Author Topic: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion  (Read 404 times)

Online Horn

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ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« on: December 06, 2017, 07:28:53 PM »
I found a couple of articles about this a while ago.

http://www.stu-offroad.com/steering/zjtie/tierod-1.htm

http://www.nwjeepn.com/TJTieRod.html

I picked up the tie rod, tie rod end, and adjustment sleeve this week.

I'll get the new one set up as close as I can by measuring against the old one, then get it in for an alignment the same day. Unless the weather gets crazy I'll probably do it in the next month when I have a free Saturday.

In the future after a lift I'm scoping out the Currie Currectlync system. Seems like the ZJ rod is an easy way to beef up things a little before that, and it's pretty inexpensive.

Anything I'm missing, or words of wisdom?

Offline RedJeepster1

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 08:45:22 PM »
I did this upgrade on Emily’s Jeep. It’s a much sturdier part than stock. Solid steel instead of that rolled sheet metal thing. If you have a second set of hands, it’s easy to do your own alignments on a solid axle vehicle like a Jeep. I or someone else could help you if you wanted a hand the first time. Saves you some money since you end up doing alignments on a pretty regular basis owning a Jeep.


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Online Gorilla_Skater

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2017, 09:08:01 PM »
I know Draz beat the heck out of that ZJ steering on his TJ.

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Offline YJScrounge

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2017, 09:12:51 PM »
I’m running Waggy linkage that goes with the hd 44 which nets out to half ton Chevy.
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Online Horn

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2017, 10:12:02 PM »
I did this upgrade on Emily’s Jeep. It’s a much sturdier part than stock. Solid steel instead of that rolled sheet metal thing. If you have a second set of hands, it’s easy to do your own alignments on a solid axle vehicle like a Jeep. I or someone else could help you if you wanted a hand the first time. Saves you some money since you end up doing alignments on a pretty regular basis owning a Jeep.


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I'd like to learn how to do the alignment. I just didn't want to tackle it for the first time without someone with the experience.

Offline JeepinMaxx

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2017, 11:28:12 PM »
I'd like to learn how to do the alignment. I just didn't want to tackle it for the first time without someone with the experience.
  Two 3ft pieces of angle iron or aluminum plus a couple of bungee cords from Home Depot plus a tape measure...  Look for 1/16 to 1/8" tow in...  You Tube is your friend
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Offline RedJeepster1

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2017, 04:41:07 AM »
I did this upgrade on Emily’s Jeep. It’s a much sturdier part than stock. Solid steel instead of that rolled sheet metal thing. If you have a second set of hands, it’s easy to do your own alignments on a solid axle vehicle like a Jeep. I or someone else could help you if you wanted a hand the first time. Saves you some money since you end up doing alignments on a pretty regular basis owning a Jeep.


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I'd like to learn how to do the alignment. I just didn't want to tackle it for the first time without someone with the experience.

If you decide you want a hand I’d be glad to help. It’s pretty simple once you know what your doing.


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00 XJ, HP30, Front Truss, WJ Knuckles, High Steer, 3 link, Locked C8.25 w/ Chromo's, IRO Leafs, 4.56's, Rebuilt 4.0, JK Rubi Wheels, 35's

Offline MasterDrazhar

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2017, 08:12:19 AM »
I know Draz beat the heck out of that ZJ steering on his TJ.

 Ran that for quite a while before I went with the RK X steer.  That ZJ "upgrade" for the TJ will hold up well even hitting a few rocks/stumps.
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Offline joe98tj

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2017, 09:13:57 AM »
This is also on my list of stuff I hope to get done this winter, what was the total price and what store did you pick everything up from?
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Online Horn

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2017, 10:43:19 AM »
This is also on my list of stuff I hope to get done this winter, what was the total price and what store did you pick everything up from?

I ordered them from Amazon. We have Prime so shipping was free. Total cost was $99.02.

Here is what I ordered. I got the parts list from articles and forums. Hopefully it's correct. I didn't see any disagreement on the parts numbers. I went with the Moog since they were available on Amazon but I know I've seen NAPA part listings as well.


Moog DS1312 Tie Rod End https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C5400E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_s8vkAbB140VTJ

Moog ES2079S Tie Rod End Adjusting Sleeve https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C57VBY/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_c-vkAb3EBM7KP

Moog ES3096L Tie Rod End https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000C59W7U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_W-vkAb8JD450Q

Offline joe98tj

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2017, 10:48:05 AM »
Oh wow, that's a lot cheaper than what napa has listed
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Offline RedJeepster1

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2017, 12:26:49 PM »
Just a note, you can save a little more by robbing the adjusting sleeve off of another stock steering setup. I have probably 3 or 4 of them sitting at my house. They are the same sleeve as the one on the stock drag link. The TRE and tie rod itself are physically new parts though and need to be ordered. I believe I ordered Moog parts off Rockauto with a 5% discount for less than $80 after shipping when I did this on Emily's Jeep.
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Offline XJRV-Maki

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2017, 12:42:31 PM »
^^^ good tip on the adjuster, I've probably got half a dozen of them in my shed. When I did the V8 ZJ tie rod I just got the whole thing from the JY, including the draglink (which is an upgrade over renix era drag links btw) forget what I paid but I don't think it was more than $30

Offline King of the Hill

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2017, 07:20:20 PM »
Here is a picture of my one man front end alignment tool.  I screwed a square to one end of a long one inch square piece of wood.

I reach across the front of the Jeep and hook the sidewall of the tire on the far side then slide the speed square to the sidewall of the side of the tire I'm on.  I draw a line on the stick, then  I reach under the frame and hook the sidewall of the rear of the tire and slide the speed square to the sidewall.  By comparing to the line on the stick with the speed square you can see how much the tow in is(or isn't).





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Online Gorilla_Skater

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2017, 08:41:36 PM »
That's pretty freakin' cool Terry.

I was always worried about imperfections in the sidewall affecting the measurements when you come off the tires, especially when 1/8th" makes a difference. I found a different method where you scribe a line around each tire. You simply measure from line to line on the front and back of the tire.

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1999 Dodge Ram 2500 8.0L V10 Tow Rig

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Online Horn

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2017, 09:37:05 PM »
Now I'm excited.
I've got some studying up to do about alignment.

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2017, 09:57:01 PM »
Now I'm excited.
I've got some studying up to do about alignment.

Good article here: http://www.stu-offroad.com/steering/align/align-1.htm

I didn't bother with the spray paint. I just scratched the tire with a nail.
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1999 Dodge Ram 2500 8.0L V10 Tow Rig

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Online Horn

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2017, 11:49:49 PM »
That's a lot less complex than I thought it would be.
I can do that.

Offline A new level

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2017, 05:34:05 AM »
I miss the good ol days when you can do an alignment like that!
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Online Horn

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2017, 07:04:44 AM »
Found this last night too while I was searching.
Frank, is something like this what you were talking about using angle iron for?

Offline RedJeepster1

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2017, 07:11:51 AM »
Found this last night too while I was searching.
Frank, is something like this what you were talking about using angle iron for?

That's how I do mine. Super accurate and repeatable. Just make sure you put 2-3 of the lug nuts back on to clamp the rotor up tight to the hub so it's straight. No guessing what part of the tire you are on this way. In my opinion this is the best way to do it.
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Offline JeepinMaxx

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2017, 08:38:00 AM »
Found this last night too while I was searching.
Frank, is something like this what you were talking about using angle iron for?
  Pretty much - but I don't take the tire/wheel off, I just bungie cord the angle iron to the rim and tire, make sure the angle iron is level to the ground and measure back to front difference...  BTW - this works with most solid (non-IFS) front axles for any truck
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Offline YJScrounge

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2017, 08:48:33 AM »
Theres also a string method. Pull a string front to back. Measure rear tire f/b measurement is the same. String is now parellel to the vehicle. Front wheel toe in 1/16”. Repeat other side. Net toe 1/8”. Make sure the steering wheel is centered.

Just did my K3500 that way.
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Offline Right Wing Curmudgeon!!!

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2017, 09:04:43 AM »
And don't forget, adjusting the steering wheel will affect toe.  So once you set your toe, then set your steering wheel, then recheck and adjust your toe.

I've never done it with the tires off, If you set the angle iron/aluminum at the same place and level on both tires, it shouldn't be off that much to worry about, unless you have VERY bad tires.  I've also read that without the weight of the vehicle on the tires, doing it on jack stands will not be as accurate.  If you do it with the tires on, another tip, jack up one wheel before making the adjustment.  It will be easier and will not twist or bind the tire.  Drop back to the ground and recheck.  I've done this for years and never had a problem with my alignments.

I did Lamchops alignment once at Savoy and he claimed it was the best alignment he ever had on that Jeep. :mrgreen:
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Offline XJRV-Maki

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Re: ZJ Tie Rod Conversion
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2017, 10:39:40 AM »
I do it with jackstands under the axle, tires off with the straightedge clamped to the rotor just like the pic above. Except I only use 1 tape measure, not sure how the 2 tape measure thing works.

I did do an alignment recently when I had the front frame on jackstands and the axle hanging...got it all dialed in and took a drive and it was horrible, almost uncontrollable...got back and checked it my normal way and it was toed out several inches  :rotflmao:. So yes definitely have the weight of the vehicle on the axle, should it really matter if it's on jackstands or the tires? Unless your balljoints or hub are bad I don't see why it would make a difference?