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Discussion Starter #1
First off....what is the proper name for the bushing/dust cover/ball joint things on the TRE's? are they just ball joints?

I've noticed my steering had been getting progressively looser over the past 2 months and I was planning on getting an alignment performed on it but I decided to start inspecting the front end of my bronco and noticed the TRE bushings/dust cover/ball joint things have small tears in them and it looks like the grease has come out of them. I didn't have a second person available to help me so I couldn't really check if they had any play in them.

Can i buy replacement parts for the shot pieces or do I need to buy the entire TRE and Drag link ?

I was looking through JBG and noticed they sell the steering kit: http://broncograveyard.com/bronco/i-32715-bronco-f150-steering-rod-kit-1980-96.html

Are there any other more economical options? :toothless
I've already checked the local junkyards and all the ones there were shot also.


They look similar to this:

 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the link.
so they are called dust cover boot.


What ype of grease do you use?
I did a long time ago on a Civic and used some temp grease I had around the garage.
 

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Generally speaking if the boots on the tie rod end have splits and water and road grime has had a chance to get inside them for any length of time prior to discovering the split boots then you will be better off just replacing the tie rod ends.

Replacement ends are not that expensive and with the work to pop them loose to replace the boots and figuring the cost to buy the boots as well why take a chance on the tie rod end being bad and needing to do the work a second time. The new ends will come with new boots so you will not need to purchase the boots seperately then.

Do it all the first time then you will know that your tie rod ends will be nice and tight for quite some time to come.
 

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I use a red marine grade synthetic grease on mine. I will agree that once the boots are gone just replace the tie rods and be done with it. really simple to do and very inexpencive. Just remember to count the turns comming off or measure the length so you get them back close to where you had them and set toe and steering wheel alignment when done
 

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Discussion Starter #6
i'm assuming they've been busted for some time. the grease around the boots doesn't look fresh.
the problem is both TRE, the drag link and the inner rod all have busted boots.
i was trying to see if there was a cheaper alternative than spending $130-140 to replace all the components.
 

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If i were you i would try and go with Moog, or similar high quality brands for steering linkage. the problem with the cheaper stuff is that they tend to fail quicker, and you will just have to go back and replace it all over again. i know its more $$$, but its $$$ well spent, trust me. good place is rockauto.com
 

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i'm assuming they've been busted for some time. the grease around the boots doesn't look fresh.
the problem is both TRE, the drag link and the inner rod all have busted boots.
i was trying to see if there was a cheaper alternative than spending $130-140 to replace all the components.
If your steering tie rod ends are shot, it is time for replacement. Replacing the boots and greasing it up will not help your steering. I use Moog Problem Solver Tie Rod, Tie Rod Ends, Sleeves and Drag Link. The ends should come with a new Castle Nut, Cotter Pin, Boot Dust Cover and Zerk (Grease) Fitting.


Moog Problem Solver - 1992 Bronco
 

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If your steering tie rod ends are shot, it is time for replacement.
I agree that if the TREs are truely shot than replacement is the best move but if just the covers are shot, get new boots, remove the steering linkage, dissasemble, clean all old grease out (I use brake cleaner, toothbrush and lots of shop rags) the replace boots, reassemble and reinstall.

My last 3 pairs of tie rods came from the local JY and I paid 20 bucks each for them. Cleaned em up, but new covers and and rolled with them til I bent them (wheeling)...
 

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I've noticed my steering had been getting progressively looser over the past 2 months and I was planning on getting an alignment performed on it but I decided to start inspecting the front end of my bronco and noticed the TRE bushings/dust cover/ball joint things have small tears in them and it looks like the grease has come out of them. I didn't have a second person available to help me so I couldn't really check if they had any play in them.
Yea, but I read this above. Simply jack up the front end and manually torque the tires from side to side to see if the Tie Rod Ends are loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yea, but I read this above. Simply jack up the front end and manually torque the tires from side to side to see if the Tie Rod Ends are loose.
i'll jack it up this weekend and try pulling on the tires to see if there's some play in there.
looks like this project is gonna get a little more expensive than what i originally had planned.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
man, the Moog parts are pretty expensive. i priced them through RockAuto.
$218 for both tre's, the drag link and inner rod....no sleeves

I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed that the tre's have no play in them and all it needs is the new boot.
 

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you can have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth while you look underneath, that will show if you have any play. no need to take the tires off, unless you are looking at your ball joints too...

ya moog is more expensive, but worth it. as long as they stay clean and greased you will never have to do this for a very long time, and that to me is worth the extra cost.
 

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I recently did mine thanks to the original TRE thread and it came out really nice but before I took off the drsg link I made reference marks with white paint just in case but the TRE didn't move/turn, once the drag link was completely off I sprayed it with PB Blaster, wire wheeled the drag link it avoiding the ref marks and all crown nuts, came right up nice and shinney...lol lol.....resprayed it with Breakfree and it came out nice.

The RED Energy Suspension kits where only $4-5.00 each from O'Reilly's but they had to order them as they were out of stock at the store.

A 4lb sledge hammer from Harbor Freight for about $10-11.00, a pickle fork from O'Reilly for around $10.11.00 for about $22.00 total so maybe $28-30.00 to dothe job but it sure does look pretty and now I don't have grease splatering all over the front differentail from the old grease cups bleeding, also nice and clean now.

It's very simpe to do but you need to remove the tires for enough room to swing the sledge hammer at the TRE, unscrew the crown nut almost all the way off then a couple of good solid hits with the sledge so when it drops it won't hit the floor and get damaged then finish unscrewing by hand. Unscrew the pitman arm bolt then pull the center of the drag link apart on the work bench, pull off all the old boots, clean everything and replace with new boots, reinstall, torque the bolts properly, re-pin with new cotter pins, grease the zerks until it seeps out of the dust boot cover a bit, wipe clean and go for a drive then recheck again, wipe and clean then just grease at regular intervals and you're good to go.

I'm very glad I got it done and since then I put on all new tires with an alignment BUT Johnson's Alignment in Torrance, CA who I've been going to for 20 years said I need new radius bushings and by next year I'll need new ball joints because I have a + & - caster camber so they couldn't really dial in but it's ok.
I trust these guys because they always have a string of racing Porches waiting to be worked on and every thing is done by hand.

I've also put on al new shocks and rebuilt both my slip joint drive shafts.

I started all of this around June/July, get the TRE dust boot covers done and you'll be pleases with the results..


Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I recently did mine thanks to the original TRE thread and it came out really nice but before I took off the drsg link I made reference marks with white paint just in case but the TRE didn't move/turn, once the drag link was completely off I sprayed it with PB Blaster, wire wheeled the drag link it avoiding the ref marks and all crown nuts, came right up nice and shinney...lol lol.....resprayed it with Breakfree and it came out nice.

The RED Energy Suspension kits where only $4-5.00 each from O'Reilly's but they had to order them as they were out of stock at the store.

A 4lb sledge hammer from Harbor Freight for about $10-11.00, a pickle fork from O'Reilly for around $10.11.00 for about $22.00 total so maybe $28-30.00 to dothe job but it sure does look pretty and now I don't have grease splatering all over the front differentail from the old grease cups bleeding, also nice and clean now.

It's very simpe to do but you need to remove the tires for enough room to swing the sledge hammer at the TRE, unscrew the crown nut almost all the way off then a couple of good solid hits with the sledge so when it drops it won't hit the floor and get damaged then finish unscrewing by hand. Unscrew the pitman arm bolt then pull the center of the drag link apart on the work bench, pull off all the old boots, clean everything and replace with new boots, reinstall, torque the bolts properly, re-pin with new cotter pins, grease the zerks until it seeps out of the dust boot cover a bit, wipe clean and go for a drive then recheck again, wipe and clean then just grease at regular intervals and you're good to go.

I'm very glad I got it done and since then I put on all new tires with an alignment BUT Johnson's Alignment in Torrance, CA who I've been going to for 20 years said I need new radius bushings and by next year I'll need new ball joints because I have a + & - caster camber so they couldn't really dial in but it's ok.
I trust these guys because they always have a string of racing Porches waiting to be worked on and every thing is done by hand.

I've also put on al new shocks and rebuilt both my slip joint drive shafts.

I started all of this around June/July, get the TRE dust boot covers done and you'll be pleases with the results..


Good Luck ~ :thumbup
yeah, the process is pretty straight forward to replace the boots.
my fear is that i need new tre's, drag link, etc cuz mine are beyond the point of just replacing the boot.
we'll find out on Saturday. (crossing fingers)
 

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I don't know how old my TRE's are but they seemed to be in very good shape and as long as the draglink isn't bent or damaged it should be reusable so just wire wheel the snot out of it and see what it looks then.

If the TRE shafts seem floppy, worn etc then go ahead and replace them while you have it all apart, steering ability and control are important..

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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If the budget is tight replace them one by one over a period of a few weeks or months starting with the loosest first and work your way back with the best one being the last to replace.

Unless things have really been neglected for a long time all of them should not be totally gone at exactly the same time. Each one you replace should show some signs of a little less play because the wear will be eliminated from that point.

Pay attention beginning with the pitman arm joint and move forward throughout the system from there., play there will affect everything as all movements go through this attachment point first. If that one seems pretty okay go next to the second joint inline and evaluate which is the most offensive and so forth.

May take a bit longer to totally fix but in no time you will have it fixed right rather than bandaided. Regardless new boots will not fix loose joints at all.

Also if money is a problem then you can buy house brand joints for a 1/4-1/3 of the cost of the brand names such as moog and they may not last as long as the top line but will fix your problem for a year or so at least allowing you to save up for the top line parts. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do for the short term and that is much better than hitting the road with steering that you aim and hope it goes where you want it to.
 

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I made a short video of mine after it was all done, check it out at www.supermotors.net/17406 Dust Boot Covers and Tires....it should be the first one on the left or just above click on "my flip video library" and scroll.

Good Luck ~ :thumbup
 

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x2 what all v4max and others said. :)

I don't know what your situation is and your uses for the Bronco but ball joints
and tie rod ends can be "hammer mechanic-ed" tight again. You still gotta take
'em off but you don't have to buy new ones -every-time- if you don't want to.

BTDT on all sorts of stuff but especially effective on quads since they are super
sensitive to even just one loose tie rod end.

Alvin in AZ
 

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Discussion Starter #20
how much play should there be in the TRE?
i figure it should have some play cuz it's basically a ball joint and they're designed to move around a bit, right?
 
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