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New Jeep JK Wrangler Steering Upgrade For Budget Builders

Posted in How To: Suspension Brakes on April 18, 2017
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Your Jeep’s steering system is important for obvious reasons. Just like brakes, however, the steering system tends to get overlooked when building up a Jeep, bypassed in favor of lift kits, big tires, and lightbars. Typically, the steering gets attention after it breaks.

Whether you’ve already broken your steering linkage or are looking for preventative measures, make sure to take a look at what Currie Enterprises has to offer. Currie has been building its Currectlync heavy-duty steering link systems for Jeeps for years, starting with chromoly steering for CJ-5s and 7s, then to the inverted Y system on TJs and XJs. The company later came out with its 1-ton system for JKs, which is pure beef but at a cost that some shy away from.

The factory JK steering linkage is stronger than what came on previous years of the Wrangler, but JKs tend to get a much bigger tire. The factory drag link is 1.125-inch diameter and tie rod is 1.375-inch diameter.

To fill the gap, Currie recently introduced a budget-minded option for JK owners to improve the strength of their steering link system. Factory JK drag links measure 1.125-inch diameter with 1-inch diameter threads. The Currie Wrangler JK Currectlync drag link steps up to 1.25-inch diameter, using 110,000-psi steel forging with 1.125-inch diameter threads. The size increase plus the material quality improvement makes for a far superior part. To further bolster strength, the Currectlync’s tie rods are 1.5-inch diameter 75,000-psi steel tubing with 1.125-inch diameter threads, an increase over the factory 1.375-inch with 1-inch threads.

The benefits of the Currectlync don’t stop with size and materials. Currectlync tie rod ends feature a hub on the end that indexes into the tie rod tube. This helps to prevent any potential bending at the end of the threads. Additionally, the system can be used in the standard location or modified for a hi-steer setup, getting the linkage farther away from possible harm. Currie includes the necessary tapered sleeve for high-steer systems, and all kits include fully detailed instructions with photos.

The new Currie Enterprises Currectlync system for the Jeep JK (in the middle) is larger than the factory, but not as beefy as the Currie 1-ton JK steering (on the bottom). This new system helps keep your build budget under control, while still improving the strength of your steering system.

On top of all that, the Currectlync is fully adjustable so you can get your alignment on point. To see just how smooth and simple the kit works and installs, we went through the full process on a ’08 JK Wrangler Unlimited. After a professional alignment, the Jeep drove smooth and straight, and we now have a much higher confidence that the tires will remain pointed in the direction they should be.

After getting the vehicle properly supported and tires off, we pulled the steering stabilizer off. The Jeep we installed the kit on has a high clearance stabilizer mount, which still works with the new steering components.
We then unbolted the steering from the knuckles. The tie rod is a press fit and shouldn’t spin when removing the nut, but if it does, you may need to apply pressure to the bottom of it to get enough grip to removed it.
The pitman arm nut will require either a ratchet and socket or a wrench due to clearance issues.
A moderate smack with a hammer on the knuckle casting released the tie rod. A pickle fork also works.
If we were installing the Hi-Steer version of the Currectlync, we would have followed the provided instructions and drilled the knuckle with a 7/8-inch drill bit and installed the taper sleeve. Do not drill out the knuckle if you don’t have the Hi-Steer parts.
We then prepared the new linkage by matching the measurements of our factory steering. Setting the two side by side allowed us to get the system close enough to get the vehicle to a professional alignment shop.
Next, we inserted the drag link first, then the tie rod that goes to the other side. The drag link cannot be installed if the tie rod is below it.
Currie recommends that all the tie rod end nuts be torqued to 80 lb-ft.
On this installation, the stabilizer body contacted the bracket. The body would contact the brackets on the other end as well, so we trimmed the U-bolts of the new stabilizer bracket to clear.
We then locked down the jam nuts and the hardware on the steering wheel adjuster sleeve so everything was tight for the trip to the alignment shop.
The Currectlync system is fully greasable to help prolong the life of the joints. The components are shipped dry so make sure to grease them prior to driving the vehicle.
The new Currie Currectlync setup was fully installed and ready to turn some big rubber.

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