I have a 1997 Intrepid with 88k miles. Lately when starting from a dead
stop it will almost shake the wheel out of my hand from 45 - 55 Mph. it's
like hitting a lot of little speed bumps really fast. Or as my female friend
described it... "the front end was galloping."
I had the wheels rebalanced - no change. I had the tires completely
removed from the rims and inspected for bad belts, etc - no change. The
completely rebalance them from scratch on a Hunter tire machine - No Change.
They checked for bad struts, etc. - nothing
Today when the car was up on the rack the tech noticed that the driver
side wheel seems to have some play in it. He said it was the Inner Tie Rod
bushing? But then also stated it was a "Dealer Only" repair. The shop
manager said that the "Dealer Only" stuff was B.S. and said that
the part number of the inner tie rod bushing is NAPA 274-9182. No joke, he
pulled the number out of his memory and wrote it down for me.
Here are my questions:
1. Is it true that this is a "dealer only" type of repair.
2. If not, is this something that any decent front end shop can fix?
3. How much should the parts and labor cost in Southern US non-dealer shop?
==============================> 2. If not, is this something that any decent front end shop can fix?
Maybe. Aftermarket sources have two types of inner tie rod
bushings listed. The one-piece one is supposed to be pressed
into the eye of the old tie rod. It's very difficult to do, may
as well consider it impossible. DON'T ask how I know. The
two-piece type is much easier to use but doesn't last as long.
The factory supplies the bushing only as part of the entire
inner tie rod.
=========================================> 3. How much should the parts and labor cost in Southern US non-dealer shop?
I don't know and won't guess, but remember that if you do it
yourself you will need to have the front end aligned for toe-in
anyway, once it's all together.
First of all if the place that balanced your wheels didnt see this the
first time around I wouldnt want them even trying to fix my vehicle.
And since they told you it was a dealer only repair that is the second
reason to not have them touch your vehicle. Independents that are afraid
to work on cars or dont know what they are doing will always use that
excuse, they take your money and then say take it to the dealer. A common
practice they use.
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