The Easy Way to Crossover Steering for TJs
When the factory engineers designed the Jeep TJ's OEM steering system, they were limited by several dynamic factors. Terms such as "roll steer," "parallelism," and "Haltenburger geometry" may seem perplexing to the untrained, but rest assured, these words hold much relevance to the mythology of the funky Y-link steering design that Chrysler engineering developed. The setup features a drag link that is connected to the tie-rod instead of the steering knuckle as found in crossover steering arrangements.
The Y-link was employed to provide the driver with a good sense of stability while cornering at speed. Essentially, when a stock TJ enters the corner, the front outside tire moves closer to the chassis as the suspension compresses and the Y-link design causes the tire on the outside of the curve to toe slightly outward. Conversely, the tire on the inside of the corner does the opposite, toeing slightly inward. This scenario creates understeer, which gives the driver a positive on-road feel during cornering situations.
While this effect is great for daily driving, it offers little in terms of strength and dependability for those of us who want to run larger-than-stock tires on the trail. Enter Off Road Only of St. Paul, Minnesota. ORO manufactures a true crossover steering conversion for TJs called the U-Turn kit. Check out how the good folks at Overkill Jeep Fabrication in Campbell, California, performed the conversion on our donor TJ.