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Tie Rod/Drag link Binding at Disco mount area... help!


NAXJA Forum User
I installed a new track bar and tie rod today and while taking the old tie rod off i noticed there were wear marks on the tie rod end.

Looks as though the area where the tie rod end meets the drag link is too close to the axle...

Let me give you a run down of what I have as far as suspension...

I just bought the truck and is my first XJ but I am learning fast so bare with me..

Has Rough Country 4.5-6.5 lift, not sure but at the height it is at, looks like the 6.5 kit.

Has the RCX short arm drops.. and some sort of disconnects.

So my thinking is the previous owner didn't have the LCA's adjusted right and now the axle is being pushed too far forward causing the binding problem. After I installed the new tie rod and ends it was very noticeable. More than with the stock/RC setup. When I turn the wheel to the right the rear of the tie rod end hits the mount/bolt area for the disco. Even when installing the new tie rod and ends I couldn't get the new one in without removing the steering stabilizer.

I will get some pics tomorrow to show in better detail.

Also I noticed on my friends XJ, his drag link/tie rod end connection is further away from the axle than mine which makes me think the above is the problem.

So, what are my options for adjusting the arm's? Don't know the procedure or measurements for what length they should be.

Also I just ordered a long arm upgrade kit, double shear track bar, heavy tie rod and ends, new 6.5 springs, 5.5 leafs, bilstien shocks and sliders from Iron Rock, so I only have to temporarily fix this problem. Thinking with the long arm kit it will place the axle where it should be... and the problem will be fixed. I am waiting for the kit as it is on back order as of right now. Looking at 1-2 weeks.

Any help/feedback is appreciated.

Thanks and glad to be a part of this forum. Lots of good stuff here to read and learn.
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The long arm kit "could" do the same thing.Wheelbase and castor both contribute to the issue.Moving or extending the sway bar link brackets is the fix.At your new lift height it will be even worse,might want to look at OTK steering,but it also requires relocating the trackbar also.
I had the same problem. At the time I had a Rock Krawler three link with WJ steering. It got close enough to bind on right turns. It's possible I hit something that bent the tie rod. But it wasn't the first time I'd had trouble with the steering. I thought the fluid was being overheated, and installed a cooler. It wasn't until the drag link bent on a trail run that the problem became clear.

I have seen three other lifted XJ's have the same problem. One had Rubicon Express long arms, and the other had drop brackets, and aftermarket lower control arms with stock uppers. Not sure what the third had, but it was on a 5.5 RE lift. I've seen one person heat up and bend the drag link to create a little room between the tie rod and the track bar bracket also. That is the quickest and cheapest solution I've seen.
So does someone make a heavy duty drag link that would work with my new tie rod and give better clearance???

Would replacing the drag link make any difference or do you think it has more to do with axle location?

Hate to have to get rid of the new solid tie rod a day after buying and installing it...