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Failed Alignment Need Help!

MrQ

Smokey the clutch is; Missed shift you did
Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
October 5, 2008
Messages
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Location
Humid, Damp, and Hot
City, State
Houston, TX
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 EB, '93 Limited
I took my truck in to get the front end aligned (something I have needed to do for months) and I wound up with a failed alignment and a list of things that needed to be fixed before an alignment would stick.

Of course the auto shop was more than willing to replace the outer tie rod ends, both wheel bearing and redo the alignment themselves to the tune of $754!!!

No way am I going to pay that. I replaced the wheel bearings when I did my brakes earlier this year, so I wonder I didn't pack them right. Also the tie rod ends are relatively inexpensive, so I want to do it myself at the cost of about $70.

The deal is how do I go about replacing the tie rod ends?
 



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Hmmm... looking at your Avitar somehow it doesn't surprise me you need a alignment.... :p:

I can't really tell you on these things, but I repaced the entire front end on my Trans Am and it wasn't too bad. Lots of pounding and pickle forks, oh and inventive uses for pitman arm tools.

Course that's GM, so IDK? But shoudn't be too bad... have a manual? (like repair manual?)
 






have you looked at the radius arm bushings?
 






Outer tie rods are easy. Jack up the vehicle, supported on jack stands. Loosen the remove the nut that secures the outer tie rod to the steering knuckle. Next loosen the pinch bolt on the adjusting sleeve that attaches the tie rod to the drag link. Use a pickle fork to separate the tie rod from the knuckle (it takes quite a bit of force to separate these). Next unscrew the tie rod, and count the number of turns it took to come off. Install the new tie rod the same number of turns that it took to remove it. Bolt the other end to the knuckle (using a new cotter pin), and torque down the bolt on the adjusting sleeve. Done.
Also, PB Blaster, or similar, will help with unthreading the tie rod.
 






First thing, assume the alignment shop guys aren't real bright. Take the list of things they "think" are wrong and start checking them out before you buy parts. Tie rod ends should be pretty easy to see. Check your wheel bearings. Could just be you need to tension them some to take some play out. It's very unlikely they are bad if you just replaced them.
 






I took my truck in to get the front end aligned (something I have needed to do for months) and I wound up with a failed alignment and a list of things that needed to be fixed before an alignment would stick.

Of course the auto shop was more than willing to replace the outer tie rod ends, both wheel bearing and redo the alignment themselves to the tune of $754!!!

No way am I going to pay that. I replaced the wheel bearings when I did my brakes earlier this year, so I wonder I didn't pack them right. Also the tie rod ends are relatively inexpensive, so I want to do it myself at the cost of about $70.

The deal is how do I go about replacing the tie rod ends?
looks like you need to stop airborning old red flyer
 






Tie rods are pretty easy..

Since your going to replace them, a pickle fork will work as you won't care if the boots rip.

Before you take them off though, measure the distance between the tires (front and rear of the front tires). That way when you put on the new tie rods you can get the Toe set somewhat close so you won't chew through the tires when you are heading back to the alignment shop...

~Mark
 






Have you checked your wheel bearings yourself? The only way they would be bad would be if they are grinding, making a noise, or the wheels are loose. If they are going bad then you should be able to jiggle the wheel around a bit with the explorer in the air.
 






looks like you need to stop airborning old red flyer

LOL. That was 10 months ago. It took a ravine a little too fast. Believe me I was not going for that high of a jump... :D
 






have you looked at the radius arm bushings?

I've had issues with my passenger side RA bushing which is causing excessive wear on the outside of my front passenger tire. It's noticeable wear and the tires don't have 1,000 miles on them.

Was going to change out the bracket and bushing yesterday but it's been raining here for a week. :(

Wish you the best of luck with your problem.
 






my wheel barings come lose sometimes and i have to take it apart and redo them jack it up and check them
 






Ok, I picked up the tie rod ends today. If all goes well, I can get an alignment next week.
 






Pickle fork to separate the tie rod ends is the hard way imo. It's a bit too brutal too (messes up the boot etc). I typically back the nut off until the top is flat with the top of the stud, and give it a few good, square whacks with a 3lb hammer. They pop easy, no damage to the boot or anything else. (the steel is crazy strong so they don't peen over at all) Make sure the nut is not very stiff if you are using hand tools, because once you break the taper, the whole stud will spin instead of the nut. Air tools it's no problem.

Problem I have had doing this is that the adjustment sleeves tend to rust onto the threads (especially on the inner tie rod end side) and do not want to move (preventing them from doing the alignment) if nothing has been done to them for a long time. Doing this on my explorer and my dad's bronco, I had to remove the inner tie rods too (no big deal, you just need one of those smaller pullers) and put them in a vise so I could use a big hammer and an air chisel to get those sleeves off. Use a Moog or Spicer brand part, I saw some cheap ones that had metal about half as thick as the original ones.
 






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