No one enjoys driving a classic car with loose steering, clunking noises, vibration, or pulling to one side. Often these problems can be associated with the wear or failure of the “tie rod ends.” The tie rod end is a critical component in your classic car’s steering, and functions to turn your wheels when steering.
Because tie rod ends are used every time you steer your car, they are susceptible to wear over time. But they are also prone to premature failure if not properly greased, or if they are subjected to severe loads like accidents or even deep potholes.
Most front suspension steering systems include two outer tie rod ends and two inner tie rod ends. There are some distinctive signs to observe to determine if your tie rods need to be closely looked at or replaced, and those include:
Uneven tire wear – excessive wear on one side of the front tires can be a sign of worn or damaged tie rod ends. You may need to have the front end alignment checked and the condition of your tie rod ends checked.
Steering pulling to the side – If your car pulls to one side or wanders from side to side, the tie rods may be worn or damaged.
Front end vibration – Worn tie rods sometimes reveal themselves with vibration in the front suspension. Sometimes this is only noticeable at certain speeds.
Knocking or clunking noises – Often most noticeable at low speeds or negotiating your car in parking lots, these noises are frequently a symptom of worn tie rod ends.
We take on replacing the front tie rods on our project car and take you step-by-step through the process to properly remove and replace them while avoiding causing any damage to the tie rod ends or the components they attach to.