Ford Pick-Ups/Bronco 1976-1986 Repair Guide

Steering Linkage Connecting Rods


Replace the drag link if a ball stud is excessively loose or if the drag link is bent. Do not attempt to straighten a drag link.

Replace the connecting rod if the ball stud is excessively loose, if the connecting rod is bent or if the threads are stripped. Do not attempt to straighten connecting rod. Always check to insure that the adjustment sleeve and clamp stops are correctly installed on the Bronco.


For all illustrations regarding these components, see the appropriate suspension coverage earlier in this Section.

  1. Remove the cotter pins and nuts from the drag link, ball studs and from the right connecting rod ball stud.
  3. Remove the right connecting rod hall stud from the drag link.
  5. Remove the drag link ball studs from the spindle and the Pitman arm.
  7. Position the new drag link, ball studs in the spindle, and Pitman arm and install nuts.
  9. Position the right connecting rod ball stud in the drag link and install nut.
  11. Tighten the nuts as follows and install the cotter pins. Drag link studs, 50-75 Ball studs, 50-60 Connecting rod studs, 35-45
  13. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the connecting rod.
  15. Remove the ball stud from the mating part.
  17. Loosen the clamp bolt and turn the rod out of the adjustment sleeve.
  19. Lubricate the threads of the new connecting rod, and turn it into the adjustment sleeve to about the same distance the old rods were installed. This will provide an approximate toe-in setting. Position the connecting rod ball studs in the spindle arms.
  21. Install the nuts on to the connecting rod ball studs, tighten the nut to specification and install the cotter pin.
  23. Check the toe-in and adjust, if necessary. After checking or adjusting toe-in, center the adjustment sleeve clamps between the locating nubs, positions the clamps and tighten the nuts to 35-45