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Tie Rod Ends

New 11/26/2004

I wonder if this is why I have a totally inconsistent front end problem.
Some days everything is great, other days it is terrible. Most consistent
symptom is when approaching 80 MPH I get a very bad vibration like a
out-of-balance shake, but then other times I get a steering wheel side to
side shimmy that feels like an out of alignment problem. Both happen at any
speed, but not consistently. It has been there since I got the car and has
been through several alignments and tire changes and balancing. Think it
could be the tie rod ends?

Rich Larsen
This may not be your problem , but those w/custom wheels NEED Hubcentric Wheel hubs . Cured my vibrations right up .
B.King 13
Is there any play in the tie rods at all? I had a terrible shimmy at 30-40
and when breaking... Replaced the outer ends and took care of the problem.
When I examined the old ends I could flick the end and move them with no
problem. That's bad..

Dave M
It is possible that bad tie rod ends could cause this. I
have had them go bad so that they when you take them off,
they are floppy and way loose.

Also I have had them removed and they are stiff as if they
had been welded tight!

Latter situation caused an inconsistent steering feel and
major wobbles on the highway.

Don Mallinson
The more you guys talk the more I am convinced that this could very well be
my problem. Should I look at Moog parts?

Rich Larsen
Yeah, Moogs are nice. I did both sides, inners and outers. It's not too bad of a project... about 3 hours or so, IIRC. You'll need the tool for the inners though.

Do the wiggle test if you aren't sure. Jack up one side of the car, take the wheel with both hands (at 3 and 6) and try to manually steer the wheel back and forth. If you feel a little play, it could be a tie rod end. Now to the test at 12 and 6 just to rule out a bad hub/bearing (even though I'm pretty sure that's not it.)

Dan Carman
I had new tires installed and a vibration in the steering wheel began
shortly after. However the new tires were not the problem. The vibration
was noticed at speed but not consistently, just as you describe.

I replaced all inner and outer tie rod ends and the vibration was cured.
The driver side outer tie rod end had a rubbery squeak when moved but was
tight, the passenger side was noticeably loose. Both inner tie rods would
not support themselves horizontally when freed from the outer tie rods.
Both limply dropped down. This is a sure sign to replace them. The
passenger side inner tie rod had no play but the driver side inner tie rod
had noticeable in-and-out play.

The steering response is greatly improved now. It reminds me of how the car
felt back in '96. The steering performance degraded over the years and 100k
miles gradually enough to avoid detection until the symptoms became

Don R.
Can someone please do a write up on how to replace the inner tie rods? What
to expect and what not.

I am thinking of doing this but couldn't find anything on how to go through
with it.

Rene Carlos Cruz

I just posted this on SHOForum for you:


Those instructions are for the lesser SHO (V6) but they will get you
through the job with no problems. You will NEED the inner tie rod tool I
mentioned above.

WRT the jam nut, I have heard of this problem many times. My solution is
to put the outer end back into the hub/knuckle and tighten the castle
nut snugly. Then go to it--using the hub/knuckle allows you to get both
hands on the wrench and break the jam nut free. Theoretically, this is a
no-no, but I don't think you'll damage the knuckle.

Also, the "pickle fork" (tie rod separator) didn't fit over the stem on
the outer tie rod. I had to break the rules again and whack the outer
tie rod end loose from underneath with a BFH (big ___-ing hammer).

Dan Carman

Also, there's this pretty cool website with a google search feature that produces this link

Tie Rod End Replacement Procedure


Thanks, Dan. I'll have to check it out at home. The content block here at
work must see something it didn't like. You didn't have a couple of
scantily dressed helpers did you? :-)
Rich Larsen


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