The next step, now that the old track bar was completely
removed, was to drill out the old ball stud hole to 5/8" so the bolt for
the heim joint could be installed. Alan handed me a low speed (500 RPM max)
air drill so I could chuck up my new Hanson drill bit (I am very proud of
it....almost $25 at the local Ace Hardware store.) With a bit of oil
to keep things going, I carefully drilled out the tapered hole. Keep the
drill bit perpendicular to the hole in the frame and take your time. You
want a nice tight fit for the new bolt. I
guess it should go without saying that having a sharp bit makes this part of the
job much easier.
Once you have adjusted the track bar to the proper length (I leave this to you to determine when your axle is properly centered under your chassis), assemble the spacers and the sleeve in the heim joint and bolt it into place. Note that the narrow tapered ends of the spacers should be pointing towards the heim joint. Torque this bolt to 115 ft. lbs., as specified in the manual. You will want to tighten up the jam nut on the heim joint threads at this time. The jam nut takes a 1 1/8" wrench and I used a medium sized adjustable wrench to hold the flat surface of the heim joint in place while tightening the jam nut. You want to make sure that while tightening the jam nut, the heim joint does not get set crooked and thereby limit the amount of swivel action the joint can supply while flexing off-road.
Note: Upon the advice of a local TJ owner who has had this RE track bar for some time, I re-torqued the bolt to 165 ft. lbs (he does his at 175). I checked the grade 8 bolt specs and 175 is within safe limts. I also put a grade 8 lock washer under the nut. It snuggles in very nicely in the little indented area on the frame bracket. As I write this, I have had this in this configuration for 3 months and everything is still nice and tight. I did not use Loc-tite.
More of Round #2
4x4 Off-Road Homestead Firearms RC Flying