Front Track bar damage

HauptRenate

Member
Mar 14, 2010
187
0
16
The husband of a friend of mine says he thinks my track rod is out of alighnment - again, seems to be a recurring problem. I turned the tyres on the wheels from front to back after they'd been re-beaded.
Is a track rod problem likely to recur? and if so (its already been straightened twice) does this mean that my axle / suspension has been damaged in some way? Like due to overloading or something? or load not being fixed securely enough? If this is the case, the axle wil have been damaged a few years ago.
What would need to be done to fix it?
Cheers
Renate
 

Dave Burgess

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2010
247
1
36
Didcot, Oxon
Renate,

I'm not sure what you mean by re-beaded on the tyres, but it's a good idea to swap them front to rear etc at services just to even the wear. If the tracking is wrong it will show as increased wear on the front tyres at one or other edge or as feathering on the tread blocks. Inside wear means too much toe out or swivel bearing wear, outside mean too much toe in.

The track rod adjustment, sometimes known as just tracking, is the process of undoing the clamps around the tube that connects the swivel housings above the anti-roll bar then, having separated the ball joints, screwing the track rod ends in or out. Letting them outwards will reduce toe out and increase toe in screwing the inward has the opposite effect.

If this has been adjusted and appears to be wrong again the clamps may be loose and be wearing the tube and the track rod ends, similarly if you have had any steering work done it may also need adjusting again.

It shouldn't be an indicator of a bent axle, but if the cross tube gets bent that will definitely have an effect. First thing is to get under and check nothing is loose, then get it adjusted to spec (specs in the FSM etc).

Hope that's useful.

Dave
 

BobMurphy

Well-Known Member
I am in scotland
Mar 1, 2010
1,605
600
113
Kirkliston, Scotland
Hi,

What makes your friend think your Track Rod is 'out of alignment' ??

The usual tell-tale is uneven tyre wear, meaning that the tracking has to be adjusted by re-setting the track rods. This is a normal process and doesn't mean that anything is damaged - just settling with age and use and needing to be re-adjusted.

Uneven tyre wear can also be caused by incorrect camber - again, that can be adjusted.

Both of these adjustments require specialised measuring equipment (the actual adjustment process is quite straightforward).

If you haven't been driving over large rocks I would suspect your track rods are OK, though the ball joints on the ends might be worn. I would be inclined to take the car to a tyre-fitting centre for checking before worrying about repairing something.

As ever - check the easy things first :p

Bob.
 

HauptRenate

Member
Mar 14, 2010
187
0
16
Hi there
I took the liberty of having them changed around, front to back etc so it would pass the MOT...
My friend's husband obviously saw that there was uneven wear (on the inside now not on the outside as before) MOT mechanic mentioned that he saw the uneven wear on the tyres but there was obviously still enough tread on them otherwise it would have failed the MOT, all he said was that he'd noticed but had sussed that I alternated the tyres, took them off the wheels, repositioned the rubber on the wheels and had had them rebeaded.
I tend to consider the MOT mechanic's comments rather than my friend's husband who isn't a mechanic.
But there still remains the issue of uneven wear which, if any one of you peeps saw it would say "yup, definitely uneven wear! and Yup, it needs to be sorted..."
I don't have the tools nor the expertise or garage space to take the front track bar out to look at it and straighten it again, and my concern is that I've had it straightened at least twice in the past few years. I haven't had it replaced, but the mechanic also has said its out of alighnment due to the obvious uneven tyre tread wear. If I were to consider replacing the tyres at some point would the same problems occur or do I really need to go to a specialist? I'm just thinging "Eugh!" I've paid enough out on l'beast!
Cheers
Renate
 
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Dave Burgess

Well-Known Member
Apr 1, 2010
247
1
36
Didcot, Oxon
If the bar is bent it will be short but once adjusted it shouldn't change unless it's re-adjusted or re-bent :shock:

I would get the full alignment checked at a tyre place like Kwik-fit. They'll check it for free then charge labour to adjust and will probably have a go at straightening the tube if you ask or point it out. Shouldn't be more than £40 odd. :roll:
 

Julian Voelcker

Well-Known Member
Mar 5, 2010
313
4
38
Herefordshire, UK
A little tip - make sure that the end of the track and tie rods are well soaked in WD40 before you get the tracking done - they are notorious for rusting and seizing and your local Kwik fit type of tyre place can end up destroying the ends whilst trying to loosten them.
 

pugwash

Well-Known Member
I am in uk
Mar 1, 2010
389
1
38
N Hampshire
If you've bent your track rod once, thenit will keep bending in the same place. Mine is getting like cheese now and i really must get around to changing it!
 
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