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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-31-2001, 11:03 AM
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Tie rod ends

Going to put some new tires on soon and want to make sure the front is straight/true so may get an alignment. But before I do that want to make sure the tie rod ends are in good shape. How long do these things last? Do they usually give symptoms when they are wearing out? Cheap part? Read somewhere that its a fairly easy thing to do at home.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 05:27 PM
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Re: Tie rod ends

I wouldn't call it an "easy" job, but if you have some tools, an hour or so, and a place you can scream profanities, it's do-able. I use needle-nose pliers, a 7/8" combination wrench, a ball-peen hammer, and whatever size socket the adjusting sleeve bolts are (9/16"?). I tried a tie rod end separator once, and all it did was tear up the seal and P!$$ me off.

You can check them by jacking up one wheel and trying to push it side-to-side from underneath and watching each tie-rod end, the ball joints, and the caliper (movement here would indicate the wheel bearings are loose). I think my lifetime ones were $30 each at Hi-Lo (O'Reilly now) about 5 years ago.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-01-2001, 10:50 PM
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Re: Tie rod ends

You check the tie rod ends by watching them while someone else turns the steering wheel. If the rod moves back and forth visibly, while the part it is supposed to move stays still, there is too much wear in the ball part and it is time to change.

They are not real hard to change, but on a Bronco, they will need a pickle fork separator tool and a hammer. I use a sledge because I only have to hit it once. Yes it ruins the boot, but you will get new ones anyway. I have not had much luck with a puller or with loosening the nut and hammering on the spindle, although that works on Capris and Mustangs much better. You can buy new boots if you have to.

I would change them all at one time if possible so that you do not need to redo the alignment again later.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-03-2001, 07:16 PM
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Re: Tie rod ends

Don't bother with the pickle fork, save it for pickles! All it will do is tear up your seal and piss you off. I have had great success with pulling the pin out, taking the nut off, threading the nut back on upside down, and hitting ONCE with a 2lb hand sledge. Works every time for me, but if it doesn't work then I think you could use a "steering link" puller, obtainable at JC Whitney for 10-15 bucks. Basically it's a small version of the pitman arm puller.

Like I said, one hit is all it takes for me, so I'd try that first since it's free if you have a sledge.

I think the ends are $15-20 at autozone, but don't say that in front of steve83.

It's a Jeep thing? My Bronco thing will run over your little Jeep thing.

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