Tie rod adjusting sleeve - tie rod end wiggle - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 04-23-2016, 07:24 PM
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Tie rod adjusting sleeve - tie rod end wiggle

Last year I asked Firestone to do a front end alignment and they mangled the adjusting sleeve saying they couldn't get it loosened. I bought a new one, same form factor as the old one and they used it in the alignment and gave me the truck back.

Since then I've been trying to track down some anomalous knuckley sounds and play. THEY said they couldn't find anything.

Forward to this past week. I had the rig on a rack at another shop, and they reached up and grabbed the tie rod end and wiggle wiggle wiggle "this shouldn't do that".

So for all I know, this has been loose since Firestone gave it back to me last year. Today I make them put it on the appropriate rack to get the wheels free and sure enough wiggle wiggle wiggle.

They guy said "oh I think something is bent, maybe the knuckle" and "I'll try to tighten it but I may just strip the outer bite again".

In the end he said he couldn't tighten the sleeve and that I needed a heavier duty solution. So why the hell didn't they say that LAST YEAR. /rhetorical


My choice seems to be another threaded sleeve with a HEX head on it, or the longer double clamp "tie rod adjusting sleeve" like the MOPAR® Steering Linkage Adjuster Assembly or some HEAVY DUTY after market something by AEV or TeraFlax.

Since I have 315s on this I need to rock solid "get it the hell done and done" logging road worthy solution, hopefully one that doesn't break the bank.


Ideas, thoughts, experiences, sound advice?

Thank in advance!




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Old 04-23-2016, 09:27 PM   #2
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Let me understand this - you had a shop mangle the adjusting sleeve and then you took it back to them a year later?

It sounds as if you need new tie rod ends or worst case a new tie rod. And I would have another shop do the work. A shop you can trust to do quality work is a true treasure, but a new shop should only get one bite at the apple. I have dealt with a tire shop for over 25 years and they do a great job on my vehicles. Even the writers are certified mechanics and straightened out the suspension on my Rubicon when I had it in for an alignment shortly after I bought it. But right before that I walked away from a shop that told me something about solid axle vehicles I knew was wrong.

Nothing you have said indicated that the tie rod itself is damaged, just the ends and maybe the sleeve.

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Old 04-23-2016, 09:34 PM   #3
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Just buy a new tie Rod assembly from Extreme Terrain for $130 and install yourself.
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Old 04-24-2016, 09:54 AM
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"just the ends and maybe the sleeve"

I can neither confirm nor deny that tie rod end is bad. If it is bad, then it would be due to threads being worn off from the free play. I would have to remove the nut and sleeve and inspect.

The reason I took it BACK to Firestone is because they're the ones that did the work on it and should own the workmanship. But sure, I have a real shop if I need one. If I don't want to do the repairs I can get them to do it while they replace the steering gear box which I don't really have the time for.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:58 AM   #5
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My stock tie rod was a rusted mess. I first pieced together all the parts, cost $250 for both drag link and tie rod. I ended up with Synergy parts for no other reason then wanted to upgrade. Never had issues keeping the clamps tight. I would just buy the assembly as a whole from Crown.
http://www.extremeterrain.com/crown-...it-0713jk.html
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:45 PM   #6
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There is no reason for the the threaded adjustment portion of the tie rod end to go bad unless you have had direct hits on that part when off road or if whoever was working on it got it cross threaded. What I am talking about is if the stub that inserts into the steering knuckle is loose. It should have just enough give to allow the steering knuckle to turn but not enough to wiggle. Same thing with the ball joints, drag link and track bar.

The adjusting sleeve is there only for convenience to adjust the toe-in/toe-out easier than taking removing one end from a steering knuckle and adjusting it. The drag link should generally have one on Jeeps, but not all vehicles have one. The sleeve on the drag link makes it easier to adjust the steering wheel straight up when the front wheels are straight.

One of the reasons I would not take it back to that particular Firestone dealer is that unless they were trying to adjust the toe-in/toe-out, there should have been no reason to even tough the adjusting sleeve on the tie rod.
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Old 04-24-2016, 03:09 PM
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All reconciled, all on the same page, no wiggle at knuckle etc. I DID the ball joints and there's no play there. They may not be to the millimeter where the last ones were but they're in, they're straight and the knuckle fit back on to the shafts just fine with my less-than-mighty efforts.

We can agree that Firestone did indeed strip the teeth on the sleeve to adjust toe in\out and that it has been loose every since, I see no reason at all to believe it's been more tight for a minute.

I got in the rig and rode down to the Auto Zone and looked at the big chuck of change of a Tie Rod Adjusting Sleeve. It looks exactly like the CROWN 5" one, not like the pic on the auto zone web page which is OMIX-ADA.

This is 5" long and some serious heavy thick metal, more formidable than you get the impression from a pic.

I bought it and going to try it out. If I'm convinced I need a new tie rod end I'll get one of those.

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