ZJ Tie Rod Conversion


Chris

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The ZJ tie rod upgrade is a simple, cheap, and effective upgrade for your Jeep Wrangler TJ. Found on the V8 model Grand Cherokee ZJ, this tie rod is substantially larger than the stock TJ tie rod. The threaded section of the factory tie rod end measures .65" in diameter. The ZJ end measures 1".

Below you'll find some photos comparing the ZJ tie rod (and tie rod end) to the stock TJ tie rod (and tie rod end). You can see that the ZJ tie rod and tie rod ends are much, much larger than the TJ tie rod setup. This ultimately means you'll have a much stronger steering setup (which isn't a bad thing if you like to get your tie rod hung up on rocks, logs, and the likes).

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Parts Required
The ZJ tie rod conversion parts can be purchased for a very reasonable price on Amazon. You'll need the following parts:
The following parts are optional if you'd like to replace your drag link at the same time, with quality replacement parts. This is a great option if you want to refresh everything, including the drag link (not a bad idea if your Jeep has higher miles). Though the drag link will still remain the stock diameter, (the ZJ and TJ drag links are the same diameter) it will provide you with a completely refreshed steering setup, which is great for preventative maintenance.

Notes
DS1238 is cheaper but equivalent to the DS1430. Also, you may need 2 of the short ends and coupling sleeves depending on how much you're replacing.

Another option is to purchase the the Crown HD steering kit which includes the beefier ZJ tie rod, as well as a new drag link. This includes everything you need, all in one "kit".


Torque Specs
Drag Link to Pitman Arm Nut - 81 Nm / 60 ft.lbs.
Drag Link to Knuckle Nut - 47 Nm / 35 ft.lbs.
Drag Link Clamp Bolts - 49 Nm / 36 ft.lbs.
Tie Rod Clamp Bolts - 49 Nm / 35 ft.lbs
Tie Rod Knuckle - 47 Nm / 35 ft.lbs
Tie Rod to Drag Link - 75 Nm / 55 ft.lbs.


Conclusion
Last but not least, this is a good article worth reading if you're interested in the various possible steering upgrades for your TJ: What is the best steering for my Jeep Wrangler TJ?

This is an incredibly easy modification to do, and can be done while your Jeep is on the ground with the wheels still on, not even jacked up at all. It's really that easy!
 

Serbonze

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I just did this conversion on Saturday morning. It was very, very easy. Not many of the online walk throughs mention that you have to paint the Moog parts because they are shipped as just bare metal. I decided to use POR-15 on mine, but a rattle can would be just as good.
 
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StG58

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Alrighty then, the Moog parts on on their way. Anyone have recommendations on grease and paint for these bad boys? Not horribly abusive temperature environment, lots of water or at least moisture involved.
 
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Serbonze

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Alrighty then, the Moog parts on on their way. Anyone have recommendations on grease and paint for these bad boys? Not horribly abusive temperature environment, lots of water or at least moisture involved.

I used Lucas Red 'n Tacky for the grease and POR-15 to paint it, although realistically I could have used any spray paint.

Lucas Oil 10005 Red 'N' Tacky Grease - 14 oz. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ARPVO8/?tag=wranglerorg-20
 

StG58

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I used Lucas Red 'n Tacky for the grease and POR-15 to paint it, although realistically I could have used any spray paint.

Lucas Oil 10005 Red 'N' Tacky Grease - 14 oz. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ARPVO8/?tag=wranglerorg-20
Thanks, @Serbonze, and you're probably correct on the paint / POR-15. I've got a full grease gun in the shop, but didn't remember what was in it so I thought I would ask for recommendations before cleaning and refilling it.
 
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StG58

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Well, part of my ZJ tie rod got here today. Looks good, and substantial. As mentioned before it comes unpainted, and all the fittings are in a bag. Needs to be degreased and painted. Wow, that thing is waaay heavier duty than the stock tie rod. The pictures don't do it justice.
 
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StG58

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So, another question for the crew. Both the Moog upgrade and the stock tie rod have the zerk down on the passenger side ball joint. Hasn't been an issue so far. BUT, would it be worthwhile to use a needle zerk or a plug on the passenger side to keep it from getting knocked off by some untoward circumstances? Thoughts, please.
 
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Chris

Chris

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So, another question for the crew. Both the Moog upgrade and the stock tie rod have the zerk down on the passenger side ball joint. Hasn't been an issue so far. BUT, would it be worthwhile to use a needle zerk or a plug on the passenger side to keep it from getting knocked off by some untoward circumstances? Thoughts, please.
I'd just use a plug. That's what I have on my Currie.
 

StG58

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I've never broke any zerks off mine, but a plug would be playing it safe. I hate those damn needle zerks! Damn you needle zerks to hell!!!
I've never broken any zerks either, but thought that it would be an interesting question. Needle zerks are slooowww and messy.

All the parts showed up yesterday to do the install. Time to degrease, prime and paint. So whadda' ya think? Pink? Blue? Bright red?

Oh, while everything is out and unpainted...is there interest in pictures? If so, what of?
 
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Chris

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I too hate needle zerks!

Paint? Sure... Black paint please!

Pictures? I always like pictures.
 
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StG58

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I too hate needle zerks!

Paint? Sure... Black paint please!

Pictures? I always like pictures.
I was going to go with satin black paint, but thought that somebody might like to see pink suspension parts on a TJ. (anyone remember Hello Kitty?) Two days out and it'll all be a uniform dark brown anyway.

OK, I'll snap some pictures along the way for giggles. If anyone wants anything specific, let me know.
 
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Chris

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I was going to go with satin black paint, but thought that somebody might like to see pink suspension parts on a TJ. (anyone remember Hello Kitty?) Two days out and it'll all be a uniform dark brown anyway.

OK, I'll snap some pictures along the way for giggles. If anyone wants anything specific, let me know.

Well, if you're planning on putting the angry bird grille on it, then yeah, I would go with pink accent trim!

Changing the tie rod and drag link on these things is simple. One of the many reasons I love the TJ, it's so simple to do most things to it.

BTW, any idea if swapping out the tie rod / drag link on the JK is just as easy as the TJ?
 

StG58

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Well, if you're planning on putting the angry bird grille on it, then yeah, I would go with pink accent trim!

Changing the tie rod and drag link on these things is simple. One of the many reasons I love the TJ, it's so simple to do most things to it.

BTW, any idea if swapping out the tie rod / drag link on the JK is just as easy as the TJ?
Pretty much, it's a little different set up and the Links are massive! Bigger than the ZJ stuff in fact. ...and right off the top of my head, the JK tie rod goes knuckle to knuckle and the drag link goes in on top of the knuckle over the tie rod. I'll post up some pictures when I get a chance. These front suspenson parts don't interchange between TJ and JK.

Edited to add: Here ya go, JK tie rod setup. Non-stock, but you can see the setup:
JK tie rod.JPG
JK tie rod 2.JPG
 
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Chris

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Pretty much, it's a little different set up and the Links are massive! Bigger than the ZJ stuff in fact. ...and right off the top of my head, the JK tie rod goes knuckle to knuckle and the drag link goes in on top of the knuckle over the tie rod. I'll post up some pictures when I get a chance. These front suspenson parts don't interchange between TJ and JK.

Edited to add: Here ya go, JK tie rod setup. Non-stock, but you can see the setup:
View attachment 20105 View attachment 20106

Yes, the JK uses the crossover steering setup, whereas the TJ uses Haltenberger steering. I've seen how beefy that JK steering is though, it's impressive. However, those are bigger vehicles (especially the JKU), so I'm guessing the larger steering is warranted.
 
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JMT

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What drag link to go with the ZJ Tie Rod Conversion?

I read that the ZJ drag link is cheaper than the TJ and will work, but a little longer and causes difficulty with the steering dampener install, et. Al.
 

bobthetj03

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What drag link to go with the ZJ Tie Rod Conversion?

I read that the ZJ drag link is cheaper than the TJ and will work, but a little longer and causes difficulty with the steering dampener install, et. Al.

The TJ drag link tie rod to the pitman arm is the same tie rod as the ZJ driver side tie rod. There is no advantage to using the ZJ long drag link end.
 
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