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Brake job and tie rod ends

 
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 12:19 am
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Default Brake job and tie rod ends

Hey everybody, I've got a question. I've got an 07 Cruiser Touring edition that needs brake pads and rotors replaced according to the shop I took it to, which ways $350 to do just the front axle (they said the rear brakes were fine). I've done pads and rotors in the past and figure it's a simple enough job I can probably tackle this one myself. I have the rotors and pads, a can of Brakekleen and a bottle of brake fluid. Assuming I don't run into any weirdness, rusted or broken bolts/nuts, sockets that have gone on vacation, how long should a fairly competent shade tree mechanic give himself?

I've also been told that the driver's side outer tie rod end needs replaced, same shop wants another $300 for that. I've watched a few YouTube videos and it looks simple enough as long as I remember to mark the threads and count the turns. Should I go ahead and change that while I'm hanging out in the wheel well, or should I bite the bullet and pay to have that done? If I do it myself I plan to the alignment checked/adjusted after. Are the tie rod ends one of those things that you're supposed to do both instead of just one?

I do have a garage to work on it in, with a space heater, so I won't have to worry about making a mistake because I'm cold and rushing things. With possibly a helper. If I do pads rotors and the tie rod ends, how long should I plan for?

Also, any tips or tricks to make it easier or quicker? I don't want to be out there for 12 hours but I'd prefer to get it all done in one swell foop if I can.
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 01:05 am
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

You should be able to do all of it in less than half a day. The real issue is going to be having the front end aligned after installing the new tie rod end.

If me, I would go ahead and do both outer tie rod ends at the same time. If one is bad, the other may not be far behind. And the expensive piece is the alignment.
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 04:01 am
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

Marking the threads and counting the turns doesn't always work as replacement after market parts are not exact duplicates of the OEM.
take you time make sure you fit the pad to the calipers and 4 hours should be more than enough time to complete the job and have lunch.
Unless you run into a tyrod end that is rusted on to the threads.
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 04:12 am
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

That's a Saturday morning job. It's all pretty straight forward. Do the brakes, when you're satisfied with that, do the tie rod end(s), get it aligned, done.

As a check on the tie rod, I'd measure from where the stop nut is to where the ball stud is on the tie rod, that's the critical dimension.
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

I measure from the center of the grease fitting to the lock nut.
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66 Ply Satellite with 273 engine swap to 69 340 4spd
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Had a few Vetts on the way 69, 85
Several Neons some flips
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

Even when you tried to get the new tie rod end in same location with a tape measure, there will now be a different amount of slack in the steering linkage and chances are, the alignment is out of spec anyway due to time and wear. I'm all about doing everything you can yourself including minor surgery. But the time and cost of an alignment is almost always worth it after steering and/or front suspension repair. If out of spec, drivability is affected and the tires will often wear much faster. To assure a good ride, good handling and to get full life out of your tires, I believe an alignment after this job is well worth it.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 23 Feb 2018 at 12:59 pm.
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 01:50 pm
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy_Cruiser View Post
Even when you tried to get the new tie rod end in same location with a tape measure, there will now be a different amount of slack in the steering linkage and chances are, the alignment is out of spec anyway due to time and wear. I'm all about doing everything you can yourself including minor surgery. But the time and cost of an alignment is almost always worth it after steering and/or front suspension repair. If out of spec, drivability is affected and the tires will often wear much faster. To assure a good ride, good handling and to get full life out of your tires, I believe an alignment after this job is well worth it.
+1, a ~$75-100 alignment is much better than needing new tires

I know too many people that have learned this the hard way and ended up needing new tires within months.
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Old 23 Feb 2018, 04:29 pm
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

Fairly easy job. I did all my pads and rotors, I had good luck with Autozone's parts.

If you really want to make sure it won't make noise, replace ALL the brake hardware and use silicone paste on the rubber and copper anti seize on everything else.

This video really helped me through my brake job.





Good luck!
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Old 27 Feb 2018, 04:04 pm
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

Thanks for all the tips! I got into it on Sunday afternoon, after dealing with a couple pre-rounded bolts from earlier work (not mine!), half a can of pb blaster, and a couple of hours I managed to get the passenger side brakes and tie rod end taken care of. Then I got to the driver's side, where the 12mm caliper bolts were complete circles and nothing I tried would work. So I replaced the tie rod end and decided to leave that side for a professional..

On the upside, I did end the shimmy from the front end! Glad I took your advice and did both tie rod ends!
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Last edited by Razzle346; 27 Feb 2018 at 04:08 pm.
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Old 28 Feb 2018, 07:16 am
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Default Re: Brake job and tie rod ends

I keep a 6" pipe wrench in my tool box for crap like that. Pisses me off to find rounded bolt heads on a car. That lets you know that someone doesn't pay attention to torque specs.
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