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Bad Tie Rods for LX Vehicles: Chrysler 300c; Dodge Magnum RT, Dodge Charge RT

If you own a Chrysler 300c (or other V8 non-SRT8 models) and experiencing vibration when driving at high speeds or under braking, most likely it’s your front end steering components.  Before you think the brakes are out read this blog.  The Chrysler also known as LX models are in the same family as Dodge Magnum and Chargers.  So if you own one of those as well, these problems might be coming your way if you haven’t already expected it.

My warranty expired and it’s hard to find trust worthy technicians, so I’ve been doing research on the web to find out the buzz on our LX rides.   I just like to know what I’m expecting before taking it to the dealer, because I don’t want to come out with a  fat large bill and not expecting one.  There are two great forums I search on and they:  www.lxforums.com; and www.300cforums.

First off, I took my car to get it aligned, because it’s been been pulling to the right again.  (Another common issue.)  So I went to my local shop, because they are able to balance my 300c with 22′s and lowered suspension.  The mechanic started to diagnose my ride and notice my that wheels are wobbling a little bit from 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock hand position.  He told me that my inner tie rod is bad, because it had play.  After he told me that, I realized that this was one of the causes for my right front tire to wear out faster then my left.  Plus the left front tire also had a bubble, which I had to recently change.  Yea, I know sad.  I thought it was my bad alignment that cause my tire wear and bubble, but it was also the bad tie rods.

Before we go any further, lets take a look at the video to see what wobble I’m getting:

Special Thanks to whoever recorded the video!  Big help!

Sample of Outter Tie Rod

Sample of Outter Tie Rod (Image #1)

In  the second video you can see the outer tie rod (sample of out tie rod image #1 above) and when the gentleman shakes the wheels its likely the inner part that has play.  When it has play its cause the front wheels to wobble.  My left and right wheels wobbles like the video, right wheel more the the left wheel.  It’s scary driving under these conditions because you get a lot of vibration from the steering wheel.  If the wobbling goes really bad you can start loosing steering control.

After reading many LX forums, I see fellow LX riders have other problematic issues.  From what I read, other common issue is the outer tie rod going bad as well the inner tie rod.  As side from that, the rack & pinion goes out as well.  Many of LX owners had these problems at 6k, 12k, 20k and mine was 50k miles.  This is my big disappointment for Chrysler and Dodge.

My local shop told me it was the inner tie.  So I went to Napa and picked up a pair of inner tie rod which came out to around $80.00.  The local shop was going to do the install and alignment for $220.00.  After they installed the inner tie rods they we tired to do the alignment.  Guess what, they couldn’t align the car.  They told me that the chamber kit wasn’t centered and they couldn’t align it.  I only end up paying for the tie rod install which was $120.00.

After that, I drove the car for a month, but I don’t drive that much because we carpool here at work.  (R1 going GREEN!)  The front end wasn’t shaky that much, but it was really was really pulling to the right still.  After that month, it was over and all went bad again.  I now had lots of play on the front wheels, and was worse than before.

I finally got the time to drop off the dealer.  Just a heads up, for them to even check on your car, it runs around $100.00.  If you decided to fix it with them then they won’t charge it.  After they checked it, they told me the rack & pinion was bad.  The Tech took me over to my car as it was lifted and showed me the play it had on the rack and pinion.  The right side was very bad compared to the left side.  Now to the part where I empty out my wallet.  The rack and pinion cost everything and 2 hours of labor cost a little over $800.00, plus I had to get it aligned after for another $100.  They hook me up on the hours because the lady from the service desk  said its usually around 4.5 hours of labor.  I was happy that it cost me under $1000.  The parts are backed ordered as I guess many of these parts has been going bad for many.  I will do a follow up as they get the parts in and when is done.  Hopefully no more problems.  I really wished I had gotten the extended warranty.  I really thought since we’re in the new millennium that these kinda of problem wouldn’t occur will the the new age technology, but it hasn’t.

So for those who can still get extended warranty on your car,  I so recommended it.  It usually around $2000 and less for an additional of 2 to 3 years or whatevers miles on top of factory 3 year/36k miles.  You can make it in monthly payments on the extended warranty.  If there’s any problems you have the freedom of mind that you can just take direct to the dealer for them to fix.

Rack and Pinion (Image from CarDone Industries)

Rack and Pinion (Image from CarDone Industries)

Rack and Pinion

Rack and Pinion

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4 Responses to Bad Tie Rods for LX Vehicles: Chrysler 300c; Dodge Magnum RT, Dodge Charge RT

  1. mh488 February 22, 2009 at 1:26 pm #

    Maybe when altering the suspension and increasing the wheel and tire sizes, one might expect some of the parts designed for the original equipment setup would break under the added stresses placed on them. On the flip side of that, every auto maker has problems with defective parts/ designs even in this day of high technology, especially now when money is tight. I hope the problems do not return as I know having problems with the ride just plain sucks!

    • Tek February 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

      Thanks for feeling my pain. The dealer told me that with alteration of the suspension and wheel size increase can take a toll on the parts. I also read many members with stock ride had problems as well. But honestly Chrysler and Dodge marketed these car to be altered and customized.

      I’m getting it fix this Friday, so I super excited and want this to be a thing of the pass. I still love my car and can’t wait to take it back on the road.

  2. lt January 24, 2011 at 8:47 am #

    Yep
    dodge magnum 2005  $2200 front end needs all redone
    Rack, Tie rod, Ball Joints. A mechanic that I have used for many years so I know hes being truthful.

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