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Amazon steering track rod

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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 12:21   #1
MrJollygood
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Default Amazon steering track rod

While poking about underneath my Amazon while it was up on ramps I noticed that the steering track rod ends are very unequal - the OSF is much further over than the NSF (I don't have a photo I'm afraid) It looks like someone has replaced it recently but not screwed it back in all the way (if that makes sense?)

How do I go about adjusting the steering track rod ends so that they are equal? I realise that I will need a good tracking / geo set-up after doing this.

I'm hoping this is the reason for the very dodgy wet handling on the way back from Bicester Heritage on Sunday...!

Thanks in advance

Greig

ps Novice spanner man so go easy on me please.

Last edited by MrJollygood; Jan 10th, 2017 at 14:32.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 13:36   #2
Ron Kwas
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MJj;

We need a more specific description of exactly what is unequal...in general, Steering Linkages should be of equal length and symmetrical from side to side (RHD vs LHD notwithstanding). If you are able to drive the vehicle and if it doesn't pull seriously to one side under hands-off-the-St-Whl-braking, I would expect you might need an alignment, but hopefully nothing more serious than that.
Before you undertake any major efforts, maybe you should post a picture of what you perceive as strange, or better describe the situation using the component names:

Cheers

Good info here which might be helpful: http://volvo-122s.blogspot.com/2014/...rods-ends.html

Last edited by Ron Kwas; Jan 10th, 2017 at 14:42. Reason: Added Link
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 15:11   #3
old fart
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Assuming you're talking about the ball joints screwing into the tie rod (14 into 12 in Ron's diagram), if you screw one in by the same number of turns as you screw the other one out, you won't upset the geometry.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 16:53   #4
MrJollygood
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Ron, Andy - thanks for the helpful replies. Apologies for my newbie ignorance. Yes 14 into 12. On one side the ball joint is screwed into the tie-rod quite far i.e there is little thread showing and on the other side there's a lot of thread showing. I assume they shoud both be the same...!

Is it as simple as taking everything apart, screwing them in/out unitl they are both equal then getting the tracking geometry set?

Is there a simple was of telling if the tie rods are worn and need replacing? I see they're not expensive...

Greig

Last edited by MrJollygood; Jan 10th, 2017 at 17:00.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 16:54   #5
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Just seen the link you sent Ron - very helpful - thank you.
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Old Jan 10th, 2017, 20:09   #6
Ron Kwas
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MJ;

Notice also on that link, that he notes threads on the Track Rod Ends are right and left-hand...this means that to adjust Toe-In, the TR simply needs to be turned* (after loosening jamnuts)...TR Ends do not need to be removed...

HOWEVER, if TR is not centered to the extent that it concerns you, and you wish to change it (this would only concern me if insertion into St Rod was less than about an inch...notice also at that link, that threaded part of Ball Joint is quite long to allow for adjustment, so you may be unnecessarily concerned!), you will need to separate one Ball Joint to turn TR in the direction required...and IF you elect to do this, you should make a reference mark on the Ball Joint ends, carefully measure and record that, so that after reassembly, you can readjust critical Toe-In adjustment to the same exact dimension it was previously.

*...and to make this adjustment, they typically grab the (round) TR with a pipe-wrench, and wrench away, scarring the bejesus out of it...I didn't like that style so much (too rustic for me!), that's why I drilled out a big nut, slipped it over one end of TR, and had it welded in place...now, a proper wrench can be used on the hex, sparing the (painted) TR shaft from insult. Details... Details...

Good Hunting!
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Old Jan 11th, 2017, 13:48   #7
Derek UK
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All good advice from Ron et al. Bottom line is you appear to need a good alignment by someone who can read a machine accurately and perhaps with a bit of sympathy for the system. There is probably no need to pop off one of the ball joints as unwinding the bar will first release the end showing most threads. The bar can then be wound off the other end. Starting the bar on to the threads at both ends will then make them equal and the toe in can then be set as normal with equal threads showing. If the garage is doing this don't take the bar off. If you are just freeing things up mark the bar paint, Tippex or a tape and marker so you can tighten it all up in the same position before taking it to the garage. For interest ask them to write down the numbers before they do any adjusting. Numbers were off the clock (toe-out) on my estate after one of the ball joints was changed even after being careful to count the number of threads. After loosening the lock nuts right back, that also cleans the treads, you usually find that the bar is obstinate and as Ron says things can get a bit brutal. Some bars have flattened section in the middle for a spanner but if not a Stilson works well. You might also need to hold the bar firm to loosen the nuts. Might need a few applications of penetrating oil. Be patient. If you can make sure that the nuts and bar does actually move before you take it in for alignment it will keep the garage man happy, always a good idea. May reduce your bill too. 0.2mm toe-in is a good compromise.
If checking the ball joints yourself, get the whole front off the ground, preferably with axle stands under the suspension A arms to put the steering in its middle position. If not ask garage to advise on ball joint condition, including the outer ones. (see diagram) If poor any problems should have been picked up on the last MOT. If replacement is needed, do that before alignment.
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