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Old 02-13-2011, 11:02 PM   #1
ktm450
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Default Installed new inner tie rod and now steering wheel is off center on a 240

I installed an inner tie rod today and counted the amount of turns when I removed the outer tie rod of course (11 turns off, and 11 back on again, passenger side) put it all back together and now the steering wheel is off center. Car does not pull, no squealing tires, let go of wheel, it tracks straight, but the steering wheel is no longer straight across.

I am aware that this method (of counting turns when re-installing the outer tie rod is not 100% accurate, but don't understand why) I did not lay old on top of new inner tie rod to be sure they are exactly the same length, but assumed they were. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I guess I should get the fron end aligned?

FYI no flats on the Orig. inner tie rod where it meets rack, fun getting it off!!
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:04 PM   #2
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Is the # of turns lock to lock identical side to side?

If so, take your wheel off and re center it.
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Old 02-13-2011, 11:37 PM   #3
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Had the same problem FYI. There's two reasons its not accurate. The first is that even a 1/2 a thread will make a big difference. Second is that the new tie rod could have a different amount of threads on it. Its only $40 for an alignment anyway, will save you more than that in gas for a proper alignment if you drive much.
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Old 02-14-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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As a temporary measure, and before I removed the old one, I measured the distance between the center of the old rod link and the rack with a machinist ruler. The new link was slightly different than the old one so the "turns" method would not work in my case.

Even so you are limited by the final rotational alignment of the tie rod end by 360 degrees (one turn) I believe. It worked and I had no major drivability issues after. I do know that a formal alignment is in my future
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Old 02-14-2011, 02:04 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by scottyd View Post
Is the # of turns lock to lock identical side to side?

If so, take your wheel off and re center it.
Don't do this! The relationship of the steering wheel to the rack did not change. This is indicating you are not aligned properly.

Counting the turns doesn't always work. Go to an alignment shop and have them set the toe.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:02 PM   #6
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When possible, measure in a straight line from spindle-to-spindle where the outer tie rods attach (ink mark, scratch, forging line) then match the measurement when reassembling.

If that's not possible, then mark the spindles and any two convenient fixed points on the rack / subframe / whatever, and use those marks. Doesn't even matter if the car-side marks are in the same places, just duplicate the measurements when you're done.

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Even so you are limited by the final rotational alignment of the tie rod end by 360 degrees (one turn) I believe.
The inner tie rod end is a ball-socket, so the rod rotates as much or as little as you want while the outer end (attached to the spindle) stays still.
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Old 02-14-2011, 04:19 PM   #7
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The only thing that is affected by changing the tie rods, either inner or outer is toe alignment.
Measuring the threads, etc is NOT accurate, especially when you use aftermarket parts.

Get a tape measure and place two 24" x 4" boards against the outer sides of each wheel/tire and measure the distance from side to side at front & back of the boards.

The front should measure 3mm (1/8") smaler than the back. Do it on a smooth flat driveway or garage. First get it exactly equal when the steering wheel is centered, then adjust for 1/8" toe. 1/5 of a turn is approximately 1/8 inch of toe.

If you can't do this get an alignment done at a shop.

BTW, the reason why there's no flats on the tie rods is because it isn't reccomended to replace them separately, you should do the whole rack which has new inner rods attached.

Last edited by vvpete; 02-21-2011 at 12:37 PM..
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Old 02-14-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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....Most people cant afford a whole rack
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Old 02-14-2011, 07:48 PM   #9
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It won't be cheaper when you've got 200k+ miles on an orig rack and the rack goes anyway after you replace the inner tie rods. Then you wish you had.

This story is much more common than "I replaced the inner rods and the rack lasted another 100k". They seem to wear out at the same rate. That and most DIY's usually fubar the rack when doing this job while it's in the car.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by vvpete View Post
It won't be cheaper when you've got 200k+ miles on an orig rack and the rack goes anyway after you replace the inner tie rods. Then you wish you had.

This story is much more common than "I replaced the inner rods and the rack lasted another 100k". They seem to wear out at the same rate. That and most DIY's usually fubar the rack when doing this job while it's in the car.
I changed one inner tie rod on my 1986 245, didnt fubar the rack whatsoever. I got another 20k on the entire car before i ditched it for $300. The car was definitely a beater and was to the point of just wanting to keep it alive.
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Old 02-15-2011, 03:16 PM   #11
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I replaced my inner tie rods and have zero problems. 152k on the rack I installed. Results may vary.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:40 PM   #12
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies. Couldn't I just remove outer tie rod again, and turn it one way or another until the steering wheel is centered again? I know how many turns out it is so, I have a referance point to go back to (even if it isn't right.) I used loctite, and am not concerned about it coming loose, and don't have the money for a brand new rack.
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:13 PM   #13
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You don't need to remove anything to adjust toe alignment.

Unless of course you used Loctite on the outer tie rod to inner tie rod threads and cannot move the tie rod (and neither will an alignment shop be able to move it!)
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Old 02-20-2011, 08:46 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by vvpete View Post
You don't need to remove anything to adjust toe alignment.

Unless of course you used Loctite on the outer tie rod to inner tie rod threads and cannot move the tie rod (and neither will an alignment shop be able to move it!)

Sorry, I meant couldn't I break the outer tie rod from the spindle again, and then turn the tie rod end until steering wheel is straight? I did not use loctite on the outer, only the inner, where inner tie rod end meets rack...
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:28 PM   #15
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Just take it to an alignment shop. I'd get it aligned anyway.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vvpete View Post
Measuring the threads, etc is NOT accurate, especially when you use aftermarket parts.

Get a tape measure and place two 24" x 4" boards against the outer sides of each wheel/tire and measure the distance from side to side at front & back of the boards.

The front should measure 3mm (1/8") larger than the back.
Measuring threads; It's not accurate because the start of the thread may be in a different spot relative to the angle of the pin on the outer end. There's 360deg of potential difference where the thread actually starts so counting isn't going to work unless the parts were made Exactly the same.

"measure the distance.... the front should be 3mm..." Smaller, for toe In, than the back.

What could be done is to turn each side exactly the same amount in opposite directions, that is turn one side in, one side out, so that the steering wheel remains in relation to the rack. The wrench on each side would actually turn in the same direction, say towards the back of the car. This would be turning one tie rod in and the other, out.
But it'd have to be the same amount, say 5minutes if you think of a clock. Then the toe stays the same and the steering wheel stays the same, but the wheels move slightly over.
Or, if you think the wheels are straight as it sits, and the steering wheel is now off, as you do this the steering wheel will come to center.
I know Exactly what I mean; I hope it's the tiniest bit clear.
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Old 02-21-2011, 12:33 PM   #17
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So it really gets down to the OP:
'You don't know how to do an alignment'

That's OK, most of the people on this board don't know either.

My advice is to take it to a shop. Even I who have been doing my own post-op alignments after a front end job will get it as precise as possible using a tape measure then take it to a shop for final alighment. It the way it's done. Centering the steering wheel is part of it.

If you really want to mess with it anymore, as advised, set the steering wheel straight, turn each tie rod until the wheels are pointing forward and the tape measures equal on front to back. Then set the toe so that the rod moves the same amount on each side until you get the toe correct.

Maybe it's not clear to you; ROTATE the tie rod after unlocking the lock-nut on the tie rod. Use a big adjustable wrench and a 22 mm open end wrench, 1/4 turn at a time, EACH tie rod, and adjust each tie rod in opposite directions.

OR just jump to the final alignment at a shop, no further adue`. They will get it all straight.

Last edited by vvpete; 02-21-2011 at 12:41 PM..
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:24 PM   #18
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So red loctite? I thought blue would be a better option in case I needed to remove it later on.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:01 PM   #19
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Alright red it is. Hopefully I never have to remove this again.
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:35 PM   #20
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Hopefully you're joking, don't use any thread locker.
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Old 11-14-2017, 03:08 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VB242 View Post
Hopefully you're joking, don't use any thread locker.
Why? If I’m reading this correctly, John v says to use loctite.
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I turn the steering wheel and it kinda racks the rack out.
Then a take a swig of my notoriously strong BLACK tea--which the locals call RED tea---then a big hit off a American Spirit Blue ciggie, and then I screw them on wif me bare hands...red locktite of course.
Then rack it over and repeat: tea, ciggie, and channel your chi, man
http://forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=281691

There is nothing to stop this tie rod from unscrewing itself if it isn’t tight enough. No lock nuts. Some had a little metal piece that you could use a ball peen hammer to indent; mine does not.
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Old 11-14-2017, 04:46 PM   #22
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Well, my new moog inner tie rod just came in. It arrived with its own little 1ml thread locking compound. I guess that answers that question!
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