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Thread: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

  1. #1
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    How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    Tools needed:
    19 mm wrench
    17 mm wrench
    Pickle Fork/ Ball Joint Separator
    Hammer (Not pictured)
    Needle-Nose pliers
    Vise Grips
    Nail Polish/White Out (to mark where old tie rods are)
    .......and of course, your new Outer Tie Rod Ends



    Estimated Time: 10-20 minutes, depending on skill level.

    On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate this project a 3. Any person that can use a wrench can do this job easily.




    Steps:

    1. Loosen all four Lug Nuts, Jack up and support the car with jack stands, and remove the wheel. Your left with this:



    2. Remove cotter pin from nut and, using a 17 mm wrench, remove the castellated nut holding the tie rod to the steering knuckle.

    ------17 mm nut is found on the bottom of the tie rod end, seen in this picure.



    3. Place pickle fork in between the head of the tie rod end and the steering knuckle. Use hammer to wedge the pickle for between the tie rod end and steering knuckle, which will cause the tie rod end to separate from the steering knuckle.



    You will be left with this....



    4. Use Nail polish/ White out to mark position of old tie rod ends. This is very important, because your alignment, specifically your Toe, will be wrong if you forget where the previous tie rod end was.



    5. Use vice grips to attach to the body of the tie rod end. Use 19 mm wrench to turn lock nut clockwise. Use vice grips to hold the tie rod end steady while you loosen the lock nut. ( I put the stud of the tie rod back in the hole it came out of just to provide help for removing the 19mm nut).







    6. Once the 19mm nut is separated from the outer tie rod end, unscrew the outer tie rod end and remove from car.

    Last edited by Toneloc5145; 07-01-2008 at 08:15 PM.

    10/22/06- 120,003 miles 1/09/09- 139,000 miles
    11/29/07- 127,945 miles 3/09/09- 141,000 miles
    03/01/08- 129,000 miles
    10/19/08- 136,000 miles
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  2. #2
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    Reassembly:

    7. Screw new outer tie rod end to the same place that the old one was at. Make sure the lock nut does not move past where the marking you made with the fingernail polish/white-out was.



    8. Re-tighten the lock nut using vice grips and 19 mm wrench.

    9. Place stud of outer tie rod end back into the hole in which it was before. Using 17 mm wrench, tighten the 17 mm castellated nut that connects outer tie rod end to steering arm.

    10. If your new 17 mm castellated nut comes with a cotter pin, insert new cotter pin. Make sure that you TIGHTEN to align the holes for the cotter pin. Never loosen.

    11. Put wheel back on, put lug nuts back on, tighten lug nuts, and lower car off of the jack stands.

    YOU HAVE NOW REPLACED YOUR OUTER TIE ROD ENDS!!!

    The next time you drive, you should notice more responsive steering and possibly more resistance when you turn the wheel.
    Last edited by Toneloc5145; 07-01-2008 at 08:14 PM.

    10/22/06- 120,003 miles 1/09/09- 139,000 miles
    11/29/07- 127,945 miles 3/09/09- 141,000 miles
    03/01/08- 129,000 miles
    10/19/08- 136,000 miles
    Blue 3geez
    10.8.06 Photoshoot
    1.7.07 Photoshoot

  3. #3
    3Geez Veteran russiankid's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    Great write up. Don't forget to get an alignment.
    Sam


    1989 Accord LX: Sold with 208k-now somewhere around 230k with new owner

    Current: 2012 Scion tC 6-spd M/T

  4. #4
    3Geez Veteran Civic Accord Honda's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    sweet thanks for the write up!

    1988 Honda Accord LX-i Coupe 123k miles.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    awesome.. need to do this for my car i think

  6. #6
    3Geez Veteran A18A's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    since you're replacing them, i would just hammer the fuck out of the old tie rod ends till they come out. that's if you dont have th correct tool to remove them properly

  7. #7


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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    I prefer this type of tool BY FAR for removal of the tie rod ends.

    http://www.sjdiscounttools.com/kd2289.html

    If you are replacing the old ones the pickle fork is fine, but if you have to reuse them it will destroy the boots. Also, the nail polish idea is good, but I had better luck noting the position of the rotors and eyeballing the adjustment after replacing the tie rod ends. I had other front end work done after that and took it for an alignment. I was only off by .36 degrees on one side.

  8. #8

    lostforawhile's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    you can buy the same tool for half that price at autozone, i sent one to cah as a matter of fact, even if they are old it's still much better then a picklefork. and make sure to get an alignment even if you think it's right, once you take off the tie rod the load shifts on the suspension, so if you try and eyeball it after removing the tie rod,it still will be off. also the new tie rod end may be slightly longer or shorter then the old one, so lining up where the old threads were with the new tie rod,could be way off. if your alignment was good before, ask the shop if they will just reset the toe. also try and buy the moog problem solver end, it has a grease fitting on it. i grease mine every few months for security,and they show no signs of wear after being in there for years. the other reason to use those,if your boot tears, you can force grease through the joint to flush out the dirt and grit and replace the boot, on a standard joint once grit gets in there,it stays in there and eats up the joint.
    Last edited by lostforawhile; 07-05-2008 at 06:04 AM.

  9. #9

    Cheeseburger's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    good write up!

  10. #10


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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    I just picked the first link that had a good photo. I actually borrowed one for free from O'Reilly's when I replaced mine. Mine were actually still fine, but I needed a new inner tie rod on the driver's side so I figured I would replace them since they are cheap and my boots had been torn up for four or five years.

  11. #11
    SEi User ZackieDarko's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    i replaced my drivers side today and GOD DAMN was it a bitch to get the new one on....i spent over an hour puting it on and its still not correct...just left it for the day


    ....fucking car

  12. #12
    3Geez Veteran A18A's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    t wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by ZackieDarko View Post
    i replaced my drivers side today and GOD DAMN was it a bitch to get the new one on....i spent over an hour puting it on and its still not correct...just left it for the day


    ....fucking car
    what wen

  13. #13

    lostforawhile's Avatar
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    Quote Originally Posted by ZackieDarko View Post
    i replaced my drivers side today and GOD DAMN was it a bitch to get the new one on....i spent over an hour puting it on and its still not correct...just left it for the day


    ....fucking car
    did you loosen the lock nut on the tie rod,before you tried to take it off? i have never had problems,even ones at the junkyard.

  14. #14
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    Re: How to: Change Outer Tie Rod Ends (for dummies)

    Sticky anyone?

    Anyways, I just used a pickle fork because It was sitting right in my dad's tool box and I knew it would work on this application. But definately do not use the pickle fork on any tie rod end or ball joint if you plan on reusing it.

    I was going to make a how-to on the front upper control arms and lower ball joints, since I recently changed those as well, but I wasn't in the mood of taking pictures. Maybe later?

    10/22/06- 120,003 miles 1/09/09- 139,000 miles
    11/29/07- 127,945 miles 3/09/09- 141,000 miles
    03/01/08- 129,000 miles
    10/19/08- 136,000 miles
    Blue 3geez
    10.8.06 Photoshoot
    1.7.07 Photoshoot

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