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View Full Version : Steering Arm, Tie Rod and Castle Nut


RicardoJM
04-05-2011, 09:01 AM
At the WBPP, we found theboomboom's 82 Hilux was missing one of two bolts that secure the caliper to the knuckle and the caliper had a stuck piston on the drivers side. The hole on the knuckle ear was stripped bare, no threads at all. We found a knuckle (thanks Randy) and this past weekend we did a full front axle service (replaced trunion bearings) and installed a new caliper.

When we reattached the steering arm to the tie rod, we are not able to achieve the torque spec. After getting the castle nut on to the point where the hole for the cotter pin is visible, the entire things just keeps spinning around. We are able to get the cotter pin through so that it will prevent the castle nut from coming off - but because we did not achieve the torque spec - I am concerned. Am I being overly cautious? Is there a tip/trick to hold the tie rod end of things in place to achieve the torque spec? Should the tie rod be able to rotate 360 degrees when it is in the steering arm?

RockRunner
04-05-2011, 09:22 AM
I don't think so, the tie rod end (TRE) should only move from side to side. When we installed mine I was having problems too. It sheared the cotter pin and moved the castle nut up enough that over bumps it would make all kinds of clunking noise.

I am in the process of replacing mine and I would advise you to do the same.

Jacket
04-05-2011, 09:41 AM
I've never had much luck with the torque spec on TRE's. I usually just tighten until the nut is snug and the hole is visible to pass the cotter pin through. That said, the fact that your nut is spinning freely could mean problems down the road if it ever managed to work its way past the cotter pin.

Air Randy
04-05-2011, 09:48 AM
Ricardo, is the nut spinning because the threads on it or the TRE are stripped, or is it because the TRE shaft is rotating within it's socket?

If either are stripped, replace them. If the shaft is rotating inside the socket you can try whacking it with a hammer to get the tapered shaft to seat in the steering arm hole. However, that loosness in the socket usually indicates a lot of wear. When you consider TRE's are so cheap and the consequences if they fail, I would advise replacing it.

theboomboom
04-05-2011, 10:50 AM
the TRE shaft is rotating within it's socket?

That one. The nut would spin on fine until it got to the point where grit in the threads would cause it to bind slightly, and beyond that the tre shaft just spun and spun.

For removal, we used a pickle fork/sledge to separate it from the steering arm. I'm thinking this could have caused the shaft to separate from the hole in the TRE...

I suppose trying to pound it back into the hole might do in a trail fix situation, but I would agree that because it is a wear-item and the truck is as old as it it, it's probably worth replacing at this point.

rover67
04-05-2011, 11:05 AM
make sure the taper in the steering arm and the taper on the TRE are nice and clean and burr free.... that'll promote the sticking of the taper too.

wesintl
04-05-2011, 11:09 AM
For removal, we used a pickle fork/sledge to separate it from the steering arm. I'm thinking this could have caused the shaft to separate from the hole in the TRE...

That's the problem. When you remove it like that it's a throw away item. I hate pickle forks. They also mare the surface, not that the surface matters but it can distort the taper.

In the future use a hand held sledge and tab 90* on the steering arm. the TRE will pop out and you can reuse it.

subzali
04-05-2011, 11:22 AM
Dang Ricardo, we should have grabbed my TRE removed when we went down to my parents house. Mucho bettero than a pickle fork!
http://contentinfo.autozone.com/znetcs/product-info/en/US/grn/27022/image/4/

FWIW, I've had TREs that spin until I tighten them enough against the tie rod. I don't see why they're worn enough to replace if it's possible to do that? :confused: I mean, they're designed to rotate and AFAIK there's nothing to stop them from going 360 (except friction).

:twocents:

nattybumppo
04-05-2011, 09:40 PM
Ricardo, I just got the nice TRE puller like Steve has. Borrow it for the other end, or next time.

L43dean
04-05-2011, 10:42 PM
Ricardo and Rick, You can borrow my OTC puller. Dean

RicardoJM
04-06-2011, 08:18 AM
Thanks guys, with the additional insight I'm confident we will be ok. I'll also pick up a TRE removal tool for the future. We'll take a closer look, now that we better understand the details to be looking at and determine the safe path forward. With school, meeting and work schedules; it may be Saturday before we get to look at it in detail. It could be as simple as inspecting/cleaning the TRE, steering arm hole and it will all torque up. If not, replacing the TRE will be very straight forward.

On the passenger side, we did not have to separate the steering arm to get the cap off and remove the knuckle.

Air Randy
04-06-2011, 10:19 AM
That one. The nut would spin on fine until it got to the point where grit in the threads would cause it to bind slightly, and beyond that the tre shaft just spun and spun.

For removal, we used a pickle fork/sledge to separate it from the steering arm. I'm thinking this could have caused the shaft to separate from the hole in the TRE...

I suppose trying to pound it back into the hole might do in a trail fix situation, but I would agree that because it is a wear-item and the truck is as old as it it, it's probably worth replacing at this point.

Clean and oil the threads really good. Use an air impact to gun the nut on. When you hit the trigger, put a little side pressure on the gun so it puts side pressure on the shaft inside the arm. That and the impact will usually get you past that point and the shaft will tighten up. Once you get it tight enough to not spin, check it with your torque wrench.

Judging by the number of TRE removal tools in the club, this must be a pretty common item to replace on Toyotas.

RicardoJM
04-06-2011, 11:48 AM
Clean and oil the threads really good. Use an air impact to gun the nut on. When you hit the trigger, put a little side pressure on the gun so it puts side pressure on the shaft inside the arm. That and the impact will usually get you past that point and the shaft will tighten up. Once you get it tight enough to not spin, check it with your torque wrench.

Good tips and I think it will be just what we needed. We did use the pickle fork, but really only used it to build pressure/tension so that when the BFH was applied it popped loose. The removal was not done with brute force. We may have damaged the TRE, but I don't think we did. We will know for sure when we take a closer look.


Judging by the number of TRE removal tools in the club, this must be a pretty common item to replace on Toyotas.

Common to replace, I don't know - but with front axle service being so common, separating the the steering arm seems to be something that occurs a bunch. :D

FJBRADY
04-06-2011, 12:18 PM
Good tips and I think it will be just what we needed. We did use the pickle fork, but really only used it to build pressure/tension so that when the BFH was applied it popped loose. The removal was not done with brute force. We may have damaged the TRE, but I don't think we did. We will know for sure when we take a closer look.




Common to replace, I don't know - but with front axle service being so common, separating the the steering arm seems to be something that occurs a bunch. :D

Hey Ricardo/Boom, I have a passenger side mini truck TRE if you want it.

RicardoJM
04-09-2011, 05:18 PM
The TRE was just fine. We cleaned up the threads so that the castle nut could be fullly spun on using our fingers. The air gun then easily snugged things up. Then torqued it to spec. Theboomboom is now in very good shape. New caliper, new rotors, new pads, new trunion bearings, freshly packed wheel bearings and a knuckle with good threads for the caliper bolts and I have my garage back.:D

subzali
04-09-2011, 08:31 PM
way to go fellas!