AHZELA

Front End woes

14 posts in this topic

So I have gone through wheel bearings on this thing before like crazy. I think I have a total of 6 or something that are shot. I have replaced the links, ball joints and front/rear springs. I had a shop do an alignment a couple years ago before it went into storage. Turns out they didn't do such a good job and I can see that the passenger side wheel is in fact out. Alas... years of salt and snow have glues the tie rod end in place. I sprayed with some penetrating oil today, and am hopeful with a bit of heat I can get it to crack...   But holding the tie rod itself with a small wrench i feel isn't going to cut it.

 

   SO what is the option... to replace the entire rod going into the rack? Is this a simple process?  Or am I going to be looking at changing the entire steering assembly?

 

Thoughts...??

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inner steering tie rods are cheap and easily replaced provided you possess the necessary tools. 

Note that you must counterhold on rack when undoing existing tie rod and when fitting the new one. 

Garages never bother counter holding and damage both rack and pinion. Of course not their car and owners normally won’t notice.  

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes I assumed something like this...  Are the tools readily available, or custom (as most are for this thing)  

    

     I will have to lookup this counterhold. Are you talking from the other tie rod? Or internal somehow?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited) · Report post

check struts

 

they get bent easy right above the knuckle and youll never get a proper alignment if they are bent

 

 

as for tie rod end i would first heat the nut ...if that doesnt work cut it right off and use a 2 jaw puller to push it out of the taper

 

 

 

keep in mind these tie rod ends are not the usual type...they are basically ball joints ...the rod end is just a tapered hole

 

theres a good thread around here explaining how to make wheel bearing last a long time..personaly i just make sure i repack new ones with a proper amount of grease and they last long enough...right out of the box the factory barely puts any grease in there 

Edited by LooseLugNuts

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Struts up front are pretty new. But this city is full of pot holes, and the car also running Eibach springs on stock dampers so could be possible. I would like to pickup the coil over kit from Bilstien at some point.

 

  The nuts spin, not the issue. I have changed all the ball joints recenty as well.. just cant get the tie rod end to spin.. i think im looking at new tie rods.

 

  I have read Tolsens post on bearings years ago... tried to build 1 out of 2 once, but all my bearing pieces are damaged... GOts a few hubs tho! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you mean the actual ball end doesnt turn in the socket?...just put a new one ...they arent that expensive

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You either arent listening... or you don't understand the system as much as you think you do. There is an upper and lower ball joint. The lower on the control arm, the upper is where the tie rod that comes from the steering assembly attaches to via an adjustable tie rod end. The tie rod should spin inside of the tie rod end, to obtain adjustment.  ALL Upper and Lower ball joints are new on both sides. I cannot however get the tie rod... to spin inside of the tie rod end... so no adjustment.

 

   The only option left is to remove the tie rod, with the end in tact and replace them both..  the tie rod ends I can find at FT for 75$ each end.. I have yet to source the tie rod itself, and whatever tools are needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To adjust toe you may have to heat tie rod end to allow inner tie rod to turn to allow adjustment. My Smart is a much older than yours and I have no problem adjusting toe 

You will need a special tool to measure toe on your Smart car. I recommend TrackAce. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i vaguely remember the setup

 

i missed the part about alignment

 

sounds like you need to disconnect it from the upper ball joint and then get it nice and hot with a set of torches

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, tolsen said:

To adjust toe you may have to heat tie rod end to allow inner tie rod to turn to allow adjustment. My Smart is a much older than yours and I have no problem adjusting toe 

You will need a special tool to measure toe on your Smart car. I recommend TrackAce. 

 

   Tolsen I imagine that we see more snow, and certainly more salt on our roads here in Toronto than you do.  The tie rod end is factory and the rust build-up inside of that end is significant, I am almost certain this needs to be switched out.

 

  But i will take both of your advise and give it one more shot with some heat, and disconnected from the ball joint.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

just as a last resort if you dont have good acetylene torches you could probably use a grinder to carefully cut a split into it and crack it ...just be extra careful to not cut into the threads but even if you do a bit wont hurt it 

 

i checked germanparts.ca and a new outer rod piece is currently priced at less than $30 (they dont list inner one for sale ..just outer link end)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Smart enough owners will clean and grease their track rod end threads. 

 

One can can then have tracking adjusted professionally at a reasonable price as the mechanic won’t struggle with seized joints.

 

Invest in TrackAce if you wish to adjust tracking more accurately than a professional adjustment. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes Tolsen...  Smart owners would...

 

    However that has not been done in the past, so now I will sort it out, and make sure to add it to the regular maintenance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

    Chatbox
    You don't have permission to chat.
    Load More