Track-rod Ends and Tracking Alignment

Bee's old and new track-rod ends of different lengths.

Badly worn unit

Vee's track-rod ends: Angle-ground along the body of the track-rod to just expose the threads. A bit of a 'do or die' treatment, you wouldn't want to drive it having done this. If this hadn't worked I would have had to remove the rack with track-rod end attached and take it somewhere to get some heat on it.

Ring-spanner on the end of the Stilsons to give more leverage

Double lock-nuts which I can lock together to make turning the track-rod easier, although judging by the other side I'll not have a problem with it again. If doing this make sure you fully tighten the first lock-nut against the end of the track-rod end, then just lightly nip the second nut up to that. If you just lock the two nuts together the track-rod end could be loose on the track-rod (although highly unlikely to come unscrewed from it).

During the annual service I discovered the near-side dust cover damaged, along with its larger retaining spring. On removal it seems to have been punched through from an impact with something as otherwise the rubber is still very supple and shiny i.e. not perished. Fitted in 2010, 18k miles by 2019 so surprising the body is so rusty as the vast majority of those miles have been dry and definitely no salt.

The existing ones are 12-31-17 (small hole - large hole - height) but the closest replacements I could get are 12-31-22. So taller, but correct for the pin and the socket. If they are too tall then when compressed from fitting they could cause the large end to pop off the socket letting dirt in. These are polyurethane from Bulgaria, he sells loads of different types and I was looking for silicone rubber but they were either way too big or not available.

Fitted (yes I know the nut isn't on yet ...), straightened retaining spring looks to be holding OK, I'll have to check after driving a while.

Toe in, dimension A being at the front of the car and less than dimension B.

The reference measurement taken from behind the wheel

Rolling the car forward half a wheel turn.

The comparison measurement taken in front of the wheel at the same marks as before.

Tracking gauge