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Discussion Starter · #441 ·
Couple weeks ago we took the rig to the Independence trail system in Penrose CO where we did the Liberty trail. Right down a washout, lots of big boulders, and lots of overgrowth - it was the second time I've had the rig on that trail...but the first time I've used almost 'all' of the armor - it's getting pretty 'tight' - not sure I'll take the truck back down in there.

The trail has really gotten 'deep' - even with 46" tires the truck scraped the diffs, belly armor and sliders a lot, and the front end got a bit thrashed - bent the tie rod a little and kinked both front leaf springs - drove it off the trail but I'll need to address those. I had my buddy Jason drive a bit and I watched it go through some boulders, and I could see the front shackles hyperextending 'in', which when the weight came back down tries to kink the leafs and then the shackles 'boing!' back into proper position. I've been wanting to weld up some positive stops so the shackles (front and rear) can't invert back in themselves, and now that's gonna get bumped up on the list of things to do before the next run. Couple of fresh small dents and scrapes rounded out the list of 'trail damage' - expected for a rig this big.

Anyway here's a couple pics - can't figure out how to get video's just yet on Imgur...







So like I said, Liberty was the most 'abusive' to the truck in the whole time I've wheeled it, and among the carnage was a bent tie rod - bent it about 10-15* - not terrible but it needed to be repaired. We're taking the truck to the big regional Mopar show in a couple weeks up in Denver at Bandimere Speedway, and I needed it to steer correctly. To try to straighten it out I found the perfect use for the Harbor Freight 'tubing bender'...and that is for un-bending a bent rockwell tie rod - the HF bender worked perfectly...especially since 'precision' is not not the #1 priority - this just needed to be eyeball close enough 🤓





I've kind of been waiting for this moment (a bent tie rod) before going through the motions to do something 'better', and soon as I have a couple free days I'm going to fab a much bigger tie rod, and I'll make it with 1-1/4 x 1 heims and the uber strong tubing I already have (DOM tubing is ridiculous right now), and it'll bolt up above the knuckle vs its current position, below. Anyway, these are the heims for the new tie rod - should be beefy enough eh? 😈



 
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