Drag link and tie rod hitting

Engine, transmission, transfer case, axles.
Suspension, coils, leafs, mods, upgrades.

Moderator: Bfix Staff Members

Post Reply
Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Drag link and tie rod hitting

Post by Hoodbronco » Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:34 pm

Has anyone had problems with their drag link and tie rod hitting when their suspension bottoms out? I see that my drag link zert fitting (which is located on the rear of the joint) and adjustment bolts have hit my tie rod. I have a drop pitman and a f150 drag link tie rod T combination. My EB has a 2" suspension lift. My tie rod and drag link are parallel with the ground and I don't have bump steer problems. Any ideas would be great.

User avatar
Stan
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Boring Or

Post by Stan » Mon Jul 18, 2016 9:39 pm

Sounds like your pitman arm has too much drop.
When you come to a fork in the road - take it
Homer - " Facts are meaningless . You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true."

User avatar
Tom Dummer
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3687
Joined: Fri Jul 19, 2002 10:29 pm
Location: Scappoose, Oregon

Post by Tom Dummer » Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:17 pm

Post a couple pictures
<<<<<<<<<<<<<

When something goes wrong and I'm smiling, It's because I already have someone to blame.

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:40 pm

Here are a few pics. There is a zert on the back of my drag link that has hit my tie rod. Also the clamps were positioned differently and the bolts hit the tie rod. Also the drop arm has hit my Dana 44 a little. Hi
Attachments
IMG_20160721_123437.jpg

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:41 pm

Here is another pic.
Attachments
IMG_20160721_122808.jpg

User avatar
Stan
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Boring Or

Post by Stan » Fri Jul 22, 2016 9:21 am

Do you have a " raised " Trac Arm bracket { attachment point} on the passenger side axle?
It looks like your trac Bar is mounted a little high on that side and unfortunately your picts dont show that connection.
I had some similar issues with my '68 when i first bought it . the P.O. had some stuff that worked better for 3 1/2" lift than the 2 1/2 ' that it had.
Did yours' have a taller lift at one time?
When you come to a fork in the road - take it
Homer - " Facts are meaningless . You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true."

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:59 pm

I haven't changed the height of the bronco myself. The previous owner may have but I don't know. I don't think I have a raised track bar mount on the passenger side. I'm wondering if I should go back to a stock pitman arm and then look for a drag link with a little more bend in it for better clearance on the front end. Also, here are some better pictures.
Attachments
IMG_20160722_125332.jpg

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:01 pm

Here is another pic of the driver side.
Attachments
IMG_20160722_125414.jpg

User avatar
Stan
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Boring Or

Post by Stan » Fri Jul 22, 2016 7:02 pm

No raised bracket so thats not the issue-hmm.
When you come to a fork in the road - take it
Homer - " Facts are meaningless . You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true."

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2760
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Post by DirtDonk » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:00 am

Hoodbronco wrote:...I see that my drag link zerk fitting (which is located on the rear of the joint) and adjustment bolts have hit my tie rod.
A non-stock box mounted in such a way as to be too far back. The zerk being on the back side is certainly not helping, but the stuff is just too close to each other due to the box position.
You either have to move the box forward, or tilt it differently by just enough to let the components clear each other, or use a shorter pitman arm.
The tilting would be the best solution I would think. Unless it causes trouble with shafts and body clearance and such.
Hoodbronco wrote: I have a drop pitman and a f150 drag link tie rod T combination. My EB has a 2" suspension lift.
Hard to tell for sure, but it looks like the box is mounted inside the frame rail. If you post a wider shot, and some from the top and driver's side too, we would know for sure.
On a stock box equipped Bronco, a dropped arm like that is fine for a 2" lift, but with your box being so much lower than stock, it's overkill. In fact, if that's an F100 box inside the rail, it's not even recommended for that small of a lift. Much less with a dropped pitman arm.
I'm thinking yours is inside the frame, but one of the other boxes like an older F250 or Lincoln Continental box, or something like that. If so, the installer probably put it as far forward as possible up against the body. Or if an outside the frame box, moved it up against the stock body mount. If you check out our instructions for the 4x4x2 conversion, we recommend notching the mount enough to move the box forward.
If inside the frame, other stuff would have to be done. Which is why tilting might be the best option. Maybe by doing that you could still maintain the same angular relationship between the draglink and the trackbar, which looks fantastic right now. Just farther apart.

No way to know though, whether a stock arm will be any better. It might, but you'd have to try one on for size.
Maybe someone can measure their stock arm to see?
If so though, then you'd likely want to remove the trackbar drop bracket, or make a custom one that would maintain that nice parallelism.
Hoodbronco wrote: My tie rod and drag link are parallel with the ground and I don't have bump steer problems.
This is great, and very hard to achieve under normal circumstances. Unfortunately, your nice angle setup comes at the price that you're experiencing with the interference.
It's not the angles that are in question, but the position that the box and arm create.
Be great then if you can maintain the angles, and just relocate the box forward a bit.

Thanks for the pics by the way. Really the best way to get to a problem. If you can post more that would be great.

Good luck.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

User avatar
Stan
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Boring Or

Post by Stan » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:13 pm

I'm having a little trouble "getting the whole picture " - always best to see it in person.
I live in Boring another Bronco brother lives in Brightwood and there are two who live between Sandy and Brightwood -- maybe if one of us took a look at it we could give you a better answer.
Don't know if you plan on coming to the Roundup in Florence in a couple of weeks but there are 203 preregistered EBs [more plan to register on site] including at least three Fab shops . So there should be plenty of help there!
Stan
When you come to a fork in the road - take it
Homer - " Facts are meaningless . You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true."

User avatar
TonyNokes
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 538
Joined: Mon Mar 18, 2002 4:16 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Post by TonyNokes » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:24 pm

For a quick fix you can get an plug or a flush zerk so it won't hit. I had the same issue with mine when I had the f150 box installed, the clamps rubbed the tie rod... I have since built a custom track bar that is longer and provides more clearance. You might be able to actually pull the axle back a 1-2mm by tightening the trailing arm nuts a little...

Tony
66' 5.8L SEFI Super Charged, 4R70W, 4.88, 35" BFG's. Hydroboost, D44 w/trac-lock, HD axles. 9" w/ARB, Dutchman axles, Trusses and Lincoln disks all around, F150 PS, factory PTO winch & bumper, 3.5" suspension lift, 2" body, 14" 7100's Bilstiens, CAGE arms & springs, TRO, OBA, Yorkston Trackbar conversion, 3 fuel tanks...

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:44 pm

Thanks for all the advice and I'm sorry I haven't responded for awhile. I recently took the bronco to Sandlake and did some "light" wheeling. I now see that my drag link is hitting the tie rod but just missing the drag link zert. Also my track bar sometimes rubs on the front end. Im thinking about just putting my old pitman arm back on moving my track bar back to its original location. I think I can just remove a bolt from the drop track bar bracket and not have it rub in the bracket. Then I will see how it starts and if it bump steers. If that doesn't work I might be able to rotate the steering box forward and rebuild my steering box custom mounting bracket. Here are a few pics of the steering set up from different angles. Also, I could easily swing through Boring some afternoon if you would be up for looking at the rig. Again, thanks for the help. Unfortunately I won't be at the roundup this year do to a buddies wedding that is taking place at the same time.
Attachments
IMG_20160802_132601.jpg

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:46 pm

Another pic
Attachments
IMG_20160802_132703.jpg

User avatar
Stan
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 3620
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 6:42 pm
Location: Boring Or

Post by Stan » Fri Aug 05, 2016 7:19 am

I think you have several issues here .
A 2" suspension lift sometimes doesn't require a drop trac bar bracket or at least not a big drop.
Second issue is it looks like you have a F 150 steering box - mounted on inside of frame ? That box is fairly long in-itself so it also doesn't need as long a drop pitman arm . Also being mounted on the inside of frame puts it closer to the passenger side of the Bronco. This also changes the attachment angels.
When you come to a fork in the road - take it
Homer - " Facts are meaningless . You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true."

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2760
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Post by DirtDonk » Sat Aug 06, 2016 11:56 am

And the trackbar hitting the diff cover probably just means that Ford welded the rear radius arm brackets on too far forward, or the upper trackbar bracket on too far to the rear. Doesn't take much since it's such a close fit anyway. Just a tiny bit in either direction would do it. Either that, or the radius arm bushings are incorrect or just not tight enough, allowing some forward skew to the axle.
I almost hate to say it, but if it's just barely scraping some paint off the cover, it's not a high priority issue. But I sure wouldn't want the other links touching each other, so that would still be worth fixing.

Here again though, if the axle is just slightly too far forward, pushing the tie-rod (and draglink) just far enough to interfere, that might be enough to do it. But the box is certainly contributing no matter what else might be at issue.
Maybe checking the axle location against some other Broncos wouldn't hurt though. After all, more info is good info.

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

Hoodbronco
BFix Starter
BFix Starter
Posts: 26
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:23 pm
Location: Rhododendron Oregon

Post by Hoodbronco » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:13 am

Thanks for all the good ideas. I'll try putting the old pitman arm back on and see about moving the trackbar either back up or a touch forward (I'll also look at the trackbar bushings)

DirtDonk
BFix Locked and Loaded
BFix Locked and Loaded
Posts: 2760
Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: San Jose, CA
Contact:

Post by DirtDonk » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:18 am

You're probably just going to have to do some experimentation with different parts and some custom modifications of your own to get all the little things corrected.
The stock pitman arm might just leave something rubbing the crossmember instead. Raising the angles of the draglink and the trackbar that far back up might net you some bumpsteer and vague road feel.

Changing the angle of the steering box as it's mounted on the frame might end up being the best solution for keeping this particular box, and might end up being pretty simple too. Or it could end up being the most troublesome thing to do instead! Ugh... It's always something.

Anyway, good luck with it and keep us posted because this is an interesting setup.

By the way, did you mention what year your truck is?

Paul
'71 Bronco - 302 4v
3.5" WH/Skyjacker Lift
33 x 11.50 x15 Thornbirds on 15x7 Enkei's
Kayline soft top
Hanson bumpers
Dual batteries, Large 1G alt.

WWW.WILDHORSES4X4.COM :mrgreen:

Post Reply