Products to Compare (max of 3)
Compare These Parts

How to Measure Tie Rods or Drag Links

Add Article To List

How to Measure for a Tie Rod and Drag Link

Speedway Motors Tie Rod and Drag Link kits can be used on a wide variety of applications, but they are very common on hot rods and other straight axle equipped cars. They come in a long list of standard lengths with tapered tie-rod ends or spherical heim joint ends and in plain as well as chrome and stainless. One thing that is common across all applications and varieties is the need to accurately measure before ordering your kit. In this article and the accompanying video, we will show you how to measure for your tie rod or drag link to ensure that your kit fits and functions as it should.

Measuring a Tie Rod or Drag Link: Step-by-Step

  1. Mockup your front axle; spindles with steering arms, steering box, and pitman arm.
  2. Align your spindles in a straight-ahead position and center the steering box midway between the left and right turn limits.
  3. Measure the eye-to-eye length between the steering arm holes and from the pitman arm hole to the steering arm hole. These will be the measurements we need to match or to build the correct tie rod or drag link for your car.
Tie Rod Measurements Diagram

Measuring and Modifying - a Few Notes

The above directions and diagram are pretty straightforward and will help you to arrive at the correct measurement. However, there are a few additional things to remember. First, it's important to note that the specified length will be the assembled, eye-to-eye length of the tie rod or drag link with the ends installed. The length of the tube itself will be 3" shorter than the assembled length. So, it's important not to confuse these lengths when placing your order.

Also, there is some adjustment built into these assemblies. They are threaded right-handed on one end and left-handed on the other, enabling you to loosen the jam nuts and adjust the overall length by turning the tube. You will be able to adjust the length approximately 1/2" shorter and 3/4" longer, allowing easy alignment and fine tuning.

Sometimes your application will require a length that is not available. We do offer custom length kits, but you may prefer to save some money by modifying a standard length. This process is shown in the above video. Make sure you have the correct tap available, and be sure to cut the end that corresponds with your tap. In other words, if you only have a right-hand tap, don't cut the left-handed side. And, as always, measure twice and cut once!

Updated by Joe McCollough.

Products Featured in this Article

Related Articles

Understanding Shock Types and What Is Best for Your Project
by Mark Houlahan - Posted in Tech
Shocks and struts may be confusing, but our buyer's guide is here to help you make sense of all the options.
1949- '54 Chevy Spindles Specs
Check out these 1949- '54 Chevy Spindles Specs!
1937- '48 Ford Spindle Specs
Check out these 1937-'48 Ford spindle diagrams and advice on how to assemble them!
Model A I Beam Front Axle Install
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Our hot rod expert takes you through his ford I beam axle setup. Follow as he sets up the front end on his split wishbone front suspension Model A.
Selecting the Right Coil-Over for Your T-Bucket
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Speedway Motors shares a How-To of selecting the right coilovers for your T-Bucket.
How to Build a DIY 3 link Suspension
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Learn how to build your own 3 Link Suspension. Our expert goes over his process for building a custom adjustable 3-link rear suspension for his 1967 Cougar.
Do I Need A Panhard Bar?
Do you need a Panhard Bar on your front suspension? Find out whether its recommended to have one on your four-bar or cross steering system.
Ford And Chevy Spindle Options For Solid Axle Hot Rods
by Speedway Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Dive into some of the history and unique differences between Ford and Chevy spindles for solid front axles and what will perform best on your hot rod.
Stallard SST Rear Axle Installation
by EMi Tech Team - Posted in Videos
Eagle Motorsports, Inc. put together a how-to video on installing their Stallard SST Rear Axle Assembly.
Stallard SST Front Axle Installation
by EMi Tech Team - Posted in Tech
Eagle Motorsports, Inc. put together a how-to video on installing their Stallard SST Front Axle Assembly.