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Re: 84 5kS Tie Rod End

> > My (her, whatever) '84 5000S needs a left outer tie rod end.  The one
> on it is
> > quite loose.  Both NAPA and the Audi dealer list both the end and the whole
> > assembly.  There is a very large price difference, is there any benefit of
> > getting the whole assembly?  Is there anything else in that assembly that can

> If you replace the whole tie-r., you won't have to wrestle with the end 
> which is probably rusted itself to the rod.  I replaced the whole 
> assembly on both sides of my '87 4KS because the ends refused to come 
> off.  The car had 100k miles on it, and the piece of mind helped me out 
> too.  The price difference was pretty small (relatively) between the ends 
> and the whole assembly.
Over spring break, I had a tie rod break.  I was traveling down a lousy
road(potholes etc) covered with about 4 inches of snow.  I was driving
way too fast(about 30 mph).  When all of a sudden I hit a pothole under
the snow, the next thing I knew, I was going sideways.  Of course
instead of gently sliding to a stop, I decided to try to drive out of
the skid.  I had brand new Nokias on the front of the car, and
absolutely bald tires on the back, so every time I gave it a little gas
and changed the direction of the car, the back end broke loose and spun
around.  I did this five or six times and then I ended up driving into a
snowbank(tailfirst).  Now that I think about it, I'm not sure if the tie
rod broke first which made the car impossible to handle, or if it broke
on impact.  Anyways, it broke right at the joint between the outer tie
rod end and the center adjuster part where it is threaded.  I assume
this is the common failure mode.  The Germans are smart enough that they
probably design the outer tie rod end to be weakest link.  If you have
trouble  getting the tie rod off, it is relatively easy to take the
inner end off of the rack.
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