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'93 legacy awd a/t, 144k.

 

I was going to do a quick axle change last night, but now it seems like I am going to need to replace the inner and outer tie rod ends on the driver's side. The outer because the bolt/stud part is freely rotating (happened after I got the nut off during disconnection vi BFH). The inner because the boot is trashed and it looks pretty gunky in there. So, now this is more of a project, I'm wondering what else I should replace while I'm in there...I don't have a lot of extra time right now, but I do have the cash for some more parts.

 

What would you replace? Tie rods on the other side? Ball joints? Wheel bearings (they seem okay)? Struts (susp is a little soft but not bad)? Any bushings I should consider?

 

I'm planning on keeping the car another 5 years/ 50k or so.

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Well I would definitely replace the steering gear boot, you don't want a lot of crud getting up into the rack. The tie rod ends I suppose if you think they are bad then replace. You really need the inner tie rod end tool to do it without dropping the rack though some people have come up with other tricks. You will of course need to adjust the front toe after replacing the tie rods.

 

Wheel bearing I wouldn't touch really unless you know its bad. Struts I mean if it is really bouncy then yes I'd say go for it. You can get enough clearance to extract the axle from the hub just from unhooking the bearing housing from the strut, though there's many ways and I guess you already got that part done by driving out the tie rod end.

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Struts can be done pretty much any time. Tie rods plan on doing an alignment after.

If you need the car in the meantime, use large pliers or vice grips to clamp the tie rod end down to the knuckle so you can tighten the nut.

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For toe after tie rod end work I've just been using the strings method, it seems to work fine with an accurate ruler. Then just dial the tie rods to get the toe you want. Often you can do that quicker than even waiting for it to be done at an alignment shop. Camber I do with a level against the wheel and calculate the arctan (I have it in Excel I could upload it), that will give you the +/- camber. It's probably not as accurate as the fancy laser alignment machines but that's how I've been doing it on all my soobs over the years without any issues that I've noticed.

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For toe after tie rod end work I've just been using the strings method, it seems to work fine with an accurate ruler. Then just dial the tie rods to get the toe you want. Often you can do that quicker than even waiting for it to be done at an alignment shop. Camber I do with a level against the wheel and calculate the arctan (I have it in Excel I could upload it), that will give you the +/- camber. It's probably not as accurate as the fancy laser alignment machines but that's how I've been doing it on all my soobs over the years without any issues that I've noticed.

 

Please elaborate on the 'string method' for us who aren't familiar. Also curious about the 'arctan' process.

 

Thanks,

UMT

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I haven't searched it in a while but I think googling it shows a Porsche site where they show it being done. My boss told me he uses it on his track cars and that's pretty commonly done at tracks. You basically put a piece of string (I like thread since it's strong and thin) between two jackstands, then level them out on each side of the car. Get them the same distance from the front and rear. I usually use the end tips of the axles but that is not necessarily completely accurate. Then you measure from the leading and trailing edge of the wheels (not tires). You can calculate the degrees because its 60 minutes to a degree.

 

The arctan is taking the inverse tangent. Which ok now from high school trig how did that go, oscar had a heap of apples. So what was that sin cos tan I think. So tan was opposite over adjacent. So you know the distance between the leading and trailing edges, that is the hypotenuse. Then the adjacent becomes the small difference, like 1/8" that you measure. Since the toe is usually in inches you don't need arctan there. But it is perfect for doing the camber.

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I haven't searched it in a while but I think googling it shows a Porsche site where they show it being done. My boss told me he uses it on his track cars and that's pretty commonly done at tracks. You basically put a piece of string (I like thread since it's strong and thin) between two jackstands, then level them out on each side of the car. Get them the same distance from the front and rear. I usually use the end tips of the axles but that is not necessarily completely accurate. Then you measure from the leading and trailing edge of the wheels (not tires). You can calculate the degrees because its 60 minutes to a degree.

 

The arctan is taking the inverse tangent. Which ok now from high school trig how did that go, oscar had a heap of apples. So what was that sin cos tan I think. So tan was opposite over adjacent. So you know the distance between the leading and trailing edges, that is the hypotenuse. Then the adjacent becomes the small difference, like 1/8" that you measure. Since the toe is usually in inches you don't need arctan there. But it is perfect for doing the camber.

 

High School Trig? Ha. I'm 58 years old!.... I was talking to an 'old boy' mechanic the other day and I asked him how they did it in the old days before the fancy machines and he old me that they would rotate and 'scribe' the tires (Usually a nail put into a vise) and then use a tape measure to make sure front and rear of tires were the same distance. (I had a friend/neighbor who was an engineer did the same) I asked him how they moved the tires while adjusting the tie rod ends and he said: 'just put a little sand under the tire. They'll move.' Camber??? I suppose its about the same but I realize that the tires need a certain 'degree' of camber....

 

Oh well, off to the shop I go! Ha....

 

UMT

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