Just Tie-Rod ends? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:21 AM
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Just Tie-Rod ends?

I've talked about this a little in a thread last week and got some good info and pics to help me understand what was what on the front end. (thanks Sinner) Just want to try to confirm before I start ordering things and tearing stuff apart...

I've been having a really annoying clunking in the front end every time I go over the slightest bump. When I grab the Tie-rod, I can wiggle it up and down maybe a quarter to half inch without much effort. I was about to order the ends then I happened to be at the dealership and crawled around under a few super dutys and grabbed hold of the bars and they all move. not quite as easily so does that mean mine are just worn out?

Also, I tried to check the ball joints but not sure I'm doing it right. Jacked up one wheel at a time and grabbed the top of the wheel and tried to move it in and out. I didn't get it to move so I'm assuming they're alright?

Anything else the clunking could be? The steering seems a little loose and has since I got the truck. I thought about taking it to a shop for an estimate, but feel bad if I'm probably going to do the work myself...Don't really want to just use someone for a diagnosis...

Thanks for the input!
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:24 AM
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Clunking when going over bumps is usually the sway bar end links.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:29 AM
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I'll double check but the sway bar seemed pretty solid

EDIT: I was thinking of the track bar. Is there a sway bar too?
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:31 AM
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It can have tension on it, even when sitting pretty level, so it it sometimes hard to tell. If the clucking feels like it's down near your feet, that's the culprit.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:08 AM
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For the ball joints - While it jacked up, also grab the bottom and pull outward. If the bottom one is acting up, it will move.

Just had to do my left ones because the bottom one was worn.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:13 PM
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okay, you can grab the tierod end and move it up and down slightly, that is normal and it's because of the right outer tierod end. it's not a joint like the other side, it's more of a sleeve. A new one will be tight but it'll loosen up in about 10,000 miles. As long as the tierod doesn't move side to side that's fine.

I noticed recently my sway bar bushings aren't looking too good. Usually the 05-07 trucks don't eat bushings and endlinks like the leaf spring trucks do. Hard to say what the clunking could be without seeing it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:44 PM
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Most regular shops aren't going to be able to pick out all the things wrong with a superduty front end. Grabbing a wheel/tire and wiggling back and forth usually isn't going to show anything like it would on a lighter vehicle, these trucks are just too heavily built.

To check your steering linkages leave your wheels on the ground, engine off and steering wheel unlocked. Have someone up top wiggle the steering wheel gently back and forth slightly while you crawl under the front of the truck. Look and feel for any looseness in the steering joints and track bar. If a joint is real bad you may hear it clunking.

To adequately check balljoints you are going to need a prybar about 3' long. you need to raise the front wheels off the ground about 2-3" and jam that prybar under the tire about half way. using the leverage of the prybar off the ground pull up on the tire. A bad balljoint will show it self very easily this way on a superduty. if it's real bad you'll feel it in the tire, if not you will be able to see movement in the joint while having someone else pull up on it.

Last edited by sinner6.0L; 04-11-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:32 AM
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Thanks guys!

I'll give all those suggestions a try. Just want to make sure I get everything. I'd rather pull everything apart and replace it once than do one thing at a time and end up spending way more time on it...
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