I sleeved my front track steering rod with a piece of 1.5" OD Stainless Steel pipe a friend found at work... he even welded it for me. I chose to stay back from the rod ends so I could retain OEM length and C-clamps for securing the rod ends. You could do it better than this.
As I look back on this part, I would do it differently now... Find a lock nut that goes onto the tie rod end and the pitman arm end and cut back the OEM rod by the cumulative width of the two nuts. Then run the sleeve all the way out to the end of the rod, or as close as you can and still be able to weld sleeve on. Use the lock nuts to set the ends in position since you'll lose the C-clamps by going to the end of the rod with the sleeve. You'll need to think about what the locknuts will set against, you might want to square off the ends after you weld them... Or just buy the RoverTym rods.
RoverTym Rear Steering Arm-
I bought a LH and a RH tie rod end and replaced my rear steering arm with this RoverTym stainless steel link. What a piece of work, I hated to put it under my truck, I almost rather would hang it on the wall! These pictures don't do it justice.
A friend let me try his old mount that holds the shock to the steering link. Unfortunately, my sleeve was too big for a correct fit. I tried enlarging the mount, and got close, but not close enough for a permanent solution. The metals bit I had to correctly size the two half-clamps wouldn't fit my half-inch Milwaukee drill, so I'll have to find another way. A lathe would be nice...
Then I had to make the frame mount. I used a 2.5" x 8" piece of 1/4" steel plate. I got two pieces figuring that when I got the first one correctly fitted, I could use it as a template and make another. If the first starts to show signs of cracking or bending fatigue, I'll just double the mount at the frame.
I had to mount the shock so that it would clear my front plate, and still keep clear of the steering link as the suspension flexed. I think I'm OK, I guess I'll find out on the trail. About an inch longer plate might have been better.
Above you can see that just a little more length on my bracket would have fit the shock in the cut out of the skid plate mount.... next time.
Ali - thanks for posting the pics of your skid plate - looks nice.
steering guard: i was talking about the rod-type that comes from the factory. dozens of take-offs can be found here:
the mount points look really weak, but i thought the idea of it was kind of novel. since i'm going to be sleeving the steering links, it wouldn't be that hard to fab up something similar with stronger mounting rods.
from surfing the net here, i can't seem to find any NAS spec D90's that still have their steering guard attached. it must be widely thought of as useless, or have a reputation for getting bent up in short order.
> > Sorry this does not address your question directly concerning skid plates. > I've been using HD steering links from RT for 3-4 years, with the steering > stabilizer relocation kit. I've been very happy with this and a diff guard > (gotta have that diff guard). I would recommend the RT HD steering links if > you've already buggered your old ones (like I did) or sleeving your good > ones. > > Larry M.
Here is the permanent solution.
Ok, here are the pics again with the "how to"
The pipe cap is inexpensive and effective, but it is time consuming. The cap is an 8" weld on pipe cap, and can be found at an industrial pipe supplier for around $15.
The 3rd member needs to come out, and to do that, the axles need to come out as well. I actually removed the axle housing to make the welding easier.
For the rear I unbolted the calipers and hung them with wire, so I wouldn’t have to open the brake system, and later bleed the brakes. ABS makes that a pain! From there I unbolted the axle assembly from the truck. Once out, I removed the axels and differential. I left the hubs on, and put rags in the housing to stop slag from grinding and welding. I marked the housing where the fill plug was and proceeded to plasma cut the cheesy sheet metal cap off. Remember to cut out and save the fill hole before you throw away the old cap.
For the front I unbolted the calipers and hung them up. I used a cold chisel to pop the spot welds on the bracket where the flex lines turn to rigid lines. This again saved the painful step of bleeding the brakes. Upon reassembly I used a couple of pop rivets to take the place of the spot welds. This little modification allows me to do brake work or replace a CV with out bleeding the brakes. I unbolted the swivel ball from the housing and removed the hub/swivel/axel as an assembly. Then I removed the housing. From there the work is the same as the rear.
The cap needs to be modified before it is welded to the housing. First about 1/2 inch needs to taken off the cap to keep it from protruding out too far. This is more important in the front for panhard rod clearance, but in the rear so you slide off of rocks with out getting hung up. The housing has internal notches at the top and bottom for ring gear clearance. These are marked on the cap and slits are made using a torch. The tab that was created by the slits is heated and bent out far enough to match the clearance notches on the housing. The slits are then welded back up. On mine it was then ground smooth to give it that “factory” look. Next cap is welded to the housing. The last step is to cut a hole using the reference marks, and weld in the old fill hole that was saved.
It is a lot of work, but it will never be an issue again.