Alignment after Upper Control Arms/Tie Rod Ends?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by ices, Oct 15, 2009.

  1. ices

    ices New Member

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    Hello, I am replacing the upper control arms and tie rod ends on my car. The UCA's come with a ball joint and bushings. Do I need to allow the bushings to "set" for any amount of time before getting an alignment done, or is it good to go immediately after?
     
  2. ices

    ices New Member

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    And to add to this, how can you tell if the inner tie rod ends are going bad as well? I did the "hands at 6-12 and 3-9 wiggle" and found that the UCA ball joint and outer tie rod ends had some play. I want to knock everything out while I can so I only have to get a front end alignment once.
     
  3. rockstar b

    rockstar b no OT Supporter

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    inner tie rods are cheap. i would probably just go ahead and do it.
     
  4. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I'd align it right away. As long as all the hardware gets torqued to spec, you shouldn't have any problems afterward.
     
  5. ices

    ices New Member

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    Inner tie rods for my car are more than the outers on my car! I'm in a dilemma. My car is getting old (1995 @ 160k miles). I was originally planning on junking it if a major repair came up since I probably wouldn't be able to sell it (body damage, tints are all messed up, ABS broken, rear defroster broken, less than immaculate interior, etc.) However, out of necessity, I just put new tires on that are good for another ~50k. Now I find all these suspension parts are going bad, so do I fix them? On one hand, Murphy's Law dictates that an extremely costly part will break as soon as I complete these repairs. On the other hand, this was my first car when I bought it back in 2002 and I don't have the heart to junk it quite yet. Not gonna lie, I've become attached!

    That's what I figured, since shops go straight from the repair to alignment.
     
  6. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    I swear for a second I thought I was on PassatWorld. Don't tell me more cars are coming with that awful four-bar multilink suspension now! Dual-wishbone gives you 95% of the performance and 500% of the durability.

    Anyway, if you want to knock out everything in a single shot, then knock out everything in a single shot. Change out everything and be done with it. Don't even worry about whether it's worn out, because if the car is being driven, then the existing parts are guaranteed to be in worse condition than new parts will be.

    IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT CONTROL ARM BUSHINGS: if your car has twist-bushings like mine does, make sure you don't tighten the inboard CA pinch bolts until you have the car resting on its wheels. Roll it up on cinderblocks if you don't have anything else to work with. If you tighten the inboard CA pinch bolts while the wheels are dangling in the air, as soon as you bottom-out the suspension you'll twist the twist-bushings so much that they'll tear.
     
  7. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    You CANNOT use that kind of logic when it comes to a car you're daily driving. If you want to restore the car and keep it as a collector car (only you can determine if it's worth it) that's one thing, otherwise you would be best to just dump the car as a trade-in (you really missed a good opportunity in CFC) and be done with it.

    I fully understand the whole deal of being attached to your first car, but I guarantee you'll get over it quick once you have a new/newer toy to play with and care for. Dumping tons of money into it and keeping it for sentimental reasons is a poor financial choice that you'll eventually end up regretting.
     
  8. deusexaethera

    deusexaethera OT Supporter

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    It is just a machine, after all. And most of the stuff will be recycled anyway. Cars are probably the most recycled commodity in America today. Nothing to feel guilty about.

    Trust me, if your car becomes half the money pit mine did, you'll feel worse about the money you spent fixing it than about trashing it.
     
  9. ices

    ices New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys. The engine is strong, the rotors and pads still have a lot of life on them, and I just spent ~$400 on tires, so I think I'll go ahead with this repair. I'll try to squeeze a little more life out of the car, but as soon as the next major problem comes up, I'll probably have to get rid of it.
     

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