Tie Rod Assembly
Is the skyrocketing cost of professional service stopping you from replacing your worn-out tie rod assembly? Why not try to do the job by yourself so you can save on the hefty mechanic cost? Below are the steps on how to replace the tie rod ends of your vehicle's tie rod assembly:
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Jack stands
- Hydraulic jack
- Clean rag
- Ratchet wrench
- Wheel chocks
- Spray lubricant
- Lug wrench or tire iron
- Flathead screwdriver
- Ball joint separator tool
- Replacement outer tie rod end
Preparing for the task
Step 1: Read the instructions carefully and entirely for you to gauge if you're really apt for the task and how long it will take you to complete it.
Step 2: Identify and familiarize yourself with the tie rod assembly components for each side of the tie rod end. This is very important because you can never interchange the said parts.
Raising the vehicle
Step 3: Set the parking brakes and, using a lug wrench or tire iron, slightly loosen the lug nuts of the front tires. In some vehicles, you may need to remove the lug nut trim caps first or/and the wheel cover.
Step 4: With the help of the hydraulic jack, raise the vehicle's front end. Stabilize the raised front end by placing jack stands under the solid, structural parts of the vehicle frame. Place wheel chocks on the rear tires.
Removing the front wheels
Step 5: Take off the loosened lug nuts using a socket wrench or lug wrench and set them aside. Take the wheel off.
Removing the tie rod ends
Step 6: Loosen and remove the pinch bolts that secure the tie rod ends to the steering column. Use a spray lubricant to ease the process of removal.
Step 7: Take off the split pin and remove the bands holding the dust boot to the inner tie rods. With a flathead screwdriver, pull the dust boot off.
Step 8: Then, dislodge the nut that connects the tie rod to the wheel by rotating it clockwise using the right size of ratchet wrench.
Step 9: Finally, detach the tie rod end from the steering assembly's main joint using a ball joint separator tool.
Step 10: Make the wheels face a forward direction by rotating the steering wheel. Access the inner tie rod by moving the boot away from the ball joint. Don't forget to mark the inner tie rod end's placement in relation to the steering column.
Step 11: With a wrench, disengage the inner tie rod end from the steering assembly and take the dust boot off the tie rod.
Assembling the tie rod mechanism
Step 12: Assemble the new tie rod mechanism, put the boots on, and install the bolt. If needed, attach the grease fittings.
Step 13: With the mark you've made a while ago as the reference, install the tie rod into place.
Step 14: Put in the locking ring into the inner tie rod and connect the outer tie rod. Properly tighten the locking nut.
Installing the new outer tie rod ends
Step 15: Set up the new outer tie rod end at the wheel and tighten the bolt properly while making sure the locking bolt and the installation hole of the split pin are properly aligned. Insert a new split pin.
Step 16: Put on a generous amount of grease to the tie rod end assembly. Continue until it becomes visible. Wipe away excess grease and put the wheel back.
Step 17: Repeat the process to replace the tie rod ends in the other wheel.
Step 18: Lower the vehicle and have your wheels properly aligned by a professional.
Note: Some of the instructions may slightly vary depending on the vehicle year and model.