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Replace inner tie rod ends

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Howdy folks I wanted to give a write up on replacing inner tie rods as my previous searches for this information seemed vague at best.
Your going to need some thin profile spanner wrenches. We used to call them farm line wrenches but amazon and google calls then thin or low profile service wrenches.
The sizes your looking for are 3/4" (19mm) and 1-1/8" (28mm).

*If you are replacing the inner tie rods with Moog components you'll need a 1-1/4" as well*

I recommend buying these from china freight (if you have a coupon):
Then take a grinder and file to the profiles so you can achieve the desired thickness, this wrench set used to be a lot cheaper but china freight thinks they are Snap-on Jr.
Your going to need to remove your front strut brace (if you have one), your front tire bin (four bolts, wiggle and pull) and front bottom dust/rock tray (lots of 10mm and 2 plastic clips).
Now with your tires off remove the outer tie rod ends, I used a screw type press instead of a hammer similar to this china freight:
Make sure you get new cotter pins or the factory locking style clips.
The boots will need to be removed from the tie rods next, the outer uses a reuseable hose clamp style which unpinches with a set of pliers. The inner is attached with cv style boot retainers which can be "man handled" with the same pliers till they become oversized and easily cut off with tin snips or sharp diagonal cutters (dykes).

You may get lucky and be able to remove the right side from the top of the frunk (bonnet) compartment. The left side will be tricky make sure you have the plastic tray removed so you can get at the lands on the steering rack pistons and lands on the inner tie rod joint. This is where tight tolerances of low profile service wrenches are important. Raise the vehicle enough to get cheater pipes on the wrench ends and give it a go. My factory inner tie rods from 2001 did not have locking washers which need to be bent off the outer joint lands. Typically a small hammer and punch will make quick work of those things if you have them.

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Getting the new tierod to match the length of the old rods can be easily achieved (contrary to popular belief).

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After you measure the length (in cms) of the flush joint end to the end of the locking nut (~34cms), mark with paint the same length upon your new inner tie rods upon the threads. Now disassemble your old tie rod assembly but REUSE the old locking nut (this is IMPORTANT to achieving the same length). Assemble your new tie rod assembly do not forget the old lock nut and outer boot clamp. Remeasure it again because you like anal retention. 

Do both sides but remember the measurement may be a little different, use the paint! Here are a couple images of the working locations and angles required to tighten the new assembly. Use your best judgement to get these this tight, they will not come loose (ever).

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For the inner boot clamps I recommend using two zip ties connected in series, this will allow you to achieve an even clamping force around the perimeter. Using this cheater method will help you preserve your original factory boots and you will not have to fiddle with those ridiculous one time use cv boot clamps and tools. I used blue zip ties here so you can easily see what I'm talking about.

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Now verify your steering wheel is still straight, reassemble everything and go get an alignment anyway!

This topic was modified 3 years ago by chrioboy2
Topic starter Posted : July 4, 2019 1:04 am