What would be the best brand of tie rod sleeves currently available?

Brakes, Suspension, Rims and Tires

  1. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    Greetings Moparians!

    While progress with the Morris Family Plan for Regeneration of Mathilda slowed to a pathetic crawl as ambient temperature soared to literally breathtaking new record highs in the Sonoran Desert, I've discovered a fatal problem with an idler arm installed just 3 short years ago! It has to be replaced, ASAP, so I've ordered another Moog from Rock Auto for the present, with no great confidence, but not much immediate dread either.

    I decided to proceed with new tie rod hardware to accompany the idler arm. I had to separate the outer one on the driver side last year, which I managed carefully enough, and attached it to the knuckle with apparent success/ The PASSENGER SIDE looks worse for wear, and certainly contributes to the rapid erosion of the front tire. Given these facts, new tie rod hardware seems pretty prudent.

    So I opted for Moog parts for the ends, just like the idler arm. This brings to mind the question regarding the tie rod sleeves. Those installed for the front end rebuild 3.5 yrs ago seem adequate to meet OEM standards, but given the atrocious state of south Tucson streets, this warrants better, stronger parts if such really can be had.

    Two brands particularly stand out; Proforged and PST. The former certainly abounds on the Net, all the cyber-fashionable vendors carry them, but I have doubts about the strength of billet aluminum parts in such a critical place. PST makes a solid steel product, or so its advertised, but I don't quite trust their metallurgy either.

    I'm aware of Firm Feel and Rare Parts as options, but for this job I wonder if their prices might go beyond the good zone of the cost-effect curve. IFF I had plenty surplus funds, I would happily purchase entire suspension systems from one of these vendors, but Uncle Schmuel has been slow to refund what we loaned him via taxes.... a common tale among proletarians who can't afford tax lawyers and accountants.

    If anyone KNOWS about these two brands mentioned, or other good products NOT mentioned, I'll be grateful. It also occurs to me to clean off the original tie rod sleeves I kept when I rebuilt the front end 3.5 yrs ago. I thought then they might yet be desirable, though I'll closely scrutinize them if I decide to try them.
     
  2. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Old Man with a Hat

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    Here's a thought . . . would you rather bend a tie rod end sleeve or another part of the sterering linkage/ suspension? To me, these sleeves should be the "weakest link" of that system, but not "weak" per se.

    The solid sleeves do have their place in racing applications and such, but not for a normal steet car. Otherwise, I somewhat doubt than there will be much difference in the metal's strength amoung the normal "name brands" of sleeves, as in Moog and such.

    Remember, too, that tire pressures can relate to the impact absorption of the suspension, too. Possibly no more than about 30psi (cold) inflation pressure might work in this area?

    Rather than an aftermarket item, might the thread specs and diameter also match other vehicles for which new items are available from the OEM? Just curioius . . .

    Just some thoughts,
    CBODY67
     
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  3. Big_John

    Big_John Illegitimi non carborundum FCBO Gold Member

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    Let's ask this... Are the sleeves damaged in any way?

    They really aren't a part that wears. I've never seen one break or bend in regular use. When they do get bent, it's from hitting something you should not have and you'll be lucky if that's all you've bent.

    So, if not damaged, why replace? Unscrew the old ends and screw in the new. That's what I would do.
     
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  4. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    Good thoughts from both of you! Given how the idler arm has worn out so soon, I reckon staying with the current tie rod sleeves might be the thing to do then. I suspect that the billet aluminum rods are meant for racing, while the PST steel sleeves are meant for high strength, possibly for off road stuff like QA1. Yes, I now agree that leaving these as the weakest link in the steering setup likely would be better than having something else break. As near as I can see, there has been no bending in the OEM sleeves, though I'll get out my good steel squares and rulers when I put the new ends on regardless. I'm seeing more praise for positive camber too, which is how I put the front end together when I did the job in January, 2018. I suspect this comes from the difference between modern radial tires and the bias ply paradigm in force when the car was built.

    FWIW, I normally run my front tires at 32 psi.
     
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  5. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    I still run my original sleeves. And they spent miles busting down minimum maintenance gravel roads. If the threads and clamps are still good, you will be in fine shape.
     
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  6. 413

    413 Senior Member

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    I’d use good original sleeves over new ones that came from who knows where??? Wherever the low bid was!
     
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  7. savoy64

    savoy64 Member

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    consider when the rod ends are screwed in the sleeve is really strong-----there is probably 1/4 to 1/2 inch gap in the middle-------how much pressure to bend the sleeve in that small vacant area----1000,s of pounds------you will want much more than a lap belt if you hit something that bends that 1/2 inch of sleeve......
     
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  8. 413

    413 Senior Member

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    The gap with no tie rod threads is 4 3/8” on a B-body. They don’t come to 1/2” of each other at all. I tried to show in the phots, I put yellow lines at the ends of the threads I photo #2.

    These sleeves are tough, how many fail or bend? Very few.

    BD0CE669-5E8E-47C7-A23A-AC340856201D.jpeg

    997767FA-6DDF-4597-8ED3-5C51DFA2467A.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  9. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    Thanks. This is good to know. When I see one unusual failure, I start looking for low probability causes some times. I now figure I just got a bad idler arm.
     
  10. mrfury68

    mrfury68 Senior Member

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    They can't be much worse than the roads here in SW Pennsylvania. My sleeves are just fine.
     
  11. savoy64

    savoy64 Member

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    oopps---thinking of the sleeves on the 94 cummins---very small gap...
     
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  12. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    That's cool. I've thought of dropping a Cummins 5.9 into Tilly, but didn't like it much.....
     
  13. 69PHOENIX

    69PHOENIX Active Member

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    Hi Fellas,
    One thing I will mention. (And I Apologise for Sidetracking the Discussion)
    A Few of My Club Members Fitted Nolathane Bushes to their Suspensions Many Years ago when it first came into use.
    Apart from the Fact that they Wailed like Banshees if you didn't get them Greased Just Right, we also discovered that the Nolathane, if not the Exact right grade of "Softness" caused Premature Failure of Suspension Components.
    This was Proven again many years later when we Experienced Component Failure (Cracked Control Arms) on 20 Ton Army Trailers using Nolathane Bushes.
    (Only about 10 Years ago.)
    Unless the Bush is "Soft" Enough, it will pass all the Road Impact into the Steel Components & This is Exactly what the Bushes are Designed to Prevent.
    So while I won't say Don't ever use anything but OEM, I will Point Out Most of our Beasties have Lasted thus Far with the Rubbers.
    (Same Story with the Idea of Injecting Ball joints, Tie rods, Etc., It was a waste of Time, as we found we had to re-do them every 12 months or so.)
    Kind Regards Tony.M
     
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  14. M0esy

    M0esy Member

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  15. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Senior Member

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    WISE WORDS! I stick w good old NATURAL RUBBER! God makes the Best Stuff. After replacing the idler arm, what little shimmy I had in my steering vanished. Oddly enough, 'twas the BOLT that had BET a bit in the idler arm attachment to the frame. Tilly ow rides straight and True again.