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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About a decade ago I purchased some close-out front end parts from Rock Auto for my '88 B2200 Cab Plus for ridiculously low prices, figured that I'd need them eventually. Like I should replace my driver side ball joints and both outer tie rod ends (ripped boots).

But I also should replace the stabilizer bar bushings and the tension rod bushings; can please you recommend "favorite" part numbers for these ? I think the tension rods are also called "strut rods". Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
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OK, was rained out of softball this morning, so got a one day head start on this. After getting the front end on jackstands, I installed the new tensioner rod bushings first, took me 1.5 hours. I had a 27mm socket and a 27mm deep impact socket, but would've been a little easier if I'd had a 27mm combination wrench too. Really would've been WAY easier if the official Mazda service manual had better instructions: it states "Installation. Install as follows: 1. Install tension rod" and then lists the tightening torques. It states NOTHING about getting the little steel spacer into the new tensioner rod bushings, or that one can use the large front nut to "press" the front bushing over the steel spacer. And if Mazda had designed an additional 1 or 2mm of clearance for my sockets, that would've been nice !!!

Anyway, R&R of the new sway bar bushings took 5 minutes. And everything was torqued to specifications too, so now time for lunch break.

At least for the 3 tie rod ends (one already replaced in 2005) and the two ball joints, and toe adjustment: I've done those jobs before, and even though I think the front end play was really due to broken/worn tensioner bushings, it's time to replace those tie rods and ball joints even though they seem tight, but their boots are all torn, and I already have those close-out parts anyway.....
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Weather wasn't that bad today, and I worked in the garage. Got 85% of it done today: the tensioner bushings, the way bar bushings, and the left side outer tie rod end and both ball joints (they are the bolt-in type).

So tomorrow will be the inner and outer tie rod ends on the passenger side, and then to adjust the toe-in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Finished up the passenger side inner and outer tie rod ends this morning. I used the tape measure method to set the toe, seems to work for me. But it's a fair amount of trial and error to get correct toe and to keep the steering wheel straight, why I make all adjustments to both sides equally.

The inner passenger tie rod end readily snapped out using the puller, never had one be that easy, must've been worn plus the torn boot. I use a tie rod puller from Autozone; same one at Harbor Freight too, fits tie rod ends and also ball joints, pitman arms, idler arms on my B2200.

The driver side tie rod end nut wouldn't unscrew all the way yesterday after the puller got it loose, couldn't even stop it from turning even with needlenose vise-grips; so I simply cut it off with the HF cut off tool I bought a couple of months ago, easy. Then changed clothes and took it for a test drive: quite an improvement !!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After a couple of days of driving, I decided to check my idler arm and pitman are, and both were tight/fine. But I decided that the one tie rod end that I didn't replace (was new in 2005, lifetime warranty) should be replaced. So I picked up a warranty replacement at O'Reilly yesterday; this morning I found that tie rod end (driver side, inner) was bad/loose even though its boot was still fine. So glad I got that replaced too, so all 4 tie rod ends are now new. And daughter was over this morning so she helped with alignment using a tape measure.

Will drive locally today, planning on 100 mile trip tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Update: I took the truck 100 miles up north for the summer. I adjusted the front wheel bearings - they were too loose - but I'm still getting some steering wheel/front end shake at about 60 mph. I strongly suspect my 15" wheels/tires which were given to me from a B2600i 4WD owner. These tires are old, do not even have the date code on the sides, and the two rears are pretty worn anyway. So time to get 4 new ones anyway. After that, if issue still exists, I'll likely have "my" local independent mechanic take a look at it sometime, as he's also 100 miles away !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cusser;203943 said:
Update: I took the truck 100 miles up north for the summer. I adjusted the front wheel bearings - they were too loose - but I'm still getting some steering wheel/front end shake at about 60 mph. I strongly suspect my 15" wheels/tires which were given to me from a B2600i 4WD owner. These tires are old, do not even have the date code on the sides, and the two rears are pretty worn anyway. So time to get 4 new ones anyway. After that, if issue still exists, I'll likely have "my" local independent mechanic take a look at it sometime, as he's also 100 miles away !
It turns out that the front tires are 5 years old, and have lifetime balance warranty. Just in case, I have 4 new ones on order with appointment Tuesday, and I looked at the front tires today, spinning and looking for a bump, but didn't see anything too bad. Anyway, since I now had free replacement ball joints for the passenger side, I decided to swap those in. Even those I somewhat ignored a few weeks ago because their boots looked OK and they were newer than those on the driver side - they were absolutely shot; no real up and down motion, but moved extremely easily. So good thing I got to those. If I don't get a chance to take it on highway before Tuesday, the tire store is 35 minutes away, and half highway/65mph; so if OK then, I just need two rear tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Update:
Mazda truck fixed ! Took truck in to tire store this morning; two front tires were both out-of-balance but had no defects, they do all this with laser/lights these days. So those rebalanced ones went onto the rear, with the two new tires on the front.

Highway 89 home seemed fine, way improved over the past few months.

There was a need to install the closeout and lifetime warranty replacement bolt-in ball joints and tie rod ends anyway, since the cost was so low. Plus I replaced tensioner and sway bar bushings, mine had the originals. I had also found that thread in the steering coupler had stripped out, so fixed that the old fashioned way of using a longer grade bolt and a nut to secure that.





So my next task is to replace the two front flexible brake lines within a month, already have those from RockAuto.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's a quick update on the front flexible brake lines on my B2200. The official service manual doesn't detail anything about these, except for the torque value to tighten the banjo fitting bolt with the new copper crush washers.

Anyway, there's a center hex in the center of the front brake hose


This 17mm hex is not a true hex, but has a rounded off corner, so it fits just one way in the center bracket. So I recommend to attach this first.


Then attach the end fittings, and bleed the brakes.
 
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