The front tie rod was another reoccurring issue. It seems that some rookie driver kept running it into rocks while out wheeling, and it almost ruined his birthday party at Johnson Valley last January. An upgrade was made in the fab shop at Off Road Unlimited. The new shaft is 1 5/8x1/2-inch-wall tubing, and though it makes up for 30 pounds of the Avalanche's girth, it hasn't bent yet. Also the upgraded tie-rod ends are almost entirely threaded into the shaft, giving them much more strength.