Jeep Wrangler Crown Automotive Heavy-Duty Steering Kit w/ Stabilizer (1997-2006 TJ) Review & Install


This Crown Automotive Heavy-Duty Steering
Kit is gonna be for those of you that have a 1997 to 2006 TJ, and are looking for an
upgraded and stronger steering set-up, however, you don’t have the budget or the need for
one of those much bigger, much beefier, and also much more expensive systems that are
available. In my opinion, this is gonna be for those
of you that do some light-wheeling, maybe you don’t have huge tires, maybe something
like a 31 on your TJ, but manage to damage your steering set-up so you want a little
bit of an upgrade, you want something that’s gonna replace everything, the tie rod, the
drag link, and of course your steering stabilizer itself, but you wanna do it on a little bit
more of a budget. If you are going to be running a 35, a 37-inch
tire on your TJ, you’re probably going to wanna go with one of those more expensive,
even stronger systems, however, this is still going to be a pretty good upgrade over your
factory steering set-up. This kit is built from one-inch solid steel
rods. It is going to have greasable tie rod ends
all the way around, however as I said before, these aren’t going to be huge tire rod ends
like on some of the other steering kits that you can get. This isn’t going to be a completely oversized
drag link and tie rod like on some of those more expensive kits that you can purchase. One of the nice features is that if you bent
your tie rod, if you bent your drag link, there’s a chance that you also bent your steering
stabilizer, so this kit does come with one, and it’s gonna be a pretty traditional 50-50
valve shock. It’s going to work just fine regardless of
your tire size and how you use your Jeep. Now, one of the nice things about this steering
set-up is that, like a lot of the other ones, it is going to retain that inverted Y steering
set-up, which is going to be, in my opinion, the best option for your TJ. There are some people that wanna change to
more of a cross-over set-up, however the inverted Y does really work well for your TJ. So overall, this is going to be a very easy
install. It’s gonna be very easy to adjust. As you can see, it has two adjusters built
right into it, so you’re going to be able to make your length adjustment for tow and
the center of your steering wheel very, very easily with this set-up. As far as the install goes on this, I am gonna
give it a one out of three wrenches. All you’re going to have to do is remove your
factory set-up from the Jeep, and go ahead and bolt this right in place. Now, anytime you’re removing a tie rod end
that is going to be a taper-fit, so you’re going to wanna remove the cotter pin, remove
the castle nut, and then strike the steering knuckle perpendicular to that factory tie
rod. And that is how you’re gonna pop that tie
rod end out of it’s taper-fit home. If you try and smash directly down on top
of the tie rod end, there’s a chance that all you’re gonna do is mushroom that end,
making it much more difficult to get it out of the steering knuckle. So again, have a big hammer on hand, strike
perpendicular to the tie rod end. That’s gonna be the best way to get everything
apart. Now up at the pivot arm, when you’re removing
the drag link, I would recommend using a pivot arm puller. If you hit that in any way, you can damage
your steering box, and you certainly don’t wanna have to get into replacing that. So pivot arm puller is going to be something
that I would recommend as far as tools for this job. It is gonna to make it a lot easier and a
lot safer to do. So, once you remove those components off of
your jeep, you can go ahead and take some measurements from the center the tie rod ends
and adjust this set-up so that it’s going to be similar. That is going to give you the best chance
of putting everything together and not having to change your tow or re-center your steering
wheel. Once you’ve made your length adjustments,
you can go ahead and tighten down your adjusters, put everything into their location, tighten
everything down. You are going to wanna use an impact on these
tie rod ends. If you try doing it with just a socket driver,
chances are you’re just going to spin the tie rod end and the ball inside of the housing
here. So, use an impact, make sure you get them
nice and tight, torqued down, make sure you use the castle nuts that come with them, and
make sure you reinstall those cotter pins to ensure that the nuts aren’t going to back
out and nothing’s gonna loosen up. Now after that, I would check your tow, check
your steering wheel center. If you’re not comfortable doing that, you
can always take your Jeep to an alignment shop and have then check that out, but it
is something that’s pretty easy to do in your driveway if you wanna save yourself a little
bit of money and you have the time to do it. The final step in the installation is going
to be bolting on your steering stabilizer. That again, very simple process bolted in
place of that factory steering stabilizer. One end goes on the axle, the other end goes
on your drag link, just bolt it up using the included hardware. This whole set-up and including the steering
stabilizer is gonna come in at right around $230, and I do think that’s a good price for
something that is going to be a bit of an upgrade over your factory system. Does include all of these components and all
of this hardware. However, it is gonna be less expensive than
the others for a reason. It’s not gonna be quite as beefy, quite as
strong as some of those more expensive upgrades. So, as I said in the beginning, I think if
you’re running a 31-inch tire, you bent something, you don’t plan on putting yourself in a situation
where you’re gonna bend something again, then this is gonna be a good kit, a little bit
of an upgrade from factory, but a fairly inexpensive upgrade. If you are hitting the rocks every weekend
with 35s, I would recommend spending a little bit more money and going with one of those
beefier kits. So, if you’re looking for an affordably priced
steering upgrade kit for your TJ, I definitely recommend looking at this one from Crown Automotive
that you can find right here at extremeterrain.com.