The stock tie rod on the TJ is at best pathetic for serious off road use. There are two ways to upgrade the TJs tie rod. Modify or replace. Modifying requires you to weld a tube onto the current tie rod, but then you still have the stock ball joints. The replacement option is full of many options in itself. Ranging from replacement tie rods all the way up to replacing the steering components and drilling new holes everywhere. I have found that the easiest and cheapest is to use the stock components from a '98 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ 5.2L V-8 engine. All the info on how to do it can be found on Stu Olsen's web page

NAPA Part Name
NAPA Part Number
Approximate Cost
Tie Rod End - Inner
Tie Rod End - Outer
Tie Rod Adjusting Sleeve

The install went fairly easy. The only problem I had, was that instead of using a pickle fork on the passenger side ball joint, I put the nut on loosely backwards and bashed the hell out of it to force it loose. Then when I tried to take the nut off, the bolt spun freely in the ball joint. I had to use a pickle fork to put enough pressure on the joint to get the nut off. I needed to replace the ball joint for my trail spare anyway. So I went smoothly and I did a driveway alignment (1/2" wider at the back of the front tires when measuring between center points on the tires.) and took it to get it professionally aligned. I was only off by .02" :)

The upgraded ball joint is on the left

The main difference between the two tie rods is that the ZJ tie rod (on top) is solid, but the stock one is a hollow tube.

Before shot. Kinda puny.

I already have the ball joint loose. I have the nut on to keep it from falling out before I take it off.

Another difference (besides thickness) is that the ZJ tie rod has an adjusting sleeve.

New rod installed.

A shot of the passenger side installed.

All Done.