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Discussion Starter #1
Well I was backing out of my drive way when I heard a POP after turning my steering wheels to the right. So I stopped (middle of my neighborhood road) and I took a look at where the noise was coming from and sure enough my tie rod was pressed into my left rim. The cotter pin was missing and was nowhere to be found. It left heavy scrape marks on the inside of the rim and bent my rotor heat shield badly. And I was about to try and sell the front black bullits too.

Anyways why did it pop out of place? I know those things are pitas to take off especially on an old car (97GT). Is it because my car is lowered? I have H&R springs its dropped about 1.75 inches up front. I dont want this to happen again Im not sure if theres anyway to correct it.

Is it possible that a bump steer kit would help? So that the front end suspension isnt so unstable.:scratchchin
 

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idk.. im in iraq and our humvees do the same thing every so often... i would just go with a bigger cotter pin. we havent found a way to stop it yet. usually ours isnt the cotter pin breaking though, its that someone didnt put it in and split the 2 prongs right.. so eventually it just works its way out. i havent worked on any suspension on stangs but im sure the principle is the same.
 

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also make sure the clamp that hold the tie rod end in place is tight also. <--- i guess its the same as our humvees..
 

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a $2 cotter pin can put a Humvee out of service? Yeah, it's no wonder it was a GM company
 

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A bump steer kit wouldn't eliminate that from happening. The only way is making sure the castle nut is tight, cotter pin in bent correctly. But if u want I'm sure u can find a tie rod with a licking nut instead of a castle nut to eliminate the cotter pin. The nut just has a ring of plastic at the end securing the nut to the tie rod.
 

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a $2 cotter pin can put a Humvee out of service? Yeah, it's no wonder it was a GM company
lol... you wouldnt believe how sorry the POS are.. every week i end up doing the same things.. tie rod ends, ball joints, mechanical fuel pumps going out, differential gears shred, 4l60e trannies suck, they just randomly want to go out, the engines leak everything they can possibly leak... etc, you wouldnt believe how much experience i have got from being here for almost 6 months.

oh my i forgot, we have had wheels fall off (studs completely just shearing off), and the spindle nut washer just snaps and the wheels just fall right off too. lol. nothing we can do about it but keep putting new parts on and keep waiting for stuff to break
 

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I posted in an erlier reply about racks and a thing called scrub radius. This is the area of the tire that puts the road feel into the steering wheel. It is designed into the susupension at the design level, and can be scewed up when after market changes are made without recognising such things. Take a straight line thru the middle of the upper and lower ball joints and draw it to the ground beneath the tire. Now take a straight line thru the middle of the tire and to beneath the ground where they will meet this small triangle will have an area under the tire where it gives the scrub radius, so the feeling is then tranferred to the sterring wheel. When you lower a car you will usually change this radius and most of the time for the worst. This adds much more effort to turn the wheels and when you have power steering it means the power is again at a higher force and that means accelerated wear. The tie rods of today can be bought for cheap from Chineese made ones that meet the design spec but just bearly. So if you increase the force by a factor of two then these are not designed for that and they pop out of their sockets and such. But in this case you are saying the cotter pin sheared and the nut backed off and the tie rod came out od the spindle. That should not have happened and if the tie rod had a castlednut and proper cotter pin then it should not have ever backed off. But like so many things today we have the self locking nut being used to save tha $.01 per part, and this means that yes under the heat and presure the nylon lock lets go and the nut backs off and lets go. That to me is a big safety issue and recalls should be made and the aftermarket ones with the self locking nuts should never be allowed for sale. But my soap box is getting too high to climb on these days. I have seen many tie rods in my days as a front end mechanic come and go. But I still say you get what you pay for. People all think that because it is a machined cast object what could go wrong and you have now seen the answer to that question. I will say that the lowering of your car probably put more scrub radius and made the steering harder to turn. This then added up and sooner rather then later did exceed the tolerance of the tie rod and it popped. The taper from the tie rod in the spindle should now be inspected for damage before you just put another tie rod in. It should seat properly and that way it will become one peice with the addition of the nut and cotter pin. If you now put a good part in a hole that has been elongated it wll soon start a wear and fracture process.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
88gt306 Yah I think I am going to get a bigger cotter pin, and make I split the prongs so that it holds. I am not sure what the old one looked like or anything since I have never had to mess with it. Everything else seems to be fine. Unfortunately its raining here in the desert so I cant do work on it.
WOW I always thought those humvees were invincible, guess not. We can all learn from GM when they break down at least that is haha.

2manystangs LOL!

fixer1 Unfortunately I cannot go out and do that test as it is raining. That test makes a lot of sense. And yes I believe you are correct with the car being lowered it changed the scrub radius and the tolerance on the tie rod was exceeded. When you modify one thing there is always something else that needs to be changed to be compatible. I will check the taper as well when I do fix it. I temporarily made a cotter pin out of thick wire so I could get the car out of the road. Driving my expedition tho, and it doesnt feel right haha.

Tjblaze But wouldnt the bumpsteer kit reduce some of the strain on the front end suspension? Because I have no idea what happened to the cotter pin unless it was not put in right, but I have never messed with it and am the 2nd owner. Ive had it for 2 years and never had an issue with the tie rods. Hmm I wonder what happened to it. No cotter pin remains even around.
 

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lol the armor is pretty touch.. the suspension sucked though. they were not thinking about the suspension when they started adding tons of armor to suspension that was made for a non-uparmored vehicle. doesnt make sense to me either why they wouldnt upgrade the suspension, since they would save money from not having to fix the same stuff every 2 weeks, but whatever. lol. it just makes me hate my job here. ive did the same stuff so many times i know all the bolt sizes on pretty much every suspension part, engine part, and every other thing i have ever worked, off the top of my head :gringreen
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh wow thats crazy thats like throwing on a blower at 20psi on a 4.6 without upgrading the internals and the like. They would SAVE so much more money if they upgraded the suspension, we would save more money ha. Well at least you can use all that experience when you come home though.
 

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Well, as a retired Army guy I can tell you that even if you have a 4WD, it doesn't go through near the hell that a military HMMWV goes through to begin with. Add that to operators doing half-assed maintenance because they're lazy, and a majority of unit level "mechanics" who are just parts changers, not mechanics, and you've got a recipe for disaster. When I know more about the mechanics of one than the people who are responsible for working on them at the unit level, there's a problem......:nono:

The added weight on the retrofitted HMMWVs is a problem, but the ones that come from the factory up-armored is well capable of handling the extra weight. The mechanical fuel pumps on the older ones are problematic, but a quick and easy fix fortunately. I never had any real problems with the transmissions, but that could also go back to the lazy unknowing operators who refuse to check the transmission fluid correctly. The older ones did leak a lot, but the newer larger engines are a lot better, they're actually capable of pulling the up-armored's weight decently. The most problematic thing that I had in my years were the hubs, they did suck. It sounds like your unit is crippled with older, overused, retrofitted equipment, to be honest.

But back to the OP: I'm not trying to bust your balls or anything, but how does a tie rod end just "pop out"? They are tapered, so even if the cotter pin falls out, and the castle nut starts to loosen, there's going to be some clunking and freeplay in the steering before it just "falls out", there has to be, since it's tapered. I'm pretty sure it would give you some warning signs and you either didn't recognize them or didn't investigate them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Bullitt I know exactly what you mean, they are tapered. Im not as experienced as you I can assure you so I probably did not notice warning signs. I do remember that when turning the car felt bouncy (hard to describe, not literally bouncing) But the tie rod did not detach from the tapered end. It actually just detached from where the castle nut is (cant think of the name) so maybe either the cotter pin broke or fell out? I heard clunking as I backed out of the drive way though. Thats when I decided to stop, but I could not find the cotter pin anywhere after that. So it only detached from one end not both just to clarify.
And to add not defensively lol Im always happy to learn from those who know, and bullitt you always seem to help everyone, much appreciated. I drove it the night before and there were no issues present until that morning.

But everything is well now, got a new cotter pin in there with both ends bent. Just have to make sure everything drives fine.
 

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I'm just saying that the cotter pin didn't fall out and then the castle nut instantly flew off....... :bigthumbsup

Even without the cotter pin, the castle nut will typically stay in place for a long time, and possibly slowly work it's way loose.

Unless you're saying that the other end, where the ball actually goes into the tie rod end broke, and the castle nut was still attached to the tapered rod that goes through the spindle...... Well, that's just a lack of preventative checks, but a lot more likely than the castle nut coming off without obvious warning signs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
No you are right the castle nut did not fly off, it was still there in its location but the tie rod and all was under my rotor heat shield. It scraped my rim down there, past the paint into the metal. But the cotter pin was not around anywhere I didnt even hear it fly off or anything. So I really have no idea what happened there all I know is I had a tie rod stuck under my rotor and heat shield , a scraped rim, and no cotter pin.

And the only obvious signs were when I put it in park and backed up I began hearing a clunking noise. The tapered end of the tie rod (the side closest to the wheel) was the part that came out. Hard to believe since it is tapered but it came out and there was no cotter pin and the piece was just fine. I thought the tapered end (closest to the wheel) should have been scarred but it was just fine. Put it back in and all is well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry for the double post but I read your ealier reply, about you saying that even without the cotter pin the castle nut would take time to fall off. That could be it, because there is no cotter pin and the thread on the end of the rod that goes into the spindle is in great condition so the castle nut must have been slowly working its way loose. Weird Ive never touched that area, all I have done down there were Hawk pads and change of wheels and tires.
It is possible that when I had my lowering springs and struts installed the techs didnt put the cotter pin back in. I didnt know how to perform that task at the time so I took it to brake masters (worst decision ever!!!!!!!) but thats a whole other story. I guess I shall check the passengers spindle and tie rod just to make sure!
 

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Well, as a retired Army guy I can tell you that even if you have a 4WD, it doesn't go through near the hell that a military HMMWV goes through to begin with. Add that to operators doing half-assed maintenance because they're lazy, and a majority of unit level "mechanics" who are just parts changers, not mechanics, and you've got a recipe for disaster. When I know more about the mechanics of one than the people who are responsible for working on them at the unit level, there's a problem......:nono:

The added weight on the retrofitted HMMWVs is a problem, but the ones that come from the factory up-armored is well capable of handling the extra weight. The mechanical fuel pumps on the older ones are problematic, but a quick and easy fix fortunately. I never had any real problems with the transmissions, but that could also go back to the lazy unknowing operators who refuse to check the transmission fluid correctly. The older ones did leak a lot, but the newer larger engines are a lot better, they're actually capable of pulling the up-armored's weight decently. The most problematic thing that I had in my years were the hubs, they did suck. It sounds like your unit is crippled with older, overused, retrofitted equipment, to be honest.

But back to the OP: I'm not trying to bust your balls or anything, but how does a tie rod end just "pop out"? They are tapered, so even if the cotter pin falls out, and the castle nut starts to loosen, there's going to be some clunking and freeplay in the steering before it just "falls out", there has to be, since it's tapered. I'm pretty sure it would give you some warning signs and you either didn't recognize them or didn't investigate them.
well we signed for these vehicles when we got here from another unit (2-3 BTB 3rd ID), and they told us that their biggest problems were the inner halfshaft bolts coming loose and snapping, and power steering pumps goin out (bearings), and something else. we havent had really none of those problems yet. we have 1151s and 1165s. the 1151s suspension sucks.. they are the same as 1114s except for a few little non major changes. yes the 6.5l does pull pretty good, i think the trannies should be upgraded. and well as the differentials. im tired of changing transmissions and differentials. and i agree that some of the problems are lazy operators, but some things you just cant help. i make the operators work, hell most of our operators do their own work nowadays and are willing to do it too. (smaller jobs). only time they come to the motorpool is if they need a jack, or if its a female operator (no offense to any females, but Army females dont know much about mechanical stuff). and its not that they are overused and old anymore, because we have replaced just about everything on every vehicle we have, it just because they didnt upgrade the rest of the vehicle to accomodate the armor and extra weight. hell they just now are upgrading the tires to support the weight. and only because they were just randomly blowing out. Im a mechanic (91B <- old 63b)
 
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