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Tie Rod Ends update

professor229

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I decided to take the time yesterday afternoon to heat the garage and install the MAS (Dorman) tie rod ends. I had removed one end a week or so ago and put it back after cleaning all the threads etc. and using antisieze so I knew that I would be successful on one side at least.... and that was the case.... The new tie rod was identical to the old one, size wise..... and it took 27 turns to remove it so the new one went on 27 turns... and went fine.... Then the other unmolested tie rod end. It looked OEM.... so I knew I would have a little bit of a fight.... and I absolutely wouldn't have had to replace this one, but I thought as long as I did one side, I might as well do the other especially if I need to have it aligned.... will try it down the road in April when insurance goes on it and see if it tracks correctly.... The other side did a little arguing but I used the normal procedure... wire wheel on a drill to clean up threads and de-rust everything in sight..... and the some WD40.... wait a bit... rub off any excess and hit the lock nut with a heat gun on high..... after finding the exact wrenches necessary to hold everything else in place... It worked fine... and then got the remaining threads cleaned up.... This tie rod end count was twenty turns.... It all went back together really well.... Now.... the only question is whether to align it or now.... and find a competent place to have it done.... We are fairly new to the metro area.... so I don't have much of an idea where to go.... If anybody else lives in the twin cities area, would you let me know who does honest alignment work? Will try to send pictures of the old tie rod ends... my digital camera decided to quit working yesterday.... too cold?
 


Jazzer

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Good work so far.
What metro area are you in? Your profile just says Minnesota.

-Jazzer
 

professor229

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I live in the twin cities northern suburb..... about equal distance from both MPLS and St. Paul.....I got my "new" used camera and took some pictures of the work I did yesterday..... and the new tie rods were identical to the old as far as specs.. so the driver's side went back 27 turns and the passenger side went back 20 turns.... it should be "close enough" to make it five miles and back to the lake with my fishing boat trailer... I am having some trouble finding rims/tires for it but I think that is because of the time of year I am looking.... Will hit a bunch of swap meets whenever.... and buy at least two decent tires for the rear... they were severely overinflated and there is a bald streak running down the middle.. front tires will make it this summer for sure.... took pictures of the tie rod work.....
 

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Jazzer

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Look at youtube for do it yourself toe in alignment methods, that should get you close enough until you can get it toed in by a shop.

Most tire chain stores will set the toe in for 80-$100, and give you a printout of the results. Don’t trust them for more than toe in, though.
On the way out, make sure the steering wheel is centered on a flat
straight road, if it’s not go right back. 🙂
-Jazzer
 

professor229

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It's a problem here and a matter of trust.... I was in a hurry so I took a the tire off one of my rigs that had a slow leak.... it was annoying..... So I did the usual test in a small kiddie swimming pool and found the bubble, slow but sure... marked it with chalk.... and found a very small nail..... which I removed... and took it to Tires Plus in our area.... left it, and came back that afternoon and was charged over $40 to fix the tire that was sitting in front of me.... with a plug in it.... I pointed this out to the kid behind the desk and he just shrugged his shoulders... I paid for it, and read the list of things "done".... It was laughable.. demount the tire... so much money.... patch the tire...... so much money... mount the tire... so much more money... spin balance the tire... more money.... total... over $40..... I wrote to corporate Tires Plus and got nowhere.... As bad as it was, I heard worse about the Tires Plus in the next suburb over..... In short... I just don't trust the big chains..... and obviously won't set foot in another Tires Plus.... I could go on about other tire stores too..... My local mechanic does not sell tires or do anything related because he cannot compete with these stores... his words.... but I am going to stop and ask him about a ma and pa garage that might still does alignment... I am betting he will shrug his shoulders too... Of all things, I watched the people at the local Walmart put tires on a friend's car... and was TOTALLY impressed by the people working..... and would trust them.... but... they no longer do alignments..... I have the remainder of the winter to look around and ask... for now though.... The tires on the Ranger are one step away from worthless so I won't be risking anything yet.... Have a good one....
 

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Maybe it's terminology, but you said "plug in it...?"

Did they not place a patch on it from the inside? I can plug a tire with a $5 kit from the Dollar General from the outside without removing the tire from the truck -- not ideal, but can be done.

I'd be pissed too.
 

professor229

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I worked for Texaco for three plus years while I went to college and that is when the plugging system came into being... before that it was the old fashioned tire removal from the rim and patch and put the tire back on..... we marked the tire and rim with chalk so balancing would probably not be an issue but this was before spin balancing too.... we used a bubble balancer (I still do to this day)..... But what bothered me the most was that Tires Plus corporate didn't do a thing..... I also own a plugging system and have plugged three tires since.... even though I have heard "you're not supposed to use plugs on modern tires" I do it anyway and have NEVER had a problem..... By the way... who do you trust these days? I took my Chevy HHR to the local Chevrolet dealership and yes, they would be happy to test my battery, and one of the service managers said he would do it himself.. got the machine... asked me to pop the car's hood which I did, and then watched pure confusion on his face..... knowing full well, that the battery is in the back under the rear deck by the spare tire.... and remember, this was a large Chevrolet dealership...... Times have changed....
 

DILLARD000

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Learned over the years, if at all possible\reasonable to do maintenance\repairs myself, it is best to do so;
goes for the vehicles, home, appliances...
Extremely slow compared to professional mechs\techs, but I know exactly what was done & how.
Save the money & enjoy a good steak dinner with your family.
If it is not done right, can only blame myself & suffer my wifes criticism\wrath. ;)
If it is done right, can take pride in the work.
 

rumblecloud

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I'm lucky in that I do have a local shop that I trust. If there is something that needs to be done that I can't/don't want to tackle, I just call them schedule a time and drop it off. I never even ask for a price. They're old school.
 

professor229

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Boy have you got that right.... Just trying to find a repairman these days is tough and don't you dare ask how much....... and I take pride in doing it myself.... The only argument I get these days is from my arthritis.... and sometimes it wins...... The best solutions that I have found are when I watch how to Vids on You Tube... usually you can tell if someone knows their stuff or is pretending..... but if you watch enough, you get a pretty good idea....I don't own a tool to separate the tie rod... but there was one video where he put the castle nut on upside down, and got out a hammer... no need for the "tool"..... I found the heat gun to be worth the money on the tie rods too and remember using a torch years ago to heat the tie rods to remove them.... Also I replaced the front hubs on my Chevy HHR.... and almost gave up on that... but I spent $80 on the parts.... Chevrolet dealership and the repair shop down the road each gave over a one thousand dollar estimate.....take care...
 

pjtoledo

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ever hear of a patch-plug?
they are installed from inside the tire, the stem is pulled thru the hole.
 

ericbphoto

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ever hear of a patch-plug?
they are installed from inside the tire, the stem is pulled thru the hole.
I was just going to mention that. It is a patch with a plug built-in. So it does a better job than either method alone. The tire must be dismounted to install it.
 

Jazzer

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Are you certain they didn’t put a patch plug in it? I guess you only saw the outside.
Not defending them, the one here is terrible, but your charges would indicate they demounted and balanced the tire.

I took a bead leaking tire to them, they tossed the tire w/o good reason. Said and done, I got a brand new tire for $0.

-Jazzer
 

professor229

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I stand corrected... it very well could have been this kind of plug.....
 

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