Mark Simpson

Tie Rod & Tie Rod End Replacement

Mark Simpson
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Duration:   12  mins

Tie rods have been a fundamental part of automotive steering systems since the early days of automobile manufacturing. Initially, tie rods were solid steel rods with threaded ends that were connected to the steering knuckles using nuts. Over time, advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques led to the development of more robust and adjustable tie rod designs, including the introduction of tie rod ends.

Tie rods and tie rod ends are essential components of a vehicle’s steering mechanism. They connect the steering linkage to the steering knuckles or spindle arms of the front wheels. When the driver turns the steering wheel, the steering gear translates this rotational motion into lateral movement, which is transmitted through the tie rods to the wheels, allowing the vehicle to turn left or right. Despite the important role these components play in the steering, control and safety of any car they are often neglected until something goes wrong, but with proper maintenance they can provide years of trouble free service.

Proper maintenance of tie rods and tie rod ends is essential for ensuring safe and reliable steering performance. Here are some key maintenance practices:

Regular Inspection: Periodically inspect the tie rods and tie rod ends for signs of wear, damage, or corrosion. Look for any loose connections, excessive play, or visible damage.

Lubrication: Some tie rod ends are equipped with grease fittings to allow for lubrication. Greasing these fittings at regular intervals helps reduce friction and wear, prolonging the lifespan of the components.

Alignment Checks: Misaligned wheels can put additional stress on tie rods and tie rod ends, leading to premature wear. Regularly check and adjust the wheel alignment as needed to ensure proper steering geometry.

Replacement: If any signs of wear or damage are detected during inspections, it’s crucial to replace worn or faulty tie rods and tie rod ends promptly. Neglecting worn components can lead to steering instability and compromise vehicle safety.

We joined up with Mark Simpson and Ross Kiehl in the shop to replace the Tie Rod ends, Tie Rods and Idler Arm on a 1968 Chevelle SS. While the process of replacing these critical components is fairly straightforward and can be completed in a few short hours, Simpson and Kiehl still stress the importance of having a professional alignment after completing the installation.

Routine maintenance and replacement of steering components on any classic car is an investment that will reward you with years of safe and reliable performance.

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