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Changing track-rod end


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My car has just failed the MOT for play in the nearside track rod end. I have ordered a new one and am considering fitting it myself but have never done this before. Is it a case of removing the nut securing the TRE to the upright then unscrewing from the steering arm or does the balljoint need to be split?


Also, it failed due to play in the rear (live) axle which appears to be the bush between A frame and diff' . Is this an easy DIY job or are any special tools needed to change the bush?


Any help much appreciated!






Edited by - Greg P on 3 May 2005 17:19:12

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Changing TRE is in theory fairly simple. What's not obvious until you try is that the attachment to the steering arm is a taper fit, so you usually need a ball joint breaker to free it up. A search on techtalk will also reveal some alternative techniques using hammers. I'm sure you will remember to copper-ease the taper on reassembly.


Once you have the new one fitted, you will need to set the tracking (AKA toe-in).


Changing the A frame bush is also fairly simple, and worth learning as you may well have to do it more than once. The tricky bit is compressing the bush so that it fits between the brackets on the axle. Again, a techtalk search and a look around the 7faq site is worthwhile.


Remember, we all had to do it for the first time too *tongue*


SEP field working, not spotted in 103,300 miles. Some photos on webshots, updated 25 Jan

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The trick with removing them, as i found out is to hit the mounting the TRE fits into, not the bolt that sticks out downwards......

It just jumps lose after a couple of firm, but not forcefull bashes with the persuader, (thats the 2lb hammer).


Hope that helps save searches..... and that i am not about to be innundated with don't do that comments !!!! A mechanic of 15+ years told me that one!


happy fixin *wink*

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If you measure the distance from the centre of the ball joint th the edge fo the trackrod before you unscrew it then you can refit the new one to the same length, removing the need to reset the tracking.



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If you're changing it rather than just undoing it and refitting it later then the major worry of damaging the rubber boot is gone so it's easier. There are many special tools for breaking this taper joint, the simplest being a tapered fork which you hammer into the gap, downside is they invariably damage the rubber boot, but you don't care about this.


Another hint is that if you are persuading the taper to split by hitting the exposed thread keep the nyloc nut on the end, undo the nut a couple of turns but don't take it right off. This way you hit the nut and don't damage threads (but again this doesn't matter as you'll be binning them after).


On a general note of caution, the steering arm on the upright is not that substantial, I'd be wary of taking a 2lb hammer to it willy nilly and expecting it to still steer in the same way after. By all means tap it with a hammer but think about the direction of the tap, in line with the arm rather than to the sides.

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