Drag link and Tie rod upgrade - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-02-2018, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Drag link and Tie rod upgrade

Looking to upgrade the factory pieces and flip the drag link. (I already have the raised Synergy track bar bracket waiting to go on) May eventually add hydro assist, but thatís a ways down the road. Spends far more time on pavement than off, I do try to upgrade components when I can. Iíd rather overbuild/buy then spend what little time I do spend off road on the sidelines because I broke something.

Iím looking at
Steersmarts Yeti XD (without the attenuator, their in-house product comparison is impressive)
Metal Cloak (have been happy with their lift, most folks seem happy with their steering components )
Synergy (almost the standard when it comes to steering upgrades)
Fusion 2.5 ton (overkill for my needs, but like that all four joints are the same cartridge)

Iím leaning towards the Steersmarts, any recommendations?

2014 JKUR, manual, Metalcloak 3.5" lift, 35" MTR's on stock wheels, SPod, Baja Designs, VKS Pre-Runner rock sliders
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post #2 of 25 Old 02-02-2018, 07:12 PM
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all of those are fine products from reputable vendors.
I am preferential to Synergy and my whole front clip is their linkages with artec bracketry and armor. It is tough and dependable .
My opinion aside, I think a few guys on here will tell you the Yeti stuff is as advertised and it is some beefy goodness.
Fusion4x4 is massive and also seemingly able to take serious weight and abuse.
[edit: I really do not know much about the Metal Cloak so cannot speak to their steering links as much as I do the other three. They are zinc gold, I can tell you that. ]
There. Now you have no more info than you had before i typed this. Glad to help,
heh.




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post #3 of 25 Old 02-02-2018, 07:22 PM
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I only have experience with the Synergy part, but I will give my technical analysis of each product. They are all very different in fairly major ways.


Drag link doesn't really matter unless you somehow manage to crash it into rocks which is pretty unlikely. Get something low-cost that lets you run your flip. All that really matters here is having quality ends, and most quality name brand aftermarket parts are using good tie rod ends.

The tie rod really matters to get right as you bash it into rocks. If this would be for street use, it truly doesn't matter what you buy, just save money and get the cheapest option.

That Yeti part looks like a really bad idea to me. I don't know that it will for sure fail, but it has a fairly weak style of clamp at 25% and 75% distances along the tie rod. This means if you bash the center of the tie rod into a rock, you have that clamp right in the middle of the side-loaded beam on each side. This is not good. You really want the adjustments at the very ends with a strong rod taking up the entire length of the tie rod.

I have the Synergy tie rod, it's good and the tie rod ends are cheap to replace, small in size for carrying spares, and high quality (I wheel my Jeep a lot and have 2.5+ years of almost weekly trail use on those rod ends and they're as tight as new). What I really don't like about it is the offset is in the tie rod's shape and the ends are straight. When you have a not-straight tie rod bar, if you hit it on a rock it generates enormous torques on the rod ends and no matter how tight your jam nut is it will loosen guaranteed, and the adjuster-side will slip too for really hard landings on the tie rod. I've probably re-tightened and re-adjusted my tie rod 2 dozen times on the trail by now. It gets old.

The only solution to that is a straight tie rod bar between the two threaded ends so no torque is created on the threads when landing on a rock. You don't need a straight tie rod to achieve this if the rod ends are offset like Metalcloak's. It's still worse than a fully straight tie rod because you put huge loads on the tie rod end housing as it acts as a load-bearing limiter on tie rod travel which it would not with a truly straight tie rod (which is not really possible on a stock JK axle without custom knuckles that nobody makes). At least your jam nuts won't be loosening up on the Metalcloak design.


In conclusion, I would not buy the Yeti. That looks like a bad design to me, I wouldn't want to have anything to do with that rock crawling. I have the Synergy and it's very strong and takes serious abuse but the jam nut and clamp are basically impossible to keep tight enough to take hard rock hits. You can take some moderate abuse but when you start landing the jeep on the tie rod it's guaranteed to loosen. If I were buying a new tie rod, I'd try out the Metal Cloak because I'm so sick of tightening jam nuts on the trail (which is a pain for me because I have a super-tight-clearance hydro assist setup so it must be adjusted perfectly to not hit stuff). I'd dream of having a truly straight tie rod.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-02-2018, 07:40 PM
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I have my jam nuts so tight on my Synergy tierod ( and ever other jamnut on everything from the CAs to the DL) I cant hardly begin to undo them. and the pitman side is the same. you usin one of these along with the adjustable wrench you're tightening them with man?




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post #5 of 25 Old 02-02-2018, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j3ff3ry_j33p View Post
[COLOR="MediumTurquoise"]I have my jam nuts so tight on my Synergy tierod ( and ever other jamnut on everything from the CAs to the DL) I cant hardly begin to undo them. and the pitman side is the same. you usin one of these along with the adjustable wrench you're tightening them with man?

I don't know why you'd need a strap wrench, at least on my Synergy tie rod there is a hex portion on the tie rod itself to put a wrench on. I use two big adjustable crescent wrenches and put 3-foot cheater bars on each and tighten as hard as I possibly can. It still loosens the first time I drop the jeep on it.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-03-2018, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by christensent View Post
I don't know why you'd need a strap wrench, at least on my Synergy tie rod there is a hex portion on the tie rod itself to put a wrench on. I use two big adjustable crescent wrenches and put 3-foot cheater bars on each and tighten as hard as I possibly can. It still loosens the first time I drop the jeep on it.
That doesnít sound right. Mine hasnít budged and itís taken some hard hits. I would either replace the jam nut or maybe look at the threads on the tie rod end
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-03-2018, 08:05 AM
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I have the Yeti. So far, I have never had to adjust it or tighten it. I have bounced it off rocks, multiple times, and have had no bad results from that. Their early attenuators would fail on the trail. I worked with them, and they got it sorted out, at no cost to me. I donít know that the claim of absolutely no steering stabilizer is needed is accurate. I ran that way for a while, and for the most ppart it worked, but I added a high quality stabilizer, and it worked better.

Over all, I am super satisfied with the Yeti flipped drag link and tie rod. Easy to adjust once installed, it doesnít seem to slip, and has taken some abuse along the way.
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-03-2018, 09:20 AM
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I would go synergy or metal cloak as they are both good companies with good products. I don't like the yeti design with the clamp as it can create clearance with the bolts sticking out if you don't have it just right. Those big rare parts ends do wear out and are expensive to replace and add a lot of weight vs other ends. If you can do it yourself the ruff stuff is very cheap when you get it on one of their many sales.

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post #9 of 25 Old 02-03-2018, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christensent View Post
I don't know why you'd need a strap wrench, at least on my Synergy tie rod there is a hex portion on the tie rod itself to put a wrench on. I use two big adjustable crescent wrenches and put 3-foot cheater bars on each and tighten as hard as I possibly can. It still loosens the first time I drop the jeep on it.
you don’t NEEDthe strap wrench ; it just gives me that extra bite so I can really torque jamnuts down. I’ve used the squared divots for getting leverage on them , nothin wrong with that; just replyin with what I’d do if I was such a pussy I couldn’t tighten jam nuts is all.




















cmon, I’m f*ckin aroundcwith ya , dude...

as was suggested, maybe see if you’ve whackked the TR and stretched threads...I’ve had one do that and known one that got squished around the thread of a jamnut and it wouldn’t loosen. They’ve offered to take mine back and look them over before ....I didn’t have a spare atvtime and was DDing mine so couldn’t have downtime . But maybe ask them about not staying tight . It isn’t right.



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post #10 of 25 Old 02-03-2018, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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So it comes down to where you'd like your offset? Bar or ends....

I do like the yeti pieces, however, like @thedirtman mentioned, I too am concerned about the alignment of all those clamps. I'm sure steersmarts considered that in their design. For 90% of what I do they'd be fine, a stock replacement would be fine. I'm going to look at synergy, MC, & steersmarts a bit more before pulling the trigger. (The fusion/rareparts pieces are overkill for the action my junk sees)

Thank you all for the discussion. I appreciate the input.
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post #11 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 08:30 AM
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This is my first visit here, just registered.
I'm truly surprised that the staff allows y'all to call each other names.
Have some of the same questions as OP, and leaning towards MC. I've ordered but not received or installed thier 3.5 game changer. I assumed thier steering components would be the same quality as the suspension parts.
Glad to see a few are recommending MC.. I'm not a fan of the gold color but I didn't go with MC for the looks. Guess if my other stuff is that ugly gold, my steering should match.

I appreciate your technical opinions, name calling not so much.
Thanks guys.
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post #12 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 08:36 AM
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You should go to wayalife.com and ask them about Metal Cloak.
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post #13 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pmedic920 View Post
This is my first visit here, just registered.
I'm truly surprised that the staff allows y'all to call each other names.
Have some of the same questions as OP, and leaning towards MC. I've ordered but not received or installed thier 3.5 game changer. I assumed thier steering components would be the same quality as the suspension parts.
Glad to see a few are recommending MC.. I'm not a fan of the gold color but I didn't go with MC for the looks. Guess if my other stuff is that ugly gold, my steering should match.

I appreciate your technical opinions, name calling not so much.
Thanks guys.
The staff 🤣🤣🤣🤣

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post #14 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 09:50 AM
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I've been doing as much research as I can since I bought my Jeep back in May. The only thing I've really been able to determine is, it's a Ford vs Chevy type argument.
It doesn't matter one bit what stuff you ask about, there's going to people that like, and people that don't. I narrowed down to 3 companies RK,TF, and MC based on my research, and asking opinions.
I ultimately made phone calls to each company, and made my choice was based on the level of support and customer service. MC was hands down the best in that regard for me. In fact, just this AM, I noticed an email from them in my junk folder. They ran a flash sale for "free shipping " 2 days after I placed my order, I called and asked if they could credit me. Took about 30 seconds on hold, "yes sir" we can credit the shipping cost to your account.
Having said all that, the quality of products in my case is yet to be determined but I couldn't make the choice based on opinions because there are simply too many. You've been around the block enough to know, it doesn't matter what you ask, some will say yea, some will say nay.
I've read many of your post, here and on other boards, I respect your opinion and appreciate the help you offer others. I know this stuff can be very time consuming.

Thanks
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post #15 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 09:54 AM
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Above comments were to Dirtman, I missed the quote button.

My bad.
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post #16 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 09:59 AM
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I have worked with lots of brands of lifts, MC, RK, TF RC,EVO,Clayton,JKS,Rubicon Express, Currie,Rusty's, synergy and can tell you MC is one of the top if not the top lift to by for most people. Low maintenance, great ride, great customer support that you likely will never need. TF and RK are hyped on the forums and they spend a lot of time trying to convince people they are the best when in fact there is a lot to be desired from both RK and TF. I would put TF in a mid level kit and RK at the bottom on par with Rough Country.

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post #17 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
I have worked with lots of brands of lifts, MC, RK, TF RC,EVO,Clayton,JKS,Rubicon Express, Currie,Rusty's, synergy and can tell you MC is one of the top if not the top lift to by for most people. Low maintenance, great ride, great customer support that you likely will never need. TF and RK are hyped on the forums and they spend a lot of time trying to convince people they are the best when in fact there is a lot to be desired from both RK and TF. I would put TF in a mid level kit and RK at the bottom on par with Rough Country.

I sure did not intend to hijack this tread.
My point was that I still need to look into steering components. That's why I came to this thread.
I've, already bought a MC suspension system based on my research, so it seemed a no brainier to go with them for "steering" parts.
I was happy to read that a couple guys mentioned MC as a good option.
Time will tell but I spent my money with confidence.

Thanks again Friend.
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post #18 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 11:29 AM
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Sorry guys, seems I've got to have 10 posts to view images.
I'm off to another thread to work on my count.
This post is just a +1

Cheers
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-06-2018, 03:09 PM
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I Run the RpmFab Aluminum Tierod and Draglink. solid 1.5" 7075 T6 Aluminum.

I've run into that front tierod more times than I can remember. I can be an idiot while driving a lot. So far so good!

I'm not sure if they are a vendor here though.
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post #20 of 25 Old 02-07-2018, 07:57 AM
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I personally love the Roughstuff engineering one- however if your not into the whole DIY thing: Synergy.

Soon to be a vendor!!!
Looking for a good Rat Rod JK donor vehicle.
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-07-2018, 08:54 AM
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I went full Retard and decided that Fusion 4X4 2.5 ton and Howe needed to be added .

Hopefully I will never have to consider another steering upgrade in the near or distant future .

Before taking this path I did like the Steersmart product , looks really stout and is something that those that have it are quite happy with .
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-07-2018, 11:00 AM
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for drag link flip, i just bought a Crown RHD drag link and Synergy Bushing. Used 7/8 step drill bit on the knuckle. It was surprisingly simple.

For tie rod, Synergy, MC, Fusion, WFO. all good take your pick.

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post #23 of 25 Old 02-07-2018, 07:33 PM
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I am running the Synergy Drag Link and the Ruff Stuff 1-ton Tie Rod. I love my setup, the drag link has held up and not bent (my reason for switching), and the tie rod has been bashed into many rocks without permanently bending as well. The Ruff Stuff TR is a straight bar rod (1.5" .25" wall DOM) and the ends are offset 1 ton GM ends. Jam nuts have stayed tight, and its a relatively inexpensive option when compared to the others. I would highly recommend the Synergy steering components too, I love mine and I have many wheeling buddies who beat their TR and DL Flip up every week on the trail.

'15 JKU/ 3" Synergy MFG Stage 2/ Fox 2.0 Performance Series IFP/ 35" KM2/ 4.56 Yukon Gears/ Currie Rock Jock 44/ ARB Locker/ Adams 1310/ VKS Fab/ Evo MFG
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-18-2018, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by un lupus View Post
I went full Retard and decided that Fusion 4X4 2.5 ton and Howe needed to be added .

Hopefully I will never have to consider another steering upgrade in the near or distant future .

Before taking this path I did like the Steersmart product , looks really stout and is something that those that have it are quite happy with .
Fusion is what I use

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post #25 of 25 Old 02-18-2018, 04:46 PM
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Nice Job , looks good .
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