Tie rod broke so I need to replace it?

Tiny
THECARPENTER62
  • MEMBER
  • 2007 DODGE DAKOTA
  • V8
  • 4WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 58,000 MILES
A month and a half ago the passenger side tie rod broke so I replaced both sides myself as a precaution. Now I'm getting a clunking sound in the front end when I turn corners plus a rattling whenever I hit a bump. So far I haven't located the source. I'm wondering if it might be a ball joint or something with the steering?
Friday, October 15th, 2010 AT 12:46 PM

19 Replies

Tiny
FACTORYJACK
  • MECHANIC
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What led to the tie rod breaking?, and does the other noise appear to be on the same side? You can check for loose/worn components by lifting each side under the lower control arm, and grasping the wheel at 12 and 6 and rocking, as well as 9 and 3 and rocking. With the rattling, it could be sway bar related. You can isolate that from being a cause by disconnecting the links at the control arms and road testing the vehicle. This guide can help us

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/tie-rod-end-replacement

Please run down this guide and report back.
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Friday, October 15th, 2010 AT 1:26 PM
Tiny
THECARPENTER62
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Thanks for the quick response. The tie rod just separated when I turned a corner, it looked like the boot had split prior to it failing because the grease was dry and hard. The clunking seems to be coming from the passenger side but only after rounding a corner. I tried the 12/6 and 9/3 rocking but both sides are tight with no noticeable movement. If the sway bar is causing the rattling then thats not too serious. The passenger side linkage does look worn. I had the rattling before the tie rod broke. I changed the tie rods myself but never got an alignment if that means anything. I did position them the same measurement as the old ones. Thanks Paul
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+1
Friday, October 15th, 2010 AT 1:50 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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No, the alignment should have no bearing on correcting/causing a noise like you describe. When you checked the wheels for play, were you supporting under the lower control arm? The reason I ask, is with the suspension hanging unsprung, play in the ball joints may be masked by the downward force applied by the spring. Basically, what you are trying to replicate, is the suspension at a position as it would be with the wheels on the ground, but having the wheel suspended.
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Saturday, October 16th, 2010 AT 1:35 AM
Tiny
THECARPENTER62
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Yes, I did support under the lower control arm. I even used a crow bar between the raised tire and the ground to force some movement. The ball joints don't appear to be the problem. Something else is either slipping or popping out of place and then back making the clunking noise. Only AFTER turning a corner does this happen. Thanks Paul
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Saturday, October 16th, 2010 AT 10:11 AM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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Is this pop or clunk a one time event after turning, and does it do it both right and lef turns? Can it be replicated when turning th wheels while stationary, or does it have to be in motion. I am just suggesting possibilities, but if it is a solid clunk like vehicle weight is playing a part, it could lie in the upper, or lower control arms/bushings, or something influenced by the torque/twist of the frame. Does it perhaps have a skid plate attached to the underside? Sometimes loosening or removing it may make a change, especially if it is a metal plate.
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Saturday, October 16th, 2010 AT 2:07 PM
Tiny
THECARPENTER62
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Dude. Thanks for the help but I think I found the culprit. After the last message from you I went back out to check again. The sway bar linkage connection to the lower control arm was separated. When I mentioned earlier that the linkage looked worn I had noticed then that the boot appeared damaged. The linkage must be popping on and off the ball as I turn corners causing the clunking. The rattling is this also I'm sure. After a short drive the linkage was back on top of the ball, making it seem it is still connected. When the tie rod had broke before the action of the tire swinging sideways must have damaged the linkage. It just took until now for it to fail. Does that all make any sense or am I just full of it. Keep the donation anyway and thanks for your time. Paul
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Saturday, October 16th, 2010 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
FACTORYJACK
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Thanks for the participation.
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Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 AT 11:49 PM
Tiny
2CP-ARCHIVES
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  • 2005 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 105,000 MILES
I recently had the passenger side tie rod replaced on my 2005 Dodge Dakota. The guy at the Merlin shop said I would need to have shocks replaced soon and the ball joints need to be replaced. I have rec ently noticed a vibration in what seems like the front suspsension. It is pretty noticable through the steering wheel once you reach about 20 mph and continues through highway speeds. Not quite as noticable at higher speed. Can you tell me the probable cause.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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Given the symptoms I'd start by checking for a broken tire belt, especially if they're nearing the end of their tread life. With a new tie rod end the truck would have to be aligned, and no conscientious mechanic can do that with sloppy ball joints. No upper or lower ball joint on any vehicle can have sideways movement between the ball and socket because that's what holds the spindle and wheel in proper alignment. Any visible movement is WAY too much. In addition, there can be no up-and-down movement between the ball and socket on any ball joint on any vehicle, ... Except the lower ball joints on Dakotas. New ones right from the dealer have about 1/8" of movement, which would normally be a real lot, and aftermarket replacements can be allowed to develop that play, and still be acceptable, (only on Dakotas; not on other brands and models). That movement will not cause clunking noises or handling problems. That movement has been mistaken by a lot of mechanics as a need to replace those ball joints. That only applies to the lower "load-carrying" ball joints, not the upper ones.

Sideways play in any ball joint can cause a wobble or shimmy in the steering system but typically clunking and tire wear are the only symptoms. In addition, a small change in the "toe" adjustment after replacing the tie rod end and setting the alignment can show up as a change in the handling and can make that wobble more pronounced to where you first notice it. In those cases, the alignment didn't CAUSE the wobble. The previous misalignment masked it.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CAMLAUX
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  • 2004 DODGE DAKOTA
  • V8
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I asked to have my tires alignied and was told that they could not be aligned because my tie rods were lose. Is reasonable?
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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Hi:

If the tie rids are worn to a point that they have too much play (loose) an alignment is not possible. It would be a waste of money to have done because the toe-in / out would change while driving.

Get a second opinion on the tie rods. If they are bad, have them replaced and then have your alignment completed.

Joe
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
LO02DAKOTA
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  • 6 CYL
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I just had to replace my tie rod end on the passenger side of my pickup and after I went to the parts store and picked the part up I installed it and drove the truck which handled fine I found out that the guy gave me the tierod end for a 4x4 not a 2x4 which I needed. My question is will it be alright and not leave me stranded. It went on fine and bolted up. I just don't wanna have an accident because of it. Thank you Joseph Murdock
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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I doubt the part is the same. Since this is a steering component, I strongly recommend that you replace it with the correct part. If it comes apart, you will loose control of the vehicle.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:41 AM (Merged)
Tiny
FFRANKBLU
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  • 2000 DODGE DAKOTA
Suspension problem
2000 Dodge Dakota Two Wheel Drive

how to install tie rods.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:42 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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There is a lock nut between them and the center link. Loosten the nuts, and screw the tierod from the sleeve that hold it. On the other end, unbolt the one side and using a balljoint spliter, seperate the tie rod and replace.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:42 AM (Merged)
Tiny
KINGAWS1333
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  • 1999 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
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I bought this truck from my daugher. Apperently she had is serviced regulary but no one ever greased the tie rods and ball joints. I have the parts needed but was wondering about inner tie rods. Do I need to replace them at the same time as the ball joints and outer tie rod ends?
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:42 AM (Merged)
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
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Only replace the parts that show wear. If there is excessive play, then the part needs replaced. If it is tight, leave it alone.

Let me know if you have other questions.

JOe
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:42 AM (Merged)
Tiny
ANALAND04
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  • 1998 DODGE DAKOTA
  • 3.9L
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I was wondering if I could change out my 1996 Dodge Ram 1500 tie rod and put into my 1998 Dodge Dakota?
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:42 AM (Merged)
Tiny
CARADIODOC
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There's a whole bunch of problems with what you're asking and there's too many variables for me to even look up the parts. I wanted to know the answer to satisfy my own curiosity. I was the suspension and alignment specialist at a very nice family-owned Chrysler dealership through all of the '90s, but I can't answer this question without looking up the parts.

First of all, the outer tie rod ends for a Dakota have different part numbers between the rear-wheel-drive and the 4wd, but they both look the same. One manufacturer lists the part as fitting either version which suggests the difference between them isn't too significant. In some places the left and right show different part numbers, but I don't remember ever having to specify which one I needed.

There's also two different steering systems used on the Dakota. One uses the rack and pinion steering gear and one uses the standard steering gear box. Both use similar-looking inner tie rod ends that are for the rack and pinion design. There is nothing close to this that was ever used on the full-size trucks.

The full-size trucks also used two totally different steering linkage systems. You have to specify if yours is a rear-wheel-drive or a 4wd. 99 percent of those sold were 4wd, and those have a very different steering linkage compared to the rear-wheel-drive version. All of the outer tie rod ends are totally different than anything on the Dakotas. As I recall, one outer tie rod end has reverse threads and one has normal threads.

The only thing that might be close is the outer tie rod ends for the rear-wheel-drive version, but those have different part numbers too. The other problem you're going to have is how do you expect to remove a tie rod end to reuse it? The stud fits tightly with a tapered fit that is wedged in. If you use a pickle fork to force it apart, you're going to damage the rubber boot. If you pound on the stud, you'll smash the end and the nut won't go on. You'll make way more grief than it's worth. A new correct tie rod is going to cost around 25 - 30 bucks. The only way you'd want to install a used one that's half worn out already is if this was a really old truck and parts were no longer available. Once the part is replaced, the truck will have to be aligned. If the used tie rod end wears out in 10,000 miles, you'll be doing the job again and paying for another alignment, so there went the savings.
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Thursday, September 24th, 2020 AT 10:42 AM (Merged)

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