track rod inner ball joints mk2

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my steering wheels shakes when at high speed. so much so thats it shakes my arms not great i know!

it had to go for its mot the other day which it passed although its had an advisory of "both track rod inner ball joints (front)

my questions for you clever bunch are:

1. track rod inner ball joints the same as tie rods?

2. are they reasonably easy to change myself?

2. does anyone else mk2 steering wheel seem to shake alot on the motorway? i dont know if its always been as bad because recently on motorway journeys i've been lucky enough to be driving a new merc, which even at high speeds you can hold the steering wheel with 1 finger (i don't by the way, both hands 10 to 2, but figured its a good analogy 🙂  )



thank you

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The shake just sounds like a balance problem or could be a wheel running out of true after being kerbed although I'd have thought the MOT would have picked that up. Tyres can go out of shape but that's normally felt more at low speed.

The inner ball joints connect the tie rods to the steering rack. If there's play there it could accentuate any out-of-balance on the wheels. In fact general wear in all the steering and suspension components will amplify any shake. When a car is new with all the joints and shocks nice and tight it tends to damp out any slight imbalance.

I can't help with how easy or otherwise it is to change the balljoints. A Haynes manual will give you an idea of what's involved.

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They're a bit awkward to change due to lack of space but essentially they just unscrew and screw the new in.  You're meant to use a special tool but can usually get away with mole grips.  Obviously you will need wheel alignment done after replacing them but if you measure the old ones before removal you should be able to get the alignment reasonably close.

I always had a shake on my Mk2 at speed for the 4 years I owned it, changed numerous parts in that time but never could find the cause!  :unsure:  I also have a shake on the Golf but that's due to the wheels, I've got a dented rim on one side (now noted as part of MOT) and lost a wheel weight on the other side...sadly they don't cancel each other out lol.

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