Installed New Camber Links & Tie Rods and Ends

5/17/09

I finished school last week and this was my first weekend free in about a month or so.  I think I ordered the Battle Version rear camber links a few weeks ago, I can’t remember anymore, and I’ve just been staring at them waiting for an opportunity to throw them on my car.  I like the way they look and Alex Pfeiffer was super helpful.  If you have any questions about his parts, shoot him an email, he responds pretty quick.

Battle Version Rear Camber Links

Battle Version Rear Camber Links

check out the warning, damn lawyers and their legal mumbo jumbo making life difficult for everybody...

check out the warning, damn lawyers and their legal mumbo jumbo making life scary for everybody...

So why did I order the camber links?  Well, take a look at my car. (yes, that is greens14 in the background, gosh i love that car)  Okay, so the picture itself isn’t that straight, I don’t claim to be much of a photographer, but my point is that the rear negative camber in my car is wearing out my tires way too unevenly.  I have lowering springs installed and wider wheels with lower offset and these two things seem to have made my stock camber even more negative.  So after doing a little research, I figured I could fix my rear camber issues by installing adjustable camber links, sounds good right?  I’m also hoping that straightening out the rear camber will give me a little more grip while drifting and maybe throw up some more smoke, or maybe I’m asking too much, hahhaha.

rear camber with stock links

rear camber with stock links

So, I made plans with the Simeon brothers to help me install the links.  Since I made the plans to do the install about a week in advance, I figured heck, why not order some tie rods and ends to give me a little more steering angle… and since I was starting to blog, how about ordering a camera too!!!  (yeah, this post would’ve sucked major if I had not bought a camera.  Thank you BS Style for helping me find a good digital camera!!!)

Tein Inner Tie Rod

Tein Inner Tie Rod

Tein Tie Rod End

Tein Tie Rod End

Sunday morning, about 9am, I roll up to Marvin’s house with my new parts, camera and some tool I rented from Autozone.  The tool was supposed to help me remove the tie rod ends from my car, but I wasn’t sure it looked right, so Marvin asked Roy to pick up another tool on his way over.  So now we had three of us (Roy’s gf came along too but she chilled inside where it was nice and cool, smart girl) and a bunch of cool tools, this install should be rather easy.  We decided to install the rear links first.  The job was pretty straightforward.  You just loosen the stock links and install the new ones.  The only tricky thing was that we had to loosen the rear sway bar in order to pull out one of the bolts holding in the camber links.  Other than that, it was super easy.

stock rear camber link.  notice how new it looks, that's cuz i bent the old one, don't ask why, just don't drift on the streets boys and girls...

stock rear camber link. notice how new it looks, that's cuz i bent the old one and had it replaced. a good reason to avoid drifting on the streets boys and girls...

Battle Version camber links installed, its really easy to adjust too!!

Battle Version camber links installed, its really easy to adjust too!!

the only special tools we used, US General certified jack handle short and long style.  Notice the dual functionality of the long handle, good for rolling fenders and for gripping while swinging at assailants

the only special tools we used for the camber links install: US General certified jack handle short and long style for that extra torque leverage. Notice the dual functionality of the long handle with extra duct tape, good for rolling fenders and provides excellent grip for swinging at would-be assailants

Now on to the fun stuff, installing the tie rod inners and ends for that extra steering angle.  The Simeon brothers told me that the difficult part about installing tie rods and ends is that you have to pry loose the tie rod ends.  But I figured with three of us and the two special tools from Autozone, things would be a breeze… well, maybe if those damn tools from Autozone worked, or if we knew how to use them.  The tool I picked up looked like a vice type thing that should have mounted onto the top of the tie rod end and pressed it out, but the thing doesn’t fit onto the 350z suspension, damn.  So we tried the tool that Roy picked up which looked like a little two pronged fork.  You squeeze it in between the tie rod end and the mounting location and it should pop right out.  However, the stupid tool didn’t do much except pop the rubber bushing on the stock tie rod end.  Luckily for us, we still had one more highly sophisticated tool to use as a last resort.  Good luck indeed, the special tool worked and the tie rod ends came right out.  Afterwards, the installation was very simple, just bend the little tabs on the inner tie rod ends and unscrew.  Then install the new tie rod inners with the provided spacer which add just a tad bit more steering angle.  Finally, adjust the tie rod ends to your preference and tighten things up.

stock tie rod and ends on the car

stock tie rod and end on the car

after much banging and cussing, we freed loose the tie rod end

using our special tool, we freed loose the tie rod end
highly specialized and sophisticated tool for removing tie rod ends and manipulating other things that aren't too fragile

our highly specialized and sophisticated tool for removing tie rod ends and manipulating other non-fragile objects. works best in conjunction with hefty swinging and loud profanities.

notice that the tein rod and end (bottom) can be adjusted to give a lot more angle.  However, I installed the piece with less thread showing so that I don't have to worry about clearance issues and snapping the rod.

the tein rod and end (bottom) is a little bit beefier than the stock piece and can be adjusted to allow more steering angle. However, I installed the piece with less thread showing so that I don't have to worry about clearance issues and snapping the rod.

the tein inner rod (right) has more thread so that you can add a spacer for a little bit more length

the tein inner rod (right) has more thread than the stock rod (left). this provides room for a little spacer resulting in a little bit more steering angle.

neither of us could loosen the tie rod from the ends by ourselves, but with teamwork, it was super easy to loosen

getting some much needed help from good ol' Roy

before with stock tie rod inners and ends

before with stock tie rod inners and ends

after with Tein Tie Rod Inners and Ends

after with Tein Tie Rod Inners and Ends. we added a little bit more steering angle, but i'm sure with some tuning and a couple more slight modifications to the steering stop, we can achieve a bit more angle, but that'll have to wait for another day.

Now with the extra steering angle, I hope that I’ll have a little extra “fudge” room while drifting, you know, so I don’t spin out as easily.  Normally, with my limited stock steering angle, I hit my steering angle stop pretty easily making me spin out if I mess up mid-drift.  I’m hoping that with this extra steering angle, I will have a little bit more freedom to maintain angle yet be assured that I have a little cushion leftover for mistakes.  However, as I write this, I’m thinking to myself, won’t I just be hitting the new steering angle stop and still spinning out?  I mean, I don’t think my hands are sensitive enough to just utilize a portion of the newly available steering angle.  I guess I’ll just have to wait till the next event, which is this SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY!!!!  Can’t wait to try full counter with the new setup, hahahhahha.

Here’s a picture we took of a lizard in Marvin’s yard.  It was a funny distraction, Marvin yelled “hey look, its a lizard!!” and we all ran over to take a look.  We were able to snap a real quick picture of it by spraying some water on it to keep it in place.  To our surprise, the lizard ran towards the water which was in the same direction as our feet and scared the shit out of us, kinda embarassing, but funny, hahhaha.

its hard to see the lizard against all the rocks.  its belly was sorta pink and it had spots all over it, hmm, maybe i can get someone to upholster my Z's interior....

its hard to see the lizard against all the rocks. its belly was sorta pink and it had spots all over it, hmm, maybe i can get someone to upholster my Z's interior....

After working all morning and into the afternoon, we went to eat some hawaiian plate lunch.  I forgot the name of the place, but its near Eastern and 215.  I'll ask Marvin for the name of it, you have to go try it out, they have bomb bento boxes, mmmmmmm!!!

After working all morning and into the afternoon, we went to eat some hawaiian plate lunch. I forgot the name of the place, but its near Eastern and 215. I'll ask Marvin for the name of it, you have to go try it out, they have bomb bento boxes, mmmmmmm!!!

After we ate lunch, I packed up all my stuff and decided to drive home.  If you didn’t know this already, after you install any new suspension components on your car, you have to get an alignment.  My suspension was pretty out of whack and since it was a Sunday, I had to wait till the following day to get an alignment (I don’t know how to do my own alignments).  Roy helped me do a really quick alignment so that I could drive home safely, but you could still feel that it was a little off.  On the 215 at around 60+ mph, you could feel the rear end shift slightly from side to side, its a funny sensation because you think the car is gonna oversteer on you but it doesn’t, haha.

Happy with the work done on my car, I was cruising home noticing the suspension and steering behavior when all of a sudden, I hear a loud metal clink!!!  Dammit, what hit my car??  I didn’t notice any debris in my rear view mirror so I didn’t pull over and didn’t look at my car till I got home.  Crap, when i got home, I noticed that a bolt fell off my front left steering stop.  Luckily for me, the other bolt was still hanging on by a few threads so I didn’t lose the actual steering stop and only had to find one replacement bolt, thank you Home Depot!!!  Reminder to self, double check every bolt twice before getting on the expressway.

steering stop with the single bolt that didn't fall off on the freeway

steering stop with the single bolt that didn't fall off on the freeway

5/18/09

So you might be wondering, where are the pictures from after the rear camber links install?  Well, I wanted to post it next to the picture I took after I got my alignment.  But first, let me tell you about getting my car aligned the following day (monday).  I called Bomac, after I got home on Sunday, to ask him if his dad could align my car on Monday.  He said sure, just take it into his work (Vegas Auto Care on Spring Mountain and Jones) early in the morning and he’ll hook me up.  So I roll up to the shop and there is Bomac’s dad Mio working on a little pickup.  After finishing up a few things on the truck, he rolls my car up onto the lift and takes a look.  Now this is where things get interesting.  If you haven’t met Mio, lemme tell ya, the guy is friggin Bunta!!  As he was checking out my suspsension, he started shaking his head and walking back and forth, then he told me that he couldn’t fix much of the camber without messing with my toe too much.  Dammit, why didn’t I think about getting toe links.  I guess that with the 350Z, you only have limited adjustability if you don’t install both adjustable camber and toe links.  Mio seemed a little frustrated by my half-ass modification and told me that he had to think for a minute.  Next thing I know, he’s under the hood of another car and drives off (btw, Mio was working on several cars at once, helluva multi-tasker, ha).  Anyways, after he got back from a test drive, he really got to work on my car.  He stared at it for a while, adjusted a couple things here and there, rolled the car back and forth on the lift with his hands, stared at it some more, and repeat.  After a bit of this, he told me that he was done and that he couldn’t adjust it anymore.  Then he proceeded to school me on some suspension tech.  To make a long lesson short, he basically convinced me that I need to buy some new parts.  However, working with what little I gave him, he worked wonders and my car feels great!!!  THANKS MIO aka BUNTA!!!  I’m pretty excited and can’t wait to tear it up this weekend at Just Drift Vegas.

my whacked out rear suspension after the installing the new links.  it drove a little funny, but it kinda looked cool with the negative camber and dumped rear end.

my whacked out rear suspension after installing the new links. it drove a little funny, but it kinda looked cool with the negative camber and dumped rear end.

after Mio my car, pretty damn straight to me, but Mio thinks we can do better  :)

after Mio aligned my car, pretty damn straight to me, but Mio thinks we can do better 🙂

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2 Responses to “Installed New Camber Links & Tie Rods and Ends”

  1. Thanks for sharing this informative post with us . Will visit your blog again.

  2. whoa! cool post inku! very informative and exciting to read! lolz. thats like a whole weekend of everything! ttyl buddy.

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