Rear Tie Rod End Issues

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by Conda, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Hey all,

    I was giving the car another once over today and when I held the rear driver side tire and pushed/pulled on the 3 and 9 o clock positions I felt and heard a very very faint clunk. I can not see the wheel moving but I can feel it and hear it. Some investigation with the mechanics stethoscope and it appears to be the rear tie rod (toe link?) outer ball joint. It is such a minimal amount of movement but it has me worried about our chances on a Lemons Rally we are participating in.

    The movement is not currently effecting the car drivability wise.

    Does anyone know where I can find a replacement outer ball joint quickly? I have about 2 weeks before this car needs to be in Michigan and then 3000 miles later I want to be home :)

    Also, when there is this small of a clunk, do you guys think it will hold together that long?

    Thanks all.
    Heres a picture of the pile.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  2. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    If the tire was resting on the ground (loaded) when you checked things, maybe try it again with the tire just off the ground (unloaded). Place a jack under the suspension arm and lift it just enough to get the tire off the ground. Any play should be more noticeable with no load on it. Also make sure it isn't the wheel bearing.
     
  3. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Was able to reproduce it with suspension loaded and with the wheel off the ground. Slightly more of a knock when lifted but still very small. Wheel bearing doesn't seem to be the issue, as the noise is mitigated if i hold on to the joint (both the toe adjust rod and the knuckle) and then shake the wheel.
     
  4. Jefco

    Jefco Low Polar Moment

    Location:
    Portland OR
    Fiat plus has a listing for them, P/N 0004290114N, be prepared.
     
  5. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Ya, thay are expensive.

    This is just my opinion, so decide for yourself. But it sounds like a very minimal amount of normal wear. So long as everything is solid (no damage and handles fine), I'd leave it. This joint isn't like a ball joint that bears the full load of the car. It is like a tie rod end, but even less so because the rear wheels don't steer. So the joint isn't as critical, relatively. But my life has no value so I take risks. Just be aware of it and check things now and then.
     
  6. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    OOOOOF

    You aren't kidding when you say be prepared. 222$ a pop... I'm not sure if its worth quite that much to me. I think I might live with it for now. We will see if it gets worse over the 3000 miles!

    Maybe I will make it kinda a reward for the car. If it makes it, i'll get it a new toe joint :D
     
  7. carl

    carl True Classic

    Location:
    Virginia
    Make sure it's the ball joint itself and not a loose mounting bolt. There have to be guys with good used ones laying about.
     
  8. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    I will pull the cotter pin and confirm it isn't just loose. I haven't had to pull that nut off before so I doubt that it is just loose, but its worth a shot. I guess this kind of part is where Italian cars start to become real fun (for ones' wallet that is). I wonder if I could find the part on a junkyard X1/9...
     
  9. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Conda likes this.
  10. MikeHynes

    MikeHynes True Classic

    Location:
    Goodfield, IL.
    I don't think I've ever seen on rear outer outer tie rod end go bad. There just isn't a whole lot of relative movement there. But since I have LOTS of used parts I believe I can find you a good used one if you can't find new. PM me if you're interested.
     
  11. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Thanks for the link Dan!

    That's the kind of price I'm willing to jump on it for, ended up being about 80 buck which is still a lot but hopefully it will be here within the next couple weeks. I'm gonna find a new boot for the other side and regrease them to prevent that side from failing as well.

    I will reach out if for some reason this new one wont be here in time or some issue comes up. Thanks guys
     
    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) likes this.
  12. Dan Sarandrea (Phila)

    Dan Sarandrea (Phila) Waitin' On Parts...

    Location:
    Philadelphia, PA
    Sometimes the solutions to one's problems are written right on the driver's door!! :)
     
    Conda likes this.
  13. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Haha, yep. Those badges are from our previous rally vehicle; a Chevy Celebrity Eurosport with the 2.5L Iron Duke and a 3 speed auto. Probably the least "Euro" car I've ever owned which made the badges hilarious to me. I made sure to cut them all off the car before the wrecker came to pick that piece of junk up :D
     
  14. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Got the ball joint off to give it a look, rear tie rod ball joint is very gritty. Can't feel it move in and out but it moves very unevenly, some points feels loose.
    Anyway the boot just fell apart once I pressed the ball joint stud out. Here it is.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    If the joint does not feel too bad, then you could clean it, repack with new grease, install a new boot, and reuse it. So long as it is reasonably solid it will last a very long time.

    Now that things are apart, do you find any other possible sources for the play?
     
  16. Conda

    Conda Daily Driver

    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Repacked the rear tie rod end ball joint, worked new grease down into it. Felt a lot better. Put a boot on from one of my old other ball joints and packed with grease. The wheel no longer does the side to side motion with clunk. I probably haven't done a permanent fix as its probably gonna wear out soon anyway from being gritty so long. Will keep an eye on it but keep driving the car until the new one shows up. I think i'll repack the passenger side joint as well. No other play in any other component on the drivers side rear.

    Thanks for all the help!
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.

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