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Causes for toe-out on a Protege5?

Mikeyman64

Zoomer
:
Atlanta
:
2002/2003.5 "MSP5"
Hey all,

While I'm waiting on transmission parts to come in for that black 2003 P5, I have another question.

The car has a pretty severe toe-out on the front drivers side wheel. it's at least 4-5degrees (maybe more). The bearings seem sound, no wobble in the wheels, rack and pinion seems tight and both wheels move smoothly at the same time when turning. I jacked up the front of the car and twisted the wheel by hand to test. Control arm bushings appear tight and solid, no tearing.

So in my mind, all that could be left is either a tie-rod end needing to be screwed out, or possible a slightly bent tie-rod, but It doesn't look obviously bent, and I find it odd that a tie-rod end would need that much adjustment.

What other things should I be looking at before throwing in the towel and paying $100 for an alignment (if that would even fix it).

Thanks!
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
Perhaps some work was done on that corner and no alignment was done afterward.

As long as there is no slack and nothing is worn, adjusting the tie rod end should fix it.

I do my own alignment with some strips of wood screwed together.
Some guys use string to do their own toe-in adjustment.

If you're not looking for absolutely perfect, you could do it yourself.




 

Mikeyman64

Zoomer
:
Atlanta
:
2002/2003.5 "MSP5"
Awesome! I'll give this a shot and see what I can do. I've been wanting to learn to do alignments for a while now.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
If your steering wheel is centered and your passenger side wheel is straight, then only adjust your driver's side tie rod end or your steering wheel won't stay centered.
 

Mikeyman64

Zoomer
:
Atlanta
:
2002/2003.5 "MSP5"
If your steering wheel is centered and your passenger side wheel is straight, then only adjust your driver's side tie rod end or your steering wheel won't stay centered.
Will do.

Yeah, I think the guys that aligned my "MSP5" last time I was in did not do this. The car falls perfectly into spec, but the steering wheel is tilted a little to the right. I would love to change tire shops, as these guys are not the greatest (they charged me for 4 new valve stems since one was leaking, and they left all 4 on... had a flat when I got home...) but I have a grandfathered "lifetime alignment" warranty, so it's hard to change.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
Those lock nuts can be tight.
Use two wrenches so you don't put pressure on the tie rod end.

I think I used a big vise grip on the tie rod.


 

Mikeyman64

Zoomer
:
Atlanta
:
2002/2003.5 "MSP5"
Those lock nuts can be tight.
Use two wrenches so you don't put pressure on the tie rod end.

I think I used a big vise grip on the tie rod.


I replaced the ends on my personal P5 a couple months ago. That nut was super tight!

So you can twist the tie rod freely once the nut is loose? I was under the impression that you had to pop the tie rod ball joint out of the steering knuckle and twist the end to adjust.
 
:
2003 Mazda Protege5
I'd soak them in pb blaster for a while, I had to cut mine off. Maybe you don't deal with rust to the extent most of us do.
 

pcb

The Diagram Dude
:
2002 mazda protege 5
Yes, you just turn the rod. It spins easily once the locknut is loose.

Make sure the band on the inner boot is loose so it can spin without twisting the boot.
 

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