How to Install a Front and Rear Trackbar Relocation Bracket on a Jeep Wrangler TJ Grand Cherokee ZJ
What is a trackbar?
Well more specifically what is a trackbar on the Jeep models we are talking about installing these relocation brackets on.
A trackbar is a fixed or adjustable bar with a bushing end on one side and either a tie rod or heim joint on the other. It is used to center the axle in between the wheel wells. So when you look head on at the Jeep the wheels should be centered, or in other words one wheel should not be sticking out from the fender greater than the other.
When you lift your Jeep you can pull the axle to one side causing the wheel to stick out from the fender significantly more than the other. This will cause alignment issues and possible wobbling and other steering related problems.
One way to fix this is to install relocation brackets to help re-center the axle. This guide is how to install these on the following vehicles.
1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ - Front Only
1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ - Front and Rear
1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ - Front and Rear
so if you have the need to relocate your trackbar then read on to see if you can do it yourself.
What do Trackbar Relocation Brackets Look Like
When Should I Use a Trackbar Relocation Bracket?
- If you have lifted your vehicle more than 2 inches you should think about relocating the trackbar.
- The trackbar relocation bracket works good on all lifts up to 4.5-5 inches. Anything near that or higher and you should consider an adjustable trackbar.
- If you are experiencing a wobble or tracking issues.
- If the axle is shifted under the vehicle.
Installing the Front Trackbar Relocation Bracket
First go over the kit and make sure you have all the contents and have read these instructions in preparation for the installation process.
- Jack up the vehicle in the front by the axle pumpkin or other area. Install jack stands so they do not interfere with the dropping of the trackbar unit.
- You should not have to remove any other items but can remove the bottom of the shocks and the tires and wheels but it is up to you and I would only do it if they are in the way.
- Remove the trackbar bolt that is holding the trackbar in the mount and set aside. Push down on the trackbar to remove it from the mount. You may have to pry it down or use a rubber mallet.
- Install the new bracket onto the mount on the axle according to the photo. Please note the orientation. Insert the original bolt you just removed and the shim the the original hole and the bracket and attach the nut.
- Drill a 3/8" hole through the tab that sticks out and the bracket frame and use the 3/8" x 1" bolt and nut to keep in place.
- Now tighten both bolts to make sure the bracket is securely in place. Attach the trackbar to the bottom of the new bracket using the supplied bolt and nut. Tighten hole. If the holes are not aligning you can move the tires back and forth to line it up or use a rubber mallet.
- Once all bolts are tightened you can re-attach the shocks, and/or tire and wheels previously removed.
- Lower the vehicle and make sure that nothing is binding. Do a quick check of the trackbar and see if it is parallel with the drag link.
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Some good tips:
- Make sure you check all bolts after 150 miles of driving.
- Get an alignment after all steering upgrades are completed.
- A properly aligned trackbar will be parallel to the drag link. See photo below.
Installing the Rear Trackbar Relocation Bracket
Instructions for the Rear of a Jeep Wrangler TJ 1997-2006 and Grand Cherokee ZJ 1993-1998
- Jack up the vehicle and place on jack stands. After installation of the bracket and prior to installing the trackbar in the new bracket you may have to put the vehicle on the ground to make sure you can reconnect the trackbar.
- On the bolt on the rear trackbar that holds it to the mount on the axle is a plastic dust shield that must be removed and discarded.
- There is a T55 torx head bolt that you remove to disconnect the axle end of the trackbar.
- Install the new trackbar bracket using a 1/2" bolt and the included metal spacer. In some kits this bolt is not supplied so you will need to get one at your local hardware store.
- Drill holes on the tab of the bottom of the bracket if necessary where the dust shield was removed from and install some new bolts and nuts to secure in place.
- Now that the bracket is installed make sure everything is tightened down and re-install the trackbar with the previously removed torx bolt and tighten. Make sure all bolts are secured and tightened.
- Re-attach anything that was removed and make sure to lower the vehicle slowly. In some cases the trackbar may be hard to re-install with weight on the vehicle or with a little bit of muscle.
- Make sure everything looks correctly installed and test drive the vehicle.