The drag link is a central part of many steering systems especially on older vehicles that used a recirculating ball setup. It is connected to the steering box by way of the pitman arm on one end and is connected to the frame of the car by the idler arm on the other. The link receives the inputs from the steering wheel in order to turn the car or truck. A worn out or rusty drag link may make steering and handling difficult. It is important to replace them as soon as possible as they may cause a loss of control or accident. It can also severely affect the alignment of the vehicle causing additional wear to the tires and other suspension and steering parts.
Different steering designs have been engineered for cars over the years. The quest is to deliver the best control and the best feel all in a design that is reliable and affordable to manufacture. Early design used a worm-and-nut or ball and sector design but that gave way to the recirculating ball. The drag link was a vital part in the control of these designs. The length of the link greatly changes the steering dynamics of the vehicle. They are usually made of solid metal, they could be completely straight or they may have a slight bend or kink in them. They range in size from two to four feet on average but may change depending on the vehicle. They generally need to be large enough to stretch from one wheel to the other. Most modern cars use a rack and pinion system for steering which connects directly to the tie rods, thus making the drag link unnecessary.
Here are some general instructions that are not vehicle specific on how to change the center drag link in your car or truck. This is an important job because steering is so important to safety on the road so if you are not familiar with the repair, you may want to have an experienced mechanic do it. First, jack or lift the car. Be sure that you have excellent access with plenty of light. The drag link is the long metal rod running from tie rod end to tie rod end. Unscrew the ends and place the new link in its place. Be sure to properly tighten the parts into the correct spec. Make sure that the part is properly attached to the idler arm on one end and the pitman arm on the other. The vehicle will then need to be properly aligned. Lower the car and test it at low speed before taking it out on the road.
If you are doing a ground up restoration of your classic car or truck or just fixing up your daily driver, Car Parts Discount has a great selection of drag links and other steering components. You will immediately notice the great handling and ride difference when you get behind the wheel with fresh tie rods, idler arms and pitman arms. Trust the great brand names we sell like Rare Parts, Moog and Beck Arnley to get your car driving right. All our parts have low prices and come with our great customer service. Take advantage of our 30 day return policy if you buy parts that you do not need.