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2001 E150 XLT Tie Rods / Ball Joints

04-14-2009, 09:02 PM
Purchased ( $800 ) new Goodyear tires ( Forterra ) last may ( 9,000 miles ago ) and I just noticed a very slight wear on the inner edge of the driver side tire. Actually, I noticed that the rounded edge on each tire on all four tires, inner and outer edge have 'squared off' and flattened somewhat - even on the rear tires. I was told when I purchased the tires that the ball joints were OK and there was no problem with the tire rods or the shocks. I took the vehicle back to Goodyear to diagnose the one tire that had the excessive ( i.e. more than the other edges of all tires ). I was told immediately I needed new upper and lower balll joints and new tire rods and new shocks so they claimed there was no need for them to check the alignment ( that was performed when I purchased the tires last May. ) $2,000!

The 'evidence' that the tire rods were bad was shown to me when they 'pinched' the tie rod linkages with a large pliers and the 'joints' had some 'give'. With respect to the ball joints, I was shown how there was a very slight movement in the wheel when it was 'rocked'.

What gives with the tie rods on this damn van? This will be the second time I've had the tie rods replaced - the first time at about 50,000 miles. This vehicle has 119,000 mostly highway miles, never abused or driven hard on poor roads. Tire pressure has been maintained at 41 PSI.

What would be a more reasonable cost of replacing the tie rods and ball joints ( upper and lower )?

By the way, I religously lub ( Jiffy Lube ) the van every 4 - 6,000. I have become accustomed to insisting and inspecting the grease 'cups' on the tire rods at every lub. Sure enough, they are never filled the first go around! These guys don't seem to understand that the cups need to be filled. The ball joints are lubless.

What say you?

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