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Tie-rods (Suspension)

Peter Kay Writes: Hi all, Just spent an interesting afternoon fitting adjustable tie rods to the ERA. (28 12 02)

These were purchased at Gaydon last year and just got around to doing the job.

The purpose of this article is to publicise a tip for removing the bolts that attach the rods to the bottom arms, i.e. the ones that must be fitted from the top down, despite fouling CV joint when trying to get them in or out!)

The job commenced by trying to release 9/16 UNF 'Nylock' nuts fitted to rubber bush (front) end of offside tie rod.

After much hitting ring spanner shank with large 4 pound hammer, managed to free. (The nut is too tight against front scuttle and body kit on ERA to use socket.)

Thinking job was now straight forward, removed nut on the bolt securing rear end of tie rod to bottom arm then tried to remove bolt. Long ring spanner on bolt head, hit with hammer described previousy, and after application of lots of penetrating oil, still wouldn't rotate bolt head in either direction.

Tried to knock it upwards by use of same 4 pound hammer on underside. Despite giving hammer a good swing, inumerable times, bolt was not moving!

Decided only way to get it out was to spit bottom ball joint, remove pivot pin on lower arm and then remove complete assembly to vice.

Very pis**d off and started to do this by splitting bottom joint, using scissors type splitter, then had inspiration before proceeding further.

(Here comes the tip!) Applied splitter to immovable bolt in arm, splitter fork either side of bolt head and lever arm on end of bolt protruding through arm. Wound up splitter and bolt pushed upwards out of arm without any undue pressure. Beleive me, that bolt was not moving with a hammer or spanner, but came out without undue stress using the splitter.

If I hadn't got to the desperation stakes, and thought of removing lower arm, then using the splitter would not have entered my head. Other side was just the same, but I was ready for the bas**rd then. New 8.8, plain shank HT bolts through lower arm, obtained from local engineering shop, and smeared with copper grease to prevent repeat operation, brought the job to competion.

Breaking bottom swivel joint also allows the tie rod bolt to be fitted easily.

It must go in from the top, in case nut falls off!! Hope this helps someone in the future.

FEEDBACK: From Ray Mara August 27, 2003

Actually, I was having the same problem of removing the nut and bolt from the inboard ends. As soon as the bolt was almost off the end, it would hit the ball joints. In frustration, I let the jack down and as soon as there was a load on the hub/wheel, the bolt popped out. Just that extra angle change with the load on the hub allowed the nut to come right out.

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