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TR4/4A TR4A rack / inner tie rod adjustment.

Adrio

Jedi Knight
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I have some play in my inner tie rods on my TR4A. Reading the service manual it seems to contradict itself.

Do I add shims or remove them to take away the slack in the inner tie rods (or inner ball joins as the manual calls them).

In one place it says "prepare a shim pack slightly larger then the ball lift" by which I assume you add shims to get rid of play. But later it says "if tightness occurs , increase the shim thickness sufficiently to overcome this." by that I assume you remove shims to get rid of slop.

I just want to know if I should order shims or will I just have to remove shims.
 

TR4nut

Yoda
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Just an opinion because I'm not in my garage and can't confirm, but I think you remove shims to tighten. I think the shims go under the large nut that holds the inner tie rod ball to the rack - removing shims allows the nut to tighten further, which brings the ball tighter to the socket.

Randy
 

TRMark

Jedi Knight
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Looking at the diagram in the shop manual, it looks like you add shims behind the cup to take up the slack. It has been awhile since I shimmed mine, I think I used a dial indicator to measure the thickness of the shims required. I ordered thicker ones to get me close and bunch of very thin ones to get it exact. I think I have a few left over. On my sports/racer I removed shims from under the cap to tighten it up. I think that is how MGs are done. But I am not an expert.
 

TR4nut

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I withdraw my earlier comment as I think Mark is both jogging my memory and stating the right way the shims work. Makes more sense as the large nut is on there very tight and has a locking tab arrangement - not conducive to shims I think.
 
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Adrio

Jedi Knight
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Thanks for the answers so far.

The bigger question I should have also asked is, can this be done with the rack still in the car?
 

TR4nut

Yoda
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Adrio-

What is still firmly in my memory is that the retaining nuts for the inner rods are on extremely tight - I expect that you could do this service without pulling the rack, but getting the retaining nuts apart will be the battle.

Randy
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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Definitely need the skinny wrench to grab the inner flats while using a second wrench to turn the big nut. Putting all that force against the rack & pinion will almost certainly break something; leaving you with much worse problems than a loose inner tie rod.

As I recall, I couldn't find a suitable wrench on short notice, so I bought a cheap wrench from HF and milled it thin enough to fit. But that was on a Stag, your 4A may be different.
 

TRMark

Jedi Knight
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I would not attempt it in the car. It is much better on a workbench at a proper working height with less dirt. You will probably assemble and disassemble it a few times adding or removing shims to get the proper fit. As Randy stated these pieces are torqued very tight.
 
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Adrio

Jedi Knight
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This "little" job is getting bigger and bigger. how much work is it to remove the rack, in terms of time?
 

TR3driver

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Bound to be easier than on a Stag!

Not sure, but ISTR on a TR4A there is a special tool involved to hold pressure on the rack clamps while tightening the bolts as well. (Yeah, I know, no one uses the tool, then they complain that the rack moves in the clamps.)

Unless pulling the rack is really easy (or you want to adjust the pinion while you're at it), I'd just go ahead and do it on the car. Once you've collected the right tools, it's not that bad. And if the boot is in good shape, you don't even need to remove the outer end.
 

TRMark

Jedi Knight
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Not sure about the special tool for the 4A, mine is a 4. You might be able to separate the inner joint from the rack in the car again sometimes this things are really very tight. If you don't feel the need to pull the entire rack, you are ahead in the game. As far as shims adding or subtracting, you will find out for sure when you get the inner joint disassembled. I thought that the earlier aluminum rack mount could be used instead of the later rubber mount to eliminate the play. I know there are kits available to do that. Hope I am not "steering" you wrong on this, like I said it has been awhile.
 
T

TRDejaVu

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It can be done in-situ, but obviously easier with the rack removed. Don't make it too tight as the ball will break; ask me how I learned this over 30 years ago.
 
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