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  #1  
Old 01-27-2007, 09:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Missouri, USA
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Outer Tie-Rod Ends?

Ok, can someone tell me how to change the Left Outer Tie-Rod End?
Is it a big job or is it something a shadetree mechanic can fix?

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  #2  
Old 01-27-2007, 09:28 PM
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If you feel comfortable wrenching on cars, then it's not difficult - at least in principle. The job can easily turn into a headache if the jam-nut doesn't budge, or if the joint won't separate from the mounting hole in the knuckle. PB Blaster can be your friend to loosen the fasteners.

If you can accomplish freeing the tie rod, then the only critical part of the job is to count the number of turns it takes to remove the tie rod from the threaded end so you can turn the new one in the same number of turns.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2007, 09:34 PM
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Thanks Kestas,
I am confident that I could do it, I do alot of my own work I hsve just never done this before. Are there any special tools needed?
Is there a place to go with detailed repair instructions and pics?

Jeff
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2007, 11:16 AM
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There used to be an on-line link for repairs (braingears), but it's now dead.

The procedure should be self-evident. Just remember to count the number of turns.

It shouldn't take any special tools. But if you run into difficulties, you may need to improvise. If you have trouble separating the tie rod from the knuckle, you'll need a pickle fork and hammer. The jam-nut (#86 in the image) may be so difficult to remove that even a tubing wrench may not help. At that point you either apply red-hot heat to free up the nut or take it to a shop.
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Outer Tie-Rod Ends?-86-190e-2.6-steering-linkage.gif  
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2007, 10:23 PM
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Benz N 8R,

A couple of thoughts:

1. You might consider replacing entire tie rod - both ends have likely been on car same period of time & inner end could go out soon as well ... and, price is close. (If outer end got damaged by road junk, different story, however.) Further to this thought, you might consider replacing tie rods on both sides - note that one side is black, the other green (olive drab).

2. Some Pep Boys have a rellay nice front end suspension tool kit that they will loan you. This has helped me on at least two occasions.

3. I had never done tie rods before and managed this with few problems.

Good luck.
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2007, 11:04 AM
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Kermit, I disagree with replacing tie rods on both sides in pairs. They should only be replaced individually when bad. I've had bad luck with replacement parts and replacing good parts.

But replacing both inner and outer - if the price is close as you say - may be worth considering.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2007, 11:24 AM
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The threaded shank on tie rod ends is not always the same length, depending on manufacturer, so counting threads does not assure proper previous toe alignment.
If you measure from the center of the lower rod cup washer to an indexed line on the rod [ that you mark] , you can get the exact previous measurement..but then again, that only brings you to the previous alignment, which you are assuming was correct.
Toe measure/alignment is the correct way to go .
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2007, 05:21 PM
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Right you are Arthur.
Recently replaced an outer tie-rod end on my truck.
Counted the threads coming out ( 32 turns on OEM part ), installed the new part ( aftermarket ) and then checked toe.
It was off by 1/2 inch .
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2007, 05:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manny View Post
Right you are Arthur.
Recently replaced an outer tie-rod end on my truck.
Counted the threads coming out ( 32 turns on OEM part ), installed the new part ( aftermarket ) and then checked toe.
It was off by 1/2 inch .
Yeah..I learned the same way ..way back that was a common tecnique, but not anymore .. and I have changed enough tie rod ends to fill the Grand Canyon..


...well , maybe not the whole Canyon..just the Evil Kinieval part....
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2007, 12:19 PM
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Tie rod end replacement

Question for Kestas.

Why would you not replace tie rods in pairs (othere than for one damaged by a road hazzard)?

Since they have been on the car the same amount of time, would not the wear on the boots be the same, or nearly the same? And since you typically get car aligned afterwards, would you not be better off doing both tie rods prior to (a single) alignment?
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2007, 12:25 PM
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It's a good idea to do in pairs, as long as doing so is not cost prohibitive. I recently replaced both left and right complete tie rod assemblies on my 300E (included inner and outer tie rod ends AND the actual rods for BOTH sides) for only $47 shipped. FastLane has some excellent prices as well, click on "Buy Parts" above and check them out.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2007, 01:16 PM
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The reason I don't think they should be done in pairs is bacause the wear pattern on suspension components is different from other items that must be changed in pairs. The items I believe should be changed in pairs are brake pads, shocks, and perhaps tires. These items gradually wear out. If one is worn, the other isn't far behind.

Tie rod ends are good until they develop wear. Once they start wearing, the process avalanches. Just because one tie rod is loose, doesn't mean the other one is about to go also. The other one may stay tight for a long time. If you change the other tie rod, you'll be changing a tie rod that may have considerably more life left in it. The same for wheel bearings.

21 years ago I made the mistake of will-nilly replacing ALL suspension components on my 71 Cutlass when I was redoing the front end. The parts were good. Shortly afterward (~10K) I had to replace (again) two of the ball joints.
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2007, 03:11 PM
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To each his own. For a small investment of about an hour and $47/pair for complete tie rods for both sides, you can have some assurance before sending your car to the alignment rack. When shopping for my repair, they wanted $35 just for the one tie rod end I needed, so the extra $12 was a no-brainer.

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