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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

Quick Question... I took my 87 Spider in for some routine maintenance (oil change and lube) and on the mechanics note he remarked that I may need tie rods within the next few months.

Now being the skeptic that I am (seeing as I just took the car to a local lube and service place) I pulled the front wheels and took a look... from visual inspection the tie rods look fine, and their rubber casing is pliable with no rips or tears... Granted there is some play in my steering wheel .. about 1-in' in either direction from center before I feel any resistance when turning at a solid stop, but visually the steering begins to move the wheels from the slightest nudge in either direction.

So my real question is... If I dont notice any shimmy, or strangeness in steering, the car tracks straight when going on a flat road, and all appearances are normal... HOW DO I KNOW IF THE MECHANIC IS TRYING TO RIP ME???

What sort of problems would I feel in the steering if the tie rods were in fact bad or going bad???

Thanks in advance.
Cheers
Martin.
 

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Hey Guys,

Quick Question... I took my 87 Spider in for some routine maintenance (oil change and lube) and on the mechanics note he remarked that I may need tie rods within the next few months.

Now being the skeptic that I am (seeing as I just took the car to a local lube and service place) I pulled the front wheels and took a look... from visual inspection the tie rods look fine, and their rubber casing is pliable with no rips or tears... Granted there is some play in my steering wheel .. about 1-in' in either direction from center before I feel any resistance when turning at a solid stop, but visually the steering begins to move the wheels from the slightest nudge in either direction.

So my real question is... If I dont notice any shimmy, or strangeness in steering, the car tracks straight when going on a flat road, and all appearances are normal... HOW DO I KNOW IF THE MECHANIC IS TRYING TO RIP ME???

What sort of problems would I feel in the steering if the tie rods were in fact bad or going bad???

Thanks in advance.
Cheers
Martin.
Imo, you'd either feel some slop in the steering, or perhaps hear some rattling from the suspension. But, if it all feels tight when you grab the front wheel and try to turn it in either direction, then it's probably fine.

Question - did you lift the entire front end, or just one side? I find it useful to jack up one side, so the other side is held in place by the ground. Then you can try to move the wheel, with the other side being held in place. Try it from the other side as well.

How many miles are on the car? Have any joints been replaced? Did you check the inners and the outers?

Sounds like yours are probably ok, for a while anyhow. Make a mental note to check them every spring.

HTH,

bs

p.s. When it is time to replace them, I strongly recommend doing the entire suspension if the car has some miles on it. For years, I kind of replaced suspension components as they wore out, but then on a recommendation from Paul Glynn, I rebushed an entire suspension and the change was dramatic. Even a good looking bushing or ball joint can have some play in it, and it all adds up. Further, once you've taken apart a corner of the car, you've pretty much eaten up most of the labor to replace all of the joints and bushings in that corner. May as well spring for the parts and do them while it's apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bshorey,

Thanks greatly for the advice. My car has 113,260 as of yesterday (not bad for 20 years old) I have owned the car for 6 years, and have all the PO service records which indicate that the front suspension was done 7 years ago. Each spring I do check the bushings and look everything over since the car does sit quite a lot (Aka Garage Queen). The only noise I get is from the front sway bar bushing, but a quick dousing in Liquid Wrench twice a summer after long periods of sitting does the trick.

The mechanic had the front end of the car off the ground when it was checked so both wheels were flopping free, and the steering wheel wasnt locked... so I suppose after work ill be jacking up the car and shaking wheels :)

I have only had to replace steering components on my 1750 spider, and never bothered to look at the broken parts... What exactly goes wrong with the tie rod ends to cause them to go bad especially when the caps arent torn to allow dirt entry?

Thanks again!!!

Cheers
Martin.
 

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Bshorey,

Thanks greatly for the advice. My car has 113,260 as of yesterday (not bad for 20 years old) I have owned the car for 6 years, and have all the PO service records which indicate that the front suspension was done 7 years ago. Each spring I do check the bushings and look everything over since the car does sit quite a lot (Aka Garage Queen). The only noise I get is from the front sway bar bushing, but a quick dousing in Liquid Wrench twice a summer after long periods of sitting does the trick.
Just a comment, and this is only my opinion, but I'm not sure Liquid Wrench is the best thing to use for squeaky bushings. I generally use Marvel Mystery Oil, or maybe white lithium grease.

The mechanic had the front end of the car off the ground when it was checked so both wheels were flopping free, and the steering wheel wasnt locked... so I suppose after work ill be jacking up the car and shaking wheels :)

I have only had to replace steering components on my 1750 spider, and never bothered to look at the broken parts... What exactly goes wrong with the tie rod ends to cause them to go bad especially when the caps arent torn to allow dirt entry?
The parts wear against each other internally, and loosen up over time. Torn rubber boots lets in grime and accelerate the process.

bs
 

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Get a pair of big channel-lock pliers and squeeze the tie rod ends. If there's any play, they need replacement. That is the standard check for steering joints.
 
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