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What if a tie rod breaks?

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Old 04-04-2011, 10:40 PM   #1
bphein80
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Default What if a tie rod breaks?

Got a tire fixed the other day and they told me that the passenger tie rod was loose and worn.

So, if the thing were to break, what would happen? Major catastrophy (sp?)?

Are there any considerations when replacing it on a very lowered vette (coupe)? Previous threads show a few places to pick them up at... I assume that has not changed?

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:52 PM   #2
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Get a second opinion... Depending on how and when it fails it could be pretty damn dangerous.. the wheel could flop back 90 degrees..... or the vehicle will pull hard to that particular side..

Last edited by LMFD296; 04-04-2011 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:58 PM   #3
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I was planning on it. I will be getting an appointment soon with my normal mechanic... small town guy, really cool and can always trust. Let's me watch and ask questions too.

Still curious... what happens if a tie rod breaks or goes "out"?

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Old 04-04-2011, 11:03 PM   #4
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If a tie rod breaks while you are driving, you can crash or seriously damage your car. If you are lucky and going slow you will just have to get it towed.

Tie rod holds your wheels straight with steering wheel, if it breaks the wheel gets all floppy and goes wherever it wants.

Definately get a second opinion, may be just a little worn and last for weeks or months, but do get it changed if it is bad.
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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That sounds... ... not fun.

Me thinks I will wait til my mechanic can check it before driving it again.

Thanks!
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Old 04-04-2011, 11:40 PM   #6
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One way of checking your tie rods is to jack the front wheels either one at a time or both at once. Once the weight is off the wheel, grab the tire at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions and try to move the wheel left and right, and then at the 12 and 6 o'clock positions and try to move the top and bottom in and out. You should not feel any play, or very, very little if any. If you do, you may have a worn tie rod, or even play in your wheel bearings.

All things considered, I'd get a second opinion.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:35 AM   #7
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Depends on the speed. Most failures I've seen occurred while turning which is usually at slow speed. If it failed at say 150mph consider yourself deader than dead.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:39 AM   #8
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The tie rod end is what attached your steering rack to your front wheel basically. It does wear over time. I have only seen one physically shear and break in my 15 years of working on cars. The ball joint portion came out of the socket. Tire shops are notorious for recommending this stuff because it is an easy repair and quick money. If you have over 50,000 miles on the car and see potholes sometimes it very well may be worn. Check with the tire wiggle test if you like at 3 and 9 or have your mechanic do it.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetteman741 View Post
If a tie rod breaks while you are driving, you can crash or seriously damage your car. If you are lucky and going slow you will just have to get it towed.

Tie rod holds your wheels straight with steering wheel, if it breaks the wheel gets all floppy and goes wherever it wants.

Definately get a second opinion, may be just a little worn and last for weeks or months, but do get it changed if it is bad.
potentially a real serious problem for both you (health wise) and the car (damage wise). not something to fool around with if it really needs attention.
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Old 04-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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Default What if a tie rod breaks?

It will put the thrill back in driving purdy quick.
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:47 PM   #11
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Replace it you don't really want to know
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:33 AM   #12
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I just had both of my outer rear tie rod ends replaced. One was worn too much for the car to be aligned, the other was not as bad, but obviously worn.

As for what can happen - 30 years ago I had a 68 Charger. One afternoon I pulled into the parking lot in front of the arcade I hung out at and just as I parked the car there was this big THUMP sound and the left front dropped. I got out and the left front wheel was tucked up into the fender and turned backwards. The lower ball joint had sheared off. Luckily for me it didn't happen 10 minutes earlier when I had been going 110 on the highway.
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Old 04-06-2011, 01:43 AM   #13
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not much, totaled car and possible death
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:11 AM   #14
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I would think it will probably track straight but you wont be able to turn it and if you do attempt a turn it may do funny things. But it all probably depends on your speed. and the rest of the suspensions condition....

However it would be best to go your local parts store and pick up a new one
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:53 AM   #15
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I had one break on me in a 73 Chevy van about 30 years ago. I didn't lose control, but it wouldn't turn either. I managed to get it over to the side of the road. It did give me a little of the pucker factor, though.
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Old 04-06-2011, 05:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneStarFRC View Post
It will put the thrill back in driving purdy quick.
Ain't that the truth............Put the thrill back into driving and will also put a load of crap in you're pants
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:36 PM   #17
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I will tell you what happen because it just happen to me 3 days ago driving 35 mph and all the sudden my vett starts fish tailing and Im like the hell is going on thank God I know how to handel my car.I get stoped and im like what the heck so I get out and my rear driverside tire is completly sideways. What happen was the stupid Gulf Coast chevy in Angelton Texas did trany work on it and have to take the tie rod off to do the work well they eather put it on to tight after the job or didnt put it back right!!! Needless to say I will never take my Vett back to them and I have sent letters to GM Corp. Had I been going faster on say hwy or something I would have been killed no doubt. I know someone will ask you didnt feel any shaking or anything no othering no warning what so ever.Good luck Hope it never happens to anyone.I have a 2006 Convertable Vett.
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Old 07-15-2011, 06:59 PM   #18
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I would just get it fixed if it is that bad, They are cheap to replace, A lot cheaper than a wrecked Corvette.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:54 PM   #19
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If the tie rod end is worn you should feel it already. These cars become just horrible to drive with any play in steering or suspension.
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Old 07-15-2011, 07:59 PM   #20
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I had it happen on a '70 Chevy pickup. I was doing about 60 on a dirt road. It is amazing how quickly you can jump a ditch and take out a LOT of fence posts. There was absolutely no warning. I was VERY happy that it didn't happen on pavement.
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