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Important track bar question

RichP

NAXJA Forum User
Location
Effort, Pa
Stock track bar, 3.5" lift. Got some death wobble tonight. Checked the top bolt, pulled the cotter pin from the castle nut and tried to tighten it down, the bolt spins, I don't remember it doing this when I put it in a couple of weeks ago.
I guess my big question is how do you know if a track bar is bad.
 
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Ive had that happen taking one apart. Seems its not setting in the taper enough to hold it for some reason. If the stud spins I would guess removing the nut would allow you to pull it out without much force. Continous use if its worn will wallow out the frame bracket and make for more problems.
pull it and check the threads didnt get damaged and causing the stud spinning it before its seating all the way.
 
The way I check requires two people, but since you have a son and a daughter available that should not be a problem.

Park vehicle, steering straight ahead, set brake, chock rear wheels. Park if auto, neutral if 5-speed. Start engine. Have helper rotate steering wheel back and forth across center. The idea is to NOT turn the wheels, but to turn the steering wheel just to the point where the tires are ready to start turning. This loads and unloads all the steering joints. While your helper does this, you crawl under the vehicle and check each joint, both visually and I like to grab each one because sometimes you can feel it flexing before you can see the movement.

Also be sure to put your hand up top of the bracket where that castle nut is to feel if it's rocking. From your description, I expect the stud will be rocking in the hole rather than the ball moving in the rod end.
 
Eagle said:
The way I check requires two people, but since you have a son and a daughter available that should not be a problem.

Also be sure to put your hand up top of the bracket where that castle nut is to feel if it's rocking. From your description, I expect the stud will be rocking in the hole rather than the ball moving in the rod end.

So what causes it to rock in the hole ? I have not really dug into the steering much so it's new ground for me.
 
Hole gets egg-shaped from the bar not being properly tightened. Once that happens, the next time you tighten it the sides tighten up and stop you from pulling it up any farther, but there's space on the ends that lets the stud move in the hole. Only correct fix for that is a new bracket, but those are VERY pricey. I guess if you have access to a good machine shop you could weld up the hole and then ream it to the correct taper, but I'm not set up to do that.
 
Sounds like Eagle and Dyna are right. I had exactly the same situaion on my 89 and replaced both the bar and the bracket to fix the problem.

Eagle said:
Hole gets egg-shaped from the bar not being properly tightened. Once that happens, the next time you tighten it the sides tighten up and stop you from pulling it up any farther, but there's space on the ends that lets the stud move in the hole. Only correct fix for that is a new bracket, but those are VERY pricey. I guess if you have access to a good machine shop you could weld up the hole and then ream it to the correct taper, but I'm not set up to do that.

Eagle, IIRC that bracket was only about $10 more than the bar itself so not too pricey, but if the bracket is worn you are screwed without a new one. Installing a new track bar without it will do nothing to fix the problem.
 
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