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Tie rods - How often do you replace them?

How many miles/years/track sessions do you normally replace the tie rods?

My front started feeling very 'sloppy' a few months back and I suspect the tie rods might be worn out (73K miles, 2-3 HPDE sessions a year). Hoping a fresh set and front end alignment will fix it up.

Also opted for a Steeda bumpsteer kit instead of the outer tie rod, since I'm lowered.

THX
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,625
2,555
Arizona, USA
Only if they become bent from contact somehow.

Take a look at your rear front lower control arm bushings while you are down there and see if they are intact.
 
ArizonaBOSS said:
Only if they become bent from contact somehow.

Take a look at your rear lower control arm bushings while you are down there and see if they are intact.

Will do...how does the rear LCA impact the feeling in the front? I have J&M Extremes with Poly bushings.
 

ArizonaBOSS

Because racecar.
Moderator
8,625
2,555
Arizona, USA
I meant rear FRONT LCA bushing, sorry. The OEM hydro-bushings are known to burst and then the arm can deflect in the rear mount on each side of the car.
 
ArizonaBOSS said:
I meant rear FRONT LCA bushing, sorry. The OEM hydro-bushings are known to burst and then the arm can deflect in the rear mount on each side of the car.

THX...That makes sense. I just had them replaced in Feb under warranty. Hoping they are not shot again.
 
Replaced my inner tie rods and outers with a Steeda bumpsteer kit this weekend and happy to report the install wasn't too bad. I had to move the backing plates of the rotors because the cooling duct inlet was in the way of pounding out the old outer tie rod. This just added more time than I expected, but wasn't too difficult.

The biggest PITA was getting the tie rod removal tool to grab hold properly.

The old inner tie rod ball joint seemed completely shot. Maybe they are supposed to not resists movement after they get older, but the new ones were difficult to rotate (very stiff) verses the old ones which dropped with gravity.

The outer tie rods looked fine, but I opted for a bumpsteer kit. These are pretty nice kits IMHO and allow some adjustability if you are lowered. I also like the heim joint setup with the Steeda kit.

Got an alignment this morning and the 'sloppy' front end feeling is totally gone. Not sure if the inner tie rod, bumpsteer kit, or the alignment that made the biggest difference, but I'm happy with the end result. :D
 
4,805
5,526
FWIW we change out tie rods and lower control arms pretty regularly, the tie rods are pretty weak , but they bend instead of destroying the rack. We also go through a lot of lower ball joints.
 

JScheier

Too Hot for the Boss!
blacksheep-1 said:
FWIW we change out tie rods and lower control arms pretty regularly, the tie rods are pretty weak , but they bend instead of destroying the rack. We also go through a lot of lower ball joints.

I concur. In the three years of ownership, I changed outer TRs three times. If you are running sticky tires, running the curbs, etc, it's REALLY cheap insurance.

We just lost a GTS2 car last weekend when a front tie rod snapped... sent him across track and into a spec boxster. Pretty expensive weekend for what equated to a $40 part.
 
blacksheep-1 said:
FWIW we change out tie rods and lower control arms pretty regularly, the tie rods are pretty weak , but they bend instead of destroying the rack. We also go through a lot of lower ball joints.

Are you talking about REAR LCA's?
 
814
432
mustang5o said:
Are you talking about REAR LCA's?

Depending on the race class, the front lower control arms might have poly bushings in the front instead of Delrin. Front poly bushings are prone to distortion and failure. Using Delrin as the front bushing in the front LCA does not seem to have this issue.

Using poly on both sides of rear control arms also tends to result in distorted and failed bushings.
 
814
432
And, with regard to tie rods, I replace my inner tie rods anytime I can feel any movement in them. I simply put the car on jacks, grab the inner tie rod and pull up and down. If I can feel any slop or movement (typically on the rack side), I replace the tie rod. As mentioned before, its cheap and doesn't take that long to do. I if you track your car a lot, you might need to replace tie rods every couple of seasons.

I have only replaced my outer tie rods once. That was this past summer when I installed a bump steer kit. After four seasons, I did not notice any issues with the outer tie rods.
 

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