Steering stabilizers are essentially a shock absorber for your steering system. They are highly recommended for all vehicles with over-sized tires, a winch or snow plow to increase control and handling. Stabilizers dampen out wheel shimmy and help prevent the steering wheel from being jerked out of your hands in rough terrain or when a road hazard is struck by the front wheels. A steering stabilizer is a proven safety device in the event of a blow out. Steering stabilizers are engineered to restrain "bump steer" and front end vibration, giving added life to tires, ball joints and other steering components.
When adding larger tires and wheels or when the OEM steering stabilizer wears out it may be a good time to replace or upgrade the steering stabilizer on your 1996 to 2006 Wrangler TJ. The factory one was designed for those little factory tires and often feels sloppy on dirt roads or will shudder (sometimes violently) when driving over a hole at speed with larger tires installed.
- Needle nose pliers
- 3/4 wrench
- 11/16 wrench
- 18mm socket
- 15mm socket
- 6-inch extension
- Pitman arm Puller or Hammer
- Torque wrench
- 30 to 45 minutes
Note: It is not necessary to jack / lift the vehicle, but it will make life a little easier. If you do not jack the vehicle or only jack up the front end be sure to set the PARKING BRAKE and / or CHOCK THE REAR WHEELS.
1. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, remove and discard the cotter pin.
2. Using a socket wrench and an 18mm socket, remove and discard the nut that attaches the flanged bolt to the drag link.
3. Place a 11/16 wrench on the back side of the drag link. Basically on the backside so when you turn the front it lodges into position. Remove the bolt from the front of the drag link with a socket wrench, 15mm socket, and 6in extension. Retain the nut and bolt for later use.
4. A pitman arm removal tool is preferable and can be rented from just about any parts store, but a hammer may be used to remove the flanged bolt from the drag link. A few quick blows should be enough to dislodge the flanged bolt. Remove and discard the flanged bolt and steering stabilizer.
5. Install the new flanged bolt and tighten the nut until it is snug. You will have to torque it later.
6. Slip in the new shaft into the bushing on the new steering stabilizer.
7. Slide the shaft onto the flanged bolt and install the new nut. Torquing the new nut may be required depending upon the manufacturer of the new stabilizer.
8. Slide the canister side of the stabilizer into the frame side and place the bolt into place to temporarily hold it in. Using the 11/16 wrench, socket wrench, 15mm socket, and 6in extension reinstall and secure the retained bold and nut.
7. Torque the nut on the bottom of the flanged bolt to manufacturers specification.....and you're done !!
Be sure to test drive the vehicle after installing the new / upgraded steering stabilizer. The steering will feel significantly tighter on flat pavement and will have far less wobble on the dirt.
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