Silent Panda's Rubicon update #3 - Steer Smarts Yeti XD Drag Link and Tie Rod

Silent Panda

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So the steering components on the stock JL aren't so durable. I think very few folks would argue with that. I didn't have the wobble others have enjoyed. What I did have was vague steering, wandering while driving straight and some not to confidence inspiring slop or play in the steering that you could feel while wheeling or parking. You could feel the weight of the tires/wheels/steering linkages bump from side to side through the steering wheel as the tires would follow the caster. Not a great sensation.

I accept some of the burden on the stock parts wearing so quickly...our Jeep was still fairly new when we lifted it and put on 37's (go see my first build post here: https://www.jlwranglerforums.com/forum/threads/silent-pandas-2-door-rubicon-build.25628/). I did expect the parts to last more that 5,500 miles lifted...not crying about it...just some light bitching.

To remedy the drag link ball joint issue and prevent future failures in the rest of the steering gear, I went with a Yeti XD drag link and Yeti XD tie rod from Steer Smarts. Rather that post a bunch of pics of removing and installing ball joints, I thought it would be much more interesting to show the stock components next to their replacements.

(skip to the bottom for my feedback on the installed parts)

Links to the parts:
Drag Link - https://steersmarts.com/collections/jl-jlu-products/products/yeti-xd-jeep-wrangler-jl-jlu-draglinks
Tie Rod - https://steersmarts.com/collections...xd-jeep-wrangler-tie-rod-assembly-jl-jlu-2018

The drag link - stock vs Yeti XD - the Steer Smarts components are so much bigger, the pics look fake.
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(please don't hate on me too bad for burnt boot on the stock upper ball joint...I could not find by pickle fork and tapping the Pittman arm wasn't releasing the joint...I had to use a little heat)

The tie rod - stock vs Yeti XD
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My initial impression of the parts while driving the Jeep? Incredible. The steering used to feel elastic...like the connections from wheel to wheel to Pittman arm all had some compliance...intended or not. The compliance is totally gone now. I could feel it in the first 3 miles I drove after installing the Yeti XD links. I know cross over steering systems will never feel the same as a rack and pinon but this is pretty damn close. The Jeep also has far less wander while driving straight. The connections are now solid and I have zero concern that the much larger ball joints and forged end link sections will last for years.

I feel like this is one of those times when you need to be proactive in your build and spend the money on the Yeti XD drag link and tire rod...buy once cry once. I could have bought more factory ball joints and chased failures or loose joints for quite a while. I am happy I stepped up.

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imapseudonym

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I've been procrastinating buying those parts for over a year now. Our build is like yours but we haven't had a ton of steering issues yet; however, I know in due time they will come. Bah!

Thanks for the write up
 

Jackpunx

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I have this system and love it. Let go of the wheel at any speed and it stays put.
 
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Silent Panda

Silent Panda

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I've been procrastinating buying those parts for over a year now. Our build is like yours but we haven't had a ton of steering issues yet; however, I know in due time they will come. Bah!

Thanks for the write up
do it. you know you want to...

you are very welcome for the write up. if you have any questions...fire away!
 

rustyshakelford

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Those are great upgrades for sure! Getting the drag link loose is the biggest pain. I used a pickle fork and mallet for the first one. Now it’s straight air hammers with pickle fork. Much easier and quicker.

Brett
 
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