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Discussion Starter #1
hoping to get some input from people who have done this or are mechanics by trade or hobby:
it's high time to replace my rod ends, damper, and ball joints. they are worn out and i'm doing all of them b/c i'm at 145k and they all look very old and worn, if not original in some cases. my question is this:

from a time and money standpoint, is it more economical and practical to just buy a complete drag link and complete track rod, rather than paying someone to battle the ends alone, just to initially save some money on parts, then piss it away on labor? my work schedule does not permit me to do this DIY, and i try and spend my one day off a week with my wife and baby, who do not consider turning wrenches quality time. could anyone with experience weigh in? thanks in advance. yes i have rave, zubi's and smooth's smashing post on ball joints/ends, and have educated myself through search. the only thing i don't have on my side is time.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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9,244 Posts
I just replaced the entire linkage with all new. Tie rod and drag link complete. The bonus was that they came the right length thus saved me an alignment :thumb:
I still did a home alignment with my caster/camber gauge and measured the toe in afterwards, but both were spot on.
I got them from a vendor for AB IIRC.
I just replaced the tre's on my big rig with new pieces, and the time it took to remove the old tre's (needed lots of heat!) would have cost me more than replacing the complete tie rod assembly had a shop been doing the work.
Just my .02

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks martin. i was hoping you'd chime in. your post pretty much verifies what an armchair mechanic friend said. and that was: if they're on there with a death grip, and heat has to be applied several times, you're pretty much in the same financial position as though you ordered brand new initially. i'm planning on going that route.
 

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JACK'S GRANDAD
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9,244 Posts
For comparison sake, it took me @2-2.5hrs to remove the tie rod complete, carefully measure, then apply heat like mad to get the old TRE's to break free. Cleaned up the threads and applied LOTS of antisieze to the new TRE's. Then measure everything up, tighten the new ends down, and refit the tie rod. Had I bought the whole assembly, it would have been a 1/2hr max job. Obviously the RR has smaller parts than my big rig, but I would think the time involved will be about the same mate. :thumb:
I would go for the complete assembly every time myself.

Martin
 

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Discussion Starter #5
finally got some time to crawl around with a maglite under the vehicle. upon further inspection, the track rod, drag link, shocks, and damper are thrashed; however the ball joints look **** good. i may save those for when i do the radius arm bushes. none of the boots are even damaged. the other items are being replaced for certain, as soon as the parts get delivered. if anyone cares, the problem is steering judder, shocks that bounce for 45 minutes after hitting a bump, and from a ride quality standpoint, it's generally identical to driving a shopping cart over a cobblestone street from like, the 1800's, if driving on anything other than freshly paved asphalt. it has to stop. my back feels like people have been hitting it with hammers. the wife's s8 just got out of the shop. now it's my turn to blow money! :clap:
 
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