Hi, I'm really new to this stuff and had a couple of questions, one is what is a drag link and what does it do? Second do I need to change that if I plan on lifting my truck, oh say about 3 inches? How about the tie rod, do I also need to change that? and What exactly does that do? I know what the rear links are and front radius arms and pan-rod arms are and I know I would need to change those if I want a three inch lift as well as the drive shafts but the two things mentioned before hand are just puzzling me.
once you start adding new springs, shocks, bigger tires, etc you'll notice that other components will start to fail. Think about it, if you have a 95 Disco (10 years old) with original stock tie-rods and you install a set of larger (heavier) tires like BFG ATs, they will put some strain on the tie-rods, bushings and other parts....
Like SCSL said, tell us more about the vehicle and what you plan on doing with it.
1999 DI - LR HD Springs
1996 DI - parting out
1995 DI - Scorpion Racing Extreme Kit
1994 RRC LWB - 3" AG lift
1991 RR - parting out (few parts left)
1990 Kawasaki KL650B Tengai - parting out
1989 Kawasaki KLR650
1988 Kawasaki KLR650 - parting out
1979 Puch XK
1980 Puch Magnum MKII
1980 Puch Magnum MKII - parting out
'97 is still DI, right? Also, what suspension specifically are you looking to install? OME suspension requires no add'l upgrades to driveshafts, radius arms, brake lines, etc. Although, depending on how much off-roading you do, you may want to either remove sway bars or add disconnects to take advantage of articulation & reduce body roll off-road.
Ah, RTE 3" springs will give you significantly more lift than OME. Regarding drag link, tie rod,etc I did not have to upgrade any steering components. Have not had any problems w/ steering components but I do have that 'vague' steering feel on road,,,just a matter of getting used to it (like removing sways). With SG springs I upgraded brake & ABS lines, but was able to use stock radius arms. I upgraded front drive shaft, kept rear. Even so, I would follow Steve's advice to the letter w/ his suspension kit as he'll know exactly what you need & will have the parts on hand.
Sorry I never actually answered your original question. Perhaps someone here can give a better explanation or illustration b/c I'm not very techie & suck at creating diagrams,,,, but if you imagine your steering components as forming kind of a portion of a "Z" from the frame attachment to the wheels themselves, the drag link attaches at the tie-rod, which is the rod that moves the wheels when you steer. (the tie rod is the lower horizontal line of the "Z") Look at the drag link as the counterpart to the pitman that attaches at frame. When your front axle articulates, the drag link flexes (rather than breaking). There are companies that make HD steering assemblies for Discos but again, I haven't had the need. I figure I'll just run stock until I break something (probably a tie rod),,,mend it on the trail,,,and then order up something after-market. If you are concerned about this, you could get a tie rod from a junk yard & carry it as a spare in the event of damage and then look to upgrade. However, as I said, I would take Steve's advice on any RTE lift as he designed it and is going to know specifically what you need, why you need it, and have the custom designed parts on hand.
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