Unveiling the Mystery: Why is the 6th Gen Ford Bronco's Steering Failing? (And what to do to fix it!)

Unveiling the Mystery: Why is the 6th Gen Ford Bronco's Steering Failing? (And what to do to fix it!)

Aug 04, 2023Justin Jackson

In this blog post, we primarily discuss the steering rack failures in 6th Gen Ford Broncos, especially after modifications like lifting, installing larger tires, or modifying the suspension in any other way.  

Hi there BroncBusters! Are you loving the incredible “out of the box’ off-road capability of the 6th Gen Ford Bronco but vexed by its unusually weak steering rack that has been prone to failure? Then, you're in the right place!

We'll dive into the beast's heart and reveal why the Bronco's steering rack tends to fail. But don't worry, it's not all doom and gloom! We'll also introduce you to BroncBuster's dynamic trio – the BroncBushing, the Tie Rod "BusterBrace" Set, and the Stage III Heavy-Duty Passenger Billet Aluminium Housing.

These are not just fancy names but our ingenious solutions designed to address the Bronco's steering failure. We'll explain how the Bronco's own power can sometimes be its downfall, leading to steering rack damage. Then, we'll reveal how the BroncBushing, the BusterBrace Set, and the Stage III Heavy-Duty Aluminium Housing step in to save the day, ensuring a smooth, safe, and enjoyable Bronco ride.

The 6th Gen Ford Bronco: Rugged Capability with a Steering Problem

The Ford Bronco, a line of SUVs manufactured by Ford, has a rich history dating back to 1966. The 6th generation Ford Bronco, launched in 2021, is a tribute to the brand's legacy. It pairs a smooth daily driver experience thanks to its independent front suspension (IFS) with remarkable off-road capabilities. Taken together, the Bronco has the versatility to commute and mall-crawl in comfort and style while still being more than capable to take that swerve off-road for a weekend of overlanding or rock crawling!

However, as capable as the Bronco is “out of the box” it has a significant shortcoming that is unfortunately right up front: the steering rack. Many users have reported issues with the Bronco's steering system, claiming it to be 'loose' and 'unresponsive'. And that is on stock Broncos without any modification. Add 35" + tires, and you have a ticking time bomb.

This can be a real dampener for those who love the thrill of off-roading, as precise steering is crucial for maintaining control on uneven terrains. So, what causes all this trouble?

Almost two years ago, we revealed the main culprit on our YouTube channel.

In fact, we got so much feedback from Bronco owners that we made a follow-up video of this issue, where we recreated the steering rack failure at the shop.

But wait, it doesn't end there. Actually, the problem is twofold. The video shows that the steering rack's inner bushings are prone to failure. But after fixing that we then set out to solve the weak puny tie rod.

So, why are the 6th gen Ford Bronco tie rods failing? This 4-minute video explains it in detail.

Simply put, the 6th Gen Ford Bronco's steering rack system is susceptible to failure, mainly when the vehicle is used for off-roading or after modifications like lifting, installing larger tires, Portal Axles, or other suspension mods. Part of what makes Bronco’s IFS so satisfying as a daily driver makes it susceptible to other forces once it leaves the roadway. So part of the fun we have here at BroncBuster is pushing the Bronco to the limit and dealing with the challenges that come along the way.

Speaking of which, during our testing, we encountered yet another challenge. We found the aluminum housing of the steering rack cracks due to constant unsupported movement and flexing of the ball screw shaft, leading to steering binding and eventual breakage of the entire steering housing. Here is a video documenting the whole thing.

The video starts by reflecting on the implications of modifying a Bronco. Next, we describe how we broke our Bronco, followed by our entire thought process of what the root cause could be.

Basically, the failure of the steering rack was caused by aluminum shards in the housing. Where do these aluminum shavings come from? They are produced by the movement of the unsupported shaft, which in turn hits the steering housing. This situation is serious for Bronco owners who modify their vehicle since it can lead to major steering issues such as steering binding and eventual failure.

So, three major issues, all related to the Ford Bronco steering system. It may sound discouraging, but we love our Broncos and want to be able to drive them safely and successfully off-road right? You bet! So read on for the testing and innovative solutions BroncBuster created to fix the Bronco’s steering system problem. Let's go for it!

BroncBuster: Tested and Approved!(™)

Ironically, out of these steering issues, we began BroncBuster, a brand that rapidly became known for its innovative solutions for maintaining and improving the performance of Ford Broncos. In late 2021-early 2022, when most people were still waiting for their Bronco to be built, we've devised a three-part solution to the Ford Bronco's steering woes: our exclusive BroncBushing, the Tie Rod "BusterBrace" Set, and the Stage III Heavy-Duty Passenger Billet Aluminium Housing.

The BroncBushing is a patented, high-quality replacement for the factory-fitted bushings in the Bronco's steering system. Made from durable materials, it's designed to withstand the rigors of off-roading and provide a tighter, more responsive steering feel. Most importantly, it prevents the eventual disengagement of the steering column and potential catastrophic loss of steering control.

The Tie Rod "BusterBrace" Set is a patented reinforcement. It strengthens the tie rods, reducing the chances of failure and improving overall steering control. We’re proud to say, with hundreds of braces installed and hundreds of thousands of some of the most extreme trail miles conquered, not a single tie rod reinforced with the BusterBrace has ever failed.

Lastly, the Stage III Heavy-Duty Passenger Billet Aluminium Housing, an absolute must if you run wheel sizes larger than your Bronco’s stock size, prevents the steering shaft from flexing and hitting the steering housing and causing aluminum shavings and steering bind over time. This HD aluminum housing reinforces and allows the shaft to move freely in and out without breaking the housing, ensuring a safe and successful trail adventure!

Used together, we’re so sure our solutions solve the Bronco’s steering problem, we guarantee the replacement of each and every steering solution if you do suffer a break. Wondering how we can make such a bold comment?

Simple. Like true enthusiasts, we put our Broncos through the most hellish trails with the intention of breaking. If something breaks, we find the cause and not only fix it, but design the fix to deliver the best value for our customers. We’ve done so well, some of our competitors have even tried copying our solutions. We kinda chuckle at the imitations and I guess we are a bit flattered. But here's the catch: you can't just copy a solution and expect it to work if you don't know what problem it's solving and why it's the best solution. More often than not, we find their design and products are variations we’d tested long ago and found to be inferior solutions and a bad value for our customers!

Here at BroncBuster, we've always prided ourselves on our originality and passion for what we do. We're not just creators; we're adventurers, explorers, and most importantly, Bronco enthusiasts. We push our Broncos to the limit, rock climbing, coursing through deep dunes, and testing their mettle in the most challenging terrains known to mankind. Our BroncBushing, BusterBrace, and Stage III Heavy-Duty Housing are not just parts; they're the result of countless hours of dedication, endless trials, and an unwavering commitment to quality and performance.

At BroncBuster, it isn’t a Bronco solution until it's been BroncBuster Tested and Approved!(™)

In Summary

Don't compromise on the performance and safety of your Ford Bronco. Before making any modifications, ensure you do thorough research and invest in high-quality parts. Consider solutions like BroncBushing and BusterBrace to enhance the durability of your steering system. Stay updated with BroncBuster's latest developments. Make your modifications wisely and enhance your Bronco's performance without compromising its integrity.

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