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Track Rod Mods

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by BigMac, May 6, 2003.

  1. BigMac

    BigMac SILVER Star

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    I'm extracting this sub-topic from an earlier thread.

    I installed (Slee's) full OME suspension last weekend - zero vibrations and the ride and return-to-center characteristics are perfect, so I'm glad I did the caster bushings "up front". Only now I'm beginning to obsess over CruiserDan's comment from a similar situation-
    "The only other thing I changed is the rear track bar. I got an adjustable one from Christo. I probably didn't need it as I'm not that tall, but my rear axle was shifted slightly to one side, which offended me."

    I also offend easily, but I don't want to "over-solve" what may be an issue with ZERO functional impact. If we know in advance how much "shift" is typically induced by the 2.5 lift, or if it can easily be measured after the install, wouldn't it be possible to cut & lengthen the track bar (Panhard rod?) to compensate? I'm looking for a quick, simple, cheap, robust, cut & splice approach, based on a standard rule of thumb - like the 5mm or .25" downward adjustment of the rear brake valve that goes with a 2.5" lift. Also, why wouldn't it be necessary to lengthen the front bar too? How would you measure the relative shift? Pros and Cons?
    Thanks CruiserDan and all, BigMac
     
  2. moralien

    moralien

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    O.K., I'll take a stab at this one. Not really sure on how much lift you ended up with or if you really need it or not but here goes. The taller you are up front then the shorter the front panhard is. You know this already so I won't insult your intelligence. Keep in mind there is no cookie cutter formula for this since different things will affect your overall lift. Accessories such as a bull bar, winch, dual batteries etc, etc. You get the point. Now take into consideration the fact that most don’t ever have to do this mod since IMHO the front axle should pretty much stay were it’s at unless you go big. I think the trailing arms up front do a much better job of orienteering the axle than the leading arm setup in the rear.

    That being said yes if it’s tall enough in the front than it’s not a bad idea to lengthen the panhard. Is somebody going to tell you how much? Probably not and even if they did you should not listen. It’s your rig and it should be dealt with accordingly. I would think a good reference point would be the outside of the wheel. Drop a plumb line on the outside of the front fender at the same spot on both sides and measure. If all else fails than eagle eye it. If there is not a noticeable difference than this whole operation may just be academic.

    The brilliance of Christo’s front diy panhard joint is that is ADJUSTABLE. So I would think that would be an EGGcellent place to start. (Imagine a really good Monty Burns)

    Hope I didn’t offend too much. Also this only may be vaguely helpful.
    :)
     
  3. sleeoffroad

    sleeoffroad Supporting Vendor

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    OK, there is no easy answer. Even with the adjustable rods, it takes us a couple of tries to get it spot on. Yes, we know approx how much to lenghten them, but it is not that easy. You can cut and weld, and possible be lucky and get it spot on, however if you ever change your lift, you are going to cut and weld again.
     
  4. Chris_Geiger

    Chris_Geiger

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    Here is what I did for my coil sprung 4Runner with a panhard bar nearly identical to the ones found on 80's...

    Cut the track bar in half then weld onto the bar a short sleeve. Weld it up good on one side and just tack it on the other side. Install it on your truck and settle the suspension. If it's not right, cut the tack weld, reposition and then test. Once it's correct you can then take a measurement of the entire length. Replace the entire tube with a new length of tubing of the correct length.
     
  5. bjowett

    bjowett Supporting Vendor

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    Look close, behind the pitman arm and steering relay rod, lies another relay rod from a 62 series, long threaded section allows adjustment, less bind, too.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. BigMac

    BigMac SILVER Star

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    Thanks all - I will take some measurements and see how things look, but I guess anything short of Slee's state-of-the-art approach is probably not worth doing. BigMac
     
  7. tiorio

    tiorio

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    I've really enjoyed this thread but it still leaves me wondering...

    With the 2.5" lift we're talking about, what are the real issues that are introduced by the now-too-short panhard? The aesthetic is obvious, the axle isn't exactly centered under the truck, but does this cause any other issues (track, etc.) or is that all there is? And ifin it IS just aesthetic with only a 2.5" lift, why does it have to be so precise?

    Thanks!
     
  8. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    I've got the OME suspension 850/863 and can tell you right now I won't even consider touching the rod's length. As some know I run 315s and I do flex the suspension enough to push the front tires up inside the wheel well. Lengthening that rod will upset the tire's position when compressed into the wheel well. One further in and the other further out.
     
  9. Photoman

    Photoman SILVER Star

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    Does anyone know the name of that adjustable panhard joint. Not a Heim, but one that could go in the middle.
    Bill