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Mr_530i

Track Rod End

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My brothers E60 (my old car) needs new track road ends. BMW have quoted £500 which seems mad!

 

I've had a look at a couple of DIYs and seems like a pretty straight forward job, and something I am tempted to do with my brother. Question is should we replace both the outer and Inner track rod ends?

 

I want to make it as painless as possible and its only the outer that BMW have said has play, but I don't want to not do the inner, if this something that might go soon too. TBH not even sure how to check if the inner has failed.

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That's a go away we don't want that job price, but they will have included a full four wheel alignment which is a must after track rod ends. They might charge £200 for that alone. Parts (two off) will be probably be over £100 ends only. Labour won't be two hours at £100 per hour.

 

I got two new track rod ends fitted to my E60, failed its MOT on them, got local Indy to do the pair and full wheel alignment but I can't recall how much. Wasn't that much but bits were genuine.

 

My E60 had the offside inner joint identified as having slight play by two MOT examiners but over three years. Picked up once then it took another 2 for it to be identified again, wasn't picked up at either of its last two MOTs despite not being changed. I could never feel any slop in it.

 

A complete Lemforder track rod and track rod end is £99 from ECP. Track rod inner cost me £38 for the pair from ECP in 2014. You need a 38mm crows foot spanner to undo the inner joint. I have one that I bought to do the job but sold the car before it needed changing, spanner remains unused to this day....

 

You can of course count the turns it takes to undo and remove the track rod end so it goes back almost the same alignment so your tyre doesn't shred on the way to get the alignment done.

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1 hour ago, Mr_530i said:

My brothers E60 (my old car) needs new track road ends. BMW have quoted £500 which seems mad!

 

I've had a look at a couple of DIYs and seems like a pretty straight forward job, and something I am tempted to do with my brother. Question is should we replace both the outer and Inner track rod ends?

 

I want to make it as painless as possible and its only the outer that BMW have said has play, but I don't want to not do the inner, if this something that might go soon too. TBH not even sure how to check if the inner has failed.

 

A worn inner tie rod will display play when rocking the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock position. Sometimes it's difficult to remove the locknut from the outer tie-rod (ball joint end) and chopping off the nut/stud with angle grinder makes life very easy. I used a big adjustable spanner when I removed the inner tie rod nut. To avoid damaging the rack you need to loosen / tighten in the retracted position (rod inside the rack).

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My spannerman tells me that unless you use an oem replacement track rod end then counting the threads when undoing and removing will not work when refitting as any other replacements will be different.

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Yup track rod end is only good for scrap.

 

31 minutes ago, oldjohnny said:

My spannerman tells me that unless you use an oem replacement track rod end then counting the threads when undoing and removing will not work when refitting as any other replacements will be different.

 

Yer dead right. You still need to get the alignment done regardless though, it will just be less out counting threads.....

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You can get the tracking close enough by eye or with the aid of a long piece of wood held across the one wheel/tyre and then compare with the wood held across the other tyre (looking for parrallel observation), though more fiddly to estimate due to the wing, bumper and sill design on the E60. Should get you close enough to save scrubbing out your tyres.

 

Otherwise I use steering weight and steering rate of unwind, as a guide when driving off with the steering on a good amount, eg. when you turn out of a 'T' junction and observe the steering centring behaviour. In my limited experience I noticed that when the front allignment is towing 'in' the steering doesn't return to straight ahead as readily and wil need some extra input (E60 rack design being infont of the front axel, so needs to be made longer by unscrewing a tie rod). When towing 'out' the steering will more rapidly centre and can often feel heavier (screw in tie rods to make shorter). Trying to do this and keep the steering wheel centered and true is possible but probably not worth the hassle, hence get the front wheels aligned properly at a local garage.

 

 

 

 

Edited by DarkHorse

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I put old and new tie rods together for a rough guess then look down the car from the back to get them just toe in a bit so I can drive to the tracking place.

Good plan doing the entire tie rod as they are usually seized up and if the outer is worn the inner isn't far behind. 38mm crowfoot wrench is needed to torque it to spec, rack should be turned all the way in to torque to prevent the rack twisting more than needed, let me know if you need the torque and I will open the app and find it.

 

Buy Lemforder and new boots as well.

 

If you need the 38mm and live near Notts/Derby you can borrow mine so long as you leave a deposit :)

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1 hour ago, GoNz0 said:

 

If you need the 38mm and live near Notts/Derby you can borrow mine so long as you leave a deposit :)

 

Or if you are near this side of the border you can borrow my 38mm crows foot in exchange for beer. ;)

 

 

3 hours ago, DarkHorse said:

(E60 rack design being behind the front axel, so needs to be made longer by unscrewing a tie rod). 

 

steering rack on E60 is in front of centre line of the front axle. 

 

DSCN0083.jpg

 

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I find if your steering wheel is centred when driving straight, after fitting a new TRE it should still be straight if you find the steering is now at the 1 O'clock position for straight then adjust accordingly or of course get it tracked properly

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