Tie rod ends on tv shows

So... I've noticed that many tv shows where they are doing the home mechnicky car stuff seem to revel in lecturing on tie rod end removal and installation. I've seen quite a few shows now where the mechanic looks studiously into the camera and intones "...count the number of turns it takes to remove the old tie rod so you know how many turns to use installing the new one...."

I have questions about this for a couple of reasons: i. what if your replacement tie rod is a slightly different length? (happened to me, though granted it was only millimetres, and I'm sure there are variances in different tie rod end manufacturers) and ii. why not just use where the locknut is? (once the tie rod is just loose, just snug up the locknut and secure with tape if necessary if it isn't already stiff -which by the way has been all the tie rod locknuts I've ever encountered).

Am I missing something here?
 

classic33

Legendary Member
It makes them sound as though they know more than they do. You'd better pay close attention!
 

Phaeton

Grumpy Old Barstool
Location
Oop North (ish)
Am I missing something here?
Yes, but you already know the answer because you've already stated it, there is no guarantee that 2 track rod ends (as I know them) will be the same length even if from the same manufacturer a few years apart. This will only give you a get you to the garage to get tracked OR F it, I'll run it a bit to see if it starts to rub either side off.

Once knew a mechanic who could tell you how far out your tracking was by just rubbing his hand across the top of your tyre. If you do it you can feel the tread, I've forgotten which way it is now but if the tracking is out you can feel sharper edges on the treadblock. Depending on which shoulder it is on depends which way your tracking is incorrect, toe in or toe out.
 

gbb

Legendary Member
Location
Peterborough
No, you're not missing anything, be glad you've identified what might not be obvious to some.
If you fitted OEM track rod ends, youd probably get away with it. If you fitted aftermarket, you might not, personally I'd really carefully measure old against new.
Belt and braces, get the tracking checked after either.
 
No, you're not missing anything, be glad you've identified what might not be obvious to some.
If you fitted OEM track rod ends, youd^_^ probably get away with it. If you fitted aftermarket, you might not, personally I'd really carefully measure old against new.
Belt and braces, get the tracking checked after either.
Good advice to get it checked. I changed the track rod ends on an old Vauxhall myself but thought it best to get it tracked. I use Kwikfit and they really must have had an off day. The first corner I came to the tyres squealed loudly.
I drove back and watched them while they checked it. They must have been out by about 6 turns!
I didn't learn, I went back years later with VW for the same check. This time the steering felt weird. it wanted to steer straight ahead, if you tried to turn it fought back. This time they'd somehow wound the rubber gaiter up by not releasing the clip when they did the adjustment.
The only times I used them after that was for tyres. They used to say they'd 'price match' any tyre. They never checked and I'd find the cheapest available, knock a fiver off and they would match this price.^_^
 
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