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Because the traction bar sits behind the drag link, install it
first. I had the Rubicon Express traction bar frame mount installed, so I was
provided with a heim joint for that location. The heim join is 3/4" x 3/4". The
kit also came with mis-alignment spacers that went inside the heim join to make
it compatible with a 1/2" bolt. To install this on the RE mount the hole will
have to be drilled out to a 1/2". It is recommended to remove it to drill out
the hole. When drilling it, be sure to drill it straight and true to size. If
you drill it out too much then you will have play in it, which is not good. Once
you have drilled it out, re-install it on the Jeep frame.
To get the traction bar ready, use the same procedure as mentioned earlier to remove any shavings or other miscellaneous items. When this is done, install the heim on one end with a jam nut and the rubber bushing on the other. When installing, put a little assembly lube on the rubber bushing and slide it in place into the axle mount. Put a bolt through to hold it in place. When this is done, install the misalignment bushing into the heim and put it into the RE frame mount.
I had to add washers on the outside of the bushings on the mount.
A view of the axle with the traction bar installed.
Another photo of the traction bar installation.
When completed, it should look like this. Tighten up the bolts using lock washers. Tighten up the frame mount pretty tight and the axle mount until you see the bushing start to expand. Do not over tighten the axle mount bushing because this needs to be able to rotate to flex properly.
Now that this is installed, move on to the drag link. Rotate the knuckle so you can install the drag link. You can adjust the length later. As before, install the grease boot, nut, torque it and cotter pin it. You should now look like this.
Now everything should be installed. Check to make sure
everything has been pinned, you greased everything and no extra parts are laying
on the floor (at least parts that need to be installed).
Since a new tie rod was installed, you must set the toe-in on your front tires. Rather than describe it all here, check out Stu's write-up and save yourself a few bucks by skipping that appointment at the alignment shop.
Next thing to do is to adjust the traction bar. You need to get the axle centered under the jeep. You can look to see how much the tire sticks out outside the fender, this is not exact, but close enough for me. Once this is done you can center you steering wheel by adjusting the length on the drag link.
When you are done with all this, make sure all the jam nuts are tight! With the front axle still on the jack stands you will now need to re-adjust you steering stops. I went to the local hardware store and bought new bolts (longer) and nuts to replace the ones installed on the knuckles provided. DC tacks the nut on the bolt used for the steering stops on the knuckle so they are worthless if you have to adjust them.
Screw the new bolts all the way in with a nut installed on each to lock them in place. Get your buddy to turn the wheels back and forth until the tie-rod hits something, mine hit the TBT bracket on the passenger side and the diff cover on the drivers side. Adjust the bolts until you can turn it without hitting anything except the steering stops.
Here is a picture of what the steering stops looked like when I
Again, make sure every bolt is tight, everything is greased and everything is installed. Now would be a good time to remove the jack stands. Once you completed all of this and have double checked it all, is time for a test drive.
I drove it around and noticed an instant change is steering; One word, "WOW". What a difference it makes. The steering is so much tighter, the bump steer is completely gone and and it drive like a caddy (not really, but it was a huge improvement). As I had aligned my vehicle before with a tape measure and did not have any issues when I drove it around, I left it like it was. You may want to go it it professionally aligned, but for me it was good to go!
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