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Came back from alignment with oily LCA and marred tie rod.. what were they doing?

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Old 07-12-2014, 07:18 PM   #1
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Came back from alignment with oily LCA and marred tie rod.. what were they doing?

Admittedly, front end alignments are a mystery to me - I don't know much about what happens in the process. After today, I think I better go watch a video.

I went to get an alignment, and after returning home, I noticed some oil on my driver's LCA. At first, I thought, "oh God, I didn't tighten the oil filter, or possibly the oil drain plug when I did my oil change last weekend!!" However, the filter area is dry. The plug was a bit greasy, but nothing on ground where I park. I had plenty of oil on the stick.
I proceeded to pull off the tire, and found this. Notice the oil on the LCA, and how someone decided to get serious on the tie rods with a pipe wrench. The tie rod boot is dry.



The oil drained back to the rear of the skid where it meets with the mid skid. I'm not as concerned about the mess, but that seems like a lot of oil/spray for whatever they needed.



Passenger tie rod is the same, but everything is dry.




I dont' see anything much else in terms of witness marks, either side. I did notice that they sprayed their yellow marking spray on both tie rods as seen above. There's some more yellow spray on the front side of the driver's camber bolt, but it looks old.

So, what were they doing and do I need to be concerned?
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Old 07-12-2014, 09:58 PM   #2
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no they probably sprayed it with pb blaster to help break everything loose.
i know thats what i do before a alignment
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
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^This. The LCA cams are known to seize with rust. Truck is 5 years old in a northern state? I'm surprised more butchery wasn't needed to break them loose.
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Old 07-12-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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Your good Mike.
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:41 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Blacktaco2042 View Post
no they probably sprayed it with pb blaster to help break everything loose.
i know thats what i do before a alignment

X10 on this
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Old 07-13-2014, 04:55 PM   #6
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Yep agree with everyone else. Had to do an alignment on a 99 4runner and used a whole can of pb.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:14 PM   #7
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I was more interested in the tie rods. Talked to the shop and they said I should maybe start looking at new ones because they were getting difficult to adjust.
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenmunga View Post
I was more interested in the tie rods. Talked to the shop and they said I should maybe start looking at new ones because they were getting difficult to adjust.

Pipe wrench. A lot of times it's what you have to use. No big deal.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:04 PM   #9
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^The shop should've gripped the wrench flats right next to it with a crow foot adapter and breaker bar. But what's done is done.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenLyns View Post
^The shop should've gripped the wrench flats right next to it with a crow foot adapter and breaker bar. But what's done is done.

^ this. It's amazing how many 'professionals' don't use the right tool for the job.
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Old 07-19-2014, 12:47 PM   #11
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Normal. I'm a professional and that's how you adjust a tie rod.
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Old 07-19-2014, 08:01 PM   #12
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Normal. I'm a professional and that's how you adjust a tie rod.
If that is professional work I'll continue doing my own maintenance.
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Old 07-20-2014, 05:14 AM   #13
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It's an adjustable part on the underside of the truck subject to all sorts of conditions. They can be extremely hard to turn.

When I do alignments one of my main tools is a 3 foot pipe just to break loose the nut if needed. Then I use slip joint pliers to adjust. I do it the same way on my truck.

I've had to use a torch to brake loose tie rods before as well that doesn't leave things looking pretty either but if that's what it takes to get the job done

The yellow marks are index points the tech used as reference probably to see how far he adjusted things others use it to prove to overly anal customers that yes we did do what we said we did.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:19 PM   #14
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The problem with "professionals" today is they are not like professionals of yesterday. MOST have no pride I their work, or attention to detail. Even a simple oil change can turn into a mess for the owner. "Professionals" today are concerned with getting your vehicle in and out as fast as possible to get the next one in. Whatever tool they have close will work because it's to hard to walk over to their tool box. I took by Ram in for the free 1st oil change. When I walked out I noticed a puddle of oil under it. I walked back in to have someone look at it. Upon further investigation I had oily handprints all over my bumper and door, oily foot prints on my floor mats, oily spot on my drivers seat and my setting wheel cover also. The manager calls the tech back out and he said " it's just a truck!" The manager sent him I. The building immediately and offered to detail my truck. I explained that I would do it myself, that I would rather not have anyone else in the vehicle. I am sure there are some professionals left , I just haven't found one around me!
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