a great more of a clue than what that pict and details from you guys running them have provided...

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post #24 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
Is 2mm really going to blow out seals? Back at the seal, which is very close to the splines, that's only maybe 0.2mm error at the seal at the very most. Can't believe that'd cause a failure...

Do your axle shafts have the plastic centering discs that the factory shafts have when first removed? If not you might be destroying the new seals every time you re-install the shafts. It's pretty hard to get them in without damage unless you have those on the shafts.


a 2mm error is so tiny, for example if it were a tube bending causing that it would be about 0.1 degrees of bend error on the tube (your phone sure can't measure that sort of error, you'd need to have some high end professional measuring equipment to come close to detecting that sort of thing). I doubt they even come out of the factory that good. And everyone who wheels stock axles has probably tweaked the housing that much. I just don't buy it that this error could possibly be causing premature seal damage.
fwiw, 2mm at one end of a long bit of chromoly can translate-to a good deal of offset ,misaligned stress (& heat) on something designed to be centered , more or less, at the spans other end, like an (edit: high rpm)axleshaft ...
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post #25 of 73 Old 05-16-2017, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
Is 2mm really going to blow out seals? Back at the seal, which is very close to the splines, that's only maybe 0.2mm error at the seal at the very most. Can't believe that'd cause a failure...

Do your axle shafts have the plastic centering discs that the factory shafts have when first removed? If not you might be destroying the new seals every time you re-install the shafts. It's pretty hard to get them in without damage unless you have those on the shafts.


a 2mm error is so tiny, for example if it were a tube bending causing that it would be about 0.1 degrees of bend error on the tube (your phone sure can't measure that sort of error, you'd need to have some high end professional measuring equipment to come close to detecting that sort of thing). I doubt they even come out of the factory that good. And everyone who wheels stock axles has probably tweaked the housing that much. I just don't buy it that this error could possibly be causing premature seal damage.
His are 20mm different than my measurement above.
That's quite significant.
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