Rugged Ridge Steering Conversion Review

After running my old Currie steering setup on my 2000 XJ for a little while, I noticed that some of the tie rod end’s (TRE’s) had seen better days. Obviously, replacing just the TRE’s would make the most sense, however, with the Currie steering the TRE on the drag link is built in, and would require replacing the whole expensive drag link. So I figured it would be a good idea to find a different steering solution. I was originally looking at the JCR steering setup, but did not want to ream out my knuckles for the bigger TRE’s. That is when I came across the new steering setup that just came out from Rugged Ridge (Omix-Ada). The price on the setup was very good, so I decided to give it a try.

I placed my order through Tellico4x4 and a few days later had the steering waiting for my on my doorstep.

The first thing I did was unbox it to find out just how well made this steering was. After looking it over and taking some measurements, I was pleased to find out that the tie rod and drag link were 1.25″ in diameter and 1/4″ wall. Plus, the threads for the TRE’s are 7/8″ and tapped into the tubes (no inserts used).

Installation is pretty straight forward if you’ve ever replaced a TRE before. First things first, you need to remove your current steering setup (both the tie rod and drag link).

 

Here you can see a comparison between the stock steering (top), the Currie steering (middle), and the Rugged Ridge Steering (bottom).

This system pretty much only uses 2 different TRE’s. Three of them are the same. The only one that is different is the one that connects to the passenger side knuckle. This is the one that the drag link attaches to. It also has a bend in it for clearance. You can see both types in the picture below.

This kit comes with everything you need. It includes 4 plastic packages that contain a grease zerk, plug and cotter pin. I decided not to use the plug and to just keep the zerk in the TREs. Luckily, I have a bunch of the zerk caps in my garage, so I used those to help keep dirt out.

 

I started out by installing the tie rod.

Followed by the drag link.

Then all you have to do is bolt up the steering stabilizer bracket, stabilizer, and cotter pins. Don’t forget to grease those TRE’s, too.

So far, I am pretty impressed with this steering system….especially for the price. If you are into extreme rock crawling, I doubt this system would be a good choice for you. But if you have a moderate wheeling rig and need something beefier than stock, this might be a good option to look into. I obviously haven’t taken it out on the trails yet, so once I do that, I will update this review with my impression.

For those wondering, this kit cannot be used over the knuckle because of the design of the passenger side TRE. Not only is it tapered the wrong way, but the bend for clearance would cause issues. So if you want an over the knuckle system, this is not the kit for you.

Currently, replacement parts are not available separately for this steering system. However, after speaking to Tellico4x4, these parts should be available in the near future. Once they are available, I will be picking up a spare tie rod and a few TRE’s. I’ll update this review when I do.

From what I have been able to find out, these are the part numbers:

Passenger Side TRE on the Tie Rod: 18043.27
Tie Rod with TRE’s: 18050.58
Drag Link with TRE’s: 18050.57

For those of you interested in purchasing this setup, the part number is 18050.82 and can be found for a good price at Tellico4x4.


9 Responses to “Rugged Ridge Steering Conversion Review”

  • lazarus Says:

    great write up, I ordered this ands it was backordered. looking forward to its delivery. Would love to get a chance to take a look at your rig in person.

    Thanks
    Joshua

  • IntrepidXJ Says:

    Just an update…..my Currie Steering system showed up today, so I will finally be getting rid of the dead spot in this steering system.

    http://www.myxj.net/blog/?p=525

  • eric Says:

    installed this on my 90 yj and have an issue with the pitman arm end and drag link ball joint making contact with the tie rod during suspension travel……..cant figure why the drag link rides so close to the tie rod as to cause this but i am gonna have to pursue other options as to prevent damage to the tie rod and potentially to other steering components….any help would be great especially if there is a fix to this problem that i am possibly overlooking…..thanks eric

  • Anthony Says:

    I just installed this setup today with a new steering stabilizer, and now I have DW at around 45 MPH, as before with the stock setup I wouldn’t hit serious DW until 60 MPH. I installed my stabilizer bracket different than you have yours, I am going to try flipping it to the way yours is installed and see if that helps.

  • free Says:

    ARE YOU STILL HAPPY WITH THIS SYSTEM AND DO YOU HAVE OR CAN YOU GET THE TOTAL LENGTH THAT THE DRAG LING WILL ADJUST TO THANKS FREE 89XJ 12INCH LIFT 38S

  • IntrepidXJ Says:

    free- I got rid of this steering system after running it for less than a year. I was not happy with the dead spot and ended up replacing this with the Currie steering. I got rid of these steering components, so I cannot get you those measurements.

  • gary Says:

    the length is 35.25 im havin the same problem looks like going to have to go with bullet proof

  • Mike Liston Says:

    I also ran the rugged ridge first, then the currie. Now I run a homemade heim setup from ruff stuff.

  • Adam Curtis Says:

    To get rid of the dead spot with the Rugged Ridge system, I installed (2) washers per side between knuckle and tie rod ends. No more dead spot and actually made steering very responsive!