the games begin
I got a large, heavy box soon afterward and headed down to
Engineering in Birmingham, Alabama. David Baker at XTV
is not afraid to try anything and is always willing to help
out when I come down with non-bolt-on goodies. David is one
of those guys that would much rather get down and dirty with
a welder than use a bunch of wrenches.
the power steering gear box and pump were simple, but time-intensive
tasks. The boxes are direct replacements for the OEM parts,
so this was no big dea, other than the actual task of doing
the jobl. Mounting the Rock Ram itself wasn't so easy, however.
TJ's front end has been modified and no longer uses anything
that resembles the original tie rod or drag link. We've eliminated
the stock "Y" setup and have converted our tie rod
ends to heim joints. The knuckles have been bored out and
the drag link now mounts over top of the passenger side knuckle.
In addition, when we did this, we had to modify the sway bar
link bracket. The bracket now sits higher than originally
and we have a different size sway bar disconnect on this side
than on the driver side. Using JKS's
adjustable quick disconnects has made this possible.
a problem. None of the mounting hardware sent out by AGR was
going to work. We'd have to have to fabricate everything.
Not surprised, I sat down with David and we began the head-scratching.
Days passed as we tried various different mounting bracket
problem was not so much how to hook up the Rock Ram at the
knuckle end, but where was it going to attach on the other
end? The TJ's steering is so tightly packed that real estate
was at a serious premium. It seemed like no matter where or
how we mounted the Rock Ram, it would invariably hit something.
several days of failed attempts, we finally came up with the
solution. We would run the Rock Ram behind the drag link and
mount it toward the Pitman arm. But how would we attach it?
We didn't want to weld a bracket on because we would not be
able to rotate the drag link to center the steering wheel.
One night Dave called and told me he had figured it out.
was to make a sleeve section of tubing that would go over
the drag link. The sleeve would also contain a bracket to
attach the Rock Ram to. The sleeve would be held on by 3 grade
8 bolts which would drive into the drag link. After some trial
and error, the solution seemed to work. Time will tell how
well it will continue to work out. For now, I check it often
to make sure the bolts are staying tight.