- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
What is an Over the Knuckle Relocation Sleeve or Tie Rod Flip Kit for Jeeps?
What the Heck Is an Otk?
People have asked me on numerous occasions what is an "OTK" (over the knuckle) or tie rod flip kit for a Jeep.What is it used for and why should you install one.This is not an easy install in my estimation it is about a medium install. You need knowledge of welding and medium suspension technical expertise. So lets look at what an "OTK" is first.
Lets Dig a Little Deeper.
So we know from the first explanation that this kit flips your tie rod from the bottom mounting point on the steering knuckle to the top mounting point on the knuckle. With most the tie rod mounts on the bottom of the steering knuckles with the tie rod ends going through the knuckle and secured with a castle nut and cotter pin on the top.
This makes the tie rod stick down quite a bit and is one of the first things that a rock or other hard object can encounter when off-roading. A damaged tie rod end, or bent tie rod would render the vehicle un-driveable and make a fun weekend off-roading a real bummer.
The kit contains a metal sleeve that is tapered and has an outer lip. To install this you simply remove the tie rod end from the knuckle and drill out the hole to install the sleeve from the top facing down. Then you can weld in place for a secure mounting place. The hole you need to drill is with a 3/4 drill bit and you should be careful that you get it as centered as possible.
The reinstall the tie rod with the threaded end facing down and the reinstall the castle nut and cotter pin. There is a temporary nylock nut in case you have lost the tie rod castle nut. It is not intended for long time use.
What Is the Kit Used For.
To be quite frank that kit is used to relocate the tie rod higher. But it has a few different options and functions that you can install and use. You can flip one side (most people flip the drivers side since this is the most vulnerable) or both sides. You can also replace tie rod dust boots with polyurethane ones and there are complete kits with tie rod flip sleeves, dust boots, and tie rod ends.
The dual tie rod flip kit is for flipping both sides to so that the whole tie rod is up and out of the way. This kit has two sleeves and two dust boots. It is complete and ready to use for most Jeeps that don't need to flip the tie rod end at the pitman arm. The flipping of the tie rod end at the pitman side is mostly done on Jeep Wrangler YJ models and should only be done by extreme off-roaders and qualified mechanics. These kits are best installed by those who know about suspension and steering mechanics.
Dual Tie Rod Flip Kit on Amazon
More Uses for the Tie Rod Flip Kit.
While you are at it you might as well change out the tie rods when doing a flip of your tie rod. It can only help make your steering better. There are additional kits that include the tie rod flip kit and tie rod ends for a complete installation. Be sure to make sure you get an alignment if needed.
What Upgrade Will you Do First?
What Does This Kit Fit and What Is It Used For.
Basically works on the Dana 30 axle of most Jeeps. To be more specific it works on the Dana 30 on the Jeeps below;
1984-2001 Jeep Cherokee XJ
1987-1996 Jeep Wrangler YJ
1997-2006 Jeep Wrangler TJ
1993-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ
It also has been noted to work on the CJ model and some other Jeep models with the same axle but we have not seen it officially tested. Like mentioned before this is basically used to gain additional clearance for off-road use. Also when lifting a Jeep it may help with a condition know as bump steer which happens when the drag link and track bar are not aligned parallel enough to each other. In most cases this product is used to get the vulnerable parts of the Jeep out of the way to you can enjoy the trail.