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Buying OEM tie rods #5382913 03/22/20 11:59 AM
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2010Civic Offline OP
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I have a 2005 Honda Accord (197k miles) and the tie rods make a little squeaking noise when turning the wheel back and forth. Can only hear it when stopped or going really slow.

So my plan is to replace the tie rods but I was wondering if I bought OEM outer tie rods and counted the turns could I get away with not doing an alignment? It seems like if the new part is 100% the same as the old I could get away with this. OEM is around $45/side vs $25 for Moog.

Also I wonder if I need to do the inners as well? I've read they last longer than the outers. This car is kind of a beater so I'm fine not going all out on repairs.

Thanks


2010 Honda Civic LX
Valvoline SynPower 5w-20 - Napa Gold oil filter
59,992 miles
Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382917 03/22/20 12:04 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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It can differ where the thread starts from anything threaded, so don't count on it.


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The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382922 03/22/20 12:09 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382930 03/22/20 12:25 PM
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Nick1994 Offline
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Nope, my brother and I replaced the tie rods on his 97 Chevy pickup and bought the AC Delco and counted the threads, we were way off!


2015 Hyundai Genesis 5.0L 58k Mobil 1 5w30 & Wix
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Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: Nick1994] #5382936 03/22/20 12:35 PM
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skyactiv Offline
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Originally Posted by Nick1994
Nope, my brother and I replaced the tie rods on his 97 Chevy pickup and bought the AC Delco and counted the threads, we were way off!


Yep, the length of the tie rods isn't precise like a connecting rod inside an engine, so one tie rod could be who knows, .025" longer than another.


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 18' Elantra Sport 6 speed manual
The rude guy that points out reality


Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382948 03/22/20 12:58 PM
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FastLane Offline
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You have to get an alignment. I’ve never been close counting threads or turn or anything.


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1966 Cessna 150 Phillips 20W50
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Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382953 03/22/20 01:06 PM
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chainblu Offline
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Counting the threads just gets it good enough to get to an alignment shop.

Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: chainblu] #5382954 03/22/20 01:07 PM
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mattd Offline
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I would check the ball joints very closely before replacing the tie rods. They are much more common for this type of noise, especially the lower ball joint, than the tie rod ends.

Last edited by mattd; 03/22/20 01:08 PM.

2007 Ford F-350 4x4 6.0 PSD

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Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: skyactiv] #5382971 03/22/20 01:25 PM
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Lubener Offline
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Originally Posted by skyactiv

That method might be close enough to get to the alignment shop only, not long term.


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Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382974 03/22/20 01:29 PM
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WobblyElvis Offline
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If it's just the outer tie rod I put the steering wheel straight and install the rod so that when looking across the outer edges of the front tire towards the rear tire, I can just barely see part of the rear tire, perhaps 0.3 inches. This has worked many times for me. It's good to know the front and rear track of the vehicle. If the rear tires are farther apart I would increase the 0.3 inches accordingly.

Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5382988 03/22/20 01:54 PM
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eljefino Offline
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Get yourself a laser level. Roll the car with the wheel pointed straight into the (level) garage and stop it with the e-brake ONLY.

Put the laser on the front tire bulges, at 4 and 8 o'clock. Aim it at the rear tires. Should just barely miss. Get a helper to measure how far out the dot is from a known reference, eg that tire's bulge.

Since the laser head is probably 3/8 of an inch from the edge of the level, missing the rear tires by 3/8 inch is zero toe, assuming front and rear track are the same (look the stats up).

If you know your wheelbase, some trigonometry involving inverse tangents would tell you degrees of toe.

But to answer your question, counting threads is not enough.

Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: skyactiv] #5383014 03/22/20 02:35 PM
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bowlofturtle Offline
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Originally Posted by skyactiv
It can differ where the thread starts from anything threaded, so don't count on it.



This is the main reason.

I didnt go OEM when i replaced mines, but i did count the threaded part but i also measured and mark the top of the jam nut and the distance to the ends. All in all i was able to get very close to original but alignment was needed anyways. The shop showed me i was off by .18 and toe was suppose to be arounf .04, its enough to wear down the tire but not instantly.

No way to cut it, tie rod replacements are cheap and easy, like $20-50 but the $50-100 alignment after is what gets costly. I normally just do both and call it.


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Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: 2010Civic] #5383178 03/22/20 06:20 PM
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atikovi Offline
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On 90% of the cars these days it seems only the toe is adjustable. I must have done a couple dozen DIY alignments with a tape measure over the years and I can always get the steering wheel on dead center with no pull or wandering to one side. It may take 2 hours of trial and error, but that is still better than taking it to a shop and waiting or dropping it off.

Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: atikovi] #5383215 03/22/20 07:17 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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Originally Posted by atikovi
On 90% of the cars these days it seems only the toe is adjustable. I must have done a couple dozen DIY alignments with a tape measure over the years and I can always get the steering wheel on dead center with no pull or wandering to one side. It may take 2 hours of trial and error, but that is still better than taking it to a shop and waiting or dropping it off.


You do realize that the upper tower mounts is a typical adjustment point?

Back to topic, instead of counting threads, measure how far out the outer TRE stud sits from a point on the inner TRE. Since the typical outer TRE is the female and inner TRE threaded, make a mark on the inner TRE, not to know how many turns to thread it, but up further on the inner TRE to measure to the stud on the outer TRE.

That's just to get it close to drive to an alignment shop.

Can you do without that? Yes, if it seems to track and steer well you can wait a while, but probably not a good idea unless you're going to replace your tires soon and get an alignment done at that time. Otherwise, odds are you're going to put excessive wear on the tires and possibly suffer poor handling too. If you're not the primary driver of the vehicle so you are unfamiliar with how it handles, I wouldn't even consider guesstimating if it handles the same for someone else's vehicle, though of course if the old TREs are worn, it might feel a little less vague with new ones.

Quote
This car is kind of a beater...

On the other hand, if it is just squeaking without excessive play, and assuming it's a sealed unit (no grease zerk), you might see if you can get a grease needle in there to add some grease, or even a tiny bit of oil alone if there is almost no play. If that doesn't last long term, you're out nothing but the few minutes to do it.

Last edited by Dave9; 03/22/20 07:22 PM.
Re: Buying OEM tie rods [Re: Dave9] #5383244 03/22/20 07:56 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by Dave9
You do realize that the upper tower mounts is a typical adjustment point?


Adjustable for what? Can't recall seeing anything like that.

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