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Old 05-27-2012, 10:10 PM   #1
scotts330
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Question Is my inner tie-rod bad?

Gentlemen,

I have a bad lower control outer ball joint for sure...got the pirate ship creak and some play. I'm wondering if my tie rod assembly should be replaced while I'm doing the control arms, since both require an alignment (plus I think I have some play in the tie rod).

Background: 2002 330Ci 158k miles; new LCA (Meyle) in 2006 at ~95kmi. Whole front-end of the car is jacked up, and steering wheel is locked.

First video views the LCA outer ball joint and outer tie rod...lots of play in the LCA outer ball joint:


Now the tricky one; is this tie rod bad? (I can see some relative motion between the tie rod ball and tie rod socket.)



Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

scotts330

Last edited by scotts330; 05-27-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:18 PM   #2
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your control arms are shot.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:26 PM   #3
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and that inner tie rod. Get both replaced and an alignment. Do not NEED to do both sides. I wouldn't.
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:27 PM   #4
scotts330
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Thanks for the comment.

Indeed, the ball joint is shot--but is the inner tie rod also going south?
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2003 325i View Post
and that inner tie rod. Get both replaced and an alignment. Do not NEED to do both sides. I wouldn't.
Thanks for the comment. I'll probably do both, since blowing money on this car is my way of life!
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:41 PM   #6
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I'm not really seeing play in the tie rod.

Try control arms first. Although I know that we think alignment needs to be done after all suspension work, not much to change if you're only doing Control Arms. See what you end up with.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:27 PM   #7
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dmax, if you look closely there's visual play in the ball/socket joint while opposing pressure at 9 and 3, I can't say for sure on the owner's outer tie rod end, but there is some inner, and it's much more than acceptable (which is none). I would replace both innner and outer tie rods on that side as well as the LCA. It may likely save the OP money to do both inner and outer as that may be time consuming to separate (due to rust), and the tech will thank you, especially on the alignment.
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:39 AM   #8
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Ok, I looked closely, and you're right...I do notice some little play in the upper tie rod ball joint.
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Old 05-29-2012, 09:00 PM   #9
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Smile

Thanks for the input guys--going to replace control arms, CA bushings, and tie rod assemblies on both sides. Going with Meyle (my first set of replacement LCA was Meyle; got about 55k out of them) from http://www.oembimmerparts.com/e46meylesuspension.html

Thanks again for your input!

Scott
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #10
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Outer ball joint for sure, inner tie rod end had slight play. There was more play from your steering rack bushings than the inner tie rod end.
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Old 06-03-2012, 04:25 AM   #11
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Wow I think this is my problem. MY car has 120,000 miles and its getting clunking really badly. Even from a stop if i give it a lot of gas sometimes it will clunk loudly just on weight transfer and I can almost feel vibration in the steering wheel it seems. Been happening for a week or so now. Need to do something about it It is starting to sound over every bump
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