- Article/photo's courtesy of:
- CK5.comWhen we started looking at moving our tie-rod above the springs (hi-steer) one thing kept getting in our way, the cross-member. The GM factory engine cross-member is very large and angles forward putting it in a direct path of the drag link when running cross-over steering, in fact we had to put a 2" bend in our drag link just to avoid contact.
MOO Low Profile Engine Cross-Member
We had seen a few cross-members that were custom made by their owners but none that were available for sale so we started asking around on the ColoradoK5 message forums, that's when we ran across Steve Frisbie from Missouri Offroad Outfitters who had made a cross-member for his own K5. He agreed with us that an after-market cross-member needed to be made, so he drew up the plans from an old frame he had laying around and had one fabricated and out to us in two weeks, how's that for service. The first thing we noticed was the quality of the product along with the necessary hardware and detailed installation instructions, we finally had an answer to our cross-member problem.
Factory bump stop Bracket
Factory bump stop Bracket removed
Now the fun part begins, there are five rivets and two bolts on each side that have to be removed in order to install the new cross-member, we ended up using a combination of an air chisel and a torch to remove the stubborn rivets. Because the factory cross-member is mounted to the inside of the frame rails from the factory it has to be cut in half to remove, this can be a little tricky but not to bad with a sawz-all. We used a 4x4 block of wood standing vertical on a floor jack positioned under the harmonic balancer to keep the weight of the motor from spreading the frame apart while we cut the old cross-member in half, this also made it possible to line up the holes in the new cross-member.
The hardest part of the install was threading the nuts onto the bolts from the inside of the frame (behind the motor mount), here's where a little patience comes into play, we used a wrench with the nut taped to it to keep it from falling out. We only had one bolt hole that did not line up (engine mount) but the easy solution was to push up on the cross-member with a bottle jack until it lined up.
There are four new holes that will need to be drilled from the bottom of the frame, to accomplish this raise the vehicle from the bumper this will separate the suspension from the frame allowing enough clearance to get a drill in between the axle and frame. After the new cross-member was installed we bolted up our new red poly bump stops from Off Road Design.
Factory cross-member cut
Factory cross-member removed
Bottle jack used to align hole
New cross-member ready for bolts
We can now run a straight drag link from the pitman arm over to the passenger side steering arm (cross-over steering) with no cross-member interference, in fact there is a little room left over to run a hi-steer tie-rod behind the drag link as well. We were very pleased with the quality of this product along with the service and would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to run a straight drag link. Check out Missouri Offroad Outfitters new web site for more quality off-road products for your GM 4x4.
New cross-member located behind drag link
New cross-member bolted to engine mount
Room for hi-steer steering
Ready for the rocks!
- Missouri Offroad Outfitters **Out of business**