This installation is part of a lift kit installation on the jeepfan.com 2004 TJ Unlimited. We installed a Teraflex 3″ lift that included new upper and lower Teraflex Flexarm control arms. The kit from Teraflex included a heavy duty front adjustable track bar, we figured while we are at it why not add an adjustable rear.
The track bar keeps the axle in place laterally by being placed parallel to the axle attached at one side of the axle and the opposite side at the frame. When lifting a track bar equipped Jeep ride and handling characteristics can suffer from the increased angle on the track bar from the lift. A track bar operates best when kept parallel to the ground. Increasing the angle causes the axle to shift laterally during suspension movement impacting ride and handling.
In addition to the ride impact the increased angle will cause the axle to shift laterally. This can cause tires to rub and throw off alignment.
A solution to the increased angle in the rear is installation of a track bar relocation bracket. This bracket usually mounts to the axle and raises the track bar mount point returning the track bar to a near parallel position. The front is a bit trickier since the track bar and drag link should remain on the same angle or strange steering behavior will result. Often the effect is less felt in the front and no relocation is needed unless a taller lift is installed. Those kits usually use a track bar relocation bracket along with a drop pitman arm.
Adjustable track bar
A 2.5″ or higher lift can often benefit from an adjustable track bar to allow adjustment to realign the axle laterally. This reduces or eliminates tire rub and returns alignment back to optimal.
Since this is part of a lift install the process may very a bit from just a plain installation but in essence it’s all the same. Support the Jeep properly and remove at least the driver side wheel. Remove the lower mount bolt followed by removing the upper mount cotter pin. Loosen the upper mount nut but do not remove yet. Using a ball joint puller or fork break the joint apart. Once the joint is loose you can remove the nut and remove the factory bar.
Adjust the new track bar to match the length of the factory bar for a good starting point. Place the bar into place and install lower bolt and upper nut. Tighten to specs and install a new cotter pin. Leave the adjusting collar loose until final adjustments are made.
The rear is rather simple. It’s easiest to properly support the Jeep and remove the passenger side rear wheel. Remove the upper and lower track bar bolts to remove the factory bar. Adjust the new bar to match the length of the factory bar to start. We added a few extra turns to the end to add a little length to take a guess at a good fit. Install the fixed end at the top and the adjustable end at the axle.
Adjusting the front can be done by rotating the threaded collar. The rear will require removing the bolt and threading in/out the end. Perfect adjustment would need to be done at a shop with and alignment setup but one can often get it all but perfect at home. With the Jeep on the ground use a flat edge across the tire. Measure both sides from the edge to the body and note the differences. Adjust the bar in or out to obtain the same measurement on both sides. Tighten the adjusters and after some driving recheck the measurements.
Teraflex Front Track Bar from Quadratec
Teraflex Rear Track Bar from Quadratec