Bronco Tie Rod Failures: Rarity or Looming Problem?

Oldhippie

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If I ever get my Bronco I do plan to upgrade the steering rack and tie rods if Ford ever actually offers them over the counter...if not I’ll be carrying a tie rod or two...
 
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LoneRanger

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Do you have a link to the video? I have a theory about the forces of gyroscopic precedence on tie rods and I want to see if this incident fits the theory.
I love your user name! :LOL:

I do not have a direct link as I have watched EVERY video on youtube showing failures. I was thinking I should earmark that one at the time as it was the best no frills, easy on the throttle example I had seen.

It is out there in the public realm for all to see! (good luck finding it!) haha


L.R.
 
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JoergH

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Good article Laura. However I've seen a video of a stock squatch truck doing a slow and controlled climb blow the steering rack/tierod. No mods. It was not "beating on the truck" nor overly complicated.

L.R.
Sure, it can happen, but from everything I’ve seen and heard it’s much more likely when you have bigger tires and a lift. I would characterize it happening in stock as rare, and on lifted with 40s as likely if your doing any serious rock b crawling.
 

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I love your user name! :LOL:

I do not have a direct link as I have watched EVERY video on youtube showing failures. I was thinking I should earmark that one at the time as it was the best no frills, easy on the throttle example I had seen.

It is out there in the public realm for all to see! (good luck finding it!) haha


L.R.
I think I found it in the TC Customs Tie Rod video. A stock Bronco crawling a very easy dirt trail and their tie rod snaps for no reason at all. Its a very very short clip which makes me believe the damage was already done to the tie rod and we only got to see the aftermath a few moments later. If tie rods were that weak they would be snapping at the slightest bump in the pavement.
 

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that may have been it, no idea.

L.R.
I take that back. It wasn’t an easy trail and this Bronco is not on stock rims. I still believe the tie rod was damaged outside of this clip because the Bronco wasn’t even moving when it snapped. Its a blink and you miss it moment in this video at the 15 second mark:


EE4E9093-E2F3-436F-A0B0-9DCCB27C7433.png


Anyone have a longer video of this incident?
 
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tn3sport

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Mal said it best in his post above... "....its an adventure fuselink..." Great analogy.
Coming from the salt water boating world, I would call it a zinc anode, but I like the fuse reference better.

If you're handy, its an hour trail side repair. (Assuming you carry a spare tierod and proper wrench) Heck, I get flat tires on my adventure bikes that take 2 hrs to fix trailside...
I can't imagine what it cost to repair an issue inside the transfer or tranny cases.... and those aren't trailside fixes....So, I really don't mind that when something snaps...I can look down and say, "bad news and good news".
Bad news is we broke something. Good news is I can have it back up and running again in an hour. Grab a beer and fix lunch.
 

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Since no one asked for my opinion, I will provide it anyway. :)

Bronco Tie-Rods are adventure fuses. A lesson I learned the hard way with my old CJ, is to think about the weakest link in whatever system you are putting under stress and make sure it is one that is relatively cheap, easy to get to, and not a bear to fix. Things are going to break off-road, and no system is one hundred percent bullet proof. If you upgrade the cheap and easy parts, then maybe that weak link shifts to something that's expensive and had to repair. Given the choice, I would much rather swap out a broken tie rod than a busted steering rack. I am not saying that I wouldn't upgrade stuff (Far from it, busted gear is just the good Lord's way of saying its time to upgrade), but folks need to be smart about how they go about it and think about it as a total system. A stouter tie rod might shift that risk to something else. Might not too, but it could and I recommend you think about it before you start bolting on a bunch of stuff without a plan for the whole set up.

I also think its worthwhile to carry a couple extra "consumable" parts (and for the Bronco that probably includes tie rods) and figure out how to swap them out before I went out for a rough day in the dirt.
I'm on here searching for information on tie rods and I saw your post @Mal. You have some solid advice. I'm thinking of just get a set of factory spare tie rods (do they come in sets? I have no mechanical skills what-so-ever!) to have just in case. I have plans to go to Moab for 2 days and then drive from there to Indiana for a few days and then drive back to NM. I'm a little worried about the tie rods. But, my Badlands is still all stock suspension, and we are not doing hard trails, so hopefully it will work out. And, once I break something, then determine if upgrades are needed and exactly what all needs to be upgraded. Thanks!!
 
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I'm on here searching for information on tie rods and I saw your post @Mal. You have some solid advice. I'm thinking of just get a set of factory spare tie rods (do they come in sets? I have no mechanical skills what-so-ever!) to have just in case. I have plans to go to Moab for 2 days and then drive from there to Indiana for a few days and then drive back to NM. I'm a little worried about the tie rods. But, my Badlands is still all stock suspension, and we are not doing hard trails, so hopefully it will work out. And, once I break something, then determine if upgrades are needed and exactly what all needs to be upgraded. Thanks!!
That’s exactly what I did. I purchased two inner tie rod kits and packed up a tie-rod replacement tool kit. Cost $150 shipped.
 

Mal

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I'm on here searching for information on tie rods and I saw your post @Mal. You have some solid advice. I'm thinking of just get a set of factory spare tie rods (do they come in sets? I have no mechanical skills what-so-ever!) to have just in case. I have plans to go to Moab for 2 days and then drive from there to Indiana for a few days and then drive back to NM. I'm a little worried about the tie rods. But, my Badlands is still all stock suspension, and we are not doing hard trails, so hopefully it will work out. And, once I break something, then determine if upgrades are needed and exactly what all needs to be upgraded. Thanks!!
You will almost certainly be fine. But @TechnicalDisaster disaster is right- $150 is cheap insurance, and they dont expire. If you are worried about it, get a set and hold onto them. Its probably better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.
 

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Thanks! Did you order from Ford?
I ordered from here: https://parts.lakelandford.com/p/103421017/MB3Z3280A.html
Looks like the part is cheaper than when I bought it. Currently lists for $60.48 each + shipping.
The page is a little misleading. The picture is of the Part #6 - the outer tie rod section, but the part number is for part #4 which is the inner tie rod. The part number and description are correct, the image is not. You can see it here:
You are getting both #4 and #5 for $60. I bought two of them.
 

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I ordered from here: https://parts.lakelandford.com/p/103421017/MB3Z3280A.html
Looks like the part is cheaper than when I bought it. Currently lists for $60.48 each + shipping.
The page is a little misleading. The picture is of the Part #6 - the outer tie rod section, but the part number is for part #4 which is the inner tie rod. The part number and description are correct, the image is not. You can see it here:
You are getting both #4 and #5 for $60. I bought two of them.
Thank you! You're awesome!
 
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Darrel

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You will almost certainly be fine. But @TechnicalDisaster disaster is right- $150 is cheap insurance, and they dont expire. If you are worried about it, get a set and hold onto them. Its probably better to have them and not need them, than need them and not have them.
I am. I agree with everything you said! There were so many parts my husband always carried with him. He always makes sure everything is trail ready. But, as you're learning and doing harder stuff, you find your weak spots. And he only had to be trailered home a few times. And, years later, you just say f it and throw a crap ton of money at it. Lol!
 
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