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TR2/3/3A tie rod end

Dr_Mike

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This is a different question!

Going over my almost reassembled front end I found a loose nyloc nut on the inner right tie rod end fitting where it bolts onto the idler ( I think, I am not looking at it).No, it bolts onto the rod that connect the two sides

Attempt to tighten it resulted in spinning the "bolt". The Nyloc apparently grabbed the bolt. Using a nut and lock washer worked fine as I could pull out on the nut as it threaded up the bolt without it spinning. I really do not know what the mechanism is inside this fitting and whether it matters that the bolt can spin. It looks as though the bolt is locked onto the idler and the other end, to the tie-rod can move up and down . I do not think it has a grease nipple unlike most other similar fittings. (It does, but not in the "right"place. See later post) Do I replace? Or just use the regular nut and maybe some loctite to secure the joint?

(This seems to be the part labelled"50" on the Moss parts diagram, part of a set of four. The original Triumph catalogue shows four separate part numbers.}

Michael
 
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TR3driver

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Ok, so that's where the tie rod end attaches to the center link. It's normal for that "bolt" to be able to turn, but tightening up the plain nut should have locked it into the taper. (That type of joint is known as a "locking taper", because of the locking action. Both the pin and the mating hole in the center link have a shallow taper to them, such that friction should hold the joint together once it is tightened.)

If you have tightened then removed a regular nut, and the pin still turns when you try to install a Nyloc, then there is a problem with the taper. It may be foreign material (ie paint), or some sort of mechanical damage. Could also be the pin in the tie rod end is not made properly. Take it apart and find the problem.

BTW, the reason Moss uses a single call-out is because they only sell tie rod ends as a set of 4. They aren't the same part.
 

Bruce100

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I had this problem and used a small ratcheting tie down strap to compress the joint so it would not turn. I tightened it only just enough, didn't want to bend anything
 

CJD

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Hey Mike,

If I am reading right, you finally used a regular plain nut and washer and were able to tighten the stud? If so, you should be able to remove the plain nut, re-install the nylock, and be able to tighten it to spec. If it is still spinning, even with the plain nut...then like Randall said, it's time to pull the stud out of the idler shaft and clean the joint completely, also checking for nicks or burrs on the 2 tapers. The stud must be tight in the cone, and once initially tightened, then it should not come out easily, even if the nut is removed. If this is not the case, then either the cone shaped hole in the idler arm is wallowed from running loose, or the stud in the link is the wrong taper.

Bruce...this is one of the "Jesus" bolts on every car. If the link comes loose you will have a very, very bad day. I would make sure you were able to tighten the nut to spec. Once the stud fully contacts the cone it should no longer spin and can be easily tightened...and should be fully tightened. This is one of the fits that should have no compromises...it fits right or the parts get replaced.
 

Bruce100

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I used the strap just to put enough load on it to keep the bolt from spinning until it engaged the cone fully. Then I was able to remove the strap and torque it the rest of the way to spec. My tie rod end was purchased from TRF.
 
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Dr_Mike

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Obviously someone, probably me, put this together wrong! As far as I recall there was no taper on the stud, and it wiggles in the hole in the centre tie rod unless tightened right down. It certainly does not lock in like a taper would. So I think I have to take apart and try to find what should go where and if there is damage. I will try to photograph any bits, but are there clues as to which of the four ends goes where? They should have different part numbers.
It is a good thing that I have the radiator off for other reasons.

( I have a friend who lost a tie rod in rush hour. She wrote off her car (Alfa Romeo) but fortunately ploughed into the bridge and not the oncoming traffic. So this is serious!)
 

CJD

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I used the strap just to put enough load on it to keep the bolt from spinning until it engaged the cone fully. Then I was able to remove the strap and torque it the rest of the way to spec. My tie rod end was purchased from TRF.

Cool...just wanted to make sure!

Mike, as I am sure your are aware, 2 of the ball joints have RH threads and 2 have Left hand. I only recall the 2 different types, not 4, but my memory often fades?!? The connector sleeve between the ball joints also have RH and LH threads on opposing ends. I always arrange the ball joints so that rolling the front of the sleeve downward will shorten it...and rolling the front upward lengthens it. This will be true on both sides of the car once I am done, and then I do not have to think too hard when I align the car later. Down is always shorter and up is always longer. There IS a difference in the grease zerks between the inner and outer ball joints, but that is merely convenience for reaching them with the grease gun. It sounds like your joints are permanently sealed, and that is a bonus...one less thing to worry about, unless you are going for the purely original look.

Is it possible you are inserting the ball joint stud into the wrong side of the idler arm? That would place the cones in different directions. The taper is very slight and easy to overlook in poor lighting conditions.
 

Brinkerhoff

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An air impact wrench works well to install these, the torque spins the nut quicker than it will spin in the taper . Make sure you have them installed correctly first !
 

karls59tr

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What is the torque value for that tie rod nut? Last year I went on a road trip with a dozen Triumph Club members thru hilly curve and switch back country.I didn't notice anything particularly unusual about the handling of the car other than a jerking motion sometimes when turning. Back at home in the garage I had dropped something on floor and glanced at the front right tire. To my amazement the front tire was worn down to the white threading on the inner side! Seems the nyloc nut had worked itself loose and the ball joint was very sloppy. The last time I had done anything to the front end was a year ago when I had installed a new idler arm. Was the ball joint not seated properly at that point? Did I stupidly "reuse" a nyloc nut? Would this have happened if I had used a castle nut with a cotter pin? At any rate I think back to those hilly switchbacks with no guard rails and realize how lucky I was to not have that tire blow. Now I know why that tie rod bolt is nicknamed a "Jesus" bolt.:concern:
 

CJD

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The manual says 26-28 ft/lbs using a nylock nut. If the tapers are in good shape and clean when assembled, then it should never come loose. Unfortunately we are dealing with very old equipment, so you have to really look the joint over well when it goes together. If it was run loose for any appreciable amount of time, then you will likely have to replace the part with the tapered hole. The hole will wallow out and never secure the stud again.
 

TR3driver

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I believe 27 ftlb (+/- 1 ftlb) is correct. The manual gives that value for the essentially identical joints between the silentbloc and idler/drop arms; and also for the outer tie rod ends on a TR4.

IMO you had multiple failures. Once locked, that joint should be strong enough even without the nut. So something kept it from locking, plus the nut walked off for some reason. If it was me, I would suspect that I had failed to tighten the nut properly at all.

Nylocs should always be replaced after being removed, as they lose a great deal of their holding power (especially if the threads are a bit dirty or rusty). I buy them by the 100 from MMC https://www.mcmaster.com/?m=true#95615a150/=1cjw4rr
But in a pinch, you can lay them on something hard and rap on the end with the plastic insert, to squeeze it out a bit more. Or add a drop of Loctite if you're a fan of better living through chemistry.

Using a castellated nut & cotter pin would probably keep the nut from coming loose, but what happens if the slot doesn't line up at the right torque? The nylocs were original equipment.

For much the same reason, I don't use an impact wrench. Too hard to control the actual torque applied, even if you happen to have a torque stick designed for such a low torque. If you can't keep the stud from turning when installing a nyloc, use a plain nut first (to lock the joint) and then replace it with a nyloc. Like I said before, if it doesn't stay locked while you replace the nut, there is a problem that should be fixed.

"Never be beaten by equipment"
 

karls59tr

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I think I'll take your advice and use a plain nut first( with a lock washer?) and then torque to 27 ft/lbs. Are you sure nyloc nuts were original equipment on 59 TR3's???
 

karls59tr

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The manual says 26-28 ft/lbs using a nylock nut. If the tapers are in good shape and clean when assembled, then it should never come loose. Unfortunately we are dealing with very old equipment, so you have to really look the joint over well when it goes together. If it was run loose for any appreciable amount of time, then you will likely have to replace the part with the tapered hole. The hole will wallow out and never secure the stud again.

That means I would have to replace the tie rod lever and they are N/A?
 

TR3driver

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I think I'll take your advice and use a plain nut first( with a lock washer?) and then torque to 27 ft/lbs. Are you sure nyloc nuts were original equipment on 59 TR3's???
Reasonably so. Nylocs are listed even in the TR2 SPC (published before the TR3 existed), and not changed even in the 1962 supplement to the TR3 SPC.

No need for a lockwasher; a flat washer will do fine.

Used original steering arms should be fairly readily available, I'm sure Marv has a pile of them. If all else fails, I've got a couple laying around somwhere (off TS39781LO), drop me a PM if you want to make an offer.

Or it should be possible to repair that hole, if necessary. The book says it's a 1:8 taper, more commonly described as 1.5" per foot, which is fairly standard. Meaning it shouldn't be too hard to find a suitable reamer. For example, I think this one might work (but do your own homework, don't take my word for it) https://www.amazon.com/Tapered-Ball...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=MEECWS3H0G2XREY0RBH6

If the damage is slight, just ream the hole slightly oversize. For more severe damage, add a little braze to the hole first. Obviously you want to keep the hole as close to the original position as possible, but even 1/8" away isn't going to cause any noticeable problems with geometry, etc.
 
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Dr_Mike

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so:
I had a good look at the car and the manual (and all the helpful comments). Now I have a good idea of how it is supposed to work.


the left tie rod ( inner end) was obviously not disassembled those many years ago when I took the car apart. It has a nice coat of oil based “Hammerite” on the nut, which is quite immobile and I will not mess with it . Its says a lot for the Nylon nut, (and yes it is in the first catalogue and is unchanged for TR3).


(Hammerute was the standard British anti-rust paint, oil based, and is now well out of date but did a really good job.)


The right end was probably not bolted up tight when I stuck it back together, so I think all I have to do is to yard it on with a regular nut and then replace with a (new) Nyloc nut and do that up to torque spec ( if I can get my wrench in there) or as tight as my sore arm will make it.


the outer fittings seem to be identical except that the grease nipple has a different orientation on top. That should not be a problem.


the inner fittings are both from the same casting but are bored with the grease nipples at 180 degrees from each other. Mine, I think, are on the wrong side, with the grease nipples underneath rather than on top which may make it harder to get a grease gun to fit. We shall see. I shall leave them as they are since the left is solid.


alas there are no part numbers on the fittings.


The taper seems to pull in rock solid so I do not think I have much to worry about there.

Thank you all for the input ( and the scary story).
 

TR3driver

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alas there are no part numbers on the fittings.
The grease fittings are just common "grease zerks", you should be able to find an assortment of them at any auto parts store. I found a box of 50 on sale at HF for about $3 (but that was some time ago). The only ones on a TR that aren't in the assortment are the long skinny ones for the U-joints.
 

Frank_D

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Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. It was very helpful as I just replaced the "silent blocs" on my centre link where it connects to the idler arm (also newly installed) and to the pitman arm out of the steering box. I wanted to remove the centre link and bring it into the shop so I could remove the old bushings and clean it up. Had to remove the inner ball joints to do this. Learning about tapered joints in this thread helped a lot as well as not to re-use Nylocs. I replaced those and installed the "Delrin" bushings and stainless pins which are available at BPNW as well as on eBay. All back together with the correct torque settings. Thanks to all involved in this thread.

1959 TR3A TS42756L
Frank D..........
 
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