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Hello, about to do a tear-down of the front end for upper control arm relocation, disc brakes and new wheels/tires.

Was going to replace all the front suspension components, but id rather not spend the extra money if I dont have to.

Is there any methods or ways of checking to see if ball joints, tie rods, etc. need to be replaced or are still go0d?

Also, I notice just about all the kits that they sell to rebuild front ends dont include inner tie rods, unless you get the "replace entire front end" package. Do inner tie rods not normally wear out as fast or what? Whay arent these included?

Thanks ahead of time.

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slammed '04 RX-8 (daily driver)
stroked '66 Mustang (weekend fun)

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: pass1over on 3/2/06 12:40pm ]</font>
 

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If you are going to have your front end apart you really should spend a little extra and change those parts. Expecailly if you are going to be doing performance upgrades, which means the car is going to be going through more stress.
 

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People just don't replace the tie rods a lot. If they are tight and don't have a lot of play, they should be OK. We just went through the front end on the 70 - new upper arms, poly lower bushings, poly saddle bushings, poly strut rod bushings, poly front leaf bushings, 1" drop, performance alignment - car drives 10000% better. And that's with no sway bar.
 

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The best way to check out the front end of a car (when its all together wheel on etc) is to jack up one side under the front frame so that the tire comes off the ground. You want only one tire to be off the ground at a time... Leave this side up on the jack 4 inches or so above the ground. You'll need a helper to check it out properly, basically you will hold a troublelight and look at the suspension travel as your helper first pries under the bottom of the tire straight up and down using a crowbar or something similiar, there should be a little bit of resistance obviously from the spring/shock but also from balljoints and other suspension components. Basically you are looking for excessive play.

Next, have your helper hold the tire with one had at the 12 o'clock position and the other at the 6 o'clock position. Have them rock the tire back and fourth while you look for play, this is checking the upper and lower balljoints. If there is excessive play at either the top or bottom then one of the balljoints is worn out.

Lastly, have your helper hold the tire with one had at the 9 o'clock position and the other at the 3 o'clock position. Have them rock the tire back and fourth while you look for play, this is to check the steering components.. again look for excessive play..

Let the jack down and repeat for the other side...

Well thats pretty much it.. This is what my mechanic who's also my neighbor has shown me to do to check out the front end. We did it to my truck when I bought it.. Seems like a pretty straight forward way to check things out...

Anyways Good luck with it
Tom
 
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