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CST Chevy Steering Upgrade

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on May 27, 2012
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Over the past year we’ve enjoyed cruising the coastal beaches and local southeast trails with our mildly built ’04 Chevy Tahoe. Though we wouldn’t consider our Bow Tie wheeler a hardcore crawler, it does serve as an excellent backwoods explorer and daily commuter. Overall, the Chevy has been “like a rock” in many ways, but we’ve been a little concerned about the factory IFS steering tie rod links. In the stock configuration the links are fine. It’s when you add the leverage of a meaty, oversized tire and rugged terrain that the thin links become a potential point of failure.

Sure, ditching the IFS setup altogether for a beefy solid front axle sounds like a great idea, but it would be an expensive and, in our case, unnecessary upgrade.

A common failure point on the 1⁄2-ton GM’s factory steering link (top) is where the adjuster rod reduces to mate with the outer tie rod end. The CST Extreme Duty link (bottom) is comprised of a substantially larger forged steel body that maintains a consistent 1-inch diameter throughout the link.

Fortunately CST Performance Suspension has created a simple steering upgrade for late-model GM pickups and SUVs. The CST Extreme Duty tie rod replacement kit comes with a set of complete (inner and outer joints) tie rod links that are designed to be twice as strong as the factory units. The CST links are easy to install, as they bolt in place of your factory links and will work with both stock and most aftermarket suspension systems. The install takes roughly an hour and doesn’t require any specialty tools, though you will need a torque wrench to fasten the outer joints to spec. For more information and to see a complete application list visit

Our 35-inch mud terrains put more stress on the factory steering joints. To help handle the added load, CST increases the size of the inner tie rod by 30 percent. Before bolting in your new links adjust them to approximately the same length of the link you removed. This helps speed up alignment.
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Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
CST Suspension
Moreno Valley, CA 92553

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