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Impact of using a shorter/longer outer tie/track rod replacement part?

Are there any possible issues/wear on parts by using a part that is 1-2cm longer in length than OEM? Given all other dimensions i.e. thread/nut/cone size are identical? Also thereafter getting a wheel alignment done?

All I can think of is the possible difference of load on the tie/track rod axle joint? Should this be of any concern?

  • The real question here: is the longer part drilled “deeper” to accommodate the extra length? If not use answer from jwh20. If so, use paulster2 answer.
    – zipzit
    Commented Sep 15, 2021 at 16:36
  • @zipzit It may be drilled deeper/drilled shorter depending which one it is replaced with in comparison to the OEM. Although after the alignment the end result i.e. length from the rod axle joint shaft attached to the outer tie rod would/should be equal in length (start to end) as the OEM was. Was more so trying to understand whether it has an impact on the rod axle joint due to possible minimalistic load shift, as depending on length would either cover a greater area of the rod axle joint thread/less if that makes sense.
    – Dave1UK
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 6:02

2 Answers 2


What you are talking about will have absolutely no difference in how the part operates once the alignment is done. The alignment is what gets the front end to where it needs to be. Once done, you'd never know the difference. If the part is made for the application, any length differences are figured into the part so are engineered to do the job.

  • @PAULSTER2 Not sure if this warrants a new question. Is the alignment total 'length/value/calculation' always the same or does this change (scenario of alignment being correct, thereafter using the same identical tie rod replacement and it being fit in the identical position as previous)? I.e. the length from driver to the passenger side outer tie rod ends? As an example lets say if measured from one end to another length was 3m and thereafter also 3m. Would the type of tyres you use (width) have an impact the alignment?
    – Dave1UK
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 6:15
  • @Dave1UK - The alignment is done by measurements taken at the rim. The bits and pieces are adjusted until the rim is positioned within specification. As long as the bits and pieces have adjustment, everything is copacetic. The tie rods aren't measured as you're suggesting. Tire width has a minimal impact on the alignment, but can be accounted for through the alignment process. Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 11:11

That's going to affect the front wheel toe-in/toe-out. In other words, an important part of the wheel alignment. The question is can it be adjusted to the correct length by using the threaded portions of the component?

If you can get the correct toe-in spec by threading the tie rod end in or out then yes, you should be able to use this part. If not, then find the correct part.

  • Should of made it clearer in my query that the rod axle joint shaft would have enough thread to accommodate for any difference.
    – Dave1UK
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 6:18

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