Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate
Time Required: Depends on you, took me 4 hours total, but if I knew what I was doing before starting, probably 2 hours
This is a write up on how to change your inner and outer tie rods, based on the one soc_monki wrote a while ago, but now with pictures and some extra comments. Enjoy!
Things that you need:
1. basic tools
a. ratchet (1/2 inch drive)
b. socket (19mm)
c. socket extension (3 inch is good)
d. adjustable wrench
f. screwdrivers (long and short)
g. jack and jackstands
2. special tools
a. outer tie rod tool (I used a picklefork)
b. inner tie rod tool (I used napa tool)
c. torque wrench
3. other things
a. hose clamps (1 3/4 - 2 3/4 inch to place on the steering gear boot)
b. threadlocker (I used permatex blue medium strength)
c. parts (I used Mevotech Chassis Supreme from Rockauto)
4. torque specs
a. inner tie rod around 70 lbs
b. outer tie rod around 30 lbs
1. place jack under jacking point and raise slightly...loosen wheel lugnuts on the side you are replacing
2. jack up car and place on jackstands.
3. remove lug nuts and take off wheel.
4. remove the cotter pin on the tie-rod end nut and loosen nut with 19mm socket...remove.
5. take picklefork and grease it
6. place picklefork between knuckle and tie-rod end...hit with hammer until rod end pops loose.
6a. Have a look on how loose the inner tie rod was, if you lifted it, would fall without any resistance.
6b. Although the picklefork played some role in this, look how bad the outer tie rod is
7. place rod end back into the knuckle snuggly...loosen jam nut with adjustable wrench. I had to hammer it and use some WD-40 as it was stuck (11 years without an alignment! lol).
8. once jamnut is loose, take the rod end out and unscrew it, counting the number of turns (to put it back on
close to where it came off so you have decent alignment...) and remove jamnut. The number I got here on both sides was around 23, but I might have miscounted as my steering wheel if a bit off center now
9. take your pliers and remove the small clamp on the end of the steering gear boot.
10. find the inner part of the steering gear boot. there is a clamp on there that you have to bust loose with a screwdriver and hammer. It is a very tight space.
11. remove boot. you might need some wd-40 to break it loose from the tie rod.
12. get your inner tie-rod removal tool out. the one I used had several sizes adaptors, choose the right one and put it on the inner tie rod, then secure the tool around it. Thing to notice is that the adaptor used was not the same for the OEM tie rod and the Mevotech tie rod.
13. take your 1/2 ratchet and extension and attach it to the removal tool and break that inner tie-rod loose! Use a cheater bar if necessary!
14. remove inner tie rod.
15. put threadlocker on the new inner tie rod. I used permatex blue (medium strength).
16. put the new inner tie rod in the rack (using ur hands). If you are using a lock plate, make sure it is properly aligned.
17. now use the tie rod tool w/ adaptor and screw the new tie-rod into the steering rack. put at least 70lbs using the torque wrench.
18. remove tool.
19. look how the new tie rod stays firm in place, without falling like the worn tie rod.
20. lock the tie rod with the locking plate. I used a hammer and a screwdriver, but only could do it on one side, the other I have no idea how to reach (space is too tight, any suggestions?).
21. install boot, secure on steering rack side with the hose clamp. this might be a bit tricky due to the clearance issues, but you can do it under the car for the passenger side, and under the hood for the driver side.
22. replace small clamp on rod-end side.
23. install jam nut and tie-rod end (remember how many times you turned it??)
24. tighten jam nut onto tie-rod end securely.
25. place tie-rod end into the knuckle and tighten the nut (around 30 lbs)...replace cotter pin.
25a. This is how it looks like finished.
26. put your wheel back on and snug the lug nuts down.
27. take out jack-stands and lower car till the wheel is resting on the ground but jack is still slightly supporting the car.
28. tighten lug nuts with torque wrench (75-80 ft/lbs.)
29. remove jack.
30. have a beer and a smoke...you just changed your tie-rod. NOW GO GET AN ALIGNMENT!!!!