Rock Krawler 3.5 Flex/Synergy Drag Link and Tie Rod Replacement - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 08:39 AM Thread Starter
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Rock Krawler 3.5 Flex/Synergy Drag Link and Tie Rod Replacement

Ok guys and gals bare with my while I attempt to put together my first post as a JK owner.

I recently bought an 08 JKU X. The jeep had over 100K but I got it for a steal and everything looked to be in great condition. Looked being the key word. Shortly after I got the jeep it started to have the dreaded "death wobble" and the dealership wouldn't do anything about it. Basically saying, well sorry for your bad luck, hope you don't die. Needless to say I wasn't very happy. Being that they weren't going to help me out and that my fiancÚ and 1 year old would be riding in the jeep, there was no way that I was going to put them in it in the condition it was in. So I just took the plunge and ordered everything I could think of to basically replace the whole front end.

here is a pic of the beast. (hoping it shows up)

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Shout out to NorthRidge4x4 for helping me out with everything.

Below is a list of everything that I ordered:

Synergy HD ball joints
Synergy Drag Link and Flip Kit
Synergy HD Tie Rod & Ends
Synergy Wheel Spacers
Rock Krawler 3.5 Flex Suspension Kit
- w/ Bilstein 5100 shocks
- TeraFlex Bump Stops (front and rear)
- Teraflex Spring Retainers
- Synergy Coil Correction Wedges

I was surprised at how fast the boxes started to come in. right now I am still waiting on one more box but hopefully it will arrive soon. That didn't stop me from starting the build however.

Since I was terrible and didn't take pictures before I started to tear everything apart I will upload some of the progress so far. (pics to come)

First thing I started with was changing out the ball joints. At this point I have the knuckles off and will be pressing them out this evening (after I barrow a press from a buddy). The top ball joints weren't bad, the bottoms ones on the other hand are in horrible shape. I'm surprised the didn't just fall out once I pulled the knuckle.

So far everything has went smoothly. I will try to post pictures of my progress this evening for those that want to follow along.

In the mean time anyone have any questions, concerns, or lessons learned that I should know about or any tribal knowledge to pass along? I'm all ears and excited to get this thing up and running again.

Last edited by MFerrell; 09-10-2015 at 06:35 AM.
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post #2 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 11:28 AM
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You bought quality parts, good choices.

Curious though, since you bought all the synergy steering stuff, why not Synergy suspension stuff? Doesn't really matter, RK is darn good stuff but was just wondering.

Pay attention to your torque specs and torque when the jeep is back on the ground under its own weight

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post #3 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 11:36 AM
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Nice list of parts

2007 JKR | PSC Big bore box | Rock Krawler 3.5" x-factor arms l SteerSmarts YETI track bar, tie rod, no drill flipped drag link, Griffin | Synergy frame brace | 37x12.5x17 Nitto RG's | Dana front DS | Fox IFP shocks | Artec front armor kit/Currie JJ's | Teraflex rear axle bracket | EVO Rockstars | Ridged D's, A pillar mounts | VKS sliders l Trek Armor seat covers | Superchips/Sprint booster | Savvy half doors w/ Bestop uppers
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post #4 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 11:59 AM
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looks almost identical to my list of parts except I am using Synergy LCA and not a RK kit.

quality stuff.

2008 JKU: continual work in progress
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post #5 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 01:06 PM
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Love the yellow! Good luck with your build..

RK
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post #6 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCdawg View Post
You bought quality parts, good choices.

Curious though, since you bought all the synergy steering stuff, why not Synergy suspension stuff? Doesn't really matter, RK is darn good stuff but was just wondering.

Pay attention to your torque specs and torque when the jeep is back on the ground under its own weight
Honestly no real reason. I read reviews on RK, Tera, and synergy and it seemed like you couldn't go wrong with either of the 3. But the RK kit being a few dollars cheaper help the decision. Was going to do Rk steering components as well but the fact you had to take the tie rod off to adjust it raised a flag so I went with synergy.

Thanks for the torqueing info. I was just planning to torque things while I go.
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post #7 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Krawler Suspension View Post
Love the yellow! Good luck with your build..

RK
Thanks, I also have a 78 CJ 7 Project jeep that's yellow, just something about standing out in the crowd with a loud color. Definitely not going to miss it on the trails.

I'm excited to get yall's product under the JKU and bolted up though. I've ready nothing but good things about yalls products.
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post #8 of 40 Old 08-28-2015, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFerrell View Post
Thanks, I also have a 78 CJ 7 Project jeep that's yellow, just something about standing out in the crowd with a loud color. Definitely not going to miss it on the trails.

I'm excited to get yall's product under the JKU and bolted up though. I've ready nothing but good things about yalls products.
Very cool. Let us know if you have any questions. Have fun with it..

RK
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post #9 of 40 Old 09-01-2015, 05:57 AM Thread Starter
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Finally able to give an update. Between my kids birthday party and being sick this weekend I was able to complete the front end.

While waiting on the ball joint press I was able to drill the spring pad for the bump stops and spring retainers and install the springs. This wasn't to bad if you insert the bump stop into the spring and then install the spring and then screw down the bump stop. If you installed the bump stops first you would need a spring compressor to get the spring over the stop.

The ball joints were a pain in the butt to remove and then reinstall even with the ball joint press.

Here is a comparison of the old Vs. new. The upper ball joints were still in pretty good shape. The lower ones however were completely shot. I'm surprised they didn't just fall out when I took the knuckle off.

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After Installing the new ball joints I was able to finish installing the tie-rod and drag link. Since I was doing the synergy drag link flip I had to drill out the knuckle with a 7/8 drill bit. It took a couple tries to get the adapter to fit right but I finally made it happen. Here is a quick snap shot of everything going together.

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Once I finished up installing the drag link and tie rod I moved on to installing the lower control arms. These things are a chunk compared to the stock arms.

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2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #10 of 40 Old 09-01-2015, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
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Finished Product on the front end!

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2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #11 of 40 Old 09-02-2015, 06:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeep Momma View Post
WOW!!! You jumped right in there... I'm still just dipping my toes in the water.
Yeah I figured I'd just dive on in and see how far I got and cross my fingers it wasn't gonna be too much. With the exception of replacing the ball joints the build has been pretty fun and has gone smoothly. I'm going to jump back on it tonight and see if I cant finish the rear up. Well, at least as far as I can get. I'm still waiting on one more box that has the extended brake lines, sway bar brackets, and rear track bar bracket.

2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #12 of 40 Old 09-02-2015, 07:06 AM
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Great job. Ball joints are never fun, but they can be a necessary evil.

RK
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post #13 of 40 Old 09-03-2015, 06:54 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I forgot to take pictures of my progress so far on the rear end so I apologize in advance, but I will try to get them up tomorrow. I ended up getting the springs, spring retainers, shocks, and bump stops on yesterday evening in the little time I had. Everything went on very smoothly and looks good. IDK if its just me though, but the rear springs seem to be a good bit stiffer than the front ones, could be wrong though.

I have to give Teraflex a thumbs up on their spring retainer for the rear. The tool they supplied to install the nut that goes on the bottom side of the spring pad is clutch. It makes installation a breeze. If they didn't supply that tool it would have taken more like an hour and a whole list of choice words instead of 5 minutes lol.

At this point in time I am kinda dead in the water without the other parts. I will probably call RK today to see what the ship status is on the last few pieces. Once I get those in and the jeep buttoned up its off to the alignment shop. Whoop.
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post #14 of 40 Old 09-09-2015, 07:12 AM Thread Starter
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WOOHOO my last box came in yesterday afternoon which contained my brake lines, Rear track bar bracket, and sway bar links and I didn't waste any time continuing with the build.

The track bar bracket was a breeze to install, but I do recommend having a small drill to drill the 10 mm hole needed for the top bolt. I had a full size dewalt and it was a tight fit trying to drill the hole. I probably could have lowered the rear axle a little more to get more clearance but I didn't want to stretch the old break lines too much. Once I got the track bar mount mounted and the track bar re installed I installed the new break lines, which again was a breeze. However, it did end up being a little messy.

Once I got the brake lines installed I put the tires back on, bled the brake lines, and took it for a little spin before I put the new sway bar links on. Let me tell you it is a handful trying to control the jeep without any sway bars front and rear. Even after installing the rear it was still dicey to drive. This evening when I get home from work I will be installing the front sway bar links and taking it for another short test drive, then the ol' lady is taking it to the front end shop to get it aligned Thursday.

Soo close to finishing it up and I can't wait.

2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #15 of 40 Old 09-09-2015, 10:53 AM
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great progress keep the pics coming!
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post #16 of 40 Old 09-11-2015, 06:27 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by misiek View Post
great progress keep the pics coming!
Thanks, Had to modify some pictures so they could all fit but here are a couple of the finished product.

My fiancÚ was nice enough to take the jeep yesterday to get a new replacement steering stabilizer and get the front end aligned. Unfortunately the front end alignment shop didn't have a printer or the printer was broken so I didn't get a spec sheet. Might take it somewhere else just to get the numbers.

Anyways, after I got home from work I installed the new steering stabilizer and took it for a drive. The jeep does a little walking, but not too bad. Since I didn't get a spec sheet from the alignment I couldn't see what my caster was to check that. But from what Ashley was telling me everything was in factory specs. Any suggestions as to what can eliminate this completely? It drives straight down the road, but sometime I feel if I accelerate it pulls to the left and when I let off it sometimes feels like it pulls to the right.

All in all I am very happy with how everything came out. The jeep looks awesome, not god awfully tall, the ride quality is very good, and the whole system was fairly simple to install.

However, this morning while driving to work I became very disappointed. I hit a rough patch in the road and the DEATH WOBBLE IS STILL PRESENT!!! What the heck!!! I did all this work to eliminate that and it still there. Fortunately it isn't as bad as it was, probably due to having new ball joints. but WHAT DO I DO? I still need to weld the new track bar mounts to the axle housing, which I plan to do this weekend, but is not having these welded contining to cause that? When I replaced the track bar with the RK one I didn't notice the holes being wallowed out, but maybe they are just enough? And maybe I need to get new hardware for the track bar? I read a few threads where the factory hardware runs on the small side and allows for some slop. Definitely looking for some help here guys so if anybody has any suggestions please let me know.

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2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #17 of 40 Old 09-11-2015, 12:19 PM
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Getting the 9/16th bolts for the front track bar eliminated my DW issue.
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post #18 of 40 Old 09-11-2015, 08:53 PM
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first 2 things i'd do is weld that bracket on(had one rip the factory bracket off because i didn't weld soon enough) and get that bigger bolt. then see if it still happens. torque the trackbar bolt to spec?


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post #19 of 40 Old 09-12-2015, 07:33 PM
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Regarding your DW, you still have some lose component(s). I would do some research on DW. There are some great threads on this site on DW.

I personally think the 9/16" bolts are a gemmick. If parts are bolted to torque they should stay in place. But many think otherwise.

Good luck. I had it too, but after laying under the jeep and having someone turn the steering wheel I finally figured it out.
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post #20 of 40 Old 09-14-2015, 06:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all the input. Friday I made a run to the local hardware store and grabbed a couple 9/16 bolts for the track bar and installed them. Everything has been torqued to spec with the vehicle sitting on it's own weight. The track bar was torqued to 125 ft/lbs.

Holy Cow jvandy50 that had to have gotten really interesting really fast when that happened!

Plan Man has an excellent write up on DW and Shimmies, which I have read on watched the videos on multiple times. I've went through his checklist while having someone turn the wheel and I didn't see anything loose, clunking, or worn out. which I hope nothing would be worn out since I just replaced everything.

I drove it a good bit this weekend after replacing the bolts and making sure everything was tight under the jeep and haven't had another issue. So I have my fingers crossed that it has been eliminated.

2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #21 of 40 Old 09-14-2015, 07:46 AM
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What are your alignment specs?

You took a lot of stuff apart so make sure everything went back in correctly.. Ball Joints, everything. That is a big undertaking... Way to jump in while the water is warm..

RK
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post #22 of 40 Old 09-14-2015, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Krawler Suspension View Post
What are your alignment specs?

You took a lot of stuff apart so make sure everything went back in correctly.. Ball Joints, everything. That is a big undertaking... Way to jump in while the water is warm..

RK
Thanks, It definitely was a task but well worth it.

I wish I could tell you the specs. The alignment shop told my fiancÚ that they either didn't have a print or theirs was broken. So, Needless to say I wasn't very happy when she told me. I'm going to call a couple other places around town just to see how much they would charge to just run the numbers. That might tell me a lot. The only thing I got as far as confirmation is they told her that everything was "within spec".

I've check and double checked everything just to make sure. One of the only things I'm a little concerned with is the height of sway bar where the link connects. Since doing the flip kit, which relocates the factory link, and adding the lift with the extended sway bar links the sway bar ends where the links connect seem to be pretty high. Does the angle of the sway bar matter?

2008 JKU X 6spd (Detonator Yellow), RK 3.5 Flex System, Synergy Tie-Rod, Synergy HD Ball Joints and Drag Link Flip Kit

78 CJ7 Slow Project Vehicle, 1 Tons, SB 350, SM465
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post #23 of 40 Old 09-14-2015, 11:51 AM
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If you did the Synergy setup with our links it is probably too high. We can sell you a shorter center pin for the disconnects to lower that back down. They are $7.50 each for the center pins. You should have a 10" one now and we can drop you down to a 7" one...

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post #24 of 40 Old 09-15-2015, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock Krawler Suspension View Post
If you did the Synergy setup with our links it is probably too high. We can sell you a shorter center pin for the disconnects to lower that back down. They are $7.50 each for the center pins. You should have a 10" one now and we can drop you down to a 7" one...

RK
I measured the entire link when I got home and it measured around 12" with the disconnects and jam nut all the way bottomed out. A measurement from bottom of the thread to bottom of the thread on the center pins was around 8. Don't know if that helps you identify which center pins I have. Guessing there's about and inch of thread on each side so you'd be right on the money with them being the 10" ones.

I'm going to get on the horn today with yall and see about getting 2 of the shorter ones on order.

Thanks for all the help!

Update on the wandering issue... Ashley is taking the jeep back to another alignment shop to run the numbers and see about adjusting the caster to somewhere around 5* if it's not already. From what I have been reading between 4.5-5* is ideal. Any more than that and you run into drive shaft issues.

Slowly but surely we're getting closer and closer to dialing everything in.

Up next will definitely have to be a regear. Pulling my duck boat this weekend with it was somewhat of a task with the 3.27's. 5th and 6th gear were just about worthless. I'm thinking 4.56 or 4.88 gears. What do yall think?
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post #25 of 40 Old 09-15-2015, 10:56 AM
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sorry maybe i missed it but what size tires? auto or manual?
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