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A daft question about track rod ends


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To begin my saga just completed my N/S swivel and axle overhaul including new brake caliper :-) really pleased with myself. Thanks for all the advice and support much appreciated.

Took the old girl in for her mot today and she failed nothing to major phew !

One of my track rod ends has excessive play so decided to buy set of 3 so I can replace them all in one go.

I am aware they have opposite threads to what you expect but unsure which is which ?

So I don't screw up the tracking was planning to mark up and count the turns but want to make sure I am undoing them not the opposite.

Also have to replace bushes on rear shocks any tips when taking the shocks off as I plan to give them a clean and coat of hammerite before I refit.

All advice welcome.

Regards Ian

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You need to setup the alignment afterwards. Don't try and counts turns and such. Simple to do with a tape measurer as shown in the workshop manual.

To release the TREs from the arms, loosen the nuts and then hit the side of the arms hard with a hammer. They should pop right out. do not use a puller or hammer the TREs.

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Thanks for the feedback will measure. I had the joints off recently while doing work on swivel and seals etc

So not a problem.

Just wondering if anyone knows which thread is used on which side of the vehicle to save time and make sure I am undoing not winding on ?

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You can usually see a bit of the thread popping out, so you easily work it out. Big tip! Make sure the threads into the rod are liberally coated with copper slip, makes changeing them at a later date a doddle.

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I replaced all my TRE's and bushes but decided to put the 110 into a 'proper' tyre and tracking place to have them properly aligned. Everything was freshly lubricated with copper grease and snugly nipped up ready for the mechanic to do the job.

Several minutes of spanners and messing about ensued, then he was joined by his mate who had a look, and then a few minutes later I saw him fetch a gas torch and start heating and bashing the joint so dived out and asked what the problem was. "Sorry mate we cant do this as we're unable to get the nut undone".

I took his spanner and put it on and whacked it the opposite way, and of course it loosened. "You do know that they have opposing threads so you can adjust the tracking by turning this big piece of tubing?"

The pair of them looked hugely embarrassed as I went into tell the manager that they'd been beating the carp out of my suspension and if anything was damaged they'd be liable. He agreed, but I think he'd seen this incompetence before as the errant mechanic was gone shortly after and reappeared working for Halfords instead.

Moral - don't assume the people you're paying to do anything always know what they're doing, they may know less than you!

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I replaced all my TRE's and bushes but decided to put the 110 into a 'proper' tyre and tracking place to have them properly aligned. Everything was freshly lubricated with copper grease and snugly nipped up ready for the mechanic to do the job.

Several minutes of spanners and messing about ensued, then he was joined by his mate who had a look, and then a few minutes later I saw him fetch a gas torch and start heating and bashing the joint so dived out and asked what the problem was. "Sorry mate we cant do this as we're unable to get the nut undone".

I took his spanner and put it on and whacked it the opposite way, and of course it loosened. "You do know that they have opposing threads so you can adjust the tracking by turning this big piece of tubing?"

The pair of them looked hugely embarrassed as I went into tell the manager that they'd been beating the carp out of my suspension and if anything was damaged they'd be liable. He agreed, but I think he'd seen this incompetence before as the errant mechanic was gone shortly after and reappeared working for Halfords instead.

Moral - don't assume the people you're paying to do anything always know what they're doing, they may know less than you!

This is exactly why I get so nervous about any garage doing my tracking. I haven't found one yet that really knows how to set a cars tracking and it's actually a pretty important thing! The decent garages don't do it, they leave it to the tyre places. The tyre places employ monkeys (actually a monkey could do a better job I would think). I had one places a while back tell me that I needed a full four wheel alignment because they would need to adjust the rear tracking on the 110!! I just put the phone down. I figure I can do a much better job with a tape measure than them getting it wildly out with their fancy lasers and charge me for it in the process!

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I took mine into Kwik fit (as it's next to my work) to get the tracking done. They called 30 mins later to say that the track rod was corroded and they couldn't adjust it. I'd replaced the TREs 4 years earlier with copaslip.

The whole reason I took it to them was because I didn't want to do it. They have a workshop of tools and they couldn't be bothered either. :unsure:

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Thanks for all the advice, bit of a struggle getting the old one's off but managed it eventually and copper slipped the new before fitting all sorted, confident that they are back as before within +/- 1.0 mm.

However, the tie rod track rod end was another matter. I have ended up buying a new tie rod, the track rod was completely seized on to the rod. No matter how much lubricant, tapping with a hammer, gentle heating and brute force I couldn't shift it. The actual tie bar at the other end doesn't seem a problem and should come off easy enough. Only £10 incl. VAT for replacement rod so hardly worth struggling with the old one.

Anyway, until the new tie rod can be collected at the end of the week it's on to the next job removing the steering box !

But that's reserved for another posting :-)

Thanks Ian

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