anyone have tips before i do the inner tie rods? - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 01-07-2004, 06:20 AM   #1
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Default anyone have tips before i do the inner tie rods?

my right one is dead, so im going to replace both sides. price range looks like a 20-30 per side from autozone. Looking at the shop manual it looks pretty simple. Of course ill get an alignment as soon as i get it done. Any tips from anyone whose done it?

Thanks

Patrick.
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Old 01-08-2004, 03:47 AM   #2
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Ill answer my own post I didnt complete the job yet, when i began, i found that i had to cut the boot clamps that keep the rack and pinion boot in place, Kragen, autozone, not even dealership had the replacement clamp. Most of them suggested i use a zip tie, i wasnt to happy with that idea, considering the heat and chemicals that are in the engine bay, so im going to go with giant hose clamps.
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:51 PM   #3
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I did my inner ties a few days ago too (bout a week ago). It was quite a job since it'* so hard to get the huge wrench in a position to turn the inner ties and remove them but in the end it got done. Anyway I saved my boot clamps but they were in no shape to go back on since I had bent then in removing them. I use giant hose clamps as well. I figured there is no harm involved since they won't be spinning around or anything of that sort and nothing around them moves and thus they should be safe. Mine are in but i still get a strange wiggling feeling coming from my wheels as I drive. I think lots of my suspension components need replacement. These joints are broken in many places (my idle joints or whatever they are called. Anyway hope your installation was great and you have no more probs with them in the future. Both my inner ties were shot.

Mike Diaz
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Old 01-12-2004, 08:37 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDiaz
I did my inner ties a few days ago too (bout a week ago). It was quite a job since it'* so hard to get the huge wrench in a position to turn the inner ties and remove them but in the end it got done. Anyway I saved my boot clamps but they were in no shape to go back on since I had bent then in removing them. I use giant hose clamps as well. I figured there is no harm involved since they won't be spinning around or anything of that sort and nothing around them moves and thus they should be safe. Mine are in but i still get a strange wiggling feeling coming from my wheels as I drive. I think lots of my suspension components need replacement. These joints are broken in many places (my idle joints or whatever they are called. Anyway hope your installation was great and you have no more probs with them in the future. Both my inner ties were shot.

Mike Diaz
YAy a response! i havent done it yet, ive had lots to do before school started (started today) i hope to do it one of these nights at home. Only my right has some play in it and its only annoying at speeds 70+ & driving in straight lines.

Did you have to remove the whole rack and pinion assembley like the shop manual says then do the discconect? Or did you undo the outer mount then disconnect the inner tie rod bolt with the two wrenches?

Thanks

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Old 01-14-2004, 10:43 AM   #5
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Hey again, sorry it took so long for me to reply.
Anyways I wasn't about to go and remove the rack assembly as my chilton'* says to do. I don't think I could do that without getting elbow deep in pain and anxiety. Anyways what I did:
Jack up (take precautions because you will be under a good part of the car for a while) the car on the corner you wish to do first (if you are comfortable jacking up the car on it'* front suspension so the whole front is in the air you can do that too , just make sure you do what you feel is safest for yourself.

Remove wheel

Remove outer tie rod end (if you want any help on doing this part just say so, it was easy for me because I had changed them both before on mine)

remove the small boot clamp

remove the larger, rear boot clamp.
note: The small boot clamp which is found on the side of the boot closest to the wheel can be reused so don't break it. the rear bootclamp will probably all out of shape when you remove it so you can just use a hose clamp instead when you are putting it all back together.

remove the boot
Note: I removed the boot by just pulling it off. Some parts of it bent and compressed as I forced it off but it just required me pushing dents and bends out of it to get it back to a usable state.

Ok now the boot is off and you'll be looking at the inner tie rod and some of this long bar which moves left or right depending on whether you move the steering wheel right or left.

Now to remove the inner tie rods you have to put a HUGE wrench on the small flats of the inner tie rod'* base. I used a HUGE adjustable wrench i had lying around and had to set it to its maximum setting.
The shop manual told me to use a backup wrench to hold the steerin gear (that bar i mentioned earlier) in place as I turned the inner ties loose but I could not for the life of me find a place on the bar with any flats for a wrench. I assume I must have missed it because the manual wouldn't make something up would it?

Anyways the real hard part is finding space through all the hoses and lines in the engine bay, the firewall, and or the conrol arm and half shafts to fit the big wrench'* handle. It took me a good 2 to 3 hours just finding a spot for my wrench to fit so I could turn the inner tie rod. Just be persistent and don't give up. Having a friend may be helpful to hold the wrench in a position while you go up and look down through the engine bay for a possible way to turn it, etc. It all really depends on where those flats on the inner ties happen to be right now. My passenger'* side was A LOT easier (took about an hour tops to remove it and get the new one on). This was probably because there are a few less things in the way over on the passenger'* side.

Anyways good luck, I hope this simple guide has helped.
A few more notes:
I wouldn't worry too much about hurting the steering gear by not holding it in place with a backup wrench. It took a phenomenal amount of torque to break loose the inner tie rods (same for both sides) and my steering seems to be ok... actually there is a lot of vibration now but I'm assuming that'* because i need to get an alignment as soon as possible!.
Final note: The manual gave me a torque measurement for when installing the new ones. I only have a torque wrench for sockets, not actual wrench ends so I just had to make it tight and that'* as best as I could do. No problems yet after a week or so of light driving.

Good luck and ask away if you have questions.

-Mike Diaz (And his '87 Bonnie)
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Old 01-23-2004, 01:16 PM   #6
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My dad and i werent able to get off the tie rod becuase of the way the factory installed it, so i got it done at a shop along with an engine mount for only $200! The dealership wanted $230 just for the labor alone on both. While i was paying the shop the owner said to me i got a killer deal...i politely agreed.
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Old 01-23-2004, 02:29 PM   #7
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That is a good deal. A local shop was charging me 360 but i told them no and did it myself.

By "could not remove them due to how they were installed at the factory " i assume you mean there was just no way to get a wrench in there and turn it?

Good work nontheless
Mike Diaz
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