Tie rod clanking. Is this normal? Bad tie rod ends? - JeepForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
bradyman1
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Tie rod clanking. Is this normal? Bad tie rod ends?

Little info first. I recently (a couple months ago but not many miles ago) installed a RC 2 1/2" lift with new shocks and steering stabilizer. I have the stock pitman arm, and the track bars have been removed. I still have the sway bar intact. I noticed that when turning the steering wheel I get a clanking noise. So I finally got a chance to get under the heep while the wife turned the steering wheel. I found that the tie rod is rotating and causing the clanking. Is this normal? It rotates at the tie rod ends up when the wheel is turned one way, and then down when it is turned the opposite direction. It looks as though it is just rotating at the joint (the knuckle sorry for my newbie terms). Other than that I don't notice any excessive slop or movement in the tie rod. I can grab it with my hand and rotate in up and down but I didn't notice any side to side movement. Are my tie rod ends shot?


Jason
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 09:24 AM
Ironworker709
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If there is ANY slop up to down,side to side in the tie rods at all,tie rods are bad
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 09:28 AM
SantaAnaSlim
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My tie rod does the same thing. It rotates about 90 degrees when you turn each way. The tie-rod ends are just ball and socket joints, there's nothing to prevent them from rotating. I replaced my tie-rod ends (the ones you can replace) just because I had the front end apart and they're cheap enough. Though my old ones weren't really in bad shape, but the boots were toast. I figured they're not going to get any better, might as well do them. Drop one of the ends and see how it feels. I noticed that mine moved a lot easier than the new ones which were very tight, but they certainly weren't sloppy. You might find that new ends will offer some dampening effect and prevent the rod from clanking. New ends might also prevent it from moving as far as to hit the knuckle. I don't think mine moves that much. The ends are about 30 bucks, but you can't replace them both. Only one end it replaceable, you'd have to replace the whole tie-rod to replace the other end. Stupid design.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
bradyman1
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Originally Posted by Ironworker709 View Post
If there is ANY slop up to down,side to side in the tie rods at all,tie rods are bad
I don't believe I actually have any slop. But it will rotate with a little bit of force.

Jason
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 11:34 AM
Ironworker709
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Umm..your saying the ball part inside the knuckle rotates?..if so,make sure the nut is tight,it should be tight and not rotate.Or if you mean the tie rod just rolls up and down when twisting rod itself,then it's fine because thats the purpose of the tie rod end,to move freely but no "slop" inside it
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 11:39 AM
timatoe
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Without movement it wouldn't function. With that said they shouldn't be clunking, if they are when turning, replace them.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 11:45 AM
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Mine has done it for 3 years since the 4" RE lift.
It is because of the stock pitman arm and the angle of the rod coming off of it.
Either a drop pitman or a knuckle over conversion are needed to correct the angle and prevent the rotation.
I do not think it is causing any harm so I just ignore it until I do some more work on the rig.

Dwayne


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post #8 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
bradyman1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironworker709 View Post
Umm..your saying the ball part inside the knuckle rotates?..if so,make sure the nut is tight,it should be tight and not rotate.Or if you mean the tie rod just rolls up and down when twisting rod itself,then it's fine because thats the purpose of the tie rod end,to move freely but no "slop" inside it
The rod rolls up and down when twisting it. It rotates in the same direction when the steering wheel is rotated from right to left.

Jason
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-03-2009, 02:59 PM
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Then it seems your tie rods are fine,you MAY be mistaking the clunking noise coming from the ball joints or drag link( the rod from the steering box to the tie rod).
also like was stated,you may need to get a drop pitman arm, i think my old one was stock with a 2 1/2" skyjacker when i bought it, but jeeps are all different,some need it,some dont,moody lil girls they are..lol
Another thing to check for the clunking noise,check your steering box while turning,see if there is any movement there or maybe the noise coming from there.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-18-2009, 03:46 PM
Augy
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I just installed the RC 2.5" lift on my '90 YJ. I have the exact same scenario. I'm thinking that since the tie rod (solid piece) and adjustable tie rod end are relatively cheap (and mine have 130,000 miles on them)...I'm just going to replace them. I did a quick search and couldn't find a drop pitman arm that was made for a 2.5" lift but they might be out there.

I'll be curious what you find fixes your clanking. I'll post back with my results.
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post #11 of 14 Old 08-19-2009, 05:36 PM
bossind
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There is a bushing you can use to fix the rotation. Heres is a link

Poly Bushing for TRE's: JcrOffroad, Inc.
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-19-2009, 06:01 PM
Augy
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I just installed 31" tires and the clunking went away. I suspect it has something to do with geometry but thought you might want to know. My old tires were 235/75R15. The ones I just installed are 31x10.5x15.

I will probably be rebuilding the steering before long and may invest in some of those bushings...thanks for the link.
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-19-2009, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossind View Post
There is a bushing you can use to fix the rotation. Heres is a link

Poly Bushing for TRE's: JcrOffroad, Inc.
I'm not too keen on that idea,looks like an invite for mud and grind to get inside the tie road because you would have to eliminate the rubber protectant boot
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-20-2009, 05:48 AM
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Get an xj/zj pitman arm from a bone yard or an aftermarket drop pitman arm.
https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/q...8/#post7504147
I got one off a zj and the clunking has disappeared. It puts the drag link and tie rod back to nearly parallel. Ideally I'd put on the high steer but it is just not at the top of the list right now...

-Jerry
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