Bronco Tie Rod Failures: Rarity or Looming Problem?

Laura
Jul 01, 2022
Moderator Staff member

Administrator

Jul 01, 2022

2022 Bronco Wildtrak_optional HOSS 3.0_Fox Internal Bypass Dampers Package_07.jpg

Adding aftermarket performance parts without upgrading the surrounding vehicle underpinnings means risking failures at the weakest unchanged point. It’s basic reliability engineering. In the case of the Ford Bronco, some owners have upgraded to heavier wheels or larger tires without toughening up the stock steering system. That leaves the stock tie rods as the exposed element.

Result: We’ve seen some examples of tie rod failure when rock-stomping some difficult off-road trails or challenges.

Read the full article, and tell us what you think. Have you increased your tire size or wheel weight? Will you try to get the Ford Performance severe-duty steering rack and tie rods?

I'll say, that snapping of the tie rod in the video WILL make you wince.
2021 Oxford White 2-door non-Sas Mid package 2.7L/10-speed Badlands with MIC top
2021 Carbonized Gray 2-door Sas High package 2.7L/10-speed Badlands with MIC top
Keeping the Jeeps: stock '89 XJ and 3.5" lifted '00 XJ on 31s
BroncoFred, Roughstock11
Last edited by a moderator: Jul 01, 2022

False

Nov 28, 2023

#80
Do you know if Sasquatch wheels work with 37s with the JKS kit? I can never get a straight answer.

I guess I don't know for sure. I thought I watched a recent video where someone did this, but now I see they had wheel spacers. I also can't find reliable information about the backspacing of the stock wheel. JKS only says this:

  • Full clearance through wheel travel at 2-4" of lift with 37x12.50 tires (17x9 to 20x9 with 4.5-5.5" backspacing recommended)

Bailing forward!

Nov 28, 2023

#81
I guess I don't know for sure. I thought I watched a recent video where someone did this, but now I see they had wheel spacers. I also can't find reliable information about the backspacing of the stock wheel. JKS only says this:

  • Full clearance through wheel travel at 2-4" of lift with 37x12.50 tires (17x9 to 20x9 with 4.5-5.5" backspacing recommended)

Yeah I've seen some used with spacers and I'd prefer not to. By my math a Sas wheel should be about 5.5-5.75" BS so very close.

False

Nov 28, 2023

#82
Yeah I've seen some used with spacers and I'd prefer not to. By my math a Sas wheel should be about 5.5-5.75" BS so very close.

Same. Spacers are not something I'd want to try.
Jakob1972

I am of Scottish decent and I ride a Unicorn.

Nov 28, 2023

#83
I saw a few from 74 Weld on their site. You are looking 4-5k for a new rack. Easily the most expensive option you can go with.

Actually if you go with the stage three and then the (newly) optional double shear heim for the tie rod you are into it a little over 8K.... but that is available only if you are going with the portals

OH... and the portals will give you a 3.5 inch offset.... makes for a nice wheel spacer....
Jakob1972

Rank XXXXXXVVVVVIIII

Nov 28, 2023

#84
I saw the dreaded tie rod snap on Top of the World in Moab on a Sasquatch a couple of weeks ago. I can't really comment on how the Bronco was being driven prior to the snap because I was a couple of vehicles back. Turns out our group had something like four spare tie rods, so it was a relatively quick trail fix - I provided color commentary and picked up lost caps and the like since I wasn't needed for mechanical use.

Talking to a friend who works the Moab Off Roadeo, just across the highway from where we were, he said they've never had one of those snap on Dome Plateau. I kind of get the impression it takes a special set of conditions to cause the issue.

I bought some of the Broncbuster stuff at Super Cel the week before last and will put it on for some of the weird Utah stuff we do, but I'd probably be about as good carrying a couple of spare inner tie rods. They're easy enough to swap out on the trail with a wrench and mallet. I do recommend a hose clamp until you can get back to civilization to reseal the boot. I've seen people have to weld tie rods back together at Easter Safari, so it's not really something limited to Broncos.

594B2AC0-0527-491D-98AA-91C54BFFBA30_1_105_c.jpegI must have missed this thread this is My Bronco in the picture it is a stock SASI wasn'tdriving at the time but it was certainly the circumstances going up v shaped ledge pushing the tires inward. had the front locker been on or taken the ledge at an angle it wouldn't have broken.
ChrisD, Deano Bronc
Moderator

Life is a Highway

Nov 29, 2023

#85
Thanks for providing additional information to clarify the situation Nick!
Deano Bronc, Roughstock11

Gladesmen

Nov 29, 2023

#86
You in TX too? I'm in Houston

I sure am! In the Texas Hill country just northwest of San Antonio.
Bronco Nation 1100. Everglades, Desert Sand
Res: 7/30/20 ordered 1/22/21 reorder 10/15/21 changed to Everglades 3/9/22 schedule 8/29/22 bumped to 9/5; 9/7/22 blend, 9/9 Mods, 9/26/22 completed, 10/7 shipped, 11/3/22 delivery
Lnashsig

Gladesmen

Nov 29, 2023

#87
Looks like your fun fuse was doing its job. LOL
Bronco Nation 1100. Everglades, Desert Sand
Res: 7/30/20 ordered 1/22/21 reorder 10/15/21 changed to Everglades 3/9/22 schedule 8/29/22 bumped to 9/5; 9/7/22 blend, 9/9 Mods, 9/26/22 completed, 10/7 shipped, 11/3/22 delivery

Rank II

Nov 29, 2023

#88
Is the tie rod with the Sasquatch package the same as a Raptor tie rod?
TK1215
Moderator

Life is a Highway

Nov 29, 2023

#89
Is the tie rod with the Sasquatch package the same as a Raptor tie rod?
No, the BRaptor has a more robust version.
Chief Ron, Deano Bronc

Bailing forward!

Nov 29, 2023

#90
No, the BRaptor has a more robust version.

And doesn't fit as an upgrade from my understanding.
Chief Ron, Deano Bronc

I am of Scottish decent and I ride a Unicorn.

Nov 29, 2023

#91
Is the tie rod with the Sasquatch package the same as a Raptor tie rod?

Please someone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe the Rapter uses the same rack found in the HOSS 3 but the tie rods are obviously required to be longer since the Rapter is running essentially a long arm system mounted to the same bronco frame.

Rank V

Nov 29, 2023

#92
Since no one asked for my opinion, I will provide it anyway. :)

Bronco Tie-Rods are adventure fuses.

I 100% agree with this. If it breaks, it's hopefully preventing something farther up the chain from breaking and I can get to a tie rod end, swap it out and be back on the trail in about 20-30 minutes. Mostly because I'm slow. Most people are faster than me.
Jakob1972, Chief Ron

Rank VI

Nov 29, 2023

#93
@TrickyDick and @Uniorn--and others--thanks for ideas and useful info on the tierod. I've decided to keep my tierods stock, on the understanding that it's better to snap those on a trail than risk a more difficult-to-access part or the steering linkage. TrickyDick, I like your kit, but I already have those tools: all I need is the tierod. Indulge a mechanical ignoramus, here goes:

Q #1: Are the tierods the same, left & right? Do I need just one, or a mirrored pair?
Q #2: What is (are) the part number(s) for the tierod? (I drive a Badlands Sasquatch)
Q #2a: Any non OEM tierods worth recommending?
Q #3: Any thoughts on reinforcement sleeves? As stated above, I'm inclined to just let a tierod snap, as opposed to something else breaking, but there was a lot of debate on them on the other site, where I'm banned. (I posted some nasty things about St. Greta.* 😒)

*Hey, did you hear the one about when St. Greta drove her EV through a carwash?...😯
Chief Ron, Tricky Dick

Rank II

Nov 30, 2023

#94
I read a post wrong. The 2024 gets the steering gear from the Hoss 3 in the raptor but not the same rack or tie rods. I would rather pop a tie rod than break a steering rack. I have not seen many more broken tie rod posts. Still happening ? The 2024 tie rod ends in a BB Sasquatch are the same as the versions that have been breaking? Not that I will ever get my order lol.
Chief Ron

I trust the dirt

Nov 30, 2023

#95
We upgraded to half billet tie rods from Foutz Motorsports for our Raptor. The inner tie rod is OEM. Also, we put on their protective sleeve for the inner tie rod. What that does is help stop the breaking of the inner tie rod at the weakest point. It still may bend a bit but hopefully it will get you home. You can still snap the tie rod and therefore save the steering rack. If you go full billet tie rods from Foutz they are much beefier and you will ruin the steering rack unless you upgrade that as well.

The option I went for just increases your chances of not breaking the rod at the weakest point but it will break (closer to the boot I believe) and save the steering rack. I like this idea because hopefully it will never be an issue unless, as mentioned above, a few conditions come into play and you snap it anyway.

Greg Foutz was from the beginning a part of the design team for the first F150 Raptor. He also modified the first F150 Raptor in his shop (in conjunction with Ford) to Race the Baja. He raced that machine with a few others and he has a great reputation in the racing world.

You have to make some decisions and do what you believe is best. I think Foutz has a pretty good handle with what he is doing. I like their option; however, as stated above, having spare tie rods and changing them is great too. Since I have been reading this post I plan to get some spare inner tie rods because I believe the billet half tie rod should stay in tact and the inner tie rod which is still meant to break could. It is nice to be prepared. I could also carry the OEM 1st half of the tie rod as extra support. What I am really hoping for is this upgrade could save some disappointment and I am not putting my steering rack in jeopardy.IMG_7777.jpg
23 Bronco Raptor, code orange belts, keyless, lux, leather trim/suede seats, carbon fibre, shadow black
Chief Ron, Deano Bronc
Moderator

Life is a Highway

Nov 30, 2023

#96
@TrickyDick and @Uniorn--and others--thanks for ideas and useful info on the tierod. I've decided to keep my tierods stock, on the understanding that it's better to snap those on a trail than risk a more difficult-to-access part or the steering linkage. TrickyDick, I like your kit, but I already have those tools: all I need is the tierod. Indulge a mechanical ignoramus, here goes:

Q #1: Are the tierods the same, left & right? Do I need just one, or a mirrored pair?
Q #2: What is (are) the part number(s) for the tierod? (I drive a Badlands Sasquatch)
Q #2a: Any non OEM tierods worth recommending?
Q #3: Any thoughts on reinforcement sleeves? As stated above, I'm inclined to just let a tierod snap, as opposed to something else breaking, but there was a lot of debate on them on the other site, where I'm banned. (I posted some nasty things about St. Greta.* 😒)

*Hey, did you hear the one about when St. Greta drove her EV through a carwash?...😯
They are different, right and left. Not sure what the OEM parts numbers are but a quick google search will find those for you easy enough. That is if someone doesn’t post it first! 🤣 While I was at Bronco Safari earlier this year I purchased a pair of the ICON ones at a really great price. They are considerably beefier than my BL Sasquatch ones and are a straight swap when I need them. They seem to be the ones that numerous companies are using with their upgraded suspension systems. As someone had posted earlier (I think it was @Laura) good lines and driving skills can really lower the chances of breaking one. A good line is a good line. I store the ICON ones in the rear deck storage compartment. I paid $299 back in May, but not sure what they are selling for now. I hope this helps you with your decision.
Chief Ron, ChrisD
Moderator

Life is a Highway

Nov 30, 2023

#97
I just checked ICON’s website and they have an excellent price right now!

Chief Ron, Roughstock11

Rank VI

Nov 30, 2023

#98
I just checked ICON’s website and they have an excellent price right now!


Thanks much, @TK1215. Good deal. I have till tomorrow to decide. Should I strengthen this weak link, or keep the OEM as a sort of engineering "fuse," to let these break before something more complicated breaks? FYIT, I'll be 77, pretty handy but not a mechanic by any means. I do some fairly serious off-roading in New England (Badlands Sasquatch on 35s), and there is no "Matt's OffRoad Recovery" in these parts that I know of. I can see myself crawling under the truck somewhere in the Green Mountains and replacing a tierod, but a steering failure?
Hmmm...I think I've just talked myself into keeping it stock.
Roughstock11

I am of Scottish decent and I ride a Unicorn.

Nov 30, 2023

#99
Taking this tie rod discussion to the next level..... the rack..... with some tie rod mentions...

Chief Ron, Roughstock11

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