Suspension Basics: Installing a Track Bar Bracket
Your pickup truck’s track bar keeps the axle in place to limit the truck’s side-to-side movement. A track bar bracket on the other hand, secures the track bar to the vehicle’s frame. If you’re experiencing steering wander or poor road feel while driving, it’s time to check your track bar and bracket to avoid accidents.
We listed the steps, reminders, and tools that you need to help you install a new track bar bracket on a Dodge Truck.
Tools that You’ll Need:
- Car Jack
- Brass hammer
- Air impact wrench
- Lug wrench or breaker bar
- 1/2" or strong 3/8" drill
- 5/8" and 1/2" drill bit
- 3/4" hole saw with removable pilot bit
- 1/2" socket wrench ratchet with 3" extension
- 3/4", 15/16", 13mm, 18mm, 22mm socket and/or combination wrench
Safety Tips and Reminders:
- Make sure that you’re working on a solid, level surface.
- Diesel trucks have more room between the oil pan and axle to drill the crossmember, while gas trucks may have less clearance.
- Some early model pickups use a small ballstud, and the frame bracket needs to be drilled to 5/8” to clear the bracket bolt. A tapered aluminum adapter is inserted into the frame bracket from the bracket’s bottom.
- Always wear recommended safety equipment like closed-toe shoes, an industrial-grade dusk mask, safety goggles and gloves.
- Check your replacement parts and make sure that they are compatible to your vehicle’s make and model.
Removing the Track Bar
Step 1: Loosen the front wheel’s lug nuts with a lug wrench. Position the floor jack underneath your truck to lift it off the ground.
Step 2: Place jack stands at the vehicle’s jacking points to ensure stability. Remove the front wheel and droop the truck’s axle.
Step 3: Use a 22mm wrench to loosen the nut at the ball stud located at the track bar frame’s end. Use a pair of pliers to remove the cotter pins.
Step 4: Use an 18mm wrench to remove the bolt at the track bar axle’s end. Since flag nuts are usually secured with lock-tight, use an impact wrench to remove it.
Step 5: Shake the track bar a bit and pull it from the axle. Set aside the flag nut and bolt for reuse.
Step 6: Use a 13mm wrench to remove the brake line clips from the back of the crossmember. This will allow you to install the track bar bracket on the cross-member.
Installing the Track Bar Bracket
Step 7: Use a 15/16” wrench and a 5/8 x 2.5” bolt to mount the track bar bracket through the OEM frame bracket.
Step 8: Insert a 0.5 x 4.5” bolt through front ear of the track bar bracket. Push the bolt through the existing frame holes below the steering shaft’s end.
Step 9: Install a ½” washer and lock nut at the bolt’s end and use a ¾” wrench to secure the lock nut. Apply appropriate torque when securing the lock nut.
Step 10: Remove the pilot bit from the ¾” hole saw. Use the two ¾” holes in the bracket as a guide when drilling through the crossmember’s frame. Caution: Do not drill through the crossmember’s front.
Step 11: Reinstall the hole saw pilot bit. Use the ¾” hole as a guide when drilling through the crossmember’s front from behind. Do not run the hole saw through the crossmember’s front, and keep the holes as straight as possible. Use the two pilot holes as a guide and a ½” bit to enlarge each hole.
Step 12: Insert a ¾” crush sleeve and flat washers on each ½ x 2 ½” bolt. Insert the bolts through the track bar bracket and crossmember. Insert nuts and ½” washers bolt ends, and use a ¾” wrench to secure the bolts.
Step 13: Reconnect the brake line bolt by drilling a pilot hole in the crossmember. Use a 13mm wrench to secure the brake line bolt.
Step 14: Reverse the first 6 steps to reinstall your truck’s track bar. Drive your truck to test if the installation worked.
Installing new track bar brackets will take about 1 hour and 30 mins for an expert DIYer and around 2 hours for a beginner. Exercise caution when working on your vehicle’s suspension system. Stay safe!