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Old 11-13-2012, 06:29 AM   #1
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


It has been a long time since I replaced an outer tire rod end, but being bored and trying to save my daughter a few bucks, I decided to do it. Seemed like a quick and easy job. Unfortunately it has me a bit stymied. When I turn the nut, the shaft turns also, and so will not come off. Anyone have a solution for this?
Years ago, when I did one or two of these, there was a castle nut and a cotter pin. The nut came off easily if I recall. This one seems to be possibly a lock nut, no cotter pin.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:52 AM   #2
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


I'm pretty sure that it came from the factory with a castle nut and cotter pin, as you mentioned, or, although I don't recall seeing them used in this particular application, possibly a pair of nuts with a washer with tabs in between them. Either way, figuring out what is holding the nut in place and addressing that is the first step. Unless someone got to it before you, and left out a step. I would then try to draw the stud in as deep as I could, possibly with a C clamp or pry bar while trying again to remove the nut, and, for this task, an impact wrench is your best bet; the rat-a-tat-tat beats a wrench or breaker bar tenfold. If that doesn't work, I'd say to heck with it, and, carefully attack it with a nut splitter, grinder, or torch. Sometimes you can heat the nut enough to expand it, and then get it loose, without having to actually cut it off, obviously keeping in mind that it's HOT at that point.


Last edited by DexterII; 11-13-2012 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:12 AM   #3
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


Impact is your friend in this instance, if the nut you're talking about is at the steering knuckle.

For future reference, telling what kind of vehicle you're working on can be helpful. An old Dodge Ram is quite a bit different than a Volkswagen Jetta.
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Old 11-13-2012, 11:32 AM   #4
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


Quote:
Originally Posted by DexterII View Post
I would then try to draw the stud in as deep as I could, possibly with a C clamp or pry bar while trying again to remove the nut, and, for this task, an impact wrench is your best bet; the rat-a-tat-tat beats a wrench or breaker bar tenfold. If that doesn't work, I'd say to heck with it, and, carefully attack it with a nut splitter, grinder, or torch. Sometimes you can heat the nut enough to expand it, and then get it loose, without having to actually cut it off, obviously keeping in mind that it's HOT at that point.
If the car has rack and pinion, first step is to loosen the jamb nut 1/16 to 1/8 turn. Much easier to do with the outer attached. Do not loosen much more. You will use the jamb nut's position to get the new tie rod close.
The nut is self locking. The friction between the tie rod taper and the spindle should have held the stud from turning. Try an impact wrench and pry the tie rod towards the spindle with a bar or you can also use a jack if the nut is on top.
Once you get the nut off, take a bfh and hit the spindle at 90 to the tie rod stud. The shock will loosen it from the spindle.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:24 PM   #5
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


If you don't have an impact, like said prior, take a wrench and with the BOX end on the nut, whack the other end with a decent sized hammer ( 22 or 24 oz, if you have a mini-sledge, even better ) while holding the wrench steady. Watch your fingers....LOL.

If that doesn't work, and you don't have a heat wrench - mini propane/MAPP gas torch - AND the stud for the tie rod faces up, get a floor jack and load just the end where it goes into the knuckle, repeat hammer and wrench technique. The loading with the jack on the stud, most of the time, puts enough friction on it to keep it "locked" in place. You're not trying to jack the whole car up, just enough that the strut ( assuming that's what the car has ) starts to move.

If all that fails, head to Sears/auto parts store and get a nut splitter. Before doing that, make sure the nut will fit one. The nut splitters I've seen/have wont fit over a nut that's bigger than 7/8" or so.
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Old 11-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


Thanks for all the replies. ..........Mort....I thought all GM cars would be the same, so that is why I only said GM. Anyway, it is a Buick Lacrosse. ............DexterII, no castle nut, and I would think it came from the factory like that..she bought it fairly new. I tried most of everyone suggestions, impact, heat, etc. and nothing worked. (gotta love that smell of burning boot rubber) Anyway, the thing is off. The nut was loosened just enough to get out the trusty hack saw, and cut through the shaft. Not an easy job, not a fast job, and my right arm with be making sawing motions in my sleep. When the other side goes, Dad will not be so quick to volunteer.
Thanks to all.
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:15 PM   #7
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


interesting. You cut the stud with a hacksaw? They are supposed to be hardened. Something ain't right in the picture.
But yes, I feel your pain. Lots of Liquid Wrench, impact if you can get it on, or jam it in place, like guys suggested.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


[quote=ukrkoz;1051719 Something ain't right in the picture.
.[/quote]

I am not sure if you are questioning my integrity, however the procedure was presented as a solution on YouTube in one of the many DIY videos on tie rod removal. Hardened steel or not, perhaps all that was needed was a quality hacksaw and some #@##@# determination. It only had to be cut half way through, and a smack with a mallet broke it off.

Last edited by polarzak; 11-14-2012 at 10:30 AM.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:36 PM   #9
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


I know you got this already, but if anyone else reads this...

You can often load the tie rod end with a pickle fork and then hit the nut with an impact and get it to come loose. The load you place on the joint will often create enough friction to stop the stud from turning while trying to undo the nut.

Glad you got it!
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:59 PM   #10
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


wow, no, not questioning that much.
But I worked as a tool maker for 6 years, and know a lot about metal, heat treating, and annealing. It is guaranteed that that rod has to be heat treated. Hacksaws simply do not cut heat hardened materials. Anything harder than 40 Rockwell scale. Butter knife is 45 or so. Of course, they are likely "cemented", which means - they are covered in charcoal, heated to 870 Celsisus, and held under that temp for about several hrs. Carbon permeates outer metal layer, then they are dropped into cold water. So that they are flexible inside and hard on the outside.
Cemented layer is thin, but still. So, it either rubbed off, or some cheap metal was used on it. That's what I was curious about. Takes a hell of hacksaw to cut through cemented layer. As in - I have never seen one that will. They just slide atop and dull out.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:35 AM   #11
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Replacing a GM Outer Tie Rod end


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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
or some cheap metal was used on it. That's what I was curious about. Takes a hell of hacksaw to cut through cemented layer. As in - I have never seen one that will. They just slide atop and dull out.
You obviously know your stuff. Perhaps cheap Chinese parts. Whatever the case, I spent about a half hour this morning on Youtube trying to find the video of the fellow hack sawing half way though, and then smacking it with a hammer once or twice until it broke off. Check the video out, about half way through.


Anyway it is done. Thanks again to all for your help and suggestions.


Last edited by polarzak; 11-15-2012 at 06:42 AM.
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