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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am leary of what a shop told me when bringing my car in for alignment

Last week I had some brand new Nitto NeoGens put on my car, and wanted to get my car aligned to make sure they would wear right. I took my car in for the alignment, they put it up on the rack, and came back to me saying that there is too much play in my tie rods for them to even perform an alignment, and that I will need new tie rods and ends.

I dont know much about steering/suspension. Could this be legit? I couldn't find this question on the boards.
 

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Probably legit, over time they do get some play in them and should be replaced. They can do a perfect alignment but when your driving a little play in the tie rod will let the wheel toe in/out as your driving defeating the purpose of the alignment.
On my cars as soon as a start to feel a little bit i replace them.
 

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inspect the boots yourself, if they are torn then no argument.

As said above there should be no play.

get someone to wobble the steering back and forth, feel the joint, if there is any play replace them. this type of joint is normally very tight and spring loaded, so there should be no play.

why not get two new ones and put them on.
use a tape to measure the distance and adjust approx the same and drive straight to the alignment shop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input so far guys...

I haven't had a chance to get up under the car myself yet. I do not think I trust the shop that told me so, so I believe I am going to take it to the dealership for the tie rods/tie rod ends. Do you think I should ask them to go ahead and replace the bushings on the control arms also? Will the dealership do this or will they only replace the full control arms themselves? My ride is an 01' with 118,XXX miles.

Guess I can say goodbye to my tax refund...
 

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I dont understand why you are so keen to spend money ??
My car has 140K and i am sure none of that has been replaced yet.
Bushings die from old age and tie rod ends last if the boots are in one piece, don't be panicked by someone trying to rip you off.
These guys can smell weakness and will go for blood.

No I don't think the Lexus dealer will replace just the bushing.

How about you pay your Lexus dealer to inspect the front suspension and steering, and give you a written estimate. My guess is this will be a half hour Labor.
Then you can decide what needs to be done and by whom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I dont understand why you are so keen to spend money ??
My car has 140K and i am sure none of that has been replaced yet.
Bushings die from old age and tie rod ends last if the boots are in one piece, don't be panicked by someone trying to rip you off.
These guys can smell weakness and will go for blood.

No I don't think the Lexus dealer will replace just the bushing.

How about you pay your Lexus dealer to inspect the front suspension and steering, and give you a written estimate. My guess is this will be a half hour Labor.
Then you can decide what needs to be done and by whom.
I appreciate the input, seriously! I don't want it to sound like I am keen on spending money - actually quite the opposite. I am trying to get it done quickly, as I do not want to ruin my brand new set of tires.

I also was thinking about the tie/rods and bushings at the same time to save money - IE - Would it be sure the problem would be corrected? Would it help ensure that my tires wear correctly going forward (many IS's have this problem -especially higher mileage due to worn bushings), would I save money getting all replaced now vs paying someone to fix the tie rods now, and then paying someone to get bushings fixed later).

I am only seeking advice/opinions! I can't do anything till the end of the week due to work - so I am trying to figure out a course of action.
 

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I appreciate the input, seriously! I don't want it to sound like I am keen on spending money - actually quite the opposite. I am trying to get it done quickly, as I do not want to ruin my brand new set of tires.

I also was thinking about the tie/rods and bushings at the same time to save money - IE - Would it be sure the problem would be corrected? Would it help ensure that my tires wear correctly going forward (many IS's have this problem -especially higher mileage due to worn bushings), would I save money getting all replaced now vs paying someone to fix the tie rods now, and then paying someone to get bushings fixed later).

I am only seeking advice/opinions! I can't do anything till the end of the week due to work - so I am trying to figure out a course of action.
there is really nothing hard to replacing an outer tie rod, which is generally what goes bad. most cars takes about 5 minutes to do each side, and they will charge about .6-.8 hours labor. (at my shop is $90 an hour). this is easily something you can do yourself. jack the car up, take the tire off, you will see the tie rod right there. loosen the locking nut, take the bolt off the bottom of the tie rod, then hit right below the boot of the tie rod with a hammer (on the metal) and it should pop out after a few good hits. i count the number of times i turn the tie rod out, and just spin it back in and put the nut back on, and tighten down the locking nut and of course replace the cotter pin, and your done :) it's not worth the $ at all, it takes very few tools and very little time. if you want i can get you some pictures of everything off of mine.

sorry for the long drawn out post, just trying to save you some money. I wouldn't take it to the dealership for a simple outer tie rod install, they are almost impossible to mess up on our cars..especially if your getting an alignment done afterwords. I don't align cars with messed up tie rods, like people before me said..they just pop right out of alignment, making it completely pointless and wasting the customers money.

hope that helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
there is really nothing hard to replacing an outer tie rod, which is generally what goes bad. most cars takes about 5 minutes to do each side, and they will charge about .6-.8 hours labor. (at my shop is $90 an hour). this is easily something you can do yourself. jack the car up, take the tire off, you will see the tie rod right there. loosen the locking nut, take the bolt off the bottom of the tie rod, then hit right below the boot of the tie rod with a hammer (on the metal) and it should pop out after a few good hits. i count the number of times i turn the tie rod out, and just spin it back in and put the nut back on, and tighten down the locking nut and of course replace the cotter pin, and your done :) it's not worth the $ at all, it takes very few tools and very little time. if you want i can get you some pictures of everything off of mine.

sorry for the long drawn out post, just trying to save you some money. I wouldn't take it to the dealership for a simple outer tie rod install, they are almost impossible to mess up on our cars..especially if your getting an alignment done afterwords. I don't align cars with messed up tie rods, like people before me said..they just pop right out of alignment, making it completely pointless and wasting the customers money.

hope that helps :)

It definitely helps! If it comes down to it, pictures would be REALLY helpful - I really know nothing about steering/suspension but am pretty handy.

One question - How can I tell if it is an inner tie rod or outer tie rod that needs to be replaced?
 

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It definitely helps! If it comes down to it, pictures would be REALLY helpful - I really know nothing about steering/suspension but am pretty handy.

One question - How can I tell if it is an inner tie rod or outer tie rod that needs to be replaced?
heres my oh so great picture lol this is on the passenger side of the vehicle. same spot on the driver side. :)



hitting that will make the tie rod pop right out after a few hits.

and to check play in tie rods, what we do is called a dry park check. make sure the wheels are on the ground, get you or a buddy to move the steering wheel back in forth. put your hand on the inner tie rod, there should be very minimal movement, same goes for the outer tie rod. if the vehicle is lifted up, the tie rods are not at the operating angle they are designed to be at so it's a lot harder to feel play in them at that point. if you can feel play in tie rods with the vehicle lifted up, then they are seriously shot.

hope that helps you!

~cody
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
heres my oh so great picture lol this is on the passenger side of the vehicle. same spot on the driver side. :)



hitting that will make the tie rod pop right out after a few hits.

and to check play in tie rods, what we do is called a dry park check. make sure the wheels are on the ground, get you or a buddy to move the steering wheel back in forth. put your hand on the inner tie rod, there should be very minimal movement, same goes for the outer tie rod. if the vehicle is lifted up, the tie rods are not at the operating angle they are designed to be at so it's a lot harder to feel play in them at that point. if you can feel play in tie rods with the vehicle lifted up, then they are seriously shot.

hope that helps you!

~cody


USAPride - Thank you so much for your help so far. I wish I could do more than throw you some rep. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on this. If you get tired of answering questions - let me know!

Do our cars have tie-rods? Or just tie-rod ends?

In your picture - do I bang on the outside of the round part? Is this the same area you feel when doing the Dry Park Check?


JC
 

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USAPride - Thank you so much for your help so far. I wish I could do more than throw you some rep. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on this. If you get tired of answering questions - let me know!

Do our cars have tie-rods? Or just tie-rod ends?

In your picture - do I bang on the outside of the round part? Is this the same area you feel when doing the Dry Park Check?


JC
Ok the part you bang to get it apart is the threaded part sticking up.

This is a tapered joint, the threads pull the taper together. You will see once you get it apart. OR look at the new joint !!
One trick in doing this if you use a puller is to bang the Arm/hub part of the tapered joint with force applied to the joint by the puller.

The part you feel for the dry test is the is the ball joint below the rubber boot.

The tie rod ball joint is in a Tie rod end. The complete tie rod goes to the steering rack on cars that have a rack.
The inner Tie rod joint is at the end of the rack.
Depending on the design ie car make and model, the Tie rod can be part of the inner tie rod joint. Unless the rack boot is torn it is unusual for the inner Tie rod joint to fail in my experience.

hope this helps
 

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To the left is the threaded part where the tie rod screws in. This must be locked with the jamb nut. yes its tight.

To the right at top is the threaded taper
at the bottom is the ball joint,
in-between you can see the dust boot.
 

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Yes, lets face it Lexus doesn't make this stuff, they buy it.
If you buy from usual places you shouldn't have a problem, Auto stores, Rock Auto etc.
Toyota makes the engines and body shells, and rest is suppliers.
 

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USAPride - Thank you so much for your help so far. I wish I could do more than throw you some rep. You seem to have a lot of knowledge on this. If you get tired of answering questions - let me know!

Do our cars have tie-rods? Or just tie-rod ends?

In your picture - do I bang on the outside of the round part? Is this the same area you feel when doing the Dry Park Check?


JC
Rep works for me! :) I would hope I know some because I do alignments for a living lol :)

They have tie rods, the *tie rod end* is also an outer tie rod. The outer tie rod screws into the inner tie rod. If you look at the pic ian posted, you hit the area right below the red ring. Its not actually the tie rod end itself that your hitting, but the area holding it. Like ian said, its tapered and hitting the area holding it will break the taper and it will pop right up.

Its completely fine to not get them directly from lexus. I really like advanced auto / napa parts. Moog products are pretty good for aftermarket. Like said before, lexus doesn't actually make the parts, so its fine doing an off brand. :)

Feel free to ask away, ill do the best I can to help u out! =)

- cody
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Perfect - I have been reading a ton about this now...I am going to check my tie rods later today.

I feel good about replacing the outer tie rods if need be, are the inner tie rods difficult to do if they need it?
 

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Perfect - I have been reading a ton about this now...I am going to check my tie rods later today.

I feel good about replacing the outer tie rods if need be, are the inner tie rods difficult to do if they need it?
The inner tie rods might need a special tool, I don't remember exactly but I can go look if need be. But, generally on our cars from what I've seen its mostly the outer that goes bad. You should be good to go replacing just the outer :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Urgent!

I have the new tie rod ends, and am trying to get the old ones off. I cant get the old end to "pop" out! i have hammered the tie rod end like crazy, but no luck


Anyone have any suggestions??
 

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there are several types of puller you can use.
bell type and scissor type. I have the scissor type.
tighten the puller and then either tap the bolt end or the side of the Arm.
you can also use heat to shock it loose.
I will post a pic if i get time.
 
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