bumping this up....we have the same exact symptom. Hoping it's simply a tie rod issue. Hubby is changing out right and left....any brand we should stick with or stay away from? There are a lot on the market. Thanks!
Most likely anything will be fine and work better than what you've got. It sure sounds like tie rods to me. I had the same issue. Since there are two of you, I bet you could have one person turn the wheel while the other watches the tie rod pop from one tilt to the other.
Just an offbeat question: Are you sure the tires aren't rubbing on anything? If you have tires that are at the wider end of the acceptable range, and if your subframe mounts, motoro mounts, or control arm bushings are shot, things could be loose enough to let the tire rub against the body or a suspension component.
The steering coupler is a lot more work than the tie rod ends. To test the coupler, gently turn the steering wheel back and forth. If it goes more than 1 1/2 inches before it seems to 'take effect' then the coupler is likeley shot. The car will drive very sloppy, and seem to wander all over the road.
I don't mean to 'scare' you, these are 'worst case scenarios' (actually worse and worst) that may not even be woth worrying about if the car has been properly maintained.
you guys are so helpful! We know that at least one tie rod is bad....my husband was able to move it around and it had quite a lot of play. Hoping that the sounds we hear/feel are just from that. But we'll start there and see if the coupler is an issue. Todd feels like there's a lot of play in the steering, but it's not a crazy amount like it's all over the road without a good amount of control. I can go back and forth maybe a half inch tops without moving the wheels.
Good news is he plans to tackle this issue himself. I think he's enjoying learning about these cars and doing his own fixes.
the outsides are usually the first to go, that is the tie rod end closest to the wheel, turn the steering to full lock so you can see behind the front wheel, you'll see the tie rod "pop" up and down when you jiggle the wheel at full lock.
If one side is gone then if the other side looks similar age, I would replace that too cause it wont be too far away from failing as well & saves having to pay for another wheel alignment as well.
Check play on the inners by placing a hand over the tie rod and moving the steering, best done if the wheels are still in contact with the ground, even if slightly jacked. If the inners also have play,instead of buying individual tie rod ends, its cheaper to buy the rod with inner & outers and do both sides- just measure the lenghts of the old and screw the new ones in to the approximate same length and get a wheel alignment done.
Just a word of caution, sometimes they can be very hard to pop out of the steering arms, support the arm with a jack and remove the nut first before trying to pound out or buy a ball joint splitter, which makes life a whole lot easier.
I got the same thing, popping when I turn the wheel. On top of that, I've got about 15-20 degrees of play in the steering wheel before it actually turns the wheels. I'm gonna start checking the tie rods and stuff under the car and see where that takes me.
Job complete - and it was definitely the inner tie rod. Husband replaced the tie rod assembly with Moog. New part didn't come with a castle nut or a pin....came with a locking nut.
Just want to know if anyone knows the torque numbers or if you've had experience with tie rod replacement. My husband is a strong guy and he's worried about tightening the tie rods too much - is that possible? We are taking her in for alignment tomorrow to have her checked out.
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