DIY 1/2 heim steering upgrade (part numbers and prices inside)

98rangerdave

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I started a thread pitch thread a few weeks back, I’ll link those details here in another post if you need to see the journey.

First things first, I wanted to find a DIY solution to the other kits on the market. $500 for a 1/2 heim upgrade seems like a lot for what it is. I get it, the large companies have cool colors and billet aluminum, his DIY option does not.

There are 2 ways to put this kit together, cheap or expensive. It all actually rides on if you don’t mind drilling out your spindle to run a bolt compared to the tapered misalignment spacer (the expensive part).

Option 1 (expensive) parts list:

* 7/8 x 7/8 rod end kit, left hand thread
Price: $47.06 (need 2 kits) total: $94.12
Link: https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/78X78HS.html

* RPG Tie Rod pin and misalignment kit
Price: $70 (need 2 kits) total: $140
Link: https://www.rpgoffroad.com/product/tie-rod-pin-misalignment-kits/

* M16x1.5mm Right Hand Weld-In Threaded **** (correct bing to thread onto inner tie rod)
Price: $6.63 (need 2 bungs) total: $22.23
Link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/M16x1-5mm-...d=link&campid=5338805043&toolid=20001&mkevt=1

* 2 feet of 1” ID .120 wall tubing
Price: $3.16 per foot (pricing may vary, but from local metal supply)
Link: https://www.pattonscorp.com/

* Welding, if you can’t weld yourself, call local fabrication shops to get a quote for 4 bungs welded to 1” ID tube, if they quote you more than $50, try another vendor. This will only take a welder 10 minutes, probably less.

Total: $312.67 (deduct $50 if you weld yourself)



I will update this thread again with exact measurements for the tubing along with step by step install photos. I have a week off after Christmas so I plan on installing then. I will share the progress as it happens here.

In the mean time, if you have any questions please ask.
 

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98rangerdave

98rangerdave

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Link to tread pitch journey:

 
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98rangerdave

98rangerdave

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Option 2 (much cheaper but requires drilling of the spindle to accept a 5/8” grade 8 bolt in place of tapered pin)

* 7/8 x 3/4 rod end kit, left hand thread
Price: $47.06 (need 2 kits) total: $94.12
Link: https://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/78X34HS.html

* 5/8” grade 8 bolts
Price: $2.98 each (need 2) total: $5.96
Link:

* M16x1.5mm Right Hand Weld-In Threaded **** (correct bing to thread onto inner tie rod)
Price: $6.63 (need 2 bungs) total: $22.23
Link: https://www.ebay.com/itm/M16x1-5mm-...d=link&campid=5338805043&toolid=20001&mkevt=1

* 2 feet of 1” ID .120 wall tubing
Price: $3.16 per foot (pricing may vary, but from local metal supply)
Link: https://www.pattonscorp.com/

* Welding, if you can’t weld yourself, call local fabrication shops to get a quote for 4 bungs welded to 1” ID tube, if they quote you more than $50, try another vendor. This will only take a welder 10 minutes, probably less.

Total: $172.31 (deduct $50 if you weld yourself)
 
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98rangerdave

98rangerdave

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Finished and ready to weld, turns out you’ll only need 1 foot of .120 wall 1” ID tubing, as the tubing needed to each outer tie rod is 4 1/2” long. The bungs and heim add a lot of length. The overall length requires is 8 3/4”, this leaves 3/4” adjustment at the heim and 1” of adjustment on the inner tie rod for plenty of toe adjustment.

Welding up on Wednesday once I have more free time, should I powder coat a bright color? Or rattle can black? Any ideas?

Photos below:
 

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NateMob

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Finished and ready to weld, turns out you’ll only need 1 foot of .120 wall 1” ID tubing, as the tubing needed to each outer tie rod is 4 1/2” long. The bungs and heim add a lot of length. The overall length requires is 8 3/4”, this leaves 3/4” adjustment at the heim and 1” of adjustment on the inner tie rod for plenty of toe adjustment.

Welding up on Wednesday once I have more free time, should I powder coat a bright color? Or rattle can black? Any ideas?

Photos below:

Steel-It is the answer. I wouldn't powdercoat anything i know i'll need to put a wrench or set of pliers to.


When purchasing the Rod End half set, is the correct misalignment inserts the 3/4"x1/2"? Or are those discarded for the RPG misalignment parts? I really appreciate you putting this together. I've built the steering on my last 3 rock crawlers so its awesome to see a similar solution for the Gen 1s!
 
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98rangerdave

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Steel-It is the answer. I wouldn't powdercoat anything i know i'll need to put a wrench or set of pliers to.


When purchasing the Rod End half set, is the correct misalignment inserts the 3/4"x1/2"? Or or those discarded for the RPG misalignment parts? I really appreciate you putting this together. I've built the steering on my last 3 rock crawlers so its awesome to see a similar solution for the Gen 1s!

I also love steel it, did both my front and rear bumpers with it and never ran into an issue, lays really flat top once dry. Thanks for the tip!

As far as the misalignment spacers that come with the Ruffstuff kit, they aren’t used as long as you are willing to purchase the RPG tapered misalignment pins. The RPG route is what I chose to go down, because I wanted to taper. But if you choose to run a 5/8” grade 8 bolt and drill the spindle that’s a more cost effective route and I did that when I owned my ford ranger and never run into a issue. YMMV.
 
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98rangerdave

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All welded and degreased. Gonna spray paint them SVT blue after they are completely cool to touch. Steel it would probably hold up better but I wanted the color to pop.
 

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BenBB

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Looks great! Quick stupid question. Does anyone offer those heim ends in female thread? Back in the day (which was a Tuesday), I raced a Banshee in the desert. Yamaha tie rods were hollow tubing with male threaded ends, and that threaded end was always a weak spot. A lot of guys (myself included) upgraded to Honda-style tie rods, which had much heavier-duty female threaded ends and a solid rod. Wondering if a similar setup wouldn't work for us...
 
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98rangerdave

98rangerdave

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Looks great! Quick stupid question. Does anyone offer those heim ends in female thread? Back in the day (which was a Tuesday), I raced a Banshee in the desert. Yamaha tie rods were hollow tubing with male threaded ends, and that threaded end was always a weak spot. A lot of guys (myself included) upgraded to Honda-style tie rods, which had much heavier-duty female threaded ends and a solid rod. Wondering if a similar setup wouldn't work for us...
I did a quick google search for a 7/8x7/8 rod end in female thread but couldn’t find anything that large. I do know the male thread option is pretty proven in the off road community without a lot of failures. Most 4 link setups use a 1.25” heim which is much larger but uses the same male thread and those have to support a much larger weight load.

I’ll post some photos once they’re installed!
 
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