Tie Rod Dilemma (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
38
Location
California
I have a '73 that I just did the mini truck front disc conversion on. I'm very happy with how it went and how it turned out, with one exception. I was not aware going in that the mini truck steering arms have a slightly different angle. Now my tie rod is slightly too long, and the vehicle is toed out.

Bob Firestine posted about this problem way back in 2002. He said the stock LC tie rod is 7/8" too long when using mini truck steering arms:


Right now I have the original LC tie rod in, with shims. The toe out is minor, and I am going to replace the tires anyway, so I have been driving it a little like this. I'm getting new BFGs today though, so I need to solve this problem before I run them.

I should add that I have Saginaw steering. I'd like to do away with the shims and run an FJ 60 tie rod and ends, but the great people over at Cruiser Outfitters told me that the hole in the passenger side TRE that accepts the drag link is very large, larger than the TREs that are typically used on the axle end of the drag link. They suggested that I switch to FJ60 steering arms, but I don't really want to get into the knuckles again and have to set them both all up again.

I had thought that if I could get my hands on a mini truck tie rod, the length would obviously be right. But the mini truck steering linkage completely different. There is a hole on the driver's side TRE that accepts the steering damper, and I am told that it is tapered. The steering damper goes in from the back. Could I flip the rod around and use that hole for my drag link, coming in from the front right? Would the taper be right? Just thinking out loud here.

Obviously I know I am going to need a new tie rod and possibly a new drag link, that doesn't scare me. I would get them fabricated, if necessary, but I would love it if I could put what I need together from off-the-shelf parts.

Short of that, after much research, where I stand now is to slightly shorten my existing tie rod, and put all new TREs on both the tie rod and the drag link. That leaves me still using the shims in the steering arms, and not being able to take advantage of the larger TREs that the mini truck arms would allow.

I'd appreciate any suggestions.
 
Joined
Jul 5, 2020
Messages
38
Location
California
In case anyone is curious how this turned out, I had a friend with a machine shop cut an inch out of the center of my tie rod and weld it back together. He put a rod inside, and also bored two holes on each piece to weld in additional places. He did a first-class job, I should have taken a picture before I painted it.

In retrospect, I should have only taken out about 3/4 of an inch, but it is still fine at 1 inch.
 

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