Track bar and tie rod: What hits, what doesn't?

StG58

Backwoods Amateur
Supporting Member
Oct 29, 2015
5,916
Orygun, the wet side...
This may be an interesting and fruitful discussion to have.

It's very possible to install a track bar on a lifted TJ, and have it hit the differential. That is an unsafe condition that could lead to wrecking your TJ.

alignment01.jpg

I think it would be beneficial to gather some information here about what works and what doesn't. The stock track bar with a stock suspension doesn't hit on the Dana 30. Doesn't hit with an inch and half of lift. Stock bump stop height.

What'cha all got on this?
 
Last edited:

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,478
Salem, Oregon
Thus the need for the right amount of bump stop.

Currie is a track bar that is well known to be very well designed in terms of not binding up. However, anything will bind up without enough bump stop.

I'm curious to hear what @mrblaine knows about this. I'll bet he has experience with a lot of different track bar / axle setups.

The differential on the front Dana 44 Rubicon axle sticks out further than the Dana 30, so you have to worry more about stuff binding up on that axle.
 
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StG58

StG58

Backwoods Amateur
Supporting Member
Oct 29, 2015
5,916
Orygun, the wet side...
I have Currie steering and a Metalcloak track bar. No interference issues. I'd like to have the currie track bar though, but $$$.
Dana 30 or 44 in the front? Stock dif cover?

I have heard, but can't say from personnel experience, that the Currie, Metalcloak and JKS parts don't hit with stock dif covers and with most aftermarket dif covers and pretty much all lift heights out there.

It's mostly at the lower lifts that the problem occurs. Say, under 2 to 2-1/2" or so.
 

GASnBRASS

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 6, 2017
130
Minnesota
Very interested in this as well. I'm riding about an 1" over stock and want to put a heavy diff cover on the hp30. The currie bar is offset to make a little more clearance. Another option is to move the front axle back a little bit to make more room.
 
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zip04

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 14, 2016
282
Metalcloak posted photos on another forum showing their trackbar on a TJ with the bump stops and springs removed and the axle jacked up all the way to simulate more than full flex. Theirs did not contact the tie rod or differential cover. It was tight, but didn't contact.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
3,398
Quail Valley, CA
All of them can hit, all of them can be made not to. It depends on axle location, axle size, caster angle, diff cover design, and uptravel. It is typical for us when setting up the front suspension to have the JJ at the frame side mount slide right by the side of the front spring perch until the top of the perch is half way up on the body of the JJ.

That won't happen with a big diff cover, it won't happen if the axle is too far forward, offset to the passenger side, or much else that gets in the way.
 
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mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
3,398
Quail Valley, CA
Metalcloak posted photos on another forum showing their trackbar on a TJ with the bump stops and springs removed and the axle jacked up all the way to simulate more than full flex. Theirs did not contact the tie rod or differential cover. It was tight, but didn't contact.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
What would happen if you pushed the axle forward a bit?
 
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mrblaine

TJ Expert
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
3,398
Quail Valley, CA
Very interested in this as well. I'm riding about an 1" over stock and want to put a heavy diff cover on the hp30. The currie bar is offset to make a little more clearance. Another option is to move the front axle back a little bit to make more room.
Heavy diff covers are dumb. If you hit your axle hard enough to need that much diff cover, you'll break something else that will render the axle housing useless and the speed at which you can do that is surprisingly low. I've broken front axle housings 3 times. Not once was I travelling faster than 10 mph. Not once would a heavy diff cover have saved anything. Two of those 3 times I broke a 3" x .250 wall axle tube in half.
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,478
Salem, Oregon

GASnBRASS

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 6, 2017
130
Minnesota
Heavy diff covers are dumb. If you hit your axle hard enough to need that much diff cover, you'll break something else that will render the axle housing useless and the speed at which you can do that is surprisingly low. I've broken front axle housings 3 times. Not once was I travelling faster than 10 mph. Not once would a heavy diff cover have saved anything. Two of those 3 times I broke a 3" x .250 wall axle tube in half.
Right now I've got one of those WARN half moon shields that bolts over the bottom half of the stock cover. Am I better off just sticking with that then? https://www.warn.com/truck/mounting-systems/differential_plate.jsp
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,478
Salem, Oregon

bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
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Feb 3, 2017
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NorCal