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Tie Rod

Since it took me quite a while to find all the info I needed to do this, here's a little write up.

- Acquire the parts and tool.

You can get an OEM new inner tie rod from Bob Kise (check my profile for info) for ~$40, or you can get aftermarket ones from NAPA, and quite a few places for around ~$20.

I needed a new rack and pinion boot, mine was torn (which is why I had to replace my inner tie rod to begin w/, the contamination wore it out), they had a boot for our cars in stock at O'Reily Auto Parts for $20, which came w/ new clamps, I had to ask for a boot for an Eclipse because they only had 1G Talon's in their parts computer/book. You can also get them from NAPA, but they will probably have to order it, so be prepared in advance.

The tool used to remove inner tie rods looks like a cylinder about 1.5" in diameter and about 12" long, that slips over the inner tie rod, grips the end of it, and you turn it using a 1/2" drive. I used a universal one that I rented from O'Reily Auto Parts, but this tool can be had from NAPA and JCWhitney for around $60, also needing to be ordered in advance.

Note: Don't be afraid to turn the wheel to put the steering assembly where it's easiest to work with...

- Remove the tie rod end

Use a pitman arm puller to press out the ball joint. Count how many times you turn the tie rod end to get it off so your alignment will be as close to what it was as possible. (You may still need an alignment afterwards, due to installing a new inner tie rod.)

- Remove the chassis plate covering the inner tie rod

*It has 4x 14mm grade 10 bolts, take it out so you can access the clamp on the inner side of the rack and pinion boot.

- Remove the boot

First use pliers to take off the outer clamp. Then use some wire cutters to clip the raised portion of the pull type inner clamp. Be careful not to nick the boot if you plan on reusing it. Just tare that clamp off, you cannot reuse it. Pull the boot off (again, gently if reusing).

- Remove the inner tie rod

Be careful not to scratch the portion of the rack and pinion that goes inside the case when turning the wheel, as you can damage the oil seals.

You first need to bend the retaining clip up on both sides of the end of the inner tie rod so that it's free to turn (look around the base of the inner tie rod to see what I mean). I found using a chisel and hammer to be the best method, since it's pressed on there pretty well.

Using the special tool, securely fasten it on the flats of the inner tie rod w/ a wrench (if using an adjustable type). Using an impact wrench in the special tool drive, back off the inner tie rod.

If you don't have access to air tools: when working on the driver side use a monkey wrench to hold the gear rack at the flat to keep it from twisting, then use the proper size wrench to back off the inner tie rod, applying equal forces to both wrenches (thanks Rick). When working on the passenger side, there is nowhere to hold the rack w/ a wrench due to it being cylindrical; I'm guessing that this side is the power steering assisted end, and that it's guided on a rail, so you don't need to worry about it. Besides, when I removed mine w/ an impact wrench it wasn't torqued on that much, so you should be able to get away w/ a breaker bar in the special tool drive.

- Install the new inner tie rod

Start it off by hand, don't forget to put that retaining clip onto the new inner tie rod, then use the special tool to tighten back up, and the reverse of the above step ^ for the method of tightening, you'll know when you have the right amount of torque, because it should be around the same position (turn wise) that it was before you removed it.

Bend the retaining clip over the ends of the new inner tie rod. I found the easy way to do this (since there isn't much room) to be slipping the special tool over, and pulling it quickly forward to bend the tabs over.

- Reinstall the rack and pinion boot

Slip the new (or old) boot back over the grove on the rack and pinion housing (you may need to spray some wd-40 around the inside of the boot to get it to slip on easy, and stretch the end w/ your fingers, working it around, a slight PITA).

Install the fastener that goes around the inner part of the boot (the big end), mine came w/ a pull type band, which you pull tight with pliers then bend the end over. If reusing the old boot, just a zip tie to secure it.

Install the outer clamp (there is a grove for where it should be on the inner tie rod).

- Reinstall the chassis plate

The bolts should torqued to around 50 ft/lbs.

- Reinstall the tie rod end

Use the same number of turns it took to take it off.

Thank You. [b]

Document statistics: Last modified on 2006-08-08 18:31:16 by DR1665

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