GEN II Outer Tie Rod End Seal Replacement | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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GEN II Outer Tie Rod End Seal Replacement


Explorer Addict
December 13, 2007
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City, State
Year, Model & Trim Level
2005 Eddie Bauer 4.6L 4X4
I had a torn seal on one of my outer tie rod ends, and was worried that would eventually lead to failure. A while back, I got my paws on some replacement seals from Energy Suspension, part # 9.13101R. I then borrowed a tie rod end fork from my brother, and set about replacing the damaged seal. Well, that did not go so well, as I found out that a traditional fork would not work, as it bottoms out out on the steering assembly & brake shield, before it has a reaction upon the the tie rod end. So I looked it up in the Haynes Manual, and they said to use a small Pittman arm puller. So I found a good deal on a puller, OEM part #27016.

Here are a few photos, and a brief explanation of the repair.

First, I disconnect the negative battery terminal, raise the front of vehicle, and support on jack-stands. Next, I remove wheels, and also the front brake calipers, tying them off to the upper control arm with sturdy wire. Then, using a 1/2" drive breaker bar, I remove the caliper brackets, which I then cleaned, and set aside. Then with spray lubricant, I soak the three 8MM bolts that attach the brake shields, and then carefully remove them, followed by a cleaning/lubrication of the small bolts and their threaded holes. Next, I removed & discarded the cotter pins at the outer tie rod end bolts, and I also sprayed some lube on the tie rod ends. With a combination wrench, I then loosen the outer tie rod end bolts a couple of turns, leaving them in place. At this point it is clear why you use a SMALL Pittman arm puller...the space is very limited, but the correct puller fits perfectly. Here is a photo showing the puller in place:

Using a combination wrench on the puller, carefully apply some pressure to the stud, and maybe some spray lube on the puller's screw threads. Then the outer tie rod end will pop loose with some force, and this is why you leave the castle nut in place, for personal safety and so as not to risk damage to other parts when it pops loose. Once it is loose, remove the puller, and using a small hammer and a punch, gently tap the old seal down off of the outer tie rod end. Then you can finish removing the castle nut, and remove the outer tie rod end from the steering assembly. Here is a photo of the outer tie rod end, freed from the steering assembly (sorry, not sure what this is called), and with the old seal removed:

I cleaned the outer tie rod ends a bit, and worked some new grease in there with my fingers. Then I filled the new seals with grease prior to installation. Here is a photo of the new seal:

So then I applied some Anti-Seize to the studs (not sure if I was supposed to do that), and re-installed with new cotter pins. Here is a photo of the new seal in place:

To finish, I re-installed the brake rotors & caliper brackets, using some LocTite on the bolts. Then I cleaned the brake calipers & pins, and re-lubed with some of that nice Permatex caliper grease, and also re-lubing the pads and the caliper bracket. Last was to put the wheels back on, re-connect the battery, and bleed all the air out of the power steering hydraulics (a good bit was in there from manually turning the steering back & forth as I was working).

Thank you for reading, and have a good day.

PS: Sorry, the photos and my diction are not very good. The photos, or the lack of, I blame on my aging camera. The diction, well, there is no excuse.