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Old 04-20-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
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Replacing tierods


Just curious to know how much work is involved in replacing tierods?
I have a bit of play in one of them and would perfer to swap it out myself if at all possible.
Any special tools needed or any pitfalls to watch out for?
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
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Replacing tierods


what kind of vehicle and inner or outer?

In general, it is not that difficult to change a tie rod end. Depending on how accurate you are, your toe may not even need to be set.
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Old 04-20-2011, 09:14 PM   #3
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Replacing tierods


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Originally Posted by phantasm72 View Post
Just curious to know how much work is involved in replacing tierods?
I have a bit of play in one of them and would perfer to swap it out myself if at all possible.
Any special tools needed or any pitfalls to watch out for?
It's going to depend largely on the vehicle. Some are easy, some not. Also, if things are rusty, your job is much more difficult. For instance, several years ago I was surprised by how easy it was t change out all the tie rod ends & ball joints in a 740 Volvo wagon.

So what's the vehicle?

Also, plan on a front-end alignment when you're finished.


Good luck!

Last edited by DrHicks; 04-20-2011 at 09:16 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:18 AM   #4
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Replacing tierods


Make, model and year of car, please.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:27 AM   #5
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Replacing tierods


its a 2001 neon.
Its just the outter rod that needs to be replaced, as the joint has quite a bit of play in it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:47 AM   #6
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Replacing tierods


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its a 2001 neon.
Its just the outter rod that needs to be replaced, as the joint has quite a bit of play in it.
Obviously, you'll need to front end jacked up & secured, and the tire(s) removed.

First of all, PB Blaster will become your good friend. Soak down the tie rod where the end screws on. Also, soak down the tie rod end nut.

Second, remove the cotter pin in the tie rod end. Remove the tie rod end nut. Without fail, I have been able to use a small sledge hammer to tap the tie rod end out of the steering arm. However, they do sell tie rod end tools - specifically, a wedge tool you tap and a tool that looks kind of like a C-Clamp.

Third, you'll want to hold the tie rod with a pipe-wrench, and use an open-end wrench to turn off the tie rod end. *Be sure to mark & measure - from some point - to be sure you have the new tie rod end installed to the same point of extension.

Re-install.


If it were my car, I'd replace both outer tie rod ends at the same time. If one is loose, the other can't be far behind. Be sure to get tie rod ends with lifetime warranty. The more expensive ones ($55 as opposed to $15) aren't necessarily a lot better, but they do come with a grease zerk.

Also, you'll probably want to get the front end aligned after this. It's best to just do it all at once.


This is NOT an overly difficult procedure. Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:59 AM   #7
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Replacing tierods


piece o' cake.


procure new tie rod end.

on the vehicle, back off the lock/jam nut that is tightened against the back end of the tie rod end. You should use an appropriate tool to keep the inner tie rod end (actually called a socket) from rotating while breaking the nut loose. Work the nut back and forth a bit to clean the threads. Snug it up to the tie rod and place a convenient mark on one of the flats. Then, loosen the nut exactly one turn (or any convenient number you will remember).

Then, near the wheel; remove the cotter pin. Remove the nut. An impact gun is a good tool to use. If the tapered pin breaks loose from its tapered hole, it can make this a bit tougher and an impact gun allows you to zap the nut off without breaking the taper tight fit.

Then, using a couple fairly large hammers, at the steering arm end where the tie rod end goes through; place a hammer on one side of the steering arm, sharply strike the opposite side of the "loop" that the tie rod end passes through. This will cause the tie rod end to pop free from the steering arm.

Then, while holding that inner tie rod socket again (to prevent rotation), unscrew the outer tie rod end from the inner tie rod socket. Carefully count exactly how many turns it requires to remove the tie rod end.

Install the new tie rod end exactly the same number of turns. Insert the tapered part of the tie rod end into the steering arm (don't forget the rubber piece to retain the grease). Tighten the nut onto the tie rod end. I'm not into torque settings because I have done it so much, I know what tight is. This should be torqued but basically, make sure it is tight but do not strip it. Align the hole in the tapered part with one of the notches in the nut. Make sure you do this as you tighten the nut. Do not loosen the nut to align these. If necessary, snug it a bit more to align the hole and the notch. Install the cotter pin and bend back the ends to prevent it from coming out.

Then, tighten the jam nut taking note it should take the same number of turns to tighten as you loosened it. The turn count is basically a check to make sure you put the tie rod end back where the old one was set. Snug well.

If the tie rod end has a zirk fitting, install and grease the joint until grease begins to escape from the rubber cap/boot.

that's it.

Using that method, the toe setting is generally so close you will not have to have the toe reset. You should have it checked though as an improper toe setting can cause excessive tire wear as well as poor handling.
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Old 04-21-2011, 07:35 PM   #8
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Replacing tierods


don't you ever dare to tap tierod stud out of steering knuckle by hitting on the exposed end of it up!! don't! nap prolly gave you the best and easiest way to do it.
whacking on steering knuckle does break stud loose. you simply really have to WHACK it, not peck it. and it is not easy, as you will have to do it in very confined space. can't tell, how many times i hit brake shield doing this!

no matter how close you get it back on, counting turns, or marking threads with paint - you WILL HAVE TO re-align it. threads inside tierod are never cut the same, even by a robotic lather. you will be off one way or the other.

i quit marking or counting yrs ago. it does not take much effort to break locking nut loose. basically, what i started doing, i simply mark one point on that nut, break it just loose enough to be able to remove tierod, which is, normally, 1/4 of a turn, and leave it there. after tierod was reinstalled, i get it it as close to the nut as possible, and tighten the nut back.

but it's not inner rod or threads on it that will not match. it's the threads in the new tierod that won't. off setting it. just re-align it thereafter. for what it is, it is best to replace both sides same time.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
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Replacing tierods


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don't you ever dare to tap tierod stud out of steering knuckle by hitting on the exposed end of it up!! don't! nap prolly gave you the best and easiest way to do it.
whacking on steering knuckle does break stud loose. you simply really have to WHACK it, not peck it. and it is not easy, as you will have to do it in very confined space. can't tell, how many times i hit brake shield doing this!
Weird. I have yet to have ANY problems removing the nut and tapping out the stud. Never.

In fact, I have both tie rod end removal tools I described, and have never used either.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:41 PM   #10
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Replacing tierods


DIY tie rod ends are a peice of cake and a great way to save $250-$400. I'd buy a set of pickle forks 20-30 bucks wich is the hammer operated tool dr.hicks is refering to for removal of the spent tie rod. If you need to replace the ball joints down the road you should buy a puller to remove the good tie rod end so you dont ruin it with pickle forks. As everyone has advised BUY JACKSTANDS and keep your self safe, they will pay themselves off three times over by the time you finish your first set of ball joints...............that wont be far out
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:24 PM   #11
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Replacing tierods


Thanks for all the advice guys. Sounds pretty easy, and not expecting any problems unless something is seriously rusted up.
Ok, im not a mechanical genius by any means. Inner and outer tierods. Am I correct in assuming the outer tierod attached to the inner tierod? And that the reason they are seperate is so that they can be adjusted (for wheel alignment purposes)
How do you know if the inner tierod needs to be replaced too? Is there anything to look for, other than the obvious or being bent or serverely rusted.
Also, whats the difference in quality of tierods? I phoned around, and Ive gotten quotes for one outer being anywhere from $8 to $50. Is there that much of a quality difference that Id want to go for premium ones? Keeping in mind the age and milage of the car (10 years and 240,000km)
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Old 04-24-2011, 01:51 PM   #12
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Replacing tierods


depending on what type of steering system you have, you might have inner tie rod ends or sockets. When you have rack and pinion steering, while many people call the inner end a "tie rod end" more accurately it is a inner tie rod socket.

If you are considering changing an inner socket, there are several more cautions to be aware of. If you are doing this, say so so it can be explained to you. failing to do it properly can result in a very expensive lesson.

I would always look for a greasable part. As to the quality of the parts; there used to be a tie rod manufacturing plant down the road from me. They packaged for OEM as well as after market. In their case, the were identical parts.
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:36 PM   #13
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Replacing tierods



Rack and Pinion Steering
The rack gear is connected to an inner tie rod end that is covered by a rubber bellow. The inner tie rod end is connected to the outer tie rod end. These rod ends have the ability to move in any linear direction. Finally, the tie rod end is connected to the wheel spindle.

Rack Bellow, Inner Tie Rod, Outer Tie Rod End

the only good way to check inner tierod that i know of is to take it out and roll on a piece of glass. if it bounces, it's bent and needs to be replaced.
i had several replaced on various vehicles we owned, every time i simply screwed it out of the socket. i am very positive, some cars have trickery to make it harder. any parts store will rent you an inner tierod removal tool.
try from hand and it it turns out - bingo! of course, you will need to break the bellow clamp. you can go fency and replace it with exactly same, but then you will need a crimping tool. i simply use hose clamps, works as well. if you are really cheap, you can unclamp current clamp and then clamp it back using wire cutters. done this.
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Last edited by ukrkoz; 04-26-2011 at 05:40 PM.
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