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MG TD TF 1500 - Bent tie rod

I have recently purchased a 1955 TF which has been standing for the last 40 years. Apart from lots of work that needs to be done the front tie rods are bent. It looks as though it might have been towed from them in it's previous life. Any recommendations on the best way to straighten them would be appreciated. Please excuse the photo quality but the camera is on the blink.


Andy Preston

have you considered just buying ones off a car being parted out? regards, tom
tom peterson

I wonder if the car slipped off jack stands? That could be a corresponding dent in the lower wishbone. Could try heating and levering off the spring towers with a BIG crowbar, but you could be in trouble if cracks went un-noticed. Any bruises on the sump?

Matthew Magilton

Andy, you need to inspect the whole steering rack. It sure looks like a a large strain has been put on the mounts, outer tube and ball end.
Mike Hart (52 TD 16378)

Buy a used rack on feeBay and replace at LEAST the tie rods, but check the entire rack just in case (I think it will be fine). Good time to remove the congealed grease from the PO's using grease instead of oil, and replace the tie rod ends and boots. Watch that you don't break that one fussy washer as you dismantle the rack...

While you are in the area, replace the front suspension bushings (use V-8 or urethane bushings), dismantle, paint, new rubber - you no doubt see the drift of this message.

t lange

Yep, replace, don't even try to straighten. It looks like the lower end of the A-arms and maybe swivel pin are bent at the outer end? Could be the picture also, but they should be straight. George
George Butz

I agree with George and everyone else who advises a total teardown and inspection. It would take a good blow to put a bend like that in the tie rods. There could very well be damage to the upper swivels and a-frame, as well as the rack, rack bushings and housing. The front end is one place where you don't want to mess around with bent stuff. Besides the safety issues, you'd probably never get it properly alligned. And like Tom says, all of the rubber seals are going to be shot, as will most likely be the a-arm bushings. And I agree, go with MGB V8 bushings-they are much better than origional and last a long time.
Steven Tobias

Guys, many thanks for the great advice. You confirmed the way I was planning to go. As you saw in the photo the left hand swivel axle is also badly bent as is the lower A arm and spring pan. I agree and will be doing a complete tear down and rebuild of the whole front end and suspension. I didn't like the idea of trying to straighten the tie rods because you don't know what strain or damage has been done to the steel and you don't want them breaking when you're taking a corner at speed. I have V8 bushings in my other MGs and will be using them as well as a complete rebuild of all suspension components and brakes.

Thanks again,

60 MGA Coupe
67 mgb roadster
Andy Preston

Andy, Just a suggestion...Now would be a good time to get a consensus from recent purchasers, as to where the best suspension rubber can be gotten from. Lately, there has been a great deal of dissatisfaction with regard to the quality of these kits. It would really suck to get the whole thing back together and have the boots or seals crack within the first month; I know, I've been there!
Steven Tobias

Andy - I have some spare front suspension parts if you need them. Tom
t lange

Steve, I had to laugh "Lately, there has been a great deal of dissatisfaction with regard to the quality of these kits". The front suspension seals have been garbage for the most part for 30 years!!!George
George Butz

George, You are right, they have never been good, but now it seems that they are even worse...if that's possible! I think that there was a time when some of this stuff was made here or in Europe. Now it seems that everything is made in third world countries. It's not just rubber, but everything. Did you see the mis-drilled rocker towers on this BBS a couple of weeks ago? I am forced, for my business, to buy all manner of materials from China because the Chinese have put my previous venders out of business. Now, after years of dumping in our markets, they are raising their prices. Now that they have an emerging middle class, they are outsourcing to their less fortunate Asian neighbors. The way we have let them cripple our economy, they will soon be outsourcing to us!
Steven Tobias

I did run across a few of the swivel link seals 3-4 years ago- maybe from Abingdon that had something like "lifetime' lettering on them, and maybe a BMC part #? Those are still OK on my car. I have no clue why they can't use the same type of rubber on modern car suspension seals. Steve, without getting political, I agree the US is in huge trouble, because so little is actually made here anymore. George
George Butz

This thread was discussed between 13/09/2010 and 14/09/2010

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