Know Your Torque Rods: Inspection and Replacement
September 18, 2019
TRP All-Makes Torque Rods are manufactured in the USA and are designed to prevent bushing walk-out and for an extended life. TRP Torque Rod Assemblies have rubber bushings to maximize vibration absorption and extend the life of your suspension.
Features and Benefits
- Broad range of sizes to cover popular applications
- Tested to exceed industry standards for quality
- Significant cost advantage and 1 year no-hassle aftermarket warranty
- Two rod designs available:
1. Single bond- The bushing is bonded to the rod.
2. Bonded and Curled- The bushing is bonded to the rod and the rod end is curled around the bushing.
- Three different torque rod ends:
1. Straddle-mount bushing
2. Taper-mount bushing
3. Hollow-mount bushing
Torque rod inspection should be part of a vehicle’s routine inspection schedule. According to TMC Recommended Practice 1506 (RP1506), these inspections should happen at least once a month.
When performing these inspections, check the following:
- Inspect torque rod fasteners and torque rod bracket fasteners to ensure they are tightened to specification
- Visually inspect the torque rods for bends, cracks, or other damage
- Inspect the bushing looking for worn, torn, cut or walked out bushings
- Check the mounting locations for elongated holes, cracks or other damage
Damaged torque rods can result in one of the most severe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) violations, resulting in a 7-point penalty. Damaged torque rods must be replaced immediately.
Why Replace Damaged Torque Rods?
If maintenance and inspection is overlooked, damaged torque rods could lead to:
- Unstable steering, including shaking or swaying during lane changes and wandering when driving in a straight line
- Thumping or banging sounds when decelerating or going around turns
- Increased road noise and rattling
- Universal joint (U-joint) failure
- Driveline vibrations, also known as driveline whip
- Loss of traction
- Excessive tire wear, especially feathering, cupping, and odd tread patterns
- Cracks in the frame or suspension brackets
- Excessive suspension bushing wear and premature failure
- Axle housing fatigue
- Air spring fatigue and premature failure
- Transmission and differential seal leaks
When Should Torque Rods Be Replaced?
While there is not a prescribed mileage or date for replacement, routine visual inspection should tell you when a torque rod should be replaced. Replacement should occur when:
- The torque rod is bent
- There is more than 1/8 inch of movement in the rod end
- A bushing is cracked, has unequal exposure, is ruptured, or is otherwise damaged
- The mounting bolt hole is damaged