Vehicle Tie Rods & Sleeves
Tie rods are part of the rack and pinion steering system. Tie rods move the wheels, and allow the vehicle to be steered. A tie rod is attached at either end of the steering rack, and as the pinion rolls over the slotted rack, together, they push and pull the front tires, as the steering wheel is turned. The outer tie rod end, connects with an adjusting sleeve, which allows the length of the tie rod to be adjusted to fit the vehicle's alignment angle. The length and thickness of a tie rod depends on the vehicle it is installed on. Most tie rods are typically thinner towards the center and wider at the ends. The reason for this is, is that the ends of the rod are threaded, which means the ends must be thicker, in order to remain strong, when some material is lost due to the rod being threaded.
Tie rods and many of the components surrounding it are small and fragile. Due to this, regular maintenance is necessary. During routine maintenance, it is necessary to look for cracks and excessive wear. These precautions are important because the tie rods steer the vehicle and can be a safety hazard when not properly maintained. Worn out tie rods cause the steering to wander, erratic steering, and excessive tire wear. When replacing a tie rod, it is necessary to realign the wheels, due to the fact that, the position of the rod affects these settings immensely.
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