View Full Version : Product Review: Kevin's Off Road Track Bar Conversion with 9/16" Hardware

10-14-2015, 10:31 PM
Been a while since I've gotten to do one of these, guess that's what happens when the build slows down a bit!

Anyways, I've been running Kevin's Trackbar conversion on my ZJ for a long time now, well over 10 years, and have been a very happy customer. Earlier this summer I noticed some play in the adjustment area on my trackbar that was pretty unsafe. Purely my own fault as I hadn't been keeping up with keeping the jamb nut tight and that led to this. I'm also apparently just very hard on front end components as I also found a hairline crack in my pitman arm, and the sector shaft in my steering box wobbles like a weeble. So I called up Kevin to get another bar to start getting the ZJ safe to drive again. In talking with Kevin, he also recommended the 9/16" hardware kit, as well as some new SuperDurometer bushings as well since there were quite old too.

Seeing as how the new hardware was 9/16" I looked through my tool box and could not find a drill bit that size. I headed off to my local Home Depot, and the biggest they had was 1/2". Ordered one off Amazon and thanks to them and their drones I had a 9/16" drill bit on my door step in 2 days and was ready to get to work. Not sure if it's just my Home Depot or what, but I would suggest getting the drill bit from somewhere at the same time as the parts so you don't have a delay in your install like I did.

Here's some comparison shots of the parts.

Standard hardware vs the 9/16"
https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/12107117_1220498667965962_3989512316621931365_n.jp g?oh=c251ad341961ad8dd9a106b8a8af3a1d&oe=56CB1920

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/12119135_1220498654632630_1241381830112764294_n.jp g?oh=7db865bbab5b1eb4b592cb25f4be683e&oe=568BC867

One of the things I really liked about the 9/16" kit was the holder for the nut on the backside of the axle end mount. From what I remember, the base hardware in this kit is still a bit bigger than OEM, so you can see here the holder/tab supplied by Kevin alongside the one I made back in the day by cutting the OEM nut off and welding the bigger nut to it.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t1.0-9/12115742_1220498661299296_500708626397171865_n.jpg ?oh=56c3366504a01e0a6ad64358df90525e&oe=5685093C

Some of the 9/16" hardware and the smaller sized bolt with the 9/16" drill bit from DeWalt.
https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/12096342_1220498721299290_2853266954435253700_n.jp g?oh=6fe369f2af9cc065fa6b948a475a5a67&oe=56D1390F

I don't foresee my lift height ever changing and having the need to adjust the bar, but I still applied a liberal coat of anti-seize to the threads to make sure I could adjust down the road if needed.
https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/12107090_1220498724632623_906404999145087289_n.jpg ?oh=66fb381863720f8dde011012944f147f&oe=56C3C4DB

New threaded end with SuperDurometer bushings and the 9/16" sleeve compared to the old one.
https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t1.0-9/12144767_1220498671299295_83177843123111521_n.jpg? oh=0ccf1e4f9d2e12130dcbde138702fe0d&oe=56CDADBD

The install is fairly straightforward, and went pretty smooth. I did run into one issue though, and not sure if it's just a problem I was having or something inherent in the hardware. I was having issues getting the nuts on tight enough, as they were metal top lock nuts. It was also a bit difficult to get the axle end bolt started on the nut, as the way it was welded to the tab meant you had to start threading through the deformed part of the nut that is designed to lock it in all place once tight. **read the update from 10/16/15 below as Kevin is addressing this** I hadn't used this type of hardware before, but certainly understand why it was being used here as a loose trackbar bolt can cause a number of issues in the front end. Even with my impact gun I just couldn't get them tight. I ended up just getting some lock washers and used those with regular nuts instead, as well as cutting the top lock nut off the tab and welding a regular nut to it.

I still feel better having a little bigger hardware in the trackbar though, and feel the jump to 9/16" was worth it. It's also a decent option if you have already wallowed out your axle end trackbar mount by just drilling it out to a larger size.

I haven't got it out on the trail yet as the snow is starting to fly in the mountains here in CO, but am looking forward to the front being tighter on the trails next year!

The full trackbar conversion with the upper bracket can be purchased here: http://www.kevinsoffroad.com/cart/hardkor-track-bar-conversion-cures-death-wobble-p-1017/

Even though I bought the original trackbar conversion 10+ years ago, KOR was still able to get me the separate components I needed to handle my jamb nut issue.

Update 10/16/15
Kevin reached out and said the tab for the lower bolt was apparently made incorrectly, and that he is working to figure out the root cause of the problem and make sure that nobody else runs into this issue.

Update 10/20/15
Kevin figured out the source of the problem on the tab on the lower bolt, and has taken measures to make sure that nobody else runs into this problem.

10-15-2015, 08:17 PM

Good thing I'll be talking to Kev next week...woohoo!