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HD Steering Kit: Heim or TRE

Spencer’s Jeep

NAXJA Forum User
Location
Utah
Apologies for beating a dead horse. There’s so much info out there I’m having a hard time deciding what to get.

I have an ‘01 XJ with a 3” lift that I use for 50% off-roading and 50% on-roading. It’s currently got the V8 ZJ steering linkage but that wore out pretty quick so definitely need something beefier. I feel like a heavy duty kit with tie rod ends would be plenty of strength, and easier to maintain. But the heim joints seem pretty popular.

If someone wouldn’t mind speaking from experience on this topic I would greatly appreciate it.

TIA
 
I run WJ Big Brakes with GM 1-ton cross over steering. Mine is mainly on road. So, TREs. Might check your State's requirements. I was told some States do not allow heims for road use.
 
I recommend the Currie Currectlync, I run it on my 2k with the WJ brakes and its beefy!
 
Apologies for beating a dead horse. There’s so much info out there I’m having a hard time deciding what to get.

I have an ‘01 XJ with a 3” lift that I use for 50% off-roading and 50% on-roading. It’s currently got the V8 ZJ steering linkage but that wore out pretty quick so definitely need something beefier. I feel like a heavy duty kit with tie rod ends would be plenty of strength, and easier to maintain. But the heim joints seem pretty popular.

If someone wouldn’t mind speaking from experience on this topic I would greatly appreciate it.

TIA

What did you wear out?

Currie is an HD version of the OE layout. The price impressively high, but apparently, it is durable.

I think this is one of the more compelling non-OE layout kits:

https://www.ironrockoffroad.com/product/hybrid-12-heavy-duty-over-the-knuckle-steering-xjtjzj.html

Provides OTK clearance, uses 1-ton TREs for the drag link, eliminates toe-change during suspension movement, does not induce bump steer, and is completely bolt-in. But it uses heims for the tie rod.
 
As far as I can tell, utah and Wyoming (my current and future states) don’t have laws against heims. Either way I’m sold on upgrading to the wj brakes once my new ones wear out.

On my current setup, the angle is too steep at the pitman arm and at the passenger knuckle for the boot protectors to stay on. Not sure if reaming for a 1 ton TRE kit would solve that or if heim would be a better fix. The ones that currently have my eye are the cavfab kit for heim and the jcr kit for tre. Although I’d rather buy the 1 ton Tre’s separate from the links so I can save some money.
 
If your XJ has only 3" lift, there should be no problem with the boot protectors staying on OE TREs on the drag link. I'm at 4" lift and have no issues.

The Cavfab kit is poorly regarded on the NW XJ FB forum. The JCR kit is similar to several other kits. I think there is some tendency for the drag link to roll even when using a roll preventer on the lower TRE. But maybe no big deal.

That aside, if you are going to move to WJ brakes (and therefore knuckles), why purchase an entire XJ steering kit now?
 
That's why the Currie is so good, works with either stock or WJ knuckles but doesn't require any modifications. It has larger tre's with the factory taper and also pre-angled for higher lifts. It doesn't have any of the dis-advantages of either the jcr or cavfab set-ups. Heims sucks on a street rig specially because of the non-taper on the pitman arm and knuckles and they tend to be noisy even if you upgrade to good heims which are not cheap like the chinese ones that come with the kits.
 
This is all super helpful. I realize this info is already out there but as a newb to the Jeep world it’s tough to sort through it all.

I definitely like the fact that Currie can be used with both types of knuckles. The main reason I feel rushed to fix this now is that my current steering feels sketchy and I’m about to move states so I’d like to avoid any hiccups. I wish I would’ve noticed this issue before replacing the brake pads + rotors.
 
Spencer’s Jeep;246776904 said:
As far as I can tell, utah and Wyoming (my current and future states) don’t have laws against heims. Either way I’m sold on upgrading to the wj brakes once my new ones wear out.

On my current setup, the angle is too steep at the pitman arm and at the passenger knuckle for the boot protectors to stay on. Not sure if reaming for a 1 ton TRE kit would solve that or if heim would be a better fix. The ones that currently have my eye are the cavfab kit for heim and the jcr kit for tre. Although I’d rather buy the 1 ton Tre’s separate from the links so I can save some money.

Hey Spencer, UT native here.
I've run this HD OTK setup using WJ knuckles and Teraflex offset TRE's with DOM linkage on my XJ for over 10 years and it continues to work well for me. Rock solid on the freeway with two fingers on the wheel at 80mph.

More details on my build thread.
https://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=913774&page=18

Front%20end%20refresh%20complete_zpsx9cet7ev.jpg
 
Hey Spencer, UT native here.
I've run this HD OTK setup using WJ knuckles and Teraflex offset TRE's with DOM linkage on my XJ for over 10 years and it continues to work well for me. Rock solid on the freeway with two fingers on the wheel at 80mph.


I run almost this exact setup on my 99 with the WJ knuckles. I use the offset TRE's on the tie rod, but I don't use an offset on the drag link, just a regular one. Works great.

I sourced all the parts form Parts Mike in Northern California. I had him machine me the drag link and tie rods. I just gave him my measurements, and he shipped it. http://www.partsmike.com/

You can source you own DOM tubing, inserts, and TRE's and make it yourself if you want to go that route.
 
Spencer, keep in mind that any changes in the drag link angle (assuming your is correct now) will require a change in your trackbar/mounts to correct for the change!
 
Heim kits are popular because they are very strong, but also generally less expensive than a TRE kit. The biggest problem with them is the high-clearance drag link, which has a bend that kicks out in front and creates an off-axis point of mass to bounce up and down on the misalignment spacers any time you hit a bump. Annoying. As. ****. You can get a straight drag link without this issue, but it requires either converting to a WJ knuckle or removing/relocating the sway bar brackets, and in some cases converting to an over the axle track bar setup.



I just upgraded to StinkyFab's TRE setup after dealing with heims for the past 13 years and couldn't be more relieved. There weren't really any good TRE kits back then, though.
 
I have a 4.5" lift and I eventually went with Heims because I kept wearing out TREs.
 
I did tre"s and have had no issues with wj steering over the knuckle.

Factor the cost of the reamer into your parts list.

Ive used lots of heims on suspension fir the most part i get lots of miles out if them. But have had a few go bad with very few miles.
Ruffstuff did warranty them they did want video proof then sent out replacments. Not sure id want them on steering. Suspension isnt as critical.

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk
 
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