Tie rod assembly lengths

Brakes, Steering & Suspension

  1. FrnkNsteen

    FrnkNsteen FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    So I just got my suspension rebuild kit from drdiff, and getting ready to go through it.

    My question is if the tie rod assemblies are the length like Abodies, and if so, how long should they be from bolt to bolt?

    Just trying to get them clise so when they are installed they will be close and steering wheel will be approximately centered. On the Abody, they wrte equal length and around 13" long.
     
  2. Yatzee

    Yatzee Well-Known Member

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    There's a bit of math involved here that will help you out. Before ripping the original stuff apart measure the distance from the center of one tie rod end, completely across to the other and jot it down. Center the steering wheel as best you can. Now lay up your rod ends just below the existing ones and make a mark on the sleeves where they end. Loosen the outer sleeve lock, drop the rods and unscrew the rods taking them out completely. Thread your new rod ends in up to the marks you made and insert the tapered end of the vertical swivel back into place and tighten. This will put you in a pretty good position with the wheels prior to an alignment. Remeasure the distance from the center of the tie rod end to confirm. If you've already ripped the front apart just balance the insertion distance ( using the total length above)in the sleeves for the time being and let the alignment shop sort it out. After they're finished, if the steering wheel is a bit off center it's best to pull the wheel and reseat it rather than dropping the pitman arm. I'm not sure what you mean by "bolt to bolt" but I've changed tie rod ends on my pickup without the need for and alignment afterwards. You can measure each end from various places just make sure to mark the starting point for later reference.
     
  3. Cranky

    Cranky Moderator Staff Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Put everything together with the new parts if you've already taken it all apart for rebuilding. Then with the steering box centered and front wheels straight as you can get them (can be eye balled if you're good :D), install the new tie rods loose and then string the front end with the rear tires to get them as evenly as possible. You can scribe a line on the threads of the tires by rotating them and using a sharpened piece of chalk and use that line as a reference point to set your toe in by measuring on the front sides of the tires vs the back side with the car being on the ground. Being as close to center is best but that ain't going to happen. It will be pretty close though....
     
  4. FrnkNsteen

    FrnkNsteen FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Thanks for the information guys, but the car is at the shop in Minnesota and I am here in Indiana. I know how to set it all up with the car here, but it's not.

    I just have all the new components here and I want to paint and assemble the tie rod assemblies so they are ready to install when I bring them up there with the motor and trans.

    I know on my Abody, they were equal length and approximately 13" from center to center. I was just wondering if it is the same with Bbodies and what the length would be.
     
  5. Wietse

    Wietse FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    You could just pre-assemble them and paint them or not?
    Any length you adjust it to will not be correct anyway, so after installation they still require an alignment and they still will be adjusting it and loosening/securing the lock nuts.
    Then after all is done and dusted you could touch up any paint damages.
     
  6. FrnkNsteen

    FrnkNsteen FBBO Gold Member FBBO Gold Member

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    Good point Wietse. I may have been overthinking it. I just figured if anyone knew what the lengths should be, I could get close.