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Discussion Starter #1
06 caravan--
It would be nice to have the bucks to let someone do the work but no such luck. Wish it were different.

Does the inner tie rod have flats (06 caravan) on it so I can remove with a rental tool from parts store?

How about using a pipe wrench it no flats on inner rod?

Will the outer tie rod unscrew from inner tie rod so i don't have to remove the outer link from it's joint? Therefore one less step.

Any tips about it's removal?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
What is the Travel Restrictor? REad it has to be removed before removing tie rod. What is the access like to get to it? What type of tool to remove it?
 

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Yes the inner "should" have flats on it. The replacement ones do but sometimes the OE ones do not...
If you can get a pipe wrench in there it will do the trick as will a good set of channel lock pliers.
You can unthread the inner from the outer tie rod but I find it easier to remove the outer from the knuckle, your choice.

As for tips: a little thread locker on the threads to the rack is cheap insurance.
 

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What is the Travel Restrictor? REad it has to be removed before removing tie rod. What is the access like to get to it? What type of tool to remove it?
The travel restrictor is a nylon sleeve that covers the inner tie rod connection. It is a cushion for when to turn the wheel all the way. It keeps the metal part of the inner tie rod from smacking the rack. You just have to slide off with a screwdriver or punch then slide it into the new one when your done.

Tool....
http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/we...tool-lisle_25981241-p?searchTerm=tie+rod+tool
 
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Discussion Starter #5
thanks very much for responses. i' think my problem maybe the inner tie rod. . there is an awful popping going on. when loading the right front wheel, backing up with load on passenger side. taking off on occasion although the sound is less.

what i did today to test it was to turn outer tie rod on passenger side from the 1/8 toe in to about 1/2 inch out. t

i measured it with a string crossing from back passenger tire midway up to the same for the front tire to determine it.

Do you think that information directs me to the inner tie rod since the loud popping sound reduce about 1/2 so far? the passenger front was banged by a car about 2 years ago on the right fender. no noises or problems until 3 months ago.

There is no play in the tire vertical or horizontal. no boots cut or open anywhere for joints or bellows. all nuts tight. i replaced sway bar bushings couple days ago. control room bushings look good. sway bar link is good, i checked it.

so i can screw inner tied rod from outer all the way out so i can see if the inner tie rod is limp and then keep the angle so i can screw it back in without removing link from the joint?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Problem loud, and i mean loud popping sound when backing up to the right (load on passsenger side) Ok, i just got back from under, the van that is. i rotated the tie rod so that the passenger toe would go out. was about 5/8 inches out compared to the rear of the same tire. thats quite a bit. NO more loud popping noise, but the tire will scrub more against road and lose tread quicker. also the steering wheel is cocked to the left of center.

the van drives straight for most part when taking hands off the wheel. it shouldn't knowing those factors? what is wrong, what part is bad? why?
 

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I used a mini pipe wrench with a short cheater tube because the inner had no flat area for the proper tool. When backing isn't the passenger side the drive axle? If you have clicking it may be the beginning of your c/v going bad. Just my 2cents. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for feedback. I don't know the answer to question. I have an 06. I have read people say they can use the the tool because it has flats. yours doesn't. are all 4th generations different as far as having a flat spot so a tool can be used for it's removal?
 

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From your description it doesn't sound at all like an inner tie rod is at fault. Inner tie rods typically are very quiet when they fail and produce a loose feeling when the wheel is near center or a bit of a memory steer problem.

If the popping happens as you turn the steering wheel then check the outer tie rod, ball joint, upper strut mount, if the steering wheel is stationary and it is popping as the suspension compresses / loads up then check the sway bar end links and upper strut mounts, and lastly, you didn't say, but if the popping is rhythmic with the wheel turning my bet would be on the CV joint over those things.
When you find the problem get the van aligned properly, because your alignment is messed up now
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for response and info. There is no more noise now that i toed out the front passenger wheel about 1/2 inch. It was not popping when jumping and down within the van to make the compression on the passenger occur. The tire has absolutely no play horizontally or vertically in the passenger wheel afte rjacking it up.. i did check the swaybar link and removed it to check it. firm and no movement. i thought sound maybe from upper strut mount, but sound was coming lower. no rhythm to the popping sound.

The van runs perfectly straight down the road, does veer to left or right with hands off the wheel. the steering wheel is cocked about 10 degrees to the left. thinking someone took off steering wheel at one time and didn't put it back straight, if that is possible. i don't see need to get wheel alignment, in fact a bit fearful of someone messing with something that is fine and dandy.
 

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You will find your tires wearing the inside edges away. It is quiet and smooth because all the front end parts are now under stress that removes any freeplay. I did the same thing to my van last year and ruined a pair of tires before I had an alignment shop set it properly. They said It was off about 1/2 inch.
Hank
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for response and info. I know there is a camber on the front of the van, but alignment shops said they don't mess with that unless there is something bent. You didn't mention if your car was rolling straight down the road with hands off the wheel.

So what do they actually adjust in a car alignment? I thought they merely toe it in or out according to specs. If i returned the toe back to straight ahead i will get the popping sound when reversing to the right. if an alignment shop toes wheels that way they go would be popping sound. which points to some problem in suspension. but i checked my out tie rod joint and there is no play in the tire left right or up and down. very stable.

therefore if my van doesn't pull to left or right doesn't it appear that there wouldn't much wear in tires? Oh, by the way these tires on front have about 70,000 miles on them but suprisingly still more tread left. good rotating them over the years. again thanks for telling me about your experiences.
 

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My van goes straight down the road. I replaced the inner and outer tie rod on one side due to excessive play that caused wandering . I tried to get away with out an alignment and adjusted it by feel. My van also had popping sounds that were caused by the upper strut bearings. I lubed them up and they have been mostly quiet since then.
Hank
 

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If you adjusted your tie rods, you have adjusted your toe-in toe-out position, and most likely your tires are no longer aligned. I do my own DIY alignment by using a straight level against each front wheel (not tire, but wheel rim). By taking a measurement behind the tires and in front of the tires you can determine if they are parallel. Been doing this for many years with great results. However, you do need to understand the measurement and adjust correctly.

If you think you have a tie rod problem, jack up a wheel and see if there is play within the tie rod. Really very simple.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I did the alignment the same way as you described above with measurements. On the question of tie rod: I don't have any play on the tie rod after jacking it up.

However, i would like to see if inner tie rod drops limp/downward freely after releasing it by hand, thus need for new tie rod. at least thats how i believe the inner tie rod is checked.

I want to unscrew the outer from inner tie rod to do this. Can I do this without removing the outer tie rod end link/joint. I could then just screw the outer back into the inner tie rod after testing it.
I just don't know how difficult it would be to screw it back in due to the lining up of the outer tie rod and inner tie rod to screw them back together.
 

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If you like you can back the nut off 1/2 turn or some known amount, then mark it relative to the inner tie rod to ensure it doesn't rotate. After that you can unscrew the inner tie rod from the outer, leaving the outer attached to the knuckle. That will let you test the condition of the inner tie rod on it's own.

That said, testing whether it drops freely is hardly a good test. What you are looking for is play along the direction of the rod itself, and perpendicular play. With the outer tie rod removed you should be able to feel any play there may be quite easily.

As mentioned above, by toeing the front end out you are just pre-loading all of the components and masking the problem. Also, 5/8" toe out is a LOT of toe, usually factory alignment tolerances are +/- 1/8", and are usually 0, or very close to 0 toe on the front. I don't have the caravan specs handy but it probably specifies 0 toe on the front as the desired setting. 5/8" toe out will cause greatly accelerated tire wear on the inside edge.
 

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If you like you can back the nut off 1/2 turn or some known amount, then mark it relative to the inner tie rod to ensure it doesn't rotate. After that you can unscrew the inner tie rod from the outer, leaving the outer attached to the knuckle. That will let you test the condition of the inner tie rod on it's own.

That said, testing whether it drops freely is hardly a good test. What you are looking for is play along the direction of the rod itself, and perpendicular play. With the outer tie rod removed you should be able to feel any play there may be quite easily.

As mentioned above, by toeing the front end out you are just pre-loading all of the components and masking the problem. Also, 5/8" toe out is a LOT of toe, usually factory alignment tolerances are +/- 1/8", and are usually 0, or very close to 0 toe on the front. I don't have the caravan specs handy but it probably specifies 0 toe on the front as the desired setting. 5/8" toe out will cause greatly accelerated tire wear on the inside edge.
Excellent reply and advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for the info. Glad I can pull the inner tie rod out of outer to test it. For the test of a bad inner tie rod, What is meant by "play along the direction of the rod itself"? Does that mean inward and outward movement?
 

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Yep, that's exactly what I mean, straight in/out, the same way the steering rack itself moves, axial play, we can put lots of words on it but I think you understand :)

This is the most common place you find play in worn out inner tie rods. Sometimes when they get bad you will find play front-back or up-down as well, which is a really bad sign, usually indicating impending failure.

I don't see anywhere on here (maybe I missed it) where you describe the pattern to the popping sound - is it rhythmic with wheel rotation? Is it consistent with how fast you are changing steering wheel angle?...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for response. It use to pop once or twice while moving backwards and turning wheel to right. It is not consistent with how fast angles are changing. The wheel is cocked left from center with tires aligned straight to front. I know the previous must have taken off the steering wheel at one time.

Wondering if the ever returned it correctly to center. Of course I don't know if there is any way but to return the steering wheel to center.

I played with the toe again, got it to 3/16ths in. No popping sound. I have about 4000 miles of tread of tire left. it drives straight. i'll stay with this, unless something else happens.

Appreciate your feedback. Nice to have someone to turn to. Wish i had a group of guys in the area that helped one another. living in a condo in ft lauderdale just doesn't cut it. i guess if i lived in a house somewhere others in neighborhood would work on their own cars and get to know one another. but the forum has helped allot over time. just second set of eyes is good to have.
anyone down in ft lauderdale, fl area that needs a volunteer, let me know.
 
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