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Here is the business end of the driver's side rod end. There is no way to describe this other than it is built big and tough. The threads measured .85" in diameter.
So, all three rod ends were connected and the castle nuts torqued to 55 ft. lbs, per the install instructions supplied by Currie. Cotter pins were inserted into the castle nuts and we were two thirds of the way through our project. Next was the toe alignment.
I had not done my own toe-in adjustment before this project but I could see no reason not to learn how to do it. During my last front end alignment, a local Jeeper, FlexyXJ, let me come into the back of the shop and watch has he did mine (in fact, he put my ZJ tie rod on at the same time I was getting my alignment done). He didn't use the fancy laser and computer setup like so many shops use these days....he prefers the old fashioned method and I liked the results.
We put the tires back on and I torqued the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. The tires, prior to our making any adjustments, looked as though they were pointing in two different directions. Before we got down to making any accurate measurements, we needed to get them both pointing toward the front of the vehicle. With the clamps still loose, we turned the tie-rod and brought the tires more towards the front of the vehicle. We also turned on the adjusting sleeve on the drag link (near the pitman arm), with the steering wheel near its center of travel, to further get the tires and wheels into a more correct relationship with each other. OK....things were looking a bit better now.
With axle supported just enough to allow the wheels to freely spin, Scott spun the tire while I painted a striped down the tire using some grey primer. We needed to lay down a clealry visible background for our measurements that we were about ready to start.
I slid a milk crate up to the tire and grabbed a Phillips screw driver (with a good pointy tip). As Scott continued to spin the tire, I carefully scribed a line on the freshly painted tire. You can see it in the picture. Note that you can NOT move the screw drier (or what ever you decide to use) while doing this. The key is that you will have a line on the tire that runs perfectly around the tire in a straight line. This is done on both tires. The result will be a thin fine line on each tire that we will then use as our measuring points.
Select a point half way up the height of the tire (on both sides) and measure the distance between the lines at that spot. Note the exact measurement as accurately as you can (yes, 1/32 of an inch will make a difference here). Now, move the tape measure to the back side of the tires. Again, select a point half way up the height of the tire and take your measure, just as you did on the front side. For a 35" tire, the correct toe-in measurement will have your the front and rear measurements differing by slightly more than 1/8" (with the front measurement being the smaller of the two). I guess I should say that this is MY correct toe-in measurement. You can obviously set yours up for what ever you want. Some folks like no toe-in at all. (I tried this and found that my TJ wanders just a bit on the highway when set up this way.)
It makes no difference what the actual measurements are but only that they differ by approximately 1/8" (I call it "fat" eight inch...again, these are MY measurements). Continue to turn (adjust) the tie-rod until you obtain the desired toe in. Now tighten the clamps at each end of the tie rod. We found we had to "tweak" our tie rod rotation ever so slightly so that the passenger side clamp would properly clear the nearby brackets on the axle. The Currie instructions mention that you should check this and you want to be sure that you won't have hardware mashing into each other when your suspension cycles while your wheels are turned side to side. Take your time while you do the toe-in and get it right.
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