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BINGO!

DaleB said:
I believe that's a stabilizer link, if a tie-rod broke you might not be here to write your story. Sorry, didn't mean to get too picky.
Maybe it should be thicker, but if really 'under engineered' it should be breaking on a lot more MDXs unless they had a bad batch which is more likely.
Same thing was bugging me too -- it is NOT being too picky; suppose you go to service writer (who admittedly sometimes are pretty thick themselves) claiming "I got a busted tie rod". Well, they will FREAK OUT, because you would have little or no ability to STEER. They then find out from tech that it was a busted stabilizer link, and think "Nut case customer doesn't know his _ _ _ from a hole in the ground..."

By the way the problem with the STABILIZER LINK is probably from a manufacturing defect( typically the subcontractor making the links welds the ends on and this requires close inspection to be sure the weld is done right before the parts are painted) or problem with the bushing assembly which causes excessive twisting force on the stabilizer link so it will not move in the plane it was designed to, and eventaully stress fracture. This is consistent with the break occuring close to the mounting point, as shown in the photo. If it were under engineered t would probably fail up in the shaft area. Also, if the stabilizer(sway bar) itself BROKE it would indicate improper metalurgy, as the bar is HUGE.

As to safety -- no vehicle is undriveable without the stabilizer(sway bar) BUT it can (will) feel much less confidant when cornering. I would also worry about the broken link smacking around and leading to more damage. Not surprising that the shop would keep it, as probably 75% of mechanics would not feel right driving it without the bar/links. The other 25% would just corner at lower speeds...
 

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Forged or cast...

DaleB said:
Given all that, hopefully their acceptance criteria for tie-rods is more stringent than it is for stabilizer links.
That is generally the "standard" for critical safety items...

On competition vehicles that use links, they'll use CrMo tubing threaded for adjustability, with forged ends. I suspect the link ends of the MDX are forged and theb welded to mild steel tubing. Perfectly acceptable as long as the inspection is thorough. They might want to have other than visula inspection to verify integretity - though these are 'non-critical' items and probably cheap to replace as well.
 

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Didn't mean to suggest anything...

jst4fun said:
Here's the deal on my busted "tie Rod". Since reading the posts here I got my invoice and you all are correct, it was not the tie rod. It was the left rear Linkage Arm, just like in the picture. In fact if any one cares, here's the part number: 52325-S3V-003. My service Tech first called it the Tie rod and I did'nt check the part description. Untill now. Thanks to all. I'am still bummed, but at least I'm not alone. Renov8r, The customer does'nt have to know his ___ from a hole in the wall because in the final analysis it's up to the service tech to find and correct the problem.
...I was more concerned about giving folks a "heads-up" that this is NOT a critical safety item.

You are dead-on, it ought not matter if the customer doesn't know what broke.
 

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Folks , it is a bad WELD -- welds fail when they are not done properly

It is a fairly high level skill to do a good weld. I have seen LOTS of welds that are crummy in LOTS of places, from roadcrews cobbing together a set of girders (where I assume the concrete and bolted joints actually provide most of the strenght) to gate posts in my yard (where I called back the installers TWICE) to busted bicycle frames (more on that).

Basically without a CLEAN metal-to-metal JOINT (which often requires grinding, fitting and other time consuming prep) welds FAIL. One has to get good (you'll love this) PENETRATION of the welding wire/rod into the joint. Big uneven sloppy joints will gobble up the welding material, it will NOT be molten when it bonds the surfaces and POOF failed weld.

In the olden days (before inert gas welding) one could only use extreme heat to weld and than extreme heat limited the kinds of materials that were weldable. That is why brazing (using a low temp solder to join materials) was the method used for bicycle construction.

Anyhow, the reason I bring this up is a) to dissuade anyone from bothering to try and contract with some yahoo from re-weldiing the LINKS b) discourage the use of titanium alloy to replace the links c) give some perspective to what welding involves.

Here is a cached link to some othe best titantium welds around:
http://216.239.53.100/search?q=cach...logy/welding.html+"good+weld+"&hl=en&ie=UTF-8
 

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Re: Driving Conditions

It is useless to document the conditions.

Bad welds will fail.

Under the right conditions, with a bad enough weld, simply THINKING about the weld ought to cause it to pop...

(and you wouldn't have to be <a href="http://www.andrewtobias.com/newcolumns/990330.html">Uri Geller or the Amazing Randy</a>...)

mikejadams said:
At least three of us here have had the linkage break under the same conditions - coming into a driveway at an angle where one rear wheel is compressed. I don't think this has anything to do with weather or geography. I am in flat Florida, an old man who has never engaged four wheel drive. Nothing but conservative driving on my part.

If any more of you know the conditions under which your linkage broke, you should post this information.

Mike A.
 
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