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Tie Rod straightening

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  • Tie Rod straightening

    Brothers truck rolled off of the floor jack and bent the tie rod and drag link. Is it possible to safely straighten a bent rod?

    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    1952 Champion Starlight w/overdrive. Searcy, Arkansas
    "In the heart of Arkansas."
    Searcy, Arkansas
    1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
    1952 2R pickup

  • #2
    Personally...ONLY in an emergency.
    I would not trust a bent piece of tubing that has been straightened for other than a sign post.
    Metallurgically, there's all kinds of things going on that can't be fixed without heat treatment. And that's just a bend of a coupla degrees.

    Some may disagree...but who's life are you trusting to a bent part.

    Mike

    Comment


    • #3
      Yeah, straightening, i.e. bending, is a no-no - especially with front end parts. In fact, some race mechanics will not use a front end component such as a bearing, tierod, etc. if the part has been dropped!

      However....

      If it is mild steel, there is nothing theoretically wrong with straightening and then heating to temperature where it is easy to bend the part.

      Why?

      First, there is no heat treat and the part is soft/ductile. Heating mild steel actually anneals it (as does oxyacetylene welding - electric welding is the opposite: where you have an electric weld, you assume you already have a crack).

      Second, If you wonder why you must heat it, it is to relax all sectional stresses which reside after you have bent the part. Review Mc/I and what happens to fiber stresses when you put a moment into a section that causes some yielding.

      Personally, I would try to find a replacement, however, myself, having lots and lots of welding experience, I would straighten it.

      The way to determine the amount of heat is to slowly heat the part with an oxyacetylene torch and start trying to bend it by hand. When you get it hot enough that it moves with a good tug by hand, you have basically gotten to the point where there is not much residual stress in the part. So you straight it and then give it a little more heat and then let it air cool.

      If you don't weld and don't have oxy-acetylene equipment, you probably should not attempt this. This kind of stuff sort of goes with the territory of knowing what you can do with oxy-acetylene which is pretty much a dying art these days.

      If you had some practice parts, that would be good too.

      Keep in mind that when the weld up roll cages, they bend the tubing and weld them up. What is worse is that they use stick or TIG welding which does not produce an annealed weld. Ironically, the strongest weld you can make is oxy-acetylene and yet, O-A is outlawed by most sanctioning bodies. And on top of this, they do not stress relieve anything! So much for having safety a top issue.

      If every day, people risk less and less, eventually people will be incapable of accomplishing anything...

      Tom








      Comment


      • #4
        Nope, we NEVER heat up suspension parts! If we do to get a nut loose, the part gets replaced! It will only take ONE failure to end someones life!

        Jim
        "We can't all be Heroes, Some us just need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by" Will Rogers

        We will provide the curb for you to stand on and clap!


        Indy Honor Flight www.IndyHonorFlight.org

        As of Veterans Day 2017, IHF has flown 2,450 WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Veterans to Washington DC at NO charge! to see
        their Memorials!

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        • #5
          As I recall the shop manual says you can straighten bent tie rods and drag links, but it warns against heating them.

          Jeff DeWitt
          http://carolinastudes.net
          Jeff DeWitt
          http://carolinastudes.net

          Comment


          • #6
            Don't straighten it, just find a used/new one. I bet if you tell us what your vehicle is , someone might GIVE you the part to keep you from doing something unsafe.

            66 Commander R1 Clone
            51 Commander 4dr
            1962 Champ

            51 Commander 4 door

            Comment


            • #7
              tomho -

              There's MUCH more to heat treating something thAn just hitting it with a torch.
              Yea it WAS just mild steel until it got bent, then the material starts to change.

              Though you give ok instructions for someone that's got experience...in my opinion, this should not have been done. Too many people without proper experience will most likely do more harm thAn good.
              Plus...even with "torch" experience...this is a bad deal when there suitable replacements available.

              Do NOT heat bent tubing for reuse.

              Just spend the few bucks to buy another.

              Mike

              Comment


              • #8
                When I got my Studebaker it had a bent tie rod. Never thought about straigting it,just found a used one and replaced it.

                Jeff

                1950 Champion business coupe

                Comment


                • #9
                  We got a used one off of a parts truck in the woods. If it cleans up okay we will use it. The reason I asked was because the bend was not severe, but I guess it's best not to take chances. BTW Turns out the drag link was not bent.

                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  1952 Champion Starlight w/overdrive. Searcy, Arkansas
                  "In the heart of Arkansas."
                  Searcy, Arkansas
                  1952 Commander 2 door. Really fine 259.
                  1952 2R pickup

                  Comment

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