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Thread: OffRoadOnly's U-Turn steering kit installed...

  1. #1

    Thumbs up OffRoadOnly's U-Turn steering kit installed...



    ...On our XJ that is. The reason I'm posting this in here is because A) since the kit is really aimed at TJ's I figured you guys would be more interested and 2) there'd already been some threads about the kit in here.

    This kit is beefy. The tierod is a MONSTER! ORO's instructions are great (some of the best I've ever seen), and include lots of reference photos. They even go over how to set the alignment after you finish with the install. The kit was originally designed to go with their AiRock TJ suspensions, but it works just as well on other Jeeps. One of the early installs I saw was actually on a YJ.

    Anyway, I got the kit installed saturday (11/6) and so far I'm pretty happy with it. The install went smoothly, and it's all pretty basic really - unbolt the stock stuff, bolt up the new stuff. There's not even any drilling required. The bolts that go up through the knuckle arms use an aluminum crush sleeve to deal with the taper, and boy is it solid once you get it all torqued down.

    Technically you don't have to pull off the wheels to do the install, depending on your rim backspacing and tires, but I decided it'd be a lot easier to do everything with the wheels off and the front on jackstands. Pics from the install are at:

    http://jeepin.com/features/uturn_album/index.htm

    The new steering hubs raise the draglink about 3", and the tierod about 1/2-3/4". As you can see in the pics, the draglink is actually bent to clear the swaybar mount on the axle. At full left lock, the end of the draglink still gets pretty close to the bottom of my JKS disconnect, but it doesn't appear that it will actually hit (unlike the TRE on the tierod on my stock steering).

    So far I've put about 50 miles on the kit, mostly highway speed driving, and even without a steering stabilizer (the kit's still in early production and the SS brackets aren't ready just yet) it's smooth and controlled. It's a bit loose though without a SS. Not like sloppy, but the steering wheel is very easy to turn now. This could also be from the reduced draglink angle being able to put more force in the horizontal direction. No signs of death wobble or vibrations or anything. And oddly enough, like someone else with the kit had reported, it seems more stable in crosswinds. It doesn't feel like I'm getting blown all over the road anymore.

    There is a hint of bumpsteer though. It's not much, and once I get a SS on there I may not even notice it. The kit was specifically designed for a TJ with a trackbar drop bracket (like what comes with RE's long-arm kits) and the *stock* pitman arm -- the instructions specifically state to use the stock pitman arm. Since RE's XJ trackbar bracket doesn't lower the trackbar any, I'm getting the same effects as if someone ran the kit on a TJ with a drop pitman arm. It's not enough to me to even bother with though.

    The new steering hub keeps the draglink alignment with the knuckle the same to maintain the factory ackerman steering angles. Of course, on a rig with a much wider track and much larger tires, I'm not sure how important "proper" ackerman steering is.

    As I said above, so far I'm really happy with the kit. Angles are improved, it gets rid of the inverted-Y geometry, and the steering feels more responsive and precise. The only real downsides I can think of is it's not *as* easy to adjust the draglink as it is with the stock linkage, and I'll probably have to disconnect one end of the tierod if I need to remove the trackbar's axle bolt (since the tierod runs directly in front of the bolt).
    Jason - Jeepin.com
    '95 XJ, RE 5.5", 35's, D30 w/hubs & ARB, D44 w/Detroit, 4.56's, etc, etc.
    '00 TJ, wife's, RE 4.5" long-arm, 35's, OX, full cage, winch, etc, etc.
    2006 Dodge Ram MegaCab 3500 SLT, CTD, 48RE, plates read: "TOW RIG"
    my blog

  2. #2
    Registered 858 Eng's Avatar
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    What has been done to the drag link to correct the bending issues previously encountered with this kit?


    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Wrangler
    One of these guys even threatened to come to my house and unplug my computer. His reply was a bit concerning to me because of the large assault rifle he includes in his posts.

  3. #3

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    honestly I don't know, I've only heard of one instance where it bent though.
    Jason - Jeepin.com
    '95 XJ, RE 5.5", 35's, D30 w/hubs & ARB, D44 w/Detroit, 4.56's, etc, etc.
    '00 TJ, wife's, RE 4.5" long-arm, 35's, OX, full cage, winch, etc, etc.
    2006 Dodge Ram MegaCab 3500 SLT, CTD, 48RE, plates read: "TOW RIG"
    my blog

  4. #4
    Mr. Romantic mnjeeper's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by 858 Eng -=-
    What has been done to the drag link to correct the bending issues previously encountered with this kit?
    Pretty sure the DL that bent was Jerry-with a preproduction test unit.

    All I know is mine is heat treated chromoly, I'm not worried about the draglink. It's damn beefy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim@californiatops
    No, I refuse. I feel no pressure. In fact, I am
    rubbing your $455 on my balls. It feels nice.
    You can rub my soft top on your balls if you
    like but watch the sharp edges, my bitch. (wink)

  5. #5

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    Just got this info from Steve @ ORO:

    "the original bowed component was standard 1.25 DOM. The tie
    rods and draglinks, as specified here
    http://www.offroadonly.com/products/new/u-turn/ are 4130 Chromoly, that have
    been heat treated after the metalwork and therefore made much stronger.
    However, it is still a weak point because I'd rather have the drag link bow
    a bit than to exert enough force on the pitman arm to possibly cause a
    pitman shaft failure."
    Jason - Jeepin.com
    '95 XJ, RE 5.5", 35's, D30 w/hubs & ARB, D44 w/Detroit, 4.56's, etc, etc.
    '00 TJ, wife's, RE 4.5" long-arm, 35's, OX, full cage, winch, etc, etc.
    2006 Dodge Ram MegaCab 3500 SLT, CTD, 48RE, plates read: "TOW RIG"
    my blog

  6. #6
    Registered cabletow's Avatar
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    btt watching with interest
    From the home
    of warm beer





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    Thanks for the post. Good info.
    '01 TJ, AW4, NP242, York OBA

  8. #8
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    How much did it cost?
    98 TJ

  9. #9

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    list price is $649 plus shipping.
    Jason - Jeepin.com
    '95 XJ, RE 5.5", 35's, D30 w/hubs & ARB, D44 w/Detroit, 4.56's, etc, etc.
    '00 TJ, wife's, RE 4.5" long-arm, 35's, OX, full cage, winch, etc, etc.
    2006 Dodge Ram MegaCab 3500 SLT, CTD, 48RE, plates read: "TOW RIG"
    my blog

  10. #10
    Registered 858 Eng's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by Jason, aka: Jeepin.com -=-
    list price is $649 plus shipping.
    And this is the reason I won't be buying one. One tie rod, a drag link, and two brackets for $650 is totally unreasonable.

    I think this is probably one of the best steering kits on the market due to it's simplicity and ease of installation but the price seems, to me, to be way over the top.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Wrangler
    One of these guys even threatened to come to my house and unplug my computer. His reply was a bit concerning to me because of the large assault rifle he includes in his posts.

  11. #11

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    Don't worry. Like any other after market jeep part, a cheaper copy will be out on the market soon enough.



    -=- originally posted by 858 Eng -=-
    And this is the reason I won't be buying one. One tie rod, a drag link, and two brackets for $650 is totally unreasonable.

    I think this is probably one of the best steering kits on the market due to it's simplicity and ease of installation but the price seems, to me, to be way over the top.

  12. #12
    Registered SkyHigh's Avatar
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    I have been testing it for quite some time now. I'm still thrilled with it on and offroad. I have bent one tie rod, but it was the original 1.25 dom rod. I have since gotten the Updated tie rod. I bent the tie rod on a monster rock I had no buisness attempting to climb, or more like ram into.

    I easily bent it back with a winch, and have wheeld on it sevral times since with no problem. Steve sent me the new version and its massive...just didn't have time to throw it on before the last trip, but i did bring it JIC.
    97 Sahara

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    -=- originally posted by 858 Eng -=-
    And this is the reason I won't be buying one. One tie rod, a drag link, and two brackets for $650 is totally unreasonable.

    I think this is probably one of the best steering kits on the market due to it's simplicity and ease of installation but the price seems, to me, to be way over the top.
    You've understated what's included for $649. Here is the correct list of parts:

    1 tie rod
    1 drag link
    2 hub brackets
    1 drag link adjuster
    1 steering stabilizer bracket
    4 tie rod ends
    Miscellaneous hardware (jam nuts & mounting bolts)

    Besides the raw material and parts costs, there's outside vendor costs for heat treating, in addition to labor costs to do the cutting, bending, welding, machining and finishing. It all adds up when it's done by U.S. citizens. Not to mention the manufacturer's investment in time and money designing, testing and revising the design to get it ready for production. Somehow they have to recoup that investment. And then make a few bucks on the sale.

    Inexpensive? No. Over the top? Not even close.

  14. #14

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    Yeah, no doubt the price will keep some away. It's not for everyone. I have had mine now for several months. Actually, I had a proto-type all summer that I got lucky enough to test for ORO. As mentioned, 1 proto-type (not mine bent a draglink but it was beleived to be an install issue. Mine never had a problem. The final production unit is heat treated chromoly. I just got back from Tellico 2 weeks ago were I really abused it and other than some paint, it looks as straight as when I put it on.

    This is not just a heavy duty replacement, it is a redesign of a not to great OEM design. This is the 4th steering setup I have tried (I won't mention them because I am not trashing anyone elses stuff), and this one out performs the others by far. Of course I run the AiRock suspension and because of the lift change of 2" to 10", we tend to have other issues with stock TJ (or YJ for that matter) steering design. The U-Turn eliminates all of that.

    Most of the improvement in handling is all on-road highway driveabilty. I found that on my TJ the steering feedback and control seemed greatly improved. I believe that the TJ, which had a bit of a soft overcenter spot, meaning that there was a small point where steering control did not seem to provide an immeadiate reaction is no longer present. Off-Road I have no bumpsteer at all anymore. The 36" Iroks really added more bumpsteer but it's gone now.

    Again, this is not for everyone, but it was cheaper than the other 3 I already tried and didn't like. BTW: I do not work for ORO, sell ORO stuff, or get ORO discounts. I do however really appreciate a well designed product that isn't just another bigger, heavy OEM replacement.
    -(O|||||O)-

  15. #15
    Mr. Romantic mnjeeper's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by 858 Eng -=-
    And this is the reason I won't be buying one. One tie rod, a drag link, and two brackets for $650 is totally unreasonable.

    I think this is probably one of the best steering kits on the market due to it's simplicity and ease of installation but the price seems, to me, to be way over the top.
    I've got a different opinion on this. $649 made my Jeep drive a world better. It was a more dramatic improvement in handling than the LA kit was in ride quality by far. For the safety and comfort level, it isn't expensive in my opinion. Most of us spend a lot of money on things that don't get us the continual payback that this does. How often do I use either of my lockers that cost the same amount as this? Often enough on the lockers for what they are compared to every time I get behind the wheel with the u-turn are quite different.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim@californiatops
    No, I refuse. I feel no pressure. In fact, I am
    rubbing your $455 on my balls. It feels nice.
    You can rub my soft top on your balls if you
    like but watch the sharp edges, my bitch. (wink)

  16. #16
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    -=- originally posted by mnjeeper -=-
    I've got a different opinion on this. $649 made my Jeep drive a world better. It was a more dramatic improvement in handling than the LA kit was in ride quality by far. For the safety and comfort level, it isn't expensive in my opinion. Most of us spend a lot of money on things that don't get us the continual payback that this does. How often do I use either of my lockers that cost the same amount as this? Often enough on the lockers for what they are compared to every time I get behind the wheel with the u-turn are quite different.
    I agree with mnjeeper here, this is how I can attempt to tell you about the benefits of ORO's steering. There are a lot of people here who throw 33" tires on stock axels and stock gearing, let say 3.07 as it is one of the most common gears from the factory. You think OK, this isn't too bad, I can still get up to highway speeds, it might not be ideal, but it's bearable. Then you swap in some axles with deeper gears or re-gear your current axles and can't believe how much better it is on a DAILY basis to drive your jeep again.

    The gears are noticed all the time in overall improved drivability in all conditions, both on and off road. The same goes with this steering. The on road manners and responsiveness are felt from the second you back out of your driveway, until you return there, whether you went to the grocery store or the Rubicon.
    89 YJ, front LA w/coilovers, EFI, 4.0 head swap , 33" Truxus MT, DT 3000 shocks, 4.10's, D44 W/Detroit, PIAA 540's, AA HD SYE, HD CV shaft, ORO u-turn steering

    My YJ
    MN-Jeep.com
    Twin City Off Road TCOR
    ORO AirRock Off Road Only
    Screaman Seeman Offroad Products

  17. #17
    Registered 858 Eng's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by JerryC -=-
    You've understated what's included for $649. Here is the correct list of parts:

    1 tie rod
    1 drag link
    2 hub brackets
    1 drag link adjuster
    1 steering stabilizer bracket
    4 tie rod ends
    Miscellaneous hardware (jam nuts & mounting bolts)
    Don't forget the two bolts and the taper inserts.

    -=- originally posted by JerryC -=-
    Besides the raw material and parts costs, there's outside vendor costs for heat treating, in addition to labor costs to do the cutting, bending, welding, machining and finishing. It all adds up when it's done by U.S. citizens. Not to mention the manufacturer's investment in time and money designing, testing and revising the design to get it ready for production. Somehow they have to recoup that investment. And then make a few bucks on the sale.

    Inexpensive? No. Over the top? Not even close.
    :

    Finishing? you mean the spray paint coating?

    Seriously, I could copy the design and have it produced locally for a lot less. I would rather not as I do feel that a business should make money for their designs, but $650 is too much. From a manufacturing standpoint, their is not much cost in this, tapping tie rods and bending them is simple. heat treating is also simple and cheap.

    I'm not trying to bash the company, they can charge what ever they want. But again, the price is what is keeping me from buying the product, probably many others too. It may be great and all but it's benefits are not $250 better than a Currie unit, especially in light of what is actually being included in the kit.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Wrangler
    One of these guys even threatened to come to my house and unplug my computer. His reply was a bit concerning to me because of the large assault rifle he includes in his posts.

  18. #18
    Mr. Romantic mnjeeper's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by 858 Eng -=-
    It may be great and all but it's benefits are not $250 better than a Currie unit, especially in light of what is actually being included in the kit.
    May I make a suggestion....compare it to one of the other crossover steering systems on the market if you want to compare it. The tough part is I am fairly sure that ruins your argument since the other crossover steering systems require fab work and cost more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tim@californiatops
    No, I refuse. I feel no pressure. In fact, I am
    rubbing your $455 on my balls. It feels nice.
    You can rub my soft top on your balls if you
    like but watch the sharp edges, my bitch. (wink)

  19. #19
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    -=- originally posted by 858 Eng -=-Seriously, I could copy the design and have it produced locally for a lot less.
    If you can find someone to produce this for a lot less and still leave room for some profit for yourself I'd like to see it. As said above Steve prides himself and ORO in producing 100% USA made products. The Materials, laser cutting, tapping, finishing (powder coating the drag link I believe, painting the tie rod) hardware, instructions, paying his employees, shop fees, etc all adds up. If all you have to bash is the price, why keep complaining?
    89 YJ, front LA w/coilovers, EFI, 4.0 head swap , 33" Truxus MT, DT 3000 shocks, 4.10's, D44 W/Detroit, PIAA 540's, AA HD SYE, HD CV shaft, ORO u-turn steering

    My YJ
    MN-Jeep.com
    Twin City Off Road TCOR
    ORO AirRock Off Road Only
    Screaman Seeman Offroad Products

  20. #20
    Registered 858 Eng's Avatar
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    -=- originally posted by Nick89 -=-
    If you can find someone to produce this for a lot less and still leave room for some profit for yourself I'd like to see it. As said above Steve prides himself and ORO in producing 100% USA made products. The Materials, laser cutting, tapping, finishing (powder coating the drag link I believe, painting the tie rod) hardware, instructions, paying his employees, shop fees, etc all adds up. If all you have to bash is the price, why keep complaining?
    Look, I think the price is too high and I know it could be produced locally for less. I'm not interested in ripping off other's designs nor am I encouraging anyone to do that, I used it as an exemple to illustrate my point. I'm going to leave it at that because you're right, there's no point in complaining about the price as it's ultimately the decision of the buyer whether or not it's worth the money.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Wrangler
    One of these guys even threatened to come to my house and unplug my computer. His reply was a bit concerning to me because of the large assault rifle he includes in his posts.

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