Steering Linkage – A Case for Quality Parts

Steering Linkage – A Case for Quality Parts

November 2014

With the front suspension installed, the only things standing in the way of turning this car into a roller are the front steering linkage, the front brakes, and actually installing the rear axle.

Today I installed the front steering linkage, and while the driver’s side linkage installed without a hitch, the passenger side didn’t go nearly as well.  I ordered my tie rods and adjusting sleeves at the same time I ordered the upper and lower control arms (in other words, a YEAR ago), all from CJ Pony Parts.  The right side tie rod adjusting sleeve is the same for manual and power steering-equipped cars, while the left one is specific to power steering cars, so it didn’t faze me that the two of them looked different.  But what I found after torquing them down to factory spec was that the left side sleeve was of much more substantial weight and quality than the right sleeve.  Nothing tics me off more than using a torque wrench only to have something fail at the lowest factory recommended torque value…

I’ll leave it as it is for now, but I’ll be ordering a new Moog one from RockAuto the next time I place an order.  The sad thing is that I could’ve ordered the good one from RockAuto for the same price I paid for the lousy one from CJ’s…another lesson learned.

Once I finished with the front suspension, I set to work prepping the rear axle but after pounding in the first axle seal, the inner spring popped out inside the axle and I had to pull the seal back out.  Yet another cheap part fail!  The seal puller completely distorted before the seal came out, and of course the seal was destroyed pulling it out again.  So now I have ANOTHER part to order from RockAuto.

Note: This is a status update post to catch readers up from my 18-month posting hiatus.  For simplicity, this entry is written as if it had just recently occurred, however it actually happened in November 2014, as noted above.