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  #1  
Old 07-09-2003, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Houston, Texas USA
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Tie Rods

How many tie rods are there on a 1984 300SD? How much do they cost? How much labor to replace? I get a thump when the car turns at a slow speed. If I delay this a month, what is the worst that could happen?
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Jacob Wissler Jr., Houston, Texas, 1984 300 SD
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  #2  
Old 07-09-2003, 01:51 PM
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One on each side. Easy DIY but you'll need an alignment after. Worst case is that a bad tie rod end will come apart but I think you'd have worse symptoms by now if self-destruction was a month or a pothole away.

You can do a quick visual check on the outer ends that are usually more worn. Turn the wheels all the way left and check the tie rod end at the back side of the right wheel. Do the same for the left wheel. The tie rod is the link between the knuckle and the steering center link. But if you don't know what a tie rod is then you probably don't know what a knuckle or center link is At any rate, check the condition of the rubber boot at the end of the rod pointing at the back of the tire.

That thump could be anything -- wear in the steering damper, guide rod or idler arm bushing, etc.

Sixto
95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #3  
Old 07-09-2003, 02:03 PM
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The drag link (AKA...center link or center tie rod) is counted by some as a tie rod. Fastlane calls it a center tie rod assembly, so you could say there aren three "tie rods". Most don't use that nomenclature, but some do. I'd replace all three, plus the idler arm bushing, if your's are old (original, even?). Doesn't sound like a time-urgent emergency, but I'd crawl under there and at least check for torn boots and/or gross movement at the end joints. Don't want to lose a tie rod at speed.
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Old 07-09-2003, 02:10 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
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I thought a center link is the kind that uses an idler arm and a drag link is the kind that doesn't use an idler arm (WWII Willys MB), and that the distinction is lost to the world or rack and pinion steering. Or is it a UK vs US thing?

Sixto
95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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  #5  
Old 07-09-2003, 02:45 PM
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Join Date: May 2000
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Before you purchase any parts get under there with a bright flashlight and see which rubber boots are torn or missing. It sounds to me like you have an issue with a ball joint versus the tie rods. Good (physically hard) diy'er type of job but you will need to rent a press if it is the lower ball joint. Don't need the tool for the uppers.
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