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TR4/4A TR4A Inner Tie Rod and Ball Joint


Jedi Hopeful
What should I look for in a bad inner tie rod and any thoughts about the "Original Design" Taiwan ball joints? Thanks


Jedi Warrior
Country flag
I'd be interested in the same question. I suspect my right inner tie rod is going but, not sure if it at the point yet that it needs to be serviced.

I've researched the options quite a bit. I'm sure it is not that complicated but, given the expense of the ball, cup, washers, shims and the expertise needed to set them up right, I can pretty much send mine off to be rebuilt by an expert.

My bigger concern is removing the inner tie rod from the steering rack w/o damaging anything else. I have heard/read that these inner tie rods can be torqued on so tight it can be a nightmare getting them off.



Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
No idea about the Taiwan joints.

The inner joint is adjustable with shims, so it isn't "bad" until the ball is so oblong that you can't get free motion throughout the range without the clearance being too large at the usual position. My book doesn't give a limit for this, but I'd say that .005" is too much. Generally (tho not always) the other components are reusable.

The "ideal" clearance is only .002", which is just barely perceptible ... if you can see any play in the joint, it's probably best to adjust it sooner rather than later. If you do, chances are good that all the components can be reused except the tab washers. Tabs & shims are available from the usual suspects, only a buck or two each.

The important part when removing them is to support the shaft from turning, rather than letting it try to turn against the pinion. The ones on the Stag were tight, but not overly so. You will need some big wrenches, that fit correctly, though. I don't recall the sizes offhand (and a 4A would likely be different anyway), but I do remember they were unusual enough to not be found in my toolbox.


Just don't over tighten them to get a snug steering feel. Did that back in the day and it broke while I was on a roundabout; "interesting" to see the wheels pointing in different directions.


Jedi Warrior
Stinger said:
...the "Original Design" Taiwan ball joints? Thanks

Are those the ones offered by TR*? I used those this time around. I don't have enough miles on them to say if they are truly any good and will last, but they appeared well-made. They were a lot bigger in diameter than the Made in UK/no grease fitting ones that I took off.

I did have to replace the grease fitting because the one supplied would not tighten up.


Jedi Hopeful
Yep TR*. Its the only ones I could find that had a grease fitting. They are also suppose to be very close in looks to the originals.


Jedi Warrior
I like the TR*. I got caught in a major rainstorm a few weeks back and noticed rust on the top of the tie rod today, but I imagine anything would after that. I thought I would shoot a coat of clear on them before installing and decided I was going to far.

Doublecheck Mo**. Their catalog has a tie rod pictured with a grease fitting (both available). I have not seen one of those. It may be another option for you. You could try asking where they are made.

I really don't know why I am using the **...


Jedi Hopeful
Well the ball joints arrived and instead of being made in Taiwan the box says Turkey! They look well made and wondered if anyone has ever used these before? Any concerns? Thanks


Jedi Hopeful
So after I remove the outer tie rod, and the rubber boot, I'm looking for a clearance of around .002 between the inner ball and socket correct? Thanks
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