You've probably noticed that the steering response in your car has gotten sloppy lately, and it could be that your center link is to blame. After all, it's getting up there in years. Cars and trucks built with steering linkage components are going to eventually wear out at the ball stud and socket joints if they are not greased often enough. Even the most regular service schedule isn't going to be enough to reverse the effects of old man time. That's why you may have to replace your center link and other components in that system like the tie rod ends, idler arm, or pitman arm. Otherwise, all of the rotational components on these parts will ultimately give out and you will have virtually no steering response at all. At first, perhaps a quarter of a turn on the steering wheel yields no results. While this is a minor inconvenience, it is also a warning sign that the ball studs are wearing loose inside the socket. At this point, locating and purchasing a new center link would be the appropriate move to make. As soon as you have one, get it installed so you don't wander into dangerous territory or off the road.
Center links, or drag links
as they are sometimes called, are used to translate the rotation of the steering wheel from the driver into lateral motion. This motion is then sent through the tie rods to the steering knuckles and spindles. The way that the circular rotation of the steering wheel is converted to a lateral move is by way of the multiple ball joints where these links meet up with each other are allowed a little bit of play. And as the center link pivots off the idler arm, all of the tie rods now move in straight lines toward the spindles.
Since the only way to access your steering linkage is by taking the wheels off, it's obvious that your car or truck be lifted up and rested on jack stands. Also, you have to make sure your wheels are pointed straight. Once you've got this under control, you are ready to begin your center link replacement.
- First, disconnect the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles. This will allow you drop all the linkage components at once.
- Next, unbolt the idler arm frame bracket, and also unbolt the pitman arm from the stud on the center link where it is connected.
- Now you can drop the entire steering linkage assembly. While it's on your bench or the ground, you can disconnect all the other links from the center link, and install your new one.
- Finally, replace your new linkage in reverse order.
With the safety of your passengers depending literally on the quality of your replacement parts, you shouldn't just go to the store or online and buy the cheapest center link around. At Car Parts Discount, we offer top brand names from only the best aftermarket manufacturers. On occasion, we will even have the genuine original equipment part available too. So when it comes time to fix steering and suspension parts on your car, especially one as important as a center link, you don't need to go anywhere else. We've got the parts you want at unbeatable prices, and can get them to you immediately.