BDS Rear Track Bar Bracket for JK Wrangler Install
After the installation of the TeraFlex 2.5″ Budget Boost lift the Jeep’s ride quality wasn’t quite the same as before. The Jeep suffered from a bit of bump steer but the problem area seemed to be more from the rear of the Jeep. One might think that a kit would come with a mount if it were necessary. It may not be needed but we are striving to keep the jeepfan.com JK riding like it’s new.
Whenever you lift a Jeep that has a track bar the track bar angle will increase causing the axle to shift to on side as the track bar axle mount moves away from the frame. Several problems can arise from this change. The first problem with the axle shift is that the upper control arm and rear sway bar get very close to the driver side tire, so close that at full suspension droop the tires hit both. Second, the rear axle shift causes the axle to rotate slightly causing the Jeep to rear steer (See an article in the blog…JK Lift Problems – After the Lift). Third, harsh bumps, as the angle of the bar increases bumps are transferred to the frame instead of the suspension taking it. This causes the rear of the Jeep to feel like it’s being shoved to the right whenever you hit a bump.
A drop track bar bracket will return the track bar to the original angle, assumingly restoring the proper geometry. Since the Jeep has a 2.5″ lift a bracket with a 2.5″ drop will be perfect.
TeraFlex as of this point doesn’t offer a track bar bracket for the JK with a smaller lift. So we researched available products and found the BDS. Other manufacturers make mounts that attach to the axle. We have seen others experience broken axle mounts due to weak factory welds. A track bar bracket will increase the leverage on the mount. The BDS mount attaches to the upper frame mount which is very stout and should take the increased stress better than the axle mount.
We called up OK Auto and had them order us up a kit. The BDS kit (part #124308) comes complete with a bracket, bolts, nuts, washers, sticker, and instructions. See the kit on the right.
This kit is a rather simple install requiring a few tools. Wrenches, drill, drill bits, torque wrench, etc. Begin by raising the Jeep and supporting it on jack stands. Remove the passenger side wheel and unbolt the frame mount side of the track bar. GENTLY rocking the Jeep side to side is usually helpful in removing the track bar bolt.
Using a center punch, mark a drill point 2 9/16″ up from the bottom mount. Drill a smaller pilot hole then drill a 1/2″ hole. Apply some paint to the hole to prevent rust.
Install the drop bracket. Use the oem bolt and nut in the upper mount hole, torque to 110 ft-lbs. Install the 1″ 7/16 bolt and washer into the lower bracket hole. Install the 1 1/4″ 7/16 bolt and nut into the upper hole, tighten to 45 ft-lbs.
Raise the track bar, it will probably be necessary to push the Jeep to the left to allow the bolt to line up. This is the difference the mount makes. This JK was 1/4″ off. Torque the 14mm bolt to 110 ft-lbs.
|The image on the left is a split screen showing the angle difference of the track bar. The angle after the install of the bracket is comparable to a stock JK.|
The result. The good and the…not so.
The good…The rear axle is centered again, clearance problems on the driver side should have been eliminated. The rear axle is in the correct 90 degree angle to the center line of the Jeep. Ride quality seems to be what it was when the Jeep had no lift. The noticeable rear shove after bumps is gone.
The not so…The Jeep still pulls to the right, it is a point of confusion that perhaps an alignment rack can only solve. Check back for the results.
Worth it, not a very expensive part that can improve ride quality, tire clearance, and rear alignment. Send us a question for more information about the install or contact OK Auto for pricing and information.