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Discussion Starter #1
Ive already got Kevins TB conversion bracket on the rig. I am ready to order parts to build my new trackbar and need to make a decision, but I could use some input. I want a johnny joint on one end or the other. The axle will be set up for high steer, so this will be an over the axle setup. This vehicle will see lots of road use, so durability and road manners are important. For reference, this axle is a spider 9 with 44 outers on a ZJ with LAs.

1st issue-the kevins bracket is not wide enough to fit a JJ and I havent found a suitable product from another mfg. It fits a heim joint fine, so I may just go this route again. With a horizontal mount, there really shouldnt be 30* of movement needed in the joint right? I also need something threaded like a heim or forged JJ for adjustability. It looks like its about 1-3/4" from laying on the ground measuring in the dark :D, but def. not 2" and i dont want to cut it up and remake it.

2nd issue-the axle mount is the same way, but I will need to build some sort of custom bracket for the OTA TB mount, so I may be able to go around it. I havent found a off the shelf bracket that I like though. Is it helpful to put a joint on both ends or should I just use a bushing? If so, what is the recommended bushing to use?

3rd Issue-By moving the TB OTA, the TB will be pushed forward about 1.5" from the axle to clear the coil spring right? Does anyone have pics of their OTA TB bracket? Im trying to figure out the best way to configure the bracket. I think I will have to make this one completely from scratch and have some ideas, but I like visuals. this will also take up some of that range of motion in the joint on the frame end. Will this interfere with the steering possibly?

Is 1.5" .25 wall DOM suitable for this or should I go bigger?


I think thats it for now...
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I like the ruffstuff panhard bracket for the OTA setup. I haven't used it but there's a build thread in non-hardcore (maybe where this thread belongs) where Burrellsjeep uses it. You pretty much have to use heims with it but it's not a bad way to go.

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/panhard-trackbar-options-c-28.html?osCsid=7f850fdf318e5a743dd3c6eb0cebf9af
yeah i got that same reply on another board. let me copy and paste...


Ive looked at that bracket before and didnt really like it. For one, its kind of a waste buying that bracket as is because the bracket will not be mounting to the axle tube. I am setting up a spider 9 with a plate housing and a passenger drop.

I was THINKING something like this, but imagine a passenger drop plate steel housing instead. I also like mounting the stabilizer to it. I am eventually going to run hydro assist, but not yet and want to set mine up similar. the main difference is that I will be running the tie rod OTK and the drag link to the high steer arm.



this bracket from polyperformance seems closer to something I can modify, but it doesnt allow for the adjustability. But Im not sure how it would interface with the coil bucket since this pic has coilovers.



my axle. Easy for fab, I just need to finalize my plan:


If I build the axle bracket from scratch similar to the picture I posted, I can make it as wide as I want and use a JJ, but what about the frame side? Just use a heim I suppose. I am trying to avoid using heims at all though, but I think Im stuck. BUT, the Kevins TB conversion with TB has a joint on that end. Its a JKS TB IIRC, but I dont know what kind of joint it is. I havent been able to find a shpherical joint smaller than 2" wide.

looks like the JKS bar uses a JJ specifically, but I cant find a JJ for sale individually in that size, thread or no. I do have an early version of the TB bracket from Kevin, has it been changed to have a wider mount?
 

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Forgot about the spider... It would definitely be nice to have adjustability built in. What's wrong with having a bushing at the frame side? It's cheap and it seems to work fine. I hate dealing with bushings but it just requires a little more maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Forgot about the spider... It would definitely be nice to have adjustability built in. What's wrong with having a bushing at the frame side? It's cheap and it seems to work fine. I hate dealing with bushings but it just requires a little more maintenance.
As far as the measurements go, I could have a bushing at the frame side or axle side, but Ill need a joint at the other. Especially given that the OTA mount will push the TB forward and that will take up some of that range of motion. I currently have a heim in the farme mount now and if necessity comes to it, ill just duplicate that on the new one, but I dont like heims. They clunk and wear and I just dont like them. Personal preference. Plus given the trouble Im going to on the rest of the axle(Rubicon flex joints as UCA mounts, custom brackets, etc) Id like to have at least one joint in there for that little bit of flex, preferrably one on both ends for the best performance. I dont necessarily need the biggest baddest suspension around, but i want the most out of what I have. Ive put a LOT of work into this rig over the lasst 7 years to do this install once and only once and the TB is the only thing I havent finished yet. I suppose I could very well just use a heim at the frame end and then build the axle mount wider to accomodate a JJ or comparable and will probably be what I end up doing. If I had it my way, I want a joint at both ends. I had already come to the conclusion that I will need another heim at the frame end, but I was hoping someone knew something I didnt. And not to sound like an ass, but Ive been in the industry for a bit and I know my way around. I could use recommendations on bushings though. Kevins site touts a super hard bushing on the JKS bar. Im quite familar with all the major suppliers inventory, but Im looking for tried an true recommendations, not what a retailer says is best.

The JKS bar that Kevins sells supposedly works with this bracket I already have. I just wish I knew how to get my hands on that JJ that fit the bracket without buying the whole bar. That would solve my problem altogether. I have heims, I have tube, I have JJs, I have threaded inserts. I just dont have a joint thats not a heim that fits on the frame side and by default would fit the axle side. But again, I am more than likely going to have to go full custom at the axle side, so I can accomodate the wider joint there.

The problem is, no matter how good of a wrench I am and no matter how well I can find parts and know what different suppliers offer, I cant weld for shit(yet) and dont have a huge budget(which is why this build has taken so long), so I need to get all the fabrication done(minus welding) on this rig. then, once the axle is fully set up and ready to go, Ill drop it off at the welder with everything tacked where it needs to be and say "run the beads" and be done with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Its suprising how complicated the build on a single link int he suspension can get huh?

I suppose this is one of the more important links though :flipoff2:
 

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can relate to your personal preference, but from my experience ive never had good luck with the bushings neoprene or rubber. I always get them worn out in a few months and get that damn death wobble. Personally I run the heim joints both ends and it works great and last longer for me. Fortunately I can weld well and I have the tubing bender to make my own customs. If you have a welder fit everything and tack it in place then when you talk it to your guy for welding they can finish the bead there

just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter #8
can relate to your personal preference, but from my experience ive never had good luck with the bushings neoprene or rubber. I always get them worn out in a few months and get that damn death wobble. Personally I run the heim joints both ends and it works great and last longer for me. Fortunately I can weld well and I have the tubing bender to make my own customs. If you have a welder fit everything and tack it in place then when you talk it to your guy for welding they can finish the bead there

just a thought
thats how its looking now. ive got a 110v for tacking and have access to a bender, but I just dont trust my beads(and I like those pretty military missile grade welds-seriously, hes that good and used to do military contracts). I think Im gonna have to use a heim at least at the frame. I can fab the axle mount wider. Its looking like its going to be a straight bar, no bends, so thats helpful. It shouldnt be that big of a deal to widen the axle mount. Especially since it will be custom. Now I just need to get my hands on some plate.
 

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Does the current heim use Hi misalignment spacers or can you tell me the width of the inside of the bracket.... Tomken makes a 1 1/2'' JJ. Its like 50 bones but Im using 2 of them on my rear uppers/ frame side. Havent run them yet, but they seem like a quality joints. Then just weld them to a stud and bung it for adjustability.

Your material choice sounds fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Does the current heim use Hi misalignment spacers or can you tell me the width of the inside of the bracket.... Tomken makes a 1 1/2'' JJ. Its like 50 bones but Im using 2 of them on my rear uppers/ frame side. Havent run them yet, but they seem like a quality joints. Then just weld them to a stud and bung it for adjustability.

Your material choice sounds fine.
Currently, I have a standard 5/8",5/8" heim joint with standard misalignment washers(not high-misalignment and a single SAE washer on one side. Its almost a snug fit, a few thou off. Once I tighten it down good and the bracket flexes a tad, it doesnt move at all. the bracket is approx 1-3/4" give or take a hair or two. I measured it in a hurry and it was almost dark. From what I can tell, its the same as the axle side. From the axle side brackets I have in here with all my other new parts, its about 1-7/16" or so.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Alright, were in business!

Ive decided how im going to do the frame end. I dont like heims, but Im going to have to use one there. I checked with my good buddies at spidertrax and got a pair of high misalignment bushings and an oversized joint. Ill use a 3/4,3/4 rod end. The misalignment bushings make it 1-1/2" wide and from what I can tell the mount is 1-11/16", so I can throw a SAE washer in there to take up the difference. It will also step it down to the appropriate 5/8" bolt. It will give me 25* of motion and still comes out cheaper than a JJ.

Not bad at all! For a 3/4" heim, hi-mis bushings, threaded inserts(hex), and jam nuts it was under $58.



Looks like Currie is the winner on the axle side. They have the 2" JJ with 3/4" threaded shank and Ill have to fab the axke mount from scratch. The JJ was $40

$100 for a new trackbar isnt bad at all.
 

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I certainly don't want to tell you how to install your axle, but you really need your steering mocked up before the track bar mount. I used a modified Ruffstuff offset mount on the axle side & had to fab my body side to get the TB to drop enough for the steering geometry. I just cut cardboard to get the drop I wanted then had the plates burn out of 1/4". This way you can make the TB mount any width you want. Yes it is out in front of the axle a bit. Good luck with your build!

HP60, TNT truss, upper & lower link mounts 3/8 thick, 3-link setup
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As for the frame mount, my current mount(kevins) is about 3/4" below the stock pitman arm, which on a ZJ has a considerable drop. but i am adding a drop pitman arm from claytons which shoudl put the two just about level. I am not going to redo the frame mount. If I coudl weld, id do it, but Im so far overbudget and past every deadline ive ever set for it. So i need to get it done and I think that bracket will be just fine for now.

I have stronly considered using the ruffstuff mount and modifying it. The mods would be similar to the mounting you did on that truss considering mine is a pass drop 9," but i agree that i need the steering in there first. Unfortunately that wont be the case since I need to drive the axle to the welder after I get it all tacked up. So Im going to make a large mount like pictured, and drill the hole once its under the rig. I just dont have any other options. Ideally I could get him to come to me, but the garage I will be performing the install cannot handle the load of a welder on the electrical system. If you have a fan, stereo, and lights on, and open the garage door the breaker pops. And thats only 110v.

I got a 2" JJ for the axle end and Im just going to fab something out of some plate like the picture i posted. Ill make it a bit wider too.

I got my parts from Spidertrax today and I will need a SAE washer on either side of the misalignment bushing on the frame end, but that should make it nice and snug.

Another advantage I have is the brackets Im using. I did not want to buy a compplete bracket set, because nothing out there would have everything in the kit work and Id still have to fab some stuff. I ended up getting some stock front coil mounts off a friend a while back and the things have had all the sides(vertical surfaces) cut off and reinforced with 1/4" plate. Im going to trim them down to fit my axle and then weld the new TB bracket to the front of it. The front of the stock trackbar mount on these has been cut and remade out of 1/4", so it should be a good base for a new mount. Plus it saves me almost $200 for coil buckets.

the rest of my brackets are ballistic fab LCA mounts and shock tabs(to be mounted to the LCA mount like claytons kit) and RE Flex joints for the UCS with rect tubing for supports
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
this works great clears my diff etc
And no, just no. For one, my geometry would be atrocious with that setup. Second, it wounldt clear my diff. Third, the geometry would be atrocious, fourth, it would break, bend, fatigue, take your pick.

Why go to all the trouble of building a full custom axle and then use a stock trackbar mount location. And how far before that thing binds when you srop that passenger tire down?

I am 99% certain i will be just fine with a straight trackbar. It should be perfectly in line with my drag link. Worst case scenario, I put the slightest bend in it, but Im trying to avoid that.
 

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this works great clears my diff etc
Not to pick on you but what is your trac bar made of? Or what did you use to bend it? Unless my eyes are playing tricks, it looks like your first bend is (nearest the axle tube) crushed. Leading me to beleive thats pipe or something you did with a Harbor Frieght kinker. I suggest your revamp a few things there.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Not to pick on you but what is your trac bar made of? Or what did you use to bend it? Unless my eyes are playing tricks, it looks like your first bend is (nearest the axle tube) crushed. Leading me to beleive thats pipe or something you did with a Harbor Frieght kinker. I suggest your revamp a few things there.
Revamp? I think the term is completely re-engineer. Ie make something different... :D
 
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