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Old 04-22-2012, 11:11 PM   #1
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Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

Just back from a long weekend adventure in the Sportsmobile -- first trip in over 6 months! Surprises include a mouse, the Norcold 2.7cf fridge failing, and my tie rod falling off! Good thing I was going very slow when the steering went. I did notice the steering feeling a strangley loose and funny a few hours earlier on a gravel road, but it seemed to get better when I returned to pavement. After driving on the highway a bit (so lucky nothing happened), I went back off pavement and after a hard right-turn, the steering went haywire. Went out to take a look and my tie rod was disconnected. The screw threads completely stripped!

After staring at it for a while, I got creative and hacked together a temporary fix. I had my wife turn the steering wheel as I waited under the van using my hands to guide the striped tie rod back onto the tie rod end, and then I used some truck straps to hold it in place. Worked great!





How could this have happened, I wonder? Overtightening? I do not believe the tie rod has been touched by any mechanic in at least 30000 miles.

In any case, I'm looking for some help replacing this. I assume I need to replace both the tie rod ends and the tie rod itself, right? Or is one of these parts softer metal that's stripped while the other has not?

I see that the tie rod ends for my 2004 Sportsmobile 4x4 are Moog # ES194R / ES194L or Dynatrac # DA60-3304-A / DA60-3304-B. But, what is my tie rod itself? Anyone know what make/part do I order for the tie rod?

Thanks for any help!
-- Geoff
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:34 AM   #2
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

upgrade to something like this. http://www.ballisticfabrication.com/...rs_p_1336.html They would be able to supply exactly what you need or you could get the components from any supplier and make your own.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:58 AM   #3
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

Awesome field repair!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

Quote:
Awesome field repair!
Ditto!
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Old 04-23-2012, 10:48 AM   #5
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

American ingenuity, Great repair!
Maybe call “U-Joint” and ask Chris if he has an upgrade for you at a decent price or can explain why it happened.
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:34 PM   #6
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

Here is the thread you need. Step by step with pics and part #'s for the tie rod ends....

Not sure about the actual tie rod part #.. call Sportsmobile and ask them.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/vie...php?f=3&t=2230
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Old 04-23-2012, 02:50 PM   #7
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

First let me say, Glad you are OK that could have been bad. And nice field repair maybe some epoxy in addition would have been safer.

While over tightening anything is never good my thought would be the lock nut was loose for a long time. Even being slightly loose means every turn and bump makes it go back and forth against the threads over and over thus wearing them down little at a time until it cannot hold any longer.
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Old 04-23-2012, 04:59 PM   #8
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrasport12
While over tightening anything is never good my thought would be the lock nut was loose for a long time. Even being slightly loose means every turn and bump makes it go back and forth against the threads over and over thus wearing them down little at a time until it cannot hold any longer.
Most likely the case.
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Old 04-23-2012, 05:57 PM   #9
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

I always carry heavy duty ratchet straps but I NEVER would have thought of that!
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Old 04-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: Steering failure -- Tie rod stripped and fell off!

I just broke out in a little queasy, cold sweat.

Returned yesterday from a 2170 mile tour... most of which was 70mph+

The "what-ifs" are unthinkable

Time for a tie rod inspection and general crawl-under.

Thanks for the post!
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