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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, '99 9-3

I was recently at the mechanic to get an alignment, and they said my tie-rod ends were pretty shot. Of course, their scheduling was off and due to this, my car was late onto lift and presto -- no alignment or new ends... 'Come back in a few weeks'.

Okay, well, no. The car is 100% unsafe to drive & so i'm planing on biking until I get these replaced. How hard is this?

I realize I will have to get an alignment afterwards, but for $30 an end, I think I should do it myself and learn some. I'll count the turns when I take the old ones off, should get me somewhere close to my current misaligned status...

Anything I should lookout for? Hints, tips, tricks? How do you get the actual 'end' out of the hole it goes into? Are they tapered like balljoints?

Any random thoughts / insights would be grand,

Thanks,
bny
 

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They are pretty easy to get out if you are not planning on re-using them! I used a piece of tape wrapped around the shaft to keep a mark of how far to screw it back on. (i failed safety for a bad tie rod end, put a new one on, and still drives straight!!) There is one bolt on the bottome of the tie rod, and then you can use a ball joint separator or pickle fork to remove it. The pickel fork will damage the boot if you are not very carefull (for anybody wanting to get them out and reuse them like for installing new shocks or springs). Once that is off, you just turn the tie rod off of the turn buckle with an open ended wrench.


Only dificulties I have seen is the bottom nut not coming off, and the tie rod stud just spins. (Try penatrating spray before you even start and let it sit to minimise this chance) Also, it would be really nice to have an impact wrench to minimise the chance of that happening also.

To test if they really are bad, try wiggling the wheel (by pushing in on the top and then side to side) and see if it moves at all.

Tboy
 

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Just to add that a ball joint separator is best - might come in useful later. Undo the 18mm nut first; Get some tension on with the separator; Then you may then need a little blowlamp treatment on the strut around the taper. Safety glasses are a good idea because it might come off with a bang. As Tboy says, if you are jacking it up anyway, a little wiggle to confirm that they are worn is probably worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
hunt.dogshome said:
Just to add that a ball joint separator is best - might come in useful later. Undo the 18mm nut first; Get some tension on with the separator; Then you may then need a little blowlamp treatment on the strut around the taper. Safety glasses are a good idea because it might come off with a bang. As Tboy says, if you are jacking it up anyway, a little wiggle to confirm that they are worn is probably worthwhile.
Thanks for the suggestions. Sounds very similar to the balljoints that I had to just break free when doing my control arm bushings.

As far as the ends go, I know they are shot, as it drives looser than.... well, you get the point :suprised;.

I actually don't have a pickle fork, when I removed my balljoints I used the big scary method of 'wail on the hub nub with a big hammer' (heh). A bit scary, but my 'boots' are still made for walkin' :cheesy:

Thanks a lot for your replys. I'll take the tape suggestion into account, I was just going to count the number of complete turns to remove each end, but perhaps BOTH would be good as to provide a failsafe.

thanks,
great again,
bny
 

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Brewtide, a day or two before you commence with the tie rod end disassembly, soak the threads in some Liquid Wrench or PB Blaster - this should help....
 

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ball joint separator = pickle fork, just another name. You can rent them at Autozone for free, I think the deposit is like 18 dollars (that you get back entirely plus tax).


Tboy
 

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I'll second earthworm's advice about putting P blaster (or some similar penetrating oil) on all the threads. I'd start a day or two early, and reapply a couple times to give it a chance to work. The threads on the rods are exposed to all kinds of road junk, so make it as easy on yourself as possible.
 

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You can use a press or pickle fork on the tie rod ends, they aren't VERY hard to come off compared to the control arms. It's a fairly easy job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
hello again,

I appreciate all the comments -- I actually didn't own a pickle fork, so I went and got one today. When I did the ball joints, they were not recommended, so I decided that by not having one around, I'd have to manage with the bash and pray method (which works quite well, as everyone says - I think everyones first time is scary :p)

I also purchased some pb blaster as well - just got back inside from doing the soaking... (and yes, I'm all stinky / chemically smelling)

europarts says my order is shipping today, thus, I should have it tomorrow (I live in southern maine, 2 / 2 orders thus far have been *next day* free ground shipping, here's hoping...)

I also purchased the adjuster's for each side, in case 'something went wrong'. since I have them, should I just replace them now? I'm thinking yes, but part of me says 'get in, get out, be free from the car!'.

what's your take?

Also included in my order was the dreaded rear engine hydro. mount -- I think that's waiting until a nice weekend day when I can take time, and swear while relaxing. Is it true that you can do it without having to remove anything if you have a few knuckles & quite a bit of 'extension'?

thanks again,
bny
 

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You mean the adjusting screws? I wouldn't bother. If you got 'em and they are cheap and you can measure accurately then go for it. No pain no gain.

Not done a rear mount (yet! :cry: ) but there is a nice guide on http://photo.platonoff.com/Auto/20050816.Saab_NG900_Engine_Mounts/

That (excellent) site is becoming a Saab "crystal ball" for me: "I can see your future".

Make sure you've got plenty of stands in under there with you before wrestling with that rear mount (or a 30 stone buddy :cheesy: ).
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
UPDATE:

finally popped tie rod end loose, and I can't get it off the adjuster... Nor can I remove the adjuster from the tie rod itself (i bought adjuster rods as well, for this reason...)

pb blasterd the hell outta it, any other suggestions or tool recommendations?

I've been muscling forever now...


-bny


hrm, well.

parts arrived, started to work on the car... And I cannot, for the life of me, pop the tie rod out. Cannot do it. PB blaster, 3 pound hammer (tapping), gear puller, pickle fork....

For the past, er, 30 minutes...

Any suggestions? Do I have to remove/losen the inner tie rod bolt beforehand? I assumed not, but...?

Any tips? I'm seemingly screwed...

-bny
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So, I've given up for the night. I cannot remove the tie rod end Nor the adjuster screw from the tie rod itself.

If I can, would it be safe to remove the entire tie rod from the steering rack, and then disasemble the ends in a shop, in a vice?

Are all that holds the tie rod itself onto the rack that one bolt? Perhaps that's my best bet?

Suggestions welcome. The end has been SOAKED in pb blaster, and I tried to get it off for over 1 1/2 hours, full out muscle, no budging.

Perhaps a torch will make more of a difference?

I'm exhausted, and my car is still up on stands in the driveway --- more biking tomorrow...
peace,
bny
 

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You undid the clamp on the rod end and the clamp on the rack end? (yes of course, duh!).

The trusty blowtorch and chisel to the rescue. Nipping bolts '18' out. Chisel jammed in the gap. Lots of nasty heat on the steering rod. Maybe a big clamp (or vice) on the rod to stop the heat travelling if you are going for it with a big flame!

Failing that, the steering rod comes out, but I suspect that is a so-and-so to get at.

EDIT: Both bolts '18' are out yes?
 

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JMarkert said:
I've always wanted to ask, what's a stone weigh?
Stones vary. 12 to 19 stones is a weight measure like Kilos or pounds. 20 stone is generally cautiously quoted for anything up to 29 stone (rugby players, doormen and bodyguards). 30 plus stone weighs less, but has more volume. It's nice to have a Minky Whale laid out under a car in case it slips off the ramps.

[Been there done that! Large friend under his car (which was well raised-up on ramps) with jack and spanners, me up top undoing last bellhousing bolt. "Are you ready?" "Yes, the jack's OK, I've got it." "OK...It's coming out ......NOW!" "Boll~~~ks!" The bellhousing and gearbox is now resting on my friend's ample belly, safe and secure like a dog on a feather bed :cheesy:. When I stopped laughing, we rolled it off him and onto the floor. It only fell about 1/4" from the car before it got the soft landing. Cruel, but fair.]
 
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