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Old 10-12-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
rpl3000
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Default tie rod ends - which brand?

I'm replacing the passenger tie rod end soon and I'm trying to figure out which one will be a good replacement. I want to avoid a wheel alignment after replacement so the replacement tie rod end should be dimensionally similar in length. What brands have you guys have luck with? There are some extremely cheap options out there which makes me suspicious. Rock auto lists one for ~7 bucks, and there is a Napa one for 51$.
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Old 10-12-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

Moog has a really good quality tie rod, but Iíve also purchased the cheap ones at the store (around $10). I canít say I've noticed too much of a difference yet. The genericís have lasted about 40k miles so far, but maybe others will chime in about longevity in various brands.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

avoiding an alignment is only going to result in poor driving and worn tires.

You can get it close with a tape measure by measuring the same point across the front of the tire and the back of the tire. Measurement in front should be about 1/8" less.

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Old 10-13-2013, 11:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

I just replaced mine. I used the $10 cheapies from AutoZone. I can't say I'm not satisfied, but they do have a plastic lock nut and not a castle nut w/cotter pin. I'd prefer the latter. They do have a grease fitting.
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Old 10-14-2013, 01:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highmile View Post
avoiding an alignment is only going to result in poor driving and worn tires.

You can get it close with a tape measure by measuring the same point across the front of the tire and the back of the tire. Measurement in front should be about 1/8" less.

Highmile
'95 SL1 527k and counting
Does the inner tie rod turn? or it that lock nut to the steering rack somehow. I was thinking that inner threaded rod was static and the adjustment was plus/minus a full turn because the ball cup has to be oriented correctly. I could be wrong (I often am).

I did the wheel bearing with no gross ill effects on the alignment.

I'd also like to know how to do an alignment in the garage. I have dials, lasers and all sorts of other goodies. I'm sure I have all the hardware pieces to take the measurements, I just don't know the right ones to take.
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Old 10-14-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

To adjust toe, you back off the jam nut on the outer tie rod end, remove the bellows clamp and rotate the tie rod itself (there are wrench flats on the rod for this purpose). Once the desired result is achieved, the clamp goes back on the bellows, the jam nut is tightened against the outer tie rod end, and off you go.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

I made an alignment fixture and I'm going to do the tie rod this weekend. Are the alignment specs in Old Nuc's photo gallery good for an '02 SL1?

Am I correct in thinking that the toe is the only alignment that I need to check after replacement? The tie rod end should not affect the caster or camber.

edit:
the toe specs listed are
preferred +0.10 [deg]
min 0.05
max 0.15

total
pref 0.20
min 0.1
max 0.30
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

one more rookie question. is a positive toe in or out?
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

Positive = toe in
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Old 11-10-2013, 12:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: tie rod ends - which brand?

Job done!

The home-made alignment sticks required a measurement tolerance of 0.2" when measuring under the car to the other side. I didnt think I could hold that with a tape measure or string so my back up was the four jack stand and string method.

I measured from the lock nut up 2" and wrapped some tape around the tie rod before removing it. Then I measured the old and new rod ends. The Moog one was 3/32 longer so when I installed it measured 1 29/32 to the locknut.

I drove it and it seems to be OK on alignment so I didn't do the 4 jack stand method to check.
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