Vehicles equipped with coil suspensions require the use of track bars to locate the axles side-to-side. On Jeep TJs, the factory front track bar is situated behind the tie rod and drag link, and is secured between a rubber bushing mount on the axle and a ball joint mount on the frame. To maintain the proper steering and suspension geometry, the track bar should be as close in length and maintain similar angles as the drag link. When an aftermarket suspension system is installed, however, the angle of the track bar becomes more extreme. This puts added stress on the track bar's ball joint mount and increases the propensity for axle shift. Bumpsteer is also a common result. A number of companies offer adjustable track bars and drop-bracket kits to address these issues in lifted TJs. While some of these are reasonable cures, Tri County Gear in Pomona, California, took this predicament to the next level. The company created its Track Bar Conversion Kit, a design that replaces all the factory components and relocates the track bar in front of the steering linkage.
With the Tri County Gear setup, both mounting ends of the track bar are replaced with high-angle 5/8- to 3/4-inch chromoly Heim rod ends, which are not only stronger, but also rebuildable in the event that one fails. By moving the track bar in front of the steering components, more space is available to lower the frame mount, allowing use of a straight track bar rather than the factory-style bent bar. This improves the angle of the track bar in addition to keeping it more in-line with the drag link, which aids in maintaining the arc of travel through the suspension. In our experience, the Tri County Gear conversion addressed a number of handling issues as well. It provided a much more positive feel on the road and better steering wheel control in sweeping turns at highway speeds.
The Tri County Gear Track Bar
Conversion Kit is ideal for lifted TJs; particularly for those applications where larger, custom axle assemblies are used and space becomes a premium. The conversion is available in kit form to suit a number of Jeep TJ and custom coil-suspension designs, and includes a track bar frame bracket, an axle bracket, weld-on gussets, two Heim rod ends, a frame brace, and a chromoly steel track bar. We had the professional crew at Tri County Gear carry out this installation on our '01 Jeep TJ and were pleased with the results. Check out the photos and captions for the lowdown on this incredibly effective product to see if such a conversion is the ticket for your rig.