Tie Rod Ends

Hi All
My steering is 'really' getting lose and I need to replace these. I noticed that Rusty's parts has them as 'left' and 'right' hand thread. Is that for
the left and right side of the car? or what?
I imagine I need to have an alignment done afterward... is there some way to replace the ends so that it will be 'pretty close' to correctly aligned? Any pointers appreciated
cheers, guenter
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Yes.
No.
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Richard Sexton | Mercedes stuff: http://mbz.org
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"Alignment" consists of caster, camber and toe-in. On can get these "pretty close" but it's not easily done for the caster and camber. But toe-in is easy and changing the tie rod ends will affect ONLY the toe-in.
To have accuracy one needs to know the car's front and rear track width and wheelbase to calculate the toe-in angle's front wheel to rear wheel target. Front/rear track difference + toe-in angle x wheelbase length the target distance from the center of the rear alloy wheel.
Alternatively, one can place a 6 or 8cm wide bottle or block next to the center (ground contact point) of each rear tire.
Center the steering wheel and let the car roll to a stop or brake it with the parking brake (so not to pull on either front wheel). One then holds a 5cm wide x 30+/-cm block against the front alloy, not tire, and sight back to its respective rear wheel target block.
Lengthen or shorten each tie rod to adjust the front wheel toe-in so one sees the wheel's respective sight target (outer edge). Adjusting each side, if needed, will keep the steering wheel centered.
This sounds complicated but is quite simple after done once or twice.
The tie rod clamps should be torqued to about 15 ft lbs.
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Guenter... If I were you, I'd change the whole thing... the whole tie rod. If you price it out... you will see it is still damn cheap. Loose steering is also because of idler arm bushing too... so don't forget this.
I will be doing my entire steering rack... it is just too damn loose at 204,000 miles.
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    thanks for the great advice. I did not think of checking the idler arm bushings and, of course, I have to since they are very likely worn as well as the tie rod ends..... I'm going to try counting 'turns' as I undo the ends, but will take T.G. Lambach's advice and check via his method... I'm sure it will make more sense when I actually try to do as he suggests. However,
the piece of wood at the rear wheels, is perpendicular (long side) with respect to the rear wheel center? Surely the 30 or so cm piece of wood at the front wheels will be parallel with respect to the wheel... and I sight along it to the rear.... I assume the rear piece of wood simply helps to locate the right spot for alignment... right?
cheers, and many thanks, guenter
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You got it!
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Just measure your old one to new one with a tape measure.
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