Replacing Tie Rod Ends

twogts4us

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The local Tire Kingdom advised what we pretty much already knew - the 92 5.0L Vert is desperately in need of new inner tie rod ends. After choking on their $375 estimate, I have a couple of questions for the folks out here on StangNet.

How hard is this to DIY?
Any good write-ups on the web for this?
Should we replace both the inner and outer while we are in there?

$375 seems to be excessive. :rolleyes: :mad: :bs: I quickly internet priced the inners at $50 a pair (at LRS, I'm sure I could find them for less), and if I guess they charge around $50 an hour labor, then they must plan on working on the car nearly all day. Or maybe their labor rate is around $200 an hour...?

My 19 year old son got this quote. I'd really like to go over there myself and ask them how they arrived at this figure. I can only imagine that they just don't want to work on his car or, for whatever reason, think he is rich (or maybe they think I am???) Either way, this just pisses me off.

Any help you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated -Thanks!

Chris

1992%2050%20Vert%20%5B1024x768%5D.jpg
 
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Lawbreaker5.0

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That doesn't sound like it's way off. I would think the inners are roughly 40 with the mark up a piece and the job probably calls for 1.8 hrs at 90 bucks an hour plus an alignment for another 100 roughly gets you pretty close to 375. Give or take.

I just replaced one inner today. It's very simple and definately a DIY job. Total job cost me $18 (the cost of one inner tie rod from a parts store).

First off there is an easy way to check if the inners are bad. Lift the vehicle up so the tires are off the ground. Now grab the tire at the 9 and 3 o clock position and push and pull (opp time of other hand). Mine had some significant play in it. Somebody should be underneath checking where the play is coming from, bc it could be the outer. In your case it's prob the inners.

I'll make this as simple as possible.

After the wheel is off.
Break loose the jam nut right behind the outer tierod. Just break it loose. Then take the cotter pin out of the outer tierod and unscrew the nut. Smack the side of the spindle with a hammer next to the tie rod end. This breaks loose the tie rod. It should fall out after a good few smacks. If not put the nut back on the end and lightly hit the nut and the tie rod should fall down. Unscrew the nut again. Next take off the bellow. Mine had a clamp on (grab with pliers) one end and a factory clamp on the other(big end). This one you have to break off. Pull the bell back towards the outer TR. Now you'll see the big nut that holds the inner to the rack n pinion. It takes a big wrench ( 1 5/16 in). If it's factory inner there should be a alluminum pin(kinda like a slide pin). If so you can just unscrew the big nut and off she comes. Remember to count the turns of the outer when you take it off the old inner so you can get it close to the same spot on the new inner. You'll still need an alignment afterwards.

Buy the inners and you'll see the what I'm talking about when I say slide pins. Mine came with 3. My buddy suggested only putting one in and not all three just incase I ever have to take them out again.

Edit: after you tighten the new inner on, that's when you install the slide pin to hold it in place and won't let it back out. If your vehicle all has the slide pins in, I hear the is a tool you need to grab them out. Somebody will confirm this.

Good luck.
 

jrichker

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The two inner tie rod ends are usually what wears out, and at $40-$45 each, it's better to get a replacement rack assembly since they are part of the package. The rack is about $100 + a $40 refundable core charge, which you get back when you return the old rack. Be sure to ask for the GT or high performance rack, it has fewer turns lock to lock than the standard rack.

The flex coupling for the steering shaft needs to be disconnected before you can get the rack out. You should disassemble the coupling by removing the 2 bolts that hold it together. The lower part of the coupling will then come out with the rack, and can easily be removed.

The tie rod ends can be removed with a tool that looks like a giant "pickle fork", it's less than $8, or some stores will rent/loan one. Remove the cotter pin & nut on the tie end, stick the tool between the rod end and the arm it connects and hammer away. The bigger the hammer, the easier it comes apart.

Remove the two bolts that bolt the rack assembly to the frame and then pull the rack down. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines. I replaced the rack mount bushings with some Energy Suspension urethane ones. When you re-install the rack assembly, put the rear bushings in the rack assembly and lift it into place. Then install the front bushings & washers and tighten down the nuts. Doing it this way makes room for the hydraulic lines without having them bind against the frame.

To change the tie rod ends, do them one at a time. Loosen the jam nut 1/4 turn, then unscrew the tie rod end from the rack. Turn the jam nut back 1/4 turn to return it to its original position. With the tie rod end removed, use a machinist square to measure the distance between the end of the threaded rod and the jam nut. Sit the bottom of the square against the end of the threaded rod, and the end of the blade of the square against the jam nut. Duplicate the measurement on the new rack and then install the tie rod end and tighten the jam nut. Then do the other side: the front end will need aligning, but the toe in will be close enough to the setting of the original rack to drive.

Buy several extra quarts of fluid to run through the system to flush it when you change the rack. The car needs to be up on jackstands for the next step. Fill the pump up, start the car, and turn the wheels lock to lock to bleed the air out. Then stop the engine, disconnect the low pressure hose (the one that is secured with a hose clamp) and drain the pump. Re-connect, refill and do it several more times or until the fluid looks clear and not burnt or black.

Power steering pressure lines:
Each hose uses an O ring on each end to seal them. The hoses will swivel when they are installed and tightened into place. That is why there are O rings on the fittings. The O ring is the part that actually makes the pressure seal. If you slide the nut all the way back as far as it will go, you will see the O ring and the groove cut into the center section of the fitting.



Sometimes you will get some white Teflon rings with the pump or rack. The rings go on the threaded part of the fitting to reduce or prevent small leaks. They are not meant to seal the pressure part of the line or substitute for the rubber O ring. Heat the white Teflon seals in hot water and they will be easier to install. You can install the fittings without them and not have any leaks if the O rings seal good.
 

twogts4us

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Wow some great posts guys - thanks very much.
I guess I'm just getting old and the days of repair bills around and under $100 are gone. Still, $375 does sound like a lot for the amount of work involved. I didn't add in the alignment cost though, which, you are probably right, is around (a ridiculous) $100.
Decisions, decisions...a new rack is probably the way to go...I'll keep you posted.

Thanks!
Chris
 

MFE92

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You can set the toe yourself at home, nice and easy. How to do your own alignments, low cost, effective. - Corral.net : Ford Mustang Forums

I used to be of the same opinion as jrichker about just replacing the rack, until I discovered that the rebuilders don't pay any attention to the torsion bar inside it that determines your steering feel. They seem to either mix and match whatever they have on hand, or default to the soft 4-cyl one that causes the steering to feel lighter than the sport rack felt from the factory. Chances are extremely good that any reman rack you get is going to make the steering feel lighter even with the correct 15:1 ratio, which may not matter to you, but for me, and my usage, it's a disappointment.

So I recommend you pull the rack boots off the rack (snip their retaining bands and prepare to re-secure them with large zip-ties pulled very tight). If a bunch of fluid comes out of them, the seals are toast, and you need to replace the rack anyway. IMHO this is very likely to be the case if both your inner tie rod ends are going. But if the boots are mostly dry, and you like the way that rack feels, then I'd seriously consider just changing the inner tie rod ends.
 

twogts4us

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Hmm, it looks like someone might have joined a site they hated ;)
:DWell, I tell ya, the 4.6L crowd can be challenging. It would be interesting to know the demographics of the 5.0L vs. 4.6L groups. I'd put money on the 4.6L crowd being quite a bit younger than the 5.0L group, on average.
Now my situation is just the opposite; I'm 44 and own a New Edge, while my 19 year old son owns the 92 5.0L LX Vert Fox. But it seems that a majority of the posters on the 4.6L boards are quite young and, quite frankly, arrogant. They take joy in belittling those with less knowledge and pass way too much judgment on people's choices in wheels, colors, ride height, etc. It's like being in high school again, but the kids are even worse now than they were back in the early 80s.
So I gather that there are a good amount of folks in their 30s and 40s that had a 5.0L Fox (or had a friend or whatever) back in the day and are looking to relive those glory days. :shrug: I, for one, still love the ol' Fox styling. I remember vividly flipping through the new car brochure in 1987, hoping to buy a 5.0L LX hatchback, but when it came down to financing, all I could afford was an Escort GT. :shrug: :rlaugh: Fortunately my finances have gotten better - but now I want a GT-500 or a new 2011 GT. (All in due time my friends, all in due time...!)
 

Mustang5L5

A little massaging and it went right in
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Hmm, don't know if I ever felt that way when I had my 03 gt. Then again, I owned it while I was 23-28. So maybe I was the young crowd as well. :)

What's weird is on the infinti forums, I feel like the old guy at 29. Everyone on the boards is 16-24 and only concerned with their tint, rims and fart cans....on 4 door luxury sedans.....then I come to the fox boards and it seems like an older more mature and technical crowd. You would think it would be the other way around.

Oh well
 

twogts4us

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So, when am I old?
When you're no longer young.

When different parts of your body start hurting and taking longer to heal.

When sliding underneath the car begins to lose its appeal.

When you rethink any physical activity for fear that you'll pay for it the next day.

When you say "those damn kids these days" at least once a week.

When taking a nap sounds like a great idea for a Saturday afternoon.

OK, OK, I could go on and on, but we're getting away from the Tech aspect of this thread.

We're doing all four tie rods later today...I bought new boots/bellows as well as I have a feeling they might not survive the removal process. They were cheap enough, so I figure why not. I'll let you all know how it turns out.
 

twogts4us

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Well the pass side (both inner and outer) went fine, but the driver's side inner was a different type - it had the pins that LawBreaker had mentioned. The pass side inner had provisions to grab it with a wrench, but the driver's side inner did not. I rented a tool kit with 3 different size 'sockets' and a hollow bar with a 1/2" drive on the end, so I hooked the one socket that seemed to fit the inner (there was some square edges to grab onto, but they were recessed, inside the steering tube), added the hollow bar and cranked on it with my impact wrench to no avail - it just kept slipping off.
So, in the end, we added a new outer on the driver's side, along with a new bellow, but we were not able to chg out that worst offending tie rod - the driver's side inner. It is VERY sloppy...probably a good 1/8" play in it.
Any advice? I'm ready to pay someone to do the last one, but I'm willing to try again if we missed something obvious.
Thanks!
Chris
 

Lawbreaker5.0

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So did it have a alluminum slde pin or steel one? If alluminum you can work the tie rod back and forth (on and off) and it will come off. If steel, you need a tool that you stick through the pin and pull it out. I would think harbor freight would have them. I would also think you could rent the whole tie rod removal tool and it should come with it. Was there not a spot to put a 1 5/16 in wrench on it?
 

twogts4us

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Apr 1, 2004
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So did it have a alluminum slde pin or steel one? If alluminum you can work the tie rod back and forth (on and off) and it will come off. If steel, you need a tool that you stick through the pin and pull it out. I would think harbor freight would have them. I would also think you could rent the whole tie rod removal tool and it should come with it. Was there not a spot to put a 1 5/16 in wrench on it?
Well they weren't really slide pins, they appeared to be more like rolled pins. I had the (what seemed to be complete) tie rod removal tool kit, with a 1 5/16" socket, but it just kept slipping off. :shrug: Frustrating, since, after fighting a little bit with the pass side, we were sure we could knock out the driver's side in mere minutes...:notnice:

Thanks!
Chris
 

Lawbreaker5.0

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Hmmmm. So if they have roll pins then it's already been replaced and you'll need the tool to pull them out. I'm gonna meet with my buddy tomorrow and I'll snap a pic of the tool. I've never used it but the way it sounded like a cut cotter pin that has a hook on one side that you stick inside the roll pin and clip it on the other side and pull out. :idunno: since I've never seen it though. I just asked him and he said it's a specialty tool and they might not sell that tool any more anymore. I mentioned northstar alignment products might sell it or matco or snap on. He also mentioned you could drill it out too.
 

jrichker

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Now you see why I recommended replacing the rack. By this time you have sweated and used up enough time to pay for the difference in the cost of the rack...
 

pudman

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my 86 had roll pins. I just drilled them out. They're soft and only go in the rack portion about a quarter inch. Turn the wheels all the way to the drivers side to expose the rack teeth. One side is flat so use a big crescent wrench to hold the rack, and use another to break the tie rod loose. R & R each side from rack 30 min. I used TRW inners which had a set screw instead of a pin
 

jrichker

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my 86 had roll pins. I just drilled them out. They're soft and only go in the rack portion about a quarter inch. Turn the wheels all the way to the drivers side to expose the rack teeth. One side is flat so use a big crescent wrench to hold the rack, and use another to break the tie rod loose. R & R each side from rack 30 min. I used TRW inners which had a set screw instead of a pin
I used the same method. It worked good for me too.