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Track Rod Ball-Joint Ends Shot


DiscoClax
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Quick question...

Background - I was under the Disco this fine evening trying in vain to swap the starter motor (refer bonus question below) and noticed that the track rod had a fair bit of play, in both ball-joint ends. It's probably only about a mm of play, but significant enough to be easily felt and seen.

My question is - Obviously the tie-rods need replacing, but is it still safe to drive for a few more days, or should I park it until I can get the parts? I've got a 170km round trip to work, majority of at freeway speeds. I know that the result of either end going would be... umm, extremely unpleasant... but I also know that the LR product is built like a brick dunny and there's a fair bit of "reserve capacity" in its engineering.

Bonus question - My starter motor's playing up a bit and I have a known good unit to swap in. However the top bolt (socket-head cap screw) has had someone mangle the socket pretty well before I got to it. An 8mm hex-drive just spins in it. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I may be able to get the &*%$#%^&! thing out? I don't have access to a welder. Should I just try and bash a 11/32" hex into it and have another crack at it, or is there a better way?

Any help gratefully received, as always...

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Up until now you've been driving it with worn TRE's, so I doubt a little longer would make much difference. Try getting some grease or maybe EP90 inside the boots to slow down any wear.

If you can whack a slighly smaller socket on the starter bolt, then it's a lot better than removing the manifolds in order to get a long chisel on it.

[pedantic]

That wasn't a question, or even a short one - it was two questions and three paragraphs makes it medium to long :rtfm:

[/pedantic]

Les.

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.

If you can whack a slighly smaller socket on the starter bolt, then it's a lot better than removing the manifolds in order to get a long chisel on it.

Or even a bigger hex since it's a socket-head bolt! :)

I read somewhere recently that a large enough torx bit smacked into the bolt head works better than an oversize hex ... not tried it myself though

AndyG

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Up until now you've been driving it with worn TRE's, so I doubt a little longer would make much difference. Try getting some grease or maybe EP90 inside the boots to slow down any wear.

If you can whack a slighly smaller socket on the starter bolt, then it's a lot better than removing the manifolds in order to get a long chisel on it.

[pedantic]

That wasn't a question, or even a short one - it was two questions and three paragraphs makes it medium to long :rtfm:

[/pedantic]

Les.

Yeah... well... it started off as a quick question, but then I got carried away...

Cheers for the advice :)

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Or even a bigger hex since it's a socket-head bolt! :)

I read somewhere recently that a large enough torx bit smacked into the bolt head works better than an oversize hex ... not tried it myself though

AndyG

Thanks AndyG,

I must admit I was thinking of sacrificing one of my cheap Torx bits for exactly that reason. It makes sense that if you can get enough interference between the socket cavity and the Torx bit, it should provide more drive as they effectively have twice the number of driving faces. I'll have a crack at it and let you know how it turns out...

Cheers :)

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  • 1 month later...

Just to close out for those interested.

I eventually got the starter bolt out by ripping the heatshield off and hammering a double-hex socket over the socket-head cap screw. Turned out that I didn't have a big enough Torx bit in my set. I used a 9mm allen key and tried to modify it to become a sort of broach, but that cost me an hour and an allen key for no positive result. Not having the right size replacement hardware, I "converted" the damaged cap screw to an external hex with the angle grinder as a temporary fix. And then later replaced the bolts (now that I could get them out and measure them). I've got a starter heatshield off a D2 that looks far more effective than the dodgy original and will be going on really soon, and certainly before the weather warms up.

I replaced the tie-rod ends with factory Lemforder ones, and it steers so much better. Took a lot of the shimmy/shake out of the steering wheel, too, not surprisingly. Tried the "beat the cr@p out of the rod end sections with a hammer" method and I can thoroughly recommend it. Makes you feel better, too. Still need to get a proper wheel align done, there's only so much you can do with a measuring tape... :P

Thanks again to those that took the time to help out. Cheers. :)

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