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dorkweed

Track Bar Bushings

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I replaced the OEM bushings today and replaced them with urethane ones from Lukes Links. I got them from Geno's Garage. Had to start the day by going out and buying a 18mm socket. Yep, the track bar bolts are 18mm, and guess who's tool set doesn't have one???!!!:duh: It actually comes out really easy. Break the bolts loose, the nuts have an appendage on them so you don't have to have a wrench on the nut, and it basically falls out. No kidding. Mine was that loose in the bracket.Rather than press the old bushing out, I went to my drill press and drilled holes into the rubber at about 5/16-3/8 inch intervals all the way around the bushing and then took a drift and drove what was left of the bushings out. The rubber actually drilled out real easy. It seemed quite dry to me. There is a thin metal sleeve between the bushing and the track bar that needs to come off the bar also. For this I took my hacksaw and took it apart and them put it back together so I could cut thru the metal. After cutting thru it, I took the hacksaw out of the eye of the track bar and bent the metal in and then drove it out. After that, a little file work and some sand paper work to smooth everything up.Now I installed the new bushings into the track bar. I greased the eyes of the bar and the urethane bushings and the inner sleeve of the new bushings. I could get them mostly in with my hands, but I still put a bit of pressure on them with the vise. Now for the most difficult part of the job.......reinstalling the track bar. You actually have to force the bar back into where it goes with the new bushings. I cleaned the area up and greased them for install, but you don't have a lot of wiggle room under there on the 3rd gens. I could get the thing started into where it goes, but it was such a tight fit and with no wiggle room, I had to use a pry bar on the other end to force it into the slot. Then trying to line up the holes to get the bolts back in. Needless to say, there were some choice words flying around. But I did get it back on the truck without any skinned or bruised knuckles!!!These bad boys make a world of difference in drivability. Tracks much, much straighter now and I don't have to recorrect coming out of a turn now. Well worth the $36 bucks!!!!:spend: I'd recommend these for the 3rd gens. Especially if you've got any amount of miles on your truck.I did not have to jack the truck up to do this either.

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I'm sorry to say but the ball and socket is what will wear, and when it does, it wears oblong so I can't see that this will be safe.Years ago I some repairs that needed done one a 1957 willies jeep overland "which I still own". A steering component had a device almost the same as noted above except it was made somewhat different. Anyway, later on because wear and adjustments the ball part of the joint pulled straight out at a certain steering wheel rotation, I nearly killed someone. I wouldn't consider taking a chance with front-end parts being rebuilt. That scared me too much! I would think the best way to make it less costly to repair, they should be made the same as tie-rod ends only beefier.

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