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Discussion Starter #1
Well apparently one of my outer tie rod ends is too worn to pass inspection :evil: so now I have to replace it. I checked the Bentley and it doesn't seem too complicated, but I don't have the press tool they show in the manual... do I really need it? I'm thinking I can just improvise once I get in there. I tried searching for other posts about this, but since the words tie, rod, and end are all too short for the system to accept, I didn't really find anything.
 

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tie rod end

I tried to replace mine before christmas, gave up and got a garage to do it.

Ideally you'll need a splitter but you could try unscrewing the bolt and then get 2 big hammers and whack it from either side at the same time.

I had an older version of a splitter that you hammer into the bearing to split it, one of the engineers i work with laughed when i said that i'd tried to use a large rubber mallet to bang it into place, you need a 2lb lump hammer or heavier, give it a real good whack!
 

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I have just done mine and they take about 15 minutes a side. I tried to remove without the balljoint seperator, one of them came out with a hammer blow the other didn't! However the seperator is about £15 (buy the one that has a scissor action with a bolt) and it just popped out.

Summary:

1) Remove wheel and clean up balljoint area/threads. 2) Undo the locknut on tie rod that secures the end (note how much you undo it - I found half a turn fine), 3) Undo balljoint nut and seperate using 'the tool', 4) Unscrew the track rod end carefully (trying not to rotate track rod) and then screw new one on until it meets the locknut. Unscrew the amount you undid the locknut and it should be pointing down 5) push into place and tighten to recommended torque (note that you will have to push down on the balljoint otherwise it will go round and round when you try to tighten). 6) Tighten up the locknut and hey presto.
Total cost about £25-£30 including tool.

Recommendations:
1)Torque wrench - this is steering and suspension!!!
2)Cleanliness is next to godliness, so have a clean up as you go along.
3)Although tracking should not have changed, belt and braces would say have it checked.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Got the part today and I didn't have time to put it in, but I took a look under the car and it doesn't look too bad. Hopefully I'll be able to get this done after work tomorrow... I don't have a balljoint tool (coulda sworn I had one) but hopefully I'll be able to convince everything to come apart with a hammer :cheesy: . Thanks for the replies!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow what an easy job... I was expecting a struggle but was pleasantly surprised :cheesy: . One question though- when I tried to loosen the nut on the inner part of the outer tie rod end (the end closest to the rubber boot for the steering rack), it looked like the whole threaded rod was turning instead of just the nut. I think everything is ok now, but should I be worried about that? Also I can't understand why you even have to loosed that nut... I could have taken it off by just removing the lower locknut and banging the tie rod end up out of the wheel area, then unthreading it from the rod coming from the steering rack (I wish I knew what all these pieces were actually called, that would make describing this stuff a whole lot easier ;oops: ). Anyways, time to go back to the garage and hopefully it will pass inspection!!
 

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The big locknut on the tie rod (the threaded rod coming from the rack) jams against the tie-rod end. You can't unscrew the tie-rod end without loosening this nut first.

Also, unless you screwed the new tie-rod end exactly the same distance onto the tie rod itself as the old one used to be, you'll need to have the toe-in checked and adjusted.
 

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the threaded rod will rotate as it connects to a ball joint inside the rubber boot that connects to the steering rack end
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like I spoke too soon ;oops: . When I went to double check everything before I put the wheel back on, I realized I had used a regular nut instead of a self-locking nut to secure the tie rod end to the steering member (is that what it's called? I think thats what the Bentley called it) - then I couldn't find the right size self-locking nut in my garage, so I tried putting the old one back on and now it's completely stuck... I can't tighten it any more, because the threaded end just spins when I turn the nut, no matter how much I press down on it. I even had one of my big friends stand on top of the tie rod end while I tried to turn the nut, and it still spun... I'm going to try it with a new nut today, but is there some trick to getting it to not spin? It looks like its going to take an unbelievable amount of pressure to keep it from spinning...

I'm pretty sure I have the new tie rod end almost exactly where the old one used to be, but I was planning to have everything aligned at a garage just to make sure...
 

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Definitely have it aligned, even a tiny bit will ruin your tires in short order. I went through a good set of tires in just a few thousand miles because of too much toe-in after my mechanic replaced the tie rod ends.
 

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the Cheese said:
I can't tighten it any more, because the threaded end just spins when I turn the nut, no matter how much I press down on it... I'm going to try it with a new nut today, but is there some trick to getting it to not spin?
Try undoing the nut, pulling the tie-rod end's taper out of the steering knuckle, spraying it (and the hole in the knuckle) with brake cleaner (don't use carb cleaner--leaves oily residue, thus defeating the purpose), then refit.

Press down on the tie-rod end as you tighten the nut, and this should give enough grip between the taper and its hole to stop it spinning.

If still no luck, smear toothpaste on the taper--the abrasives in the toothpaste should do the trick:)
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Just out of curiosity, if anyone has ordered a tie rod end from eeuroparts.com before, did it come with a new nut? I'm wondering if my box was missing something, as mine only had the tie rod end itself... At this point I'm starting to think I've probably messed up the threads on the new tie rod end, but maybe they looked like that from the beginning, so who knows.

ProfZ, I'll try the toothpaste trick in the morning, maybe that will finally get me enough friction to tighten the nut... otherwise I'll have to drive down to the mechanic and have him tighten it up before I have to go to work- hopefully nothing will fall apart on the way :roll: .
 
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