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Discussion Starter #1
OK. This is just an FYI on my "clunk" I know there are plenty of posts on this already, but I wanted to get my story out there in case it helps someone.

Background info...

My brother and I installed the RC 2" lift on my commander (137k miles, 100k of those put on by me driving to/from work, no off-roading... yet) with new shocks/struts a couple weeks ago. Still running stock tires at the moment.

Well, I started to notice a clunk when turning at slow speeds. Could replicate it easily while parked -- just slightly turning the steering wheel from center -- both to the right and left (it would clunk both ways). I started to sweat, thinking it was something we screwed up while trying to get the lift/struts installed.

Took it to a mechanic I trust, hoping it was tie rod ends or something relatively cheap/easy. They proceeded to tell me that the noise is coming from the rack. I looked on this site (here for example) and found quite a few people talking about this adjustment you can make on the rack. Asked the mechanic to do it, he tried, said it wouldn't budge, it was rounding off, -- basically he didn't feel comfortable doing it, I could see it in his eyes. I also didn't feel comfortable forcing him to do something that could damage something more. Maybe I'm a wuss. FYI - they also called RC for me to ask about the lift and if they had any recommendations -- they didn't.

So. After sleeping on it, and learning that they found me a new rack for $300 from Arnold's Motor Supply (it would've been $844 through Chrysler) --- I took it back in and am having them install it (along with new tie rods ends because it's only a matter of time, and they will be in there anyways) today. My jeep is sitting there as I type this.

I feel like I should have pushed them a little more on the rack adjustment. I had immediate 'buyer's remorse' after I told them to order the new rack. I am hoping that when I go in there this afternoon I can take a closer look at that old rack and it's adjustment bolt. Maybe learn something??

I will post again tomorrow on how everything went and what I learned...
 

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OK. The new rack (and new tie rods ends) are working out great. No clunk/pop - nothing. I must have been used to what I would call "loose" steering because it handles like a dream now.

Honestly, I am starting to wonder if that whole setup needed replaced a long time ago (before the popping) -- because I can't remember the last time the jeep handled this well. I am thinking that me messing around (what I would call "unprofessionally") with everything and lifting it may have exaggerated/pressured things just enough to create the pop/clunk noise and force my hand on getting the work done.

Quick cost breakdown to help others:
$373.00 - rack, plus $35.76 shipping. (The part alone was $844 from Chrysler)
$92.76 - two new tie rod ends
$50.00 alignment
$360 - labor

Am I ticked I had to spend the +$900? Yes, although I think I got a good deal thx to a friend that works there. This jeep has 137k miles on it (so maybe I shouldn't be surprised?) and I plan to keep driving it as long as I can.

Also -- for those interested. The RC 2" lift (and new shocks/struts) completely leveled my jeep. The front end was sagging big time beforehand (exaggerated by worn struts??) and it now rides level. I lost the paper I wrote the measurements on -- but I would say the back went up 2" and the front went up over 4" -- now, LEVEL!

So. From here on out, I plan to continue to keep this forum in my daily reads until sometime this spring when my stock size tires are officially shot. Deciding on size and yes/no spacers...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Old Rack Adjustment Pic

OK. I snapped one photo of the old rack. You can see where the adjustment bolt is... NOTE -- before I decided to buy the new rack, the mechanic was unable to turn this adjustment. Likely due to not having the proper tool (and not really taking it apart to work on, I think he just tried to wrench on it while still in there and was just rounding it off).

If something ever goes bad on this new rack (I wish I would've gotten a pic of that adjustment bolt, but didn't) I will now doubt try the fix detailed here: (link)

 

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Thanks for the update, and I would recomment 245 75 17 those are the tallest that I am aware of that do not rub, I got some MT on that size and get no rubbing with my RC 2inch lift.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks fco27 -- question -- will those fit in your spare tire well?
 

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I don't think they will I did not purchase a spare of the same size, I still have the original I know it will give errors if driven with a wrong size tire but I just didn't have the money. There are threads about this and I think someone managed to fit one but they had to take some air out.
 

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Nice rite up. I'm having a clunky my self over bumps. Told everything was ok but the struts, well I just replaced those the other day when my lift went on. And it's still there... Find out sometime sooner or later I guess haha..
As for tires I'm running 255-75 kenda klever mt and 1" spacers. No rub yet that I can tell on road (hasn't been off yet. Soon tho) they grip the snow and ice real well too.. also I've heard of people fitting 265 70 in the spare well with no air. And people fitting 255 75 mt aired up.. I plan on just getting a regular tread for my spare
 

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Thanks fco27 -- question -- will those fit in your spare tire well?
I have 255/70r18's in my spare tire well fully inflated. They are 32" tall which is .5" taller than 245/75r17

I do NOT have a tow hitch. You can modify the hitch to allow this size tire.
 

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My XK is bone stock, and I had to do that rack adjustment a year or two ago, and it has worked out ok so far....Less is more when making the adjustment. It only took around 1/8 turn or so to snug it up without being too tight.
I'm wondering if these Jeep racks have a defect. In my experience a steering rack generally lasts the life of a vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
My XK is bone stock, and I had to do that rack adjustment a year or two ago, and it has worked out ok so far....Less is more when making the adjustment. It only took around 1/8 turn or so to snug it up without being too tight.
I'm wondering if these Jeep racks have a defect. In my experience a steering rack generally lasts the life of a vehicle.
Thanks TPS and ya, I am wishing I would have pressed the mechanic a little more on making that adjustment to my rack. As you can see by the pic above of the rounding off of the bolt -- he tried and failed (wrong wrench it appears). Safe to say if this new rack ever starts to make noise -- I will be figuring out how to adjust it! For what its worth -- the new rack and tie rod ends still feel/sound great a few weeks after install.
 

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Sorry, I don't recall the exact size - I believe it is a large size external TORX, but I ended up using a standard socket that seemed to fit snugly over it. The only thing I needed to remove was the oil filter drip shield, and then I could fit the socket wrench in there.
 
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