Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

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(new owner) How do I tighten the rods? I was told it has to be done cold.

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Thats right it best if done cold. Chilton Manual Have a great Manual for that bike and will give a step by step process of everything you do to it. With pics too

Posted on Sep 13, 2009

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The ignition switch is located on the side of the steering column under the dash. Take off the wire harness then remove the screws that mount it to the column. There is a wire rod that comes from the key cylinder that fits in a hole in the switch. Wiggle the switch a little to get the rod out of the old switch. Pay attention to where the rod connects to the switch and reassemble the new switch to the column but don't tighten the screws just yet. Plug in the wire harness to the new switch and turn the key to the ACC position. Turn on the radio to make sure the new switch really did turn on to operate the radio. If it didn't move the switch by hand until the radio comes on. Tighten the screws and then start the car. You're done.

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Special tools are necessary to replace tie rod ends. After the tie rod ends are replaced, it is mandatory to have an alignment done.

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How do I change track rod


Hello there.
You should really buy a 'Haynes Manual' if you are doing this kind of work on your car.
The item you are renewing is either a 'Track rod end ' or a 'Tie Rod'..
I presume you are going to change a Track Rod End.

Here we go !

.1) First Jack up the car and support on axle stands properly. You should ALWAYS do this. Jacks CANNOT be trusted EVER.

2) Undo the small nut on the top of the Ball joint. You then need to use a Ball Joint Splitter or a 'homemade metal wedge' and big Hammer, and insert it between the two parts (Track rod end and suspension extension) and separate the two parts. The 'bolt' that the nut was on is a tapered fit so it will be hard to separate the two. .

3) When separated, undo the locknut on the other end of the Track Rod end and 'unscrew' the whole Track rod end from the Tiie Rod..
IMPORTANT Make a note of how many turns it took to 'unscrew' the Track Rod end from the Tie Rod.

4) Screw the new Track Rod end into the Tie Rod as exactly the same number of turns to take out the old one if you can. (DONT forget to put the old locknut on to the new Track Rod End first !!!!)

5) Locate the thread of the new ball joint through the Suspension extension as was initially found and then fully tighten a NEW Nyloc nut on the top of the threaded part. (If you use the old nut and the steering comes apart at 70 MPH don't blame me)

6) Tighten the lock nut on the other end on the Track Rod End.

7) Take to a Tyre shop and have the TRACKING re-aligned. If you dont do this your tyres will only last for two weeks or so. !!!!!!

Job Done

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1 Answer

How to tighten a loose rod? My car makes a rattling noise when accelerating, and someone told me it was this, so how long and how difficult would it be for an average car guy to fix this?


You can't tighten a loose connecting rod, the noise is likely caused by a worn bearing or defective crankshaft bearing journal, to repair this requires the engine assembly be removed from the car and the engine crankshaft machined smooth or replaced and new rod and crankshaft bearings bearings installed. The esiest way to handle this as far as time down and expense goes is to replace the engine with a rebuilt one.

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1 Answer

Car does not want to start somtimes they say shifting linkage needs to be tightened how do i do that


Shifting linkage is not linked to car starting problem. Whoever told you is wrong. However if linkage is loose, you need to:

- Jack up the car
- Get below the car and look right below the gear lever
- you will find two rods running from gear lever to the gearbox
- These two rods are shifting linkage, there will be nuts n bolts at each end of the rod, tighten them using proper tool.

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1 PUT ON YOUR EMERGENCY BREAK, LOOSEN THE WHEEL NUTS ON THE FRONT WHEELS,JACK UP THE CAR AND REMOVE THE FRONT WHEEL. WITH SOME YELLOW PAINT ,MARK THE THREADS WHERE IT SCREWS INTO THE TIE ROD END SO YOU KNOW HOW FAR TO SCREW THE NEW ON ONTO. TAKE OUT THE COTTER PIN AND REMOVE THE CASTLE NUT FROM THE ROD. USE A PRY BAR TO SEPERATE THE BOLT FROM THE TIE ROD END. ONCE SEPARATED YOU SHOULD BE ABLE UNSCREW THE OLD TIE ROD END OFF THE SHAFT..TAKE THE NEW ONE AND SCREW IT BACK ON ONLY TO THE YELLOW PAINT MARK THAT YOU MADE ON THE ROD EARLIER. THEN JUST REASSEMBLE THE SAME WAY YOU TOOK IT APART. MAKE SURE YOU TORQUE THE NUT TO 50 LBS.AND BE SURE TO USE A NEW COTTER PIN ON THE CASTLE NUT..

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1 Answer

How to change outer tie rod end


Jack up the front of the vehicle remove the wheel. Put a jack stand or similar under the side of the vehicle , dont just rely on the jack to hold it up. remove the split pin from the nut on the joint. Crack off the locking nut from the tie rod to the end. Dont undo it just back it off less than 1/4 turn. Undo the nut that the split pin came out of. Leave it on a couple of threads. place a rod,bar or lever of some kind to put pressure on the tie rod end away from its position . The end has a tapered fit where you have undone the nut. Hit the side of the steering arm that the rod end goes through with a hammer. You will need to hit it quite hard a few times ,this will jar the tie rod out of the taper. Take the nut right off then unscrew the rod end from the tie rod. Place the new and old tierod end together to make sure they are identicle. screw the new joint onto the tie rod to the same position the old one was. place the tapered end through the steering arm. tighten the nut then fit the new split pin. Tighten the lock nut on the tie rod to the rod end. If it is a greasable joint grease it with a grease gun. You may wish to have a front wheel alignment done. Replace the wheel and let the vehicle down. Happy motoring. If this has been usefull Please Vote Jeff

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1 Answer

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f734654.gif #3 is the inner tie rod and it is simply screwed into each end of the steering rack. Raise and support the car remove the wheel and you should see where it is connected to the outer tie rod. There is a lock nut that you'll need to loosen slightly to get the tie rod off. You will need to get a wheel alignment once done but by slightly loosening the lock nut, you have a good reference of how it should be once done. Once loose, you should be able to turn the tie rod by using a wrench on the flattened area on the rod. Once disconnected from the outer tie rod end, you should be able to remove the dust boot covering the inner tie rod connection. Mine came right apart so hope you have no problems. After you have it out, here is where the loosened locknut comes into play. Put the new and old tie rod side by side, line up the ends that attach to the rack and pinion then mark the new rod so you know how far to put the lock nut on the new tie rod. Simply tightly screw the new one onto the rack and pinion put the boot back, screw on the lock nut to the mark then attach the tie rod to the outer tie rod end up to the lock nut then tighten the lock nut against the outer end. Get the tire back on, lower the car and Voila, done. Now go get an alignment.

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1 Answer

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use new cotter pins... at the other end of the tie rod you will see a bolt. use vice grips to make sure that shaft does not turn.. and back off the bolt about one or two turns use some needle nose pliers to pull the one side of the cotter pin even so you can pull it out. undo the bolt and tap the tie rod with a hammer to loosen it.
now... when you unscrew the tie rod from the shaft... count the turns until it come off. screw the new tie rod back onto the shaft the same number of times. after that is done.... reassemble it and tighten the bolt on the other end of the tie rod.


don't forget to grease the tie rod (if there is a fitting)

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1 Answer

1990 nissan pathfinder


I know this is probably not gonna help you but maybe someone in the future. I know the manual says you tighten the compression rod with the full weight of the vehicle on the wheel. So make sure he didn't install it and tighten up while jacked up.

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