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The Durango was marketed as a sturdy truck-based SUV designed to hold up to seven passengers and tow up to 7,500 lb (3,400 kg) when properly equipped.

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What do I do when the mechanic is wrong?

I took my Durango in for an alignment after I just put on new inner & outer tie rods on both sides, the shop said that they cant align it because of a bad upper ball joint on the passengers side. Looks like im gonna now have to do ball joints. BUT, the mechanic had said that he is 90% sure that I put the outer tie rod in the steering knuckle upside down! I have spent hours looking through the internet at pictures, etc. for the tie rods on my 2000 dodge durango & they all show the outer tie rod ball joint has the threads pointing up in the steering knuckle, just like I did on mine. The alignment guy has to be wrong!  What do I do? Though I am expecting to replace the ball joints, after they claim just the upper passenger side ball joint is bad, if I do one im gonna do them all. But to do this will take a lot of driving around, which concerns me, not about the ball joints but the alignment issue. Since they didn’t align it, I am worried what harm could that cause? Is it dangerous? Can something break? It feels ok driving, but it always had even before the new tie rods. I didn’t even know the inner tie rods were bad until I took it in to have a few of the lug nut studs replaced and when up on the rack the mechanic notified me, he said only the inner ones but I replaced both inner & outer. I have even checked a few times for bad ball joints when doing the tie rods while up on jacks. I found no play, only play at 9 & 3 o'clock, indicating faulty tie rods.

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Again, what should I be concerned about, if anything driving my durango being outta of alignment?

Should I get a second opinion? Would it be safe to drive it another shop?

THANK YOU

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@theresajan50992 we most certainly all understand your concerns. Your tie rod ends are installed properly. No, nothing is going to fall off immediately. Bad alignment may cause your tires to wear odd, and your Durango may pull more to one side. Again, not a big immediate issue,

Should I get a second opinion? Would it be safe to drive it another shop? The way I look at it, your trust in this shop is gone. No matter what they do or say, you will always have doubt about it. Yes, I suggest you get a second opinion somewhere else. It's more a state of mind but that is sometimes more important than anything else.

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Thank you, I feel better about having the tie rods on correctly. And that it's drive-able, though that will be as minimal as possible.

You are absolutely spot on about not trusting that shop. So I will be searching for other shops & opinions.

Thanx again, for without your help, I wouldn’t be able to keep my car on the road, in good working condition, and avoiding bigger more expensive issues. It's an old car with lots of miles, though it is in really good shape (it's a California car) I know that it will take constant care, and that’s OK if I am able to avoid a catastrophe.

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SUCCESS! THANX TO ALL YOUR HELP -

Yesterday, I took my car to the shop that had originally told me that I needed inner tie rods. They aligned it. They told me that I did have the tie rods on correctly & that I did a good job, that the alignment was not far off. AND that the ball joints are good, with very little play, not enough to need replacing & that if they were bad, they would not have aligned it.

They even gave me a spread sheet, a full page with a complete digital description with the degrees & all of what it was, before, after, etc. Very thorough! And the car drove like a dream on the way home!!

What a relief! Alignement was successful, and no need for me to do the ball points.

AND I HAVE ALL OF YOU TO THANK FOR!! WITHOUT ALL YOUR HELP, EVERY STEP OF THE WAY, FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END. I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACHIEVE THIS ISSUE SUCCESSFULLY! THANK YOU AGAIN!

Next on my list is a possible transmission fluid & filter change. & I would like to have do a compression test on all the cylinders. With over 314.000 miles on it & it being 23 years old, I am curious what condition the motor is in. Though it seems to run well, the only thing that I can tell that might be of concern is that sometimes when im idling it seems like maybe there is a small miss. But, no rush!! Just enjoying the fact that my front end issues are resolved & being over that hurdle.

THANX AGAIN!!

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