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How To Check And Replace Inner Tie-Rod (pictures & video)

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Texplorer, September 3, 2007.

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    1. Texplorer

      Texplorer Well-Known Member

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      Well I had a loose tie-rod that I had to replace so I figured I would do a little write-up on it with pictures to hopefully help someone else down the line. I try and remember all the little tricks I used to make it easier.

      First off this is a little vid of how you can tell if your inner tie-rod is loose. Grab it and try to wiggle it, if it moves as much as mine does then you need to replace it. (click on picture to play video):
      [​IMG]

      This is what the suspension looks like before starting:
      [​IMG]

      Remove the cotter pin and unscrew the castle nut on the outer tie-rod:
      [​IMG]

      Outer tie-rod unbolted:
      [​IMG]

      Now comes a little trick to make removing the tie-rod easier, unbolt the sway bar from both sides and rotate it up. It gives more room to work with:
      [​IMG]

      Remove outer clamp with some pliers:
      [​IMG]

      Then remove inner clamp with a long skinny flathead screwdriver, sorry I didnt get a pic of it. I needed both hands at this point.

      Pull boot back and this is what you should see:
      [​IMG]

      Use a pipe wrench to remove the tie-rod from the steering rack:
      [​IMG]

      This is what it looks like when removed:
      [​IMG]

      Then unscrew the outer tie-rod from the inner:
      [​IMG]

      Outer tie-rod and inner tie-rod separated:
      [​IMG]

      After that just reverse the steps and your done!! Now get in your rig and drive straight to the alignment shop because you will need one, every time you mess with any suspension/steering components you need to get an alignment. Good luck and enjoy saving yourself over $300 doing it yourself.
       
      Last edited: September 3, 2007
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    3. white96x

      white96x Well-Known Member

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      good write up....however i think i remembering seeing another write up a while back regarding replacing the whole tie rod assembly(outer and inner) and taking note of the distance of the outer tie rod adjustment screw...it needs to be the same distance on the threaded portion of the new inner tie rod as it was on the old..basically you need to have the adjustment nut in the same place before and after...just thought i would add that, i hope it doesn't confuse anyone...but this is a good write up and should either be 'stickied' or placed in the 'how to' forum
       
    4. Texplorer

      Texplorer Well-Known Member

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      You are exactly right, I forgot to mention that after you get the whole tie-rod assembly off measure the overall length of the two tie-rods while they are still together. Then when you put the new one on make sure to screw it to the exact length that you measured of the old tie-rod assembly.
       
    5. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Good write up! You could add that if you click onto the first picture, it will direct you to the short video clip. An alignment after this is a must. It's almost impossible to maintain the same alignment even if you keep the lock nut in the same place. Send Rick a PM with this link. He might like it.
       
    6. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Take both old tie rod sets out, both sides. Use one nut from one old set, or buy new nuts if you like. Lay the old tie rod assembly on the ground(left intact to original length with nut), then assemble the two new tie rods, and lay them next to the old assembly. You can make that length very close to the original for that side visually. I've done that before and had the toe in be almost perfect, but still safer going to the alignment shop.
      Do the other side by measuring, and see which is easier or you like better. Regards,
       
    7. Charlie's_93EB

      Charlie's_93EB Cat 3 Hurricane Rated Elite Explorer

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      Very good, I will PM this to a mod for a sticky..
       
    8. Krupp

      Krupp New Member

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      This thread really helped me out yesterday when I did my tie-rod ends. Thank you very much.
       
    9. MikeLord

      MikeLord New Member

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      I have a problem. I was driving through a crowded parking lot, and i hit a comcrete pole with my tire, it bent my rim, poped my tire, and pulled my inner tie rod out of the rack and pinion, the inner tie rod was pulled out of the boot. Can the socket in there be replaced? Any help would be awesome!
      -Mike
       
    10. mudbug0426

      mudbug0426 Active Member

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      this is really helpful and appreciate the post. i just got back from the alignment shop to get mine done and the tech told me my inner tie rods were shot and the service manager quoted me 235 bucks for labor. now i think ill do it myself, it looks like cake!
       
    11. WatchThis!!

      WatchThis!! New Member

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      Today a mechanic told told me that the inner tie rod in the right side had "backlash" and needs to be replaced. What the hell is "backlash"? Is it even a real term, I mean this guy is German and speaking better broken English than most but still...parts/ labor total about 260(euro not dollars) so I want to be sure.
       
      Last edited: October 22, 2012
    12. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      I'd guess that he means play in the joint. The tie rods only cost about $20 maybe, not much. It takes a big wrench or crescent wrench to loosen them, but it's not a tough job really.

      The alignment has to be redone(the toe), and that labor will take longer than one tie rod.
       
    13. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      according to the picture, the "socket" is part of the inner tie rod. that's what's being replaced. so yes.
       

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