Tie Rod Sleeves
The tie rod, also referred to as a track rod in the United Kingdom, is an integral part of an automobile's steering mechanism. A tie rod sleeve is an important part of the tie rod assembly which is used to shorten or lengthen the tie rod in order to adjust toe alignment. The tie rods are designed to keep the wheels of the vehicle straight while it is being driven, and the tie rod sleeves keep the tie rods stable, to prevent damage to the vehicle while large amounts of power are being pushed to the wheels. In four-wheel-drive vehicles the tie rod can bend or break fairly easily without appropriate tie rod sleeves, as they are the only thing that keeps the front wheels from spinning into the vehicle's frame. Although the tie rod sleeves themselves do not have a particularly high compression strength, they do make the tire rods much more durable and strong, and are therefore recommended for any serious truck owner.
Where to Find Tie Rod Sleeves and Related Accessories
Many professionals recommend that you purchase braces along with your tie rod sleeves for added durability and effectiveness. Fortunately, tie rod sleeves are not difficult to find, as most major car part vendors sell them. Some of the most popular brands include ATS, Cognito, PPE, Pac Brake, and Chevy. Tie rod sleeves can be purchased online, or they can be found locally at your favorite auto parts store. If you're looking for the best deals however, you'll want to search the Internet and compare the prices of various brands and models. If you are unsure about which type of tie rod sleeves would be most suitable for your car or truck, you may want to consult with an experienced mechanic.
How Tie Rod Sleeves Are Installed
The installation process for tie rod sleeves is fairly simple, and can be carried out by the car or truck owner if necessary. However, to ensure maximum performance and safety, it is recommended to have a professional mechanic install the tie rod sleeves for you. If you do decide to install the tie rod sleeves yourself, there are plenty of installation guides that can be found online which include pictures and detailed instructions. Tools that will be needed for the tie rod sleeves installation include a lug wrench, a hammer, various sized socket wrenches, and impact or ratchet wrench, a jack stand, an anti-seize, and a floor jack. Before the installation, the parking brakes are set, and the frame is supported with a jack stand. The exact installation process will vary depending on the model of your vehicle and instructions included with the tie rod sleeves. Regardless of which tie rod sleeves you choose to install, it is very important to not let the tie rod rotate during the process.
Cost and Features of Tie Rod Sleeves
Before purchasing a pair of tie rod sleeves it is imperative to ensure that they will match the model of your vehicle. Most trucks can benefit from a tie rod sleeves installation, as it will more often than not improve the steering system, and it will certainly prevent bent or broken tie rods. Preferably, the tie rod sleeves should be compatible with both OEM and NAPA tie rods. It should be noted what the tie rod sleeves are intended to be used for, as some are intended for off-road and racing use only. Another important feature of the tie rod sleeves is the material they are comprised of, with solid 304 stainless steel being the most desirable. The cost of a pair of tie rod sleeves will vary depending on the aforementioned features, however price typically ranges from $100-$200. Tie rod sleeves kits that include pullers may cost in excess of $500.