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HD Tie Rod questions-1st Version D44

Discussion in 'OffRoad Design' started by mrk5, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    I would like to get a HD tie rod, but I have some concerns about clearance with the spings on a 1st version D44 that has the tie enter from the top.

    I just swapped in a D44 from a '74, and it had a bent tie rod. I was hoping to use the tie rod from the '76 D44 I was swapping out, but it wouldn't go in from the top without dropping the axle again.

    I ended up using a nasty old tie rod I had laying around from a '75. Would like to get rid of that.

    After some searching I found a post in which Stephen had briefly mentioned something about threading both ends of the HD tie rod the same to use the short TRE from a 1st version D44 with the drop on both ends.

    Would there be any downside to strength doing it this way? I think I would prefer this setup instead of having to drop the axle to install/remove the tie rod. Plus there's a chance the HD tie rod would hit the springs (I only have 2.5" Superlift springs). The 2nd version D44 tie rod would have cleared the springs once it was installed, but it didn't clear enough to allow installation.

    I guess ideally I would like to do an 1.5" tie rod with the drop down style TRE on both ends. Just want to make sure I wouldn't be loosing the strength gained from the HD tie rod.

    I understand it would make adjusting the toe more difficult, but while this isn't a trailer rig it is a weekend warrior only. So I'm not as concerned about that.

    Are heim joints an option? What would that entail?

    TIA
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2005
  2. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    You've pretty much covered all 3 ways of doing it:
    1: use straight ends - problem is clearance to the spring for installation and running. Installation can be a good bit easier if you have a left and right thread tube so you can put the ends in place and thread tube onto both ends at the same time. This saves you from dropping the axle down. You can also gain a bit of clearance for regular use with a thin spacer (zero rate style) under the leaf spring. With the tierod up against the spring you have max clearance and it'll be very hard to bend the tie rod since it'll hit the spring before it bends very far.
    2: run the drop ends on both ends. Kind of a pain to work with 2 RH threads but it should install easily. Probably a bit weaker than a straight end but not a huge deal. You also lose a bit of ground clearance on it and lose the close contact to the spring it the tie rod flexes.
    3: Drill knuckles and run heims. This works OK, I did it, but heim life is generally lower than a tapered end. This does let you install easily. I actually ran a spacer between the heim and knuckle arm to raise it up closer to the spring.

    Personally, doing it again, I'd run the straight ends and be done with it. Tom that works here is currently running this system and it works well. I can't find pics and don't have his truck here to send a pic but it runs fine with a TCI 4" spring and our 1.25" tie rod.
     
  3. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Hmmm, I have some thinking to do. I like the idea of maximum clearance.

    I remember Tom from Blazer Bash, but obviously I wasn't examining his tie rod setup. I'll look through my pics, you never know what I might have caught.

    Regardless I should be calling to order some sort of HD tie rod setup in a few days. I'm sure Santa would want me to have one!

    Thanks for the reply.:xmas:
     
  4. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    Just checked out Tom's K5 and he has a 1/2" zero rate in the front and about 1/2" of clearance between the tierod and leaf spring. We also have a local with a D44 in his Tacoma with a similar arrangement but no zero rate and has 1/4" or so clearance to whatever spring he's using. Tom's is a 1.25 tierod and the taco has a 1.5" tierod.
     
  5. mrk5

    mrk5 The Sticker Guy Moderator Vendor GMOTM Winner Author

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    Thanks for checking that out!

    I think I will do the 1.25" tie rod and regular straight TRE's. Unless my plans get squashed by the wife, I'll call ya-all tomorrow.

    If the tie rod hits, I'll just notch the springs. :shocked: :haha:
     
  6. Hossbaby50

    Hossbaby50 3/4 ton status

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    I have a 1.5" tierod with straight ends on my 10 bolt front with D44 knuckles. I also have a 1" zero rate in the front spring packs. When my 4" TC springs were pretty new it barely cleared. Now that they are broken in it won't clear to get the tierod in or out. I have 2 RH thread ends so for me to adjust tow I must pull the tierod out and move an end in or out. This creates a little problem. The cure is to use a jack to pick up on the front of the trucks suspension to unload the springs some and get the necessary clearence.

    The LH and RH threads are a good route to go if you don't want to have to pull the tierod all the time to adjust tow. I use 2 RH thread TRE's because I use the same TRE part # in all 4 positions in the steering system. My draglink and tierod all have the same TRE which means I only need to carry 1 spare TRE in my trail box. Also LH TRE's can be harder to find and more expensive then the RH TRE's.

    Harley
     

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