Drag Link popping up/down by pitman arm

RubiDukkie

Trail Lead
Member 2024
Blue Ribbon Coalition
VA4WDA
During my last visit to the 4x4 shop, they noted that the drag link socket was popping. I checked it myself while my wife moved the steering wheel back and forth. I could definitely feel and see the Drag Link socket by the Pitman Arm popping up and down. However, I can't notice any unusual vibration or other steering issues on the road. So, my guess is that it is not worn enough for the dealership to replace it under the Mopar extended warranty. Asking them to look at now would simply waste $200 on the diagnostic fee they will charge. Looking for your opinion if you think I am probably correct or not.

My other option would be to replace it now with an aftermarket draglink. If I did that then I might as well get the tie rod done also since I would be looking at an RPM aluminum drag link & tie rod combo. I'm just not keen on spending that kind of money while still under the extended warranty.

Thanks.
 
By drag link socket do you mean the rod end?

In any case, if it's popping visibly and audibly it should be replaced. I suggest you read up on the terms of your warranty though, steering components are usually considered wear items, and it most likely depends on the "care" level you selected.
 
OEM ends are cheaply built. Plastic is the wear material. If there is movement the joint is in danger of failing.

Two solutions, go back to the dealer and have them replace
Other ditch the factory drag link and tie rod for a quality aluminum kit with serviceable ends

Something of note. Quality cost money up front. Benefit is longevity. Installed aluminum tie rod and drag link on the JK in 18. The system was transfered axle and all to a friend for her jeep. 120,000 miles later still going strong.

Cheep cost more in the long run in both down time and frequent replacements.

At the end of the day the cost is the same in the long run.

Cheers
 
By drag link socket do you mean the rod end?

In any case, if it's popping visibly and audibly it should be replaced. I suggest you read up on the terms of your warranty though, steering components are usually considered wear items, and it most likely depends on the "care" level you selected.
Yes, what I am calling the socket is the rod end. Also, the Mopar extended warranty I have covers the drag link.
 
OEM ends are cheaply built. Plastic is the wear material. If there is movement the joint is in danger of failing.

Two solutions, go back to the dealer and have them replace
Other ditch the factory drag link and tie rod for a quality aluminum kit with serviceable ends

Something of note. Quality cost money up front. Benefit is longevity. Installed aluminum tie rod and drag link on the JK in 18. The system was transfered axle and all to a friend for her jeep. 120,000 miles later still going strong.

Cheep cost more in the long run in both down time and frequent replacements.

At the end of the day the cost is the same in the long run.

Cheers
I hear ya on the longevity issue. Will let you all know what I finally decide to do.
 
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Yes, what I am calling the socket is the rod end. Also, the Mopar extended warranty I have covers the drag link.
Oh, nice the warranty you have covers the steering components.

I would take it in, I really don't see how it wouldn't be covered under the warranty. It's not supposed to pop, whether or not it causes any drivability concerns the secondary, and it's a good thing you caught it in time.

You could always use it as an opportunity to upgrade, but then you'd be out of pocket for the whole thing plus the subsequent alignment. I know that it shouldn't matter, but I've also dealt with plenty of shop warranties and when some see aftermarket parts, whether or not they're related to the actual failed component, they see it as fodder for trying to deny claims. Usually this is a process and inconvenience most would prefer to avoid. Upgrade the steering, I could see a difficult shop wanting to deny a claim on a steering gear or similar.
 
Oh, nice the warranty you have covers the steering components.

I would take it in, I really don't see how it wouldn't be covered under the warranty. It's not supposed to pop, whether or not it causes any drivability concerns the secondary, and it's a good thing you caught it in time.
Yea, it is the Mopar Maxcare warranty. I'm gonna take it in within the next few weeks and see how it goes. Eventually will upgrade everything to aluminum, but there are other things I'd rather spend the coin on right now.
 
During my last visit to the 4x4 shop, they noted that the drag link socket was popping. I checked it myself while my wife moved the steering wheel back and forth. I could definitely feel and see the Drag Link socket by the Pitman Arm popping up and down. However, I can't notice any unusual vibration or other steering issues on the road. So, my guess is that it is not worn enough for the dealership to replace it under the Mopar extended warranty. Asking them to look at now would simply waste $200 on the diagnostic fee they will charge. Looking for your opinion if you think I am probably correct or not.

My other option would be to replace it now with an aftermarket draglink. If I did that then I might as well get the tie rod done also since I would be looking at an RPM aluminum drag link & tie rod combo. I'm just not keen on spending that kind of money while still under the extended warranty.

Thanks.
If it is covered under warranty, then the dealership should also cover the $200-$220 diagnostic fee as part of the warranty work. I do not know if you have a specific dealership you go to, but if you can work with Tysons Corner Koons, ask for the Service Manager Kelvin Garcia. Happy to speak to him myself for you as well.

Understand you don't want to spend on certain components with an extended warranty. However, keep in mind those at the dealership are going to blame tires, or offroading, weight, anything to get out of it (which they'd need to prove). Make sure you are specific about the issue and to tell their mechanics so that you can make your case. You may not feel an issue at the moment, but if it's popping, and you can see it, then its serviceable and eventually will fail if not taken care of.

Let us know what happens, and best of luck with the warranty work.
 
Just a note. If hte drag link joint tis popping.... and fails .... you are left without steering. waiting a couple weeks might not be a great idea.
 
FWIW, here is a short video of the drag link rod end popping up and down slightly. Not severe, but I can definitely feel it with my finger. I plan on calling the dealership tomorrow for an appointment.


 
FWIW, I made an appointment at the dealership and the service advisor called me back and said, "If there's no complaint like actual vibration or other problems, there's not a whole lot they can do. All these steering suspension components, have a certain amount of play that are considered normal. It's not until there's a problem that Chrysler [FCA] will pay for any kind of repair."

I suspected that would be the case. Anyway, I cancelled the service appointment until it is either worn down enough to create some kind of issue or at some point I opt for the RPM aluminum tie-rod and drag link install. Like most people, I have to prioritize any mods and upgrades according to how much money is in my wallet.

If interested, the following link outlines the steps that the dealer service center would follow if I actually had some sort of vibration or shimmy issue:

Death Wobble, DW, Death Wobble, DW, Death Wobble, Shimmy, Wander, Drift, Bump Steer | Page 8 | Jeep Gladiator (JT) News, Forum, Community - JeepGladiatorForum.com
 
FWIW, I made an appointment at the dealership and the service advisor called me back and said, "If there's no complaint like actual vibration or other problems, there's not a whole lot they can do. All these steering suspension components, have a certain amount of play that are considered normal. It's not until there's a problem that Chrysler [FCA] will pay for any kind of repair."

I suspected that would be the case. Anyway, I cancelled the service appointment until it is either worn down enough to create some kind of issue or at some point I opt for the RPM aluminum tie-rod and drag link install. Like most people, I have to prioritize any mods and upgrades according to how much money is in my wallet.

If interested, the following link outlines the steps that the dealer service center would follow if I actually had some sort of vibration or shimmy issue:

Death Wobble, DW, Death Wobble, DW, Death Wobble, Shimmy, Wander, Drift, Bump Steer | Page 8 | Jeep Gladiator (JT) News, Forum, Community - JeepGladiatorForum.com
FWIW,
2018 4500 miles on the 2017 JKURR. ball joints are loose. One is out of tolerance the other not.... so one side is replaced the other is not. 500 miles later the remaining Ball Joints are failing. enter aftermarket Dynatrac Ball joints..... still going strong 130,000 miles later....

Tie rod and drag line suffering from the same issue. worn but not enough...... drag link fails in the drive way (lucky for me) New aftermarket steering installed along with a PSC steering box. 7071 aluminum and 1.0T joints still going strong... 125,000 miles later.

Never in my life building vehicles was play in the steering components acceptable with the single acceptation of steering box ( Adjustable)

The OEM has gone a very cheap but easy to assemble route using plastic as the wear materials in critical steering gear and chassis components.

Cheers
 
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