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Replacing Track rod on D90


Jon W
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Right i bent this a few weeks back at severn sisters but still havent got round to changing it as it wasn't that serious. I have a new track rod complete and ready to fit. What is the best way of doing this job. I will probably get someone else to set the tracking as i cant set the track rod to the correct length as i have nothing to compare it to as the old one is bent.

So to get the old track rod off do i need a ball joint seperator or doesn it un bolt. The haynes manual says i need a ball joint separator to free the track rod from the swivel pin housing. Is this true or can i get away without using one. I may go and buy one anyway as im bound to need one at somepoint.

Any other tips much appreciated.

Cheers

Jon

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Ok, ill give it a try when it stops raining.

I'm not sure about the wales trip, not thought that far ahead yet, or found out what is going on around that time of the year. Will definately be at the East Anglia meet though.

Im sure either me or Richard will be on the wales trip depending on who's piggy bank has any pennies in it.

Jon

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The haynes manual says i need a ball joint separator to free the track rod from the swivel pin housing.

Technically you should use one but I don't know anybody that does. Take the nut off and tap the end of the threaded bit with a hammer, progress to bigger hammer(s) as required :)

The string method is perfectly OK for tracking, you can set it fairly accurate with this, just beware of tyres with "slightly lumpy" sidewalls and avoid any raised lettering on the sidewall.

To give a reasonable starting point, take the old track rod off and count how many turns you wind out each track rod end, then wind them into the new rod by the same amount, then put it back on and finally tweak with the string.

Defenders are supposed to be slightly toed out so you want just a sliver of daylight between string and sidewall where the string crosses the sidewall at the rear of the front tyres, about 0.5mm each side is perfect.

PS while it probably goes without saying ... don't forget new split pins in when finished!! Some non gen track rod ends come with nyloc nuts, if they do I chuck them away and get the castellated nut and a split pin for peace of mind.

Edited by BogBuster
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  • 3 months later...
Technically you should use one but I don't know anybody that does. Take the nut off and tap the end of the threaded bit with a hammer, progress to bigger hammer(s) as required :)

I know this is an old thread but just a note.

This is not the best idea especialy if you want to reuse the track rod ends and all.

Look at the stearing arm where the trackrod bolts in. on the very end of the arm is a flat (coil sprung only) undo the bold and rap the flat inline with the arm with a firm blow. the track rod should pop up if not hit a bit harder. once you get it right you will be able to do this with one hit. as you are not hitting the bolt no thread damage will occour.

in the field i can remove straighten and refit a bent trackrod in a few mins.

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No need for a ball joint separator.

As described above, loosen the nut, but leave it on a few threads to protect them in case you miss with the hammer. Then, using a heavy hammer hit the end of the steering arm (hard) so that the force travels down the arm towards the hub. Ball joint will pop out.

Here is a post I put up on another forum which will help you set the tracking correctly:

'It is an easy diy job to check the tracking on a coil sprung landy. Adjustment varies in difficulty dependant on whether the threads of the balljoints in the track rod are siezed or not.

All you need is an old extending car ariel or a couple of lengths of wood or similar which can be overlapped.

With the wheels straight ahead, extend the aerial(or overlap your 2 lengths of wood) to fit exactly between the two front wheels at the rim(in front of the axle), parallel with the ground and at the axle centre line. Compare the length you get with the same point behind the axle. Ideally you should be aiming for the length to be the same or up to about 1mm wider in front of the axle than behind.

If the tracking needs adjusting, loosen the clamps on both ends of the track rod (behind the axle) and rotate the track rod whilst leaving the balljoints bolted to the steering arms. Because one end of the track rod has a left hand thread, the track rod will get longer or shorter depending on which way you rotate the track rod tube. When you have got the tracking correct, tighten up the clamps.'

Hope this helps,

Regards,

Diff

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On most if not all track rod ends the threaded end is slightly rounded so as long as you tap it square on the end, you are unlikely to damage any threads unless you really have to batter the **** out of it, and if it's been on there that long, chances are you'll be taking it off to replace it cos its knackered anyway :)

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