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Old 12-21-2013, 07:18 PM   #1
turbobuick33
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Default How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

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Old 12-21-2013, 08:35 PM   #2
ssewall
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

Disconnect the outer tie rod end from the knuckle, flex the rod up, and let go. Repeat upper left and right. If it drops after letting go the inner end is bad, but success doesn't necessarily mean it's good.

What kind of problem are you experiencing?

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Old 12-21-2013, 08:45 PM   #3
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

Only test I know of requires you to remove the TRE from the knuckle and raise it up a bit, if it falls under it's own weight it's bad. There ought to be some kind of shaking test as well but I'm not sure.

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Old 12-21-2013, 11:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

I was also wondering what the exact min/max play spec was on the inner/outer tie rods. I have been getting the lifetime alignments from Firestone and last time we brought in our '02 SL1 they claimed they could not align it unless we replaced all the innner/outer tie rods. When I asked them how they knew they were bad, they just told me there was "too much" play, and were unable to quote exactly how much "play" was acceptable.

The car seems to handle ok for the most part and had ~130k miles on the original suspension. So Its not completely unrealistic that they might need replacing, I just suspect its their way of 'upselling' me on the service.

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Old 12-21-2013, 11:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

My way of checking tie rods is to jack up the side you are testing and grab the tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and try to move the tire back and forth from left to right, If its "tight" and does not have any movement the joints are good, If theres a noticeable movement from excessive play (back and forth) a joint is worn it can be the inner tie rod or the outter tie rod or both.

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Old 04-03-2014, 12:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

I bought the inner tie rods today at Autozone and I noticed that one tie rod is really tight and I can't move it by hand. But the other one I can move it with my hand with light force up & down, left & right.. Is this normal? Should new tie rods have no movement at all?

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Old 04-03-2014, 12:32 AM   #7
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

They should be very difficult to move before being installed, you have 1 bad one.

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Old 04-05-2014, 12:31 AM   #8
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
I was also wondering what the exact min/max play spec was on the inner/outer tie rods. I have been getting the lifetime alignments from Firestone and last time we brought in our '02 SL1 they claimed they could not align it unless we replaced all the innner/outer tie rods. When I asked them how they knew they were bad, they just told me there was "too much" play, and were unable to quote exactly how much "play" was acceptable.

The car seems to handle ok for the most part and had ~130k miles on the original suspension. So Its not completely unrealistic that they might need replacing, I just suspect its their way of 'upselling' me on the service.
Reading your response got me thinking. Maybe someone could help me better understand. I work in a tire shop n when we see too much play I thought it was the ball joints? Normally I note it as check front end steering/suspension but reading it could be the tie rod do they both have the same symptoms of needing replacement? (School me)

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Old 04-05-2014, 01:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: How can I tell if the inner tie rods are bad?

Attempting to move the tire slightly left and right as turning will allow feeling the play in the combination of outer tie rod end, inner tie rod, and steering rack bushing. Determining exactly what has failed takes more work.

Lower ball joint is checked with a pry bar. One or both wheels off of ground and then pry up on bottom of knuckle to compress spring and strut, should not move. Pry between LCA and knuckle bottom and it does not take a lot of force to see if the lower ball is loose.

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