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Imminent failure, or can I put off for another season?


Robert92867
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I'm thinking these can wait another 7,000 miles.  I just finished replacing fuel pumps and air bags and this looks like a whole years worth of maintenance.

No noticeable slop in steering, no funny clunking sounds, pretty much handles as good (or bad) as the day I bought it.

I hope someone with real expertise weighs in on putting off panhard bars, drag links, and tie rod ends for another season.

IMG_2815  FRONT DRAG LINK.jpg

IMG_2817 DRAG LINK CRIMPED ON REAR.jpg

img_2825 right front tie rod end.jpg

img_2829 front left tie rod end.jpg

IMG_2831 REAR UPPER PANHARD.jpg

IMG_2832 rear lower panhard.jpg

IMG_2824 front lower panhard.JPG

IMG_2836 FRONT UPPER PANHARD SIZE REFERENCE.jpg

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How much play is in them? Take large pliers and 'crimp' them together to see. If your concern is the torn boots then ask about replacement boots at the auto parts store. Pretty sure they are available. But at the end of the day, the easiest way to check is use large pliers and check for play. The rubber boot is there to keep out moisture, dirt and to keep a blob of grease in there. Just because the boots are torn does not mean the actual joints are worn out. 

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I agree with Bob.

First thing I would do is power wash the heck out of the bottom to make it more enjoyable to do the work 😉

Since each joint needs to be cleaned, booted and regreased, doesn't make too much difference to power wash them either.

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8 hours ago, Robert92867 said:

I'm thinking these can wait another 7,000 miles.  I just finished replacing fuel pumps and air bags and this looks like a whole years worth of maintenance.

No noticeable slop in steering, no funny clunking sounds, pretty much handles as good (or bad) as the day I bought it.

I hope someone with real expertise weighs in on putting off panhard bars, drag links, and tie rod ends for another season.

IMG_2815  FRONT DRAG LINK.jpg

IMG_2817 DRAG LINK CRIMPED ON REAR.jpg

img_2825 right front tie rod end.jpg

img_2829 front left tie rod end.jpg

IMG_2831 REAR UPPER PANHARD.jpg

IMG_2832 rear lower panhard.jpg

IMG_2824 front lower panhard.JPG

IMG_2836 FRONT UPPER PANHARD SIZE REFERENCE.jpg

Bob S, Did you replace your airbags yourself or did you have somebody do it? If you had somebody do it how much was it per airbag to do?

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I am in agreement with others saying that they are likely just due for servicing. When you pull them apart to put new boots on, you should be able to inspect them for ware. If there isn't any slop, and the thing still drives like it is on rails, you should be in good shape. Inspect for cracks and bending.

I also suggest taking a paint pen and mark all of your bolts and nuts when you put them back on the spec. You get a visual indication if anything is backing out or moving unexpectedly.

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One more thing to concider, if you cant get to replacing the boots right away, grease the joints with a quality grease, by doing that it will fill the inner voids an force most contaminants out. Most rubber seals if not kept soft an supple from grease will crack an break away. I grease my rig one to two times a year depending on milage drivin.

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I,m a retired mechanic and I've done lots of front end work. Here's what I'd do: with the wheels on the ground and the engine running, have someone move the steering wheel back and forth a few inches, enough to take up all slack plus a tiny bit more. You get underneath and watch all the joints for slack. If it's hard to see put your hand on each joint and feel for play. If you don't feel any significant play grease it and leave it alone. Worn out rubber covers don't indicate bad joints. Because of the amount of work to change the seal, I won't bother until the joint needs replacing. Just keep it greased.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/11/2022 at 12:06 AM, DavidL said:

I agree with Bob.

First thing I would do is power wash the heck out of the bottom to make it more enjoyable to do the work 😉

Since each joint needs to be cleaned, booted and regreased, doesn't make too much difference to power wash them either.

I agree.  I hate to work on stuff that's greasy and nasty, plus it makes it hard to prevent contaminating the new parts when everything around it is nasty.

On 2/11/2022 at 12:29 PM, Tom Wallis said:

I,m a retired mechanic and I've done lots of front end work. Here's what I'd do: with the wheels on the ground and the engine running, have someone move the steering wheel back and forth a few inches, enough to take up all slack plus a tiny bit more. You get underneath and watch all the joints for slack. If it's hard to see put your hand on each joint and feel for play. If you don't feel any significant play grease it and leave it alone. Worn out rubber covers don't indicate bad joints. Because of the amount of work to change the seal, I won't bother until the joint needs replacing. Just keep it greased.

This is exactly what I'd do.  It's just as much work to replace the boot as it is to replace the joint.
Just keep them greased a couple times a year, and wipe off the excess grease after greasing, and monitor them for wear.
Replace joints when they start to show play.

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