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Old 03-14-2006, 04:24 AM   #1
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Default Tie Rod End...?

Hey all. This is kind of a newbie question to ask, but I would really appreciate any help. Okay, so when I was checking the wear on the brake-pads, I noticed that a grease fitting, or boot, was split open. It'* kind of attatched to the axel, but I don't know exactly how to explain where it is... So I sniffed around on Google, and found-out that it may be called a 'Tie Rod End'. Do I have the general idea, or am I completely off? I would really like to know, because being that it'* a steering-componant, I really would rather have it fixed, than wait for something to go wrong. Also, I read after replacing it, you must have an alignment done. Is this true? Can I replace it myself? How much would this ordeal run me if I just took it to a mechanic, and had the shop fix it for me?

Sorry if the the above is worded strangely, it'* somewhat late here, and I need to be up early for work tomorrow... Thanks in advance for any help you can provide an ignorant fool...

-Jeff-
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:49 AM   #2
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I also noticed the very same thing on my car putting new (ceramic) pads on last week. I belive you are correct in it being the outer tie rod bushing. Should be a easy fix I would think, could save a good chunk of hard earned money doing it yourself. & I belive a aligment would be recommed after this.
(the pros will probably be responding when they wake up )

Ed
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Old 03-14-2006, 07:46 AM   #3
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Sounds like a Cv boot, is it rubber and is grease coming out of it.If its a CV boot you dont need alignment if it is a tie rod end you do.
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:08 AM   #4
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Jeff,
you will need to get back under the car and see what the boot is attached to. If it goes to the transmission its a C/V joint. If its goes between the motor and the firewall (general area)and connects to the steering rack its A Tie Rod. I just replaced my inner & outer Tie Rods. The Biggest thing about changing inner Rods is getting way under the car, pulling the inner boot back to expose were it connects to the rack and loosening it from the rack. Not much room under there. Make sure and get front end alignment after changing Tie Rods.
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:31 AM   #5
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Good morning.....

Like mentioned, if it is part of the shaft that goes to the center of the wheel and transmission, that is the CV (constant velocity) joint of the axle.

On the tie rod...it wouldn't be a tie rod itself because they are bascially just a threaded rod. The tie rod end is attached to the end of the tie rod and moves with the tire to steer the car.
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Old 03-14-2006, 11:06 AM   #6
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Outer tie rod end will be relatively inexpensive to replace or have replaced. A new part will cost $20-$40. Since you will be replacing the joint and boot, you can use a pickle-fork to separate the joint. Rent it for $5 or buy it for $15. The distance between tie rod ends is how the car'* toe-in is adjusted. The tie rod end is screwed into the tie rod, usually about 20 turns. You can try to duplicate the position of the old end by counting the number of threads or turns as you undo the end, and screwing the same number in on the new piece. Or you can measure from a point on the tie rod to the center of the joint and try to duplicate the measurement. If you have an exact duplicate end, the alignment will be close. If you have had a Sears alignment done within the past six months, they will do another for free. To be sure you don't ruin your front tires, an alignment is in order to make sure the toe setting is within spec. When you get it aligned, ask if the toe setting was close.

CV joint replacement will require separating the ball joint and the tie-rod end with a lever type tool ($40 -$70) that does not damage the grease boot on either joint. A rebuilt half-shaft can be had for about $60, but the labor time is much greater than the tie rod end. The CV boot can be replaced, but unless the split is very recent, the joint will have been damaged by dirt. And, boot kits ($20) require an additional hour of labor to disassemble, clean, regrease and reseal the joint. A special clamp tool (about $25) is needed as well. An alignment is usually not needed after a half-shaft change, if none of the joints have been changed. Some like to re-align after any front end work, just to be sure. And if it has been a year since the car was aligned, it is not a bad idea to have it done again.
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