Equipping your ride with a high-quality tie rod assembly ensures smoother steering performance. But with so many options out there, figuring out the good ones from the bad can be tricky. To help you find the best tie rod assembly for your vehicle, consider these factors:
Location (passenger or driver side, Pitman to passenger, or knuckle to knuckle)
A tie rod assembly, which consists of a tie rod and its connecting parts, can be found in different areas of the steering system. This is because it serves as a link between moving parts such as the steering components found on the passenger and driver sides, the steering knuckles, and the Pitman arm. When shopping for a tie rod assembly, figure out its location since a tie rod set for the passenger side has different specs when compared to one that connects the knuckles.
Basically, a greasable assembly has to be lubricated whenever you do an oil change, while a non-greasable set doesn't need frequent lubrication. If you want a low-maintenance assembly, a non-greasable type is the perfect choice.
Aluminum - Aluminum tie rod parts may not be as durable as their steel counterparts, but these components are more tensile. This means they have a better ability of going back to their original shape after being exposed to pressure.
Steel - As for a steel tie rod assembly, it's quite durable and provides longer-lasting performance compared to an aluminum-based set. However, its parts are prone to corrosion and are less flexible.
Carbon fiber - Carbon fiber resists tension better than steel, but not so much when it comes to compression. A carbon-fiber made tie rod assembly is also very lightweight, making it perfect for those who are after speed.
Other factors to consider
You also need to factor in the application for the tie rod assembly. Will you be using it on a regular vehicle, a street car, or a racing car? For heavy-duty driving needs, we suggest that you choose a steel assembly since it's durable and affordable. Product fit is also an important factor; for easier installation, go for an OE assembly since this is designed to fit your perfectly match your car's specs. As for prices, a complete tie rod assembly can cost anywhere between $40+ and $100+, giving you plenty of budget-friendly options. To get the more value for your money, always go for an assembly that's from a reliable manufacturer.