ADVICE NEEDED: Removing Inner Tie Rod Ends - TWO QUESTIONS

I am going to start replacing the worn tie rod ends (inner and outer) and ball joints in my 1996 Mustang GT.
I have heard that the inner tie rod ends that originally came with my
car are screwed onto the ends of the steering rack and then held in place by a small pin.
How do I remove this pin? Is it soft enough to simply shear off if I start to unscrew the old inner tie rod ends? Do I have to drill this pin out? Is there some "proper" way of removing this pin?
My new replacement TRW inner tie rod ends don't need a pin to hold them in place, so I only need to worry about the pins when I remove the old inner tie rod ends. But I need a fool-proof method of being able to grab and remove these pins....I would hate to get STUCK halfway through the repair!
Here's another thing that worries me....
The instructions that came with my new TRW inner tie rod ends mention have this caution:
"CAUTION - Always hold the rack from turning by using an adjustable wrench on the flat of the teeth on the rack. This must be done when removing inner socket on each side. Failure to do so will cause the rack teeth and the pinion teeth to wedge against each other as the pinion tries to prevent the rack from rotating. This could result in chipped, cracked, or broken teeth which will cause erratic steering and binding of the steering assembly."
HUH?!? My Haynes manual makes no mention of this "hazard". But then again, the Haynes manual only gives instructions for replacing the entire steering gear. (I won't be owning this car for very much longer, so I am not that interested in buying an entire replacement steering gear. I would just as soon replace only the inner tie rod ends. My current steering gear works great and has no leaks.)
I had assumed that removing and replacing the inner tie rod ends would be a fairly straightforward "unscrew and re-screw" procedure. Why would I need to brace the rack? Will I really be required to apply that much torque to it to remove and install the inner tie rod ends? I don't even think I have heard anyone on these newsgroups mention having to brace the rack. What the heck are they talking about here???
I should point out that I completely rebuilt the front steering and suspension on my 1965 Mustang. But that car has manual steering, not power steering. My 1996 GT has power steering, and I have to say that I have never really messed with any power steering components, so I am more than a bit cautious at this stage.
Any help, advice, tips, or other information would be most welcome! Thanks in advance......
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On Mon, 23 Jun 2008 16:47:35 -0700 (PDT), EADGBE

The best advice I can offer you is to not replace just the ties rods and sockets. If you do not know what you are doing, the sockets can become loose and disconnect if not properly locked. You will need a special socket wrench that slide down over the length of the tie rod to reach the inner end of the socket and remove/replace it. If the sockets are that badly worn, the rack itself is also likely to be nearing the end of it's service life. For just a few dollars more than a pair of tie rods, you can buy a long rack already properly assembled and just bolt it in. The work is not that difficult - just be careful of your clock spring for the air bag. Make sure the battery is disconnected. You'll have a full warranty on the complete rack assembly. This also gives you the opportunity to replace the rack bushing which wear and become sofe causing handling problems over time. BTW, the pins do need to be replaced if you just replace the tierods.
Lugnut
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Thanks for your input, Lugnut!
I think I'm going to stop messing around and simply bolt on a new steering rack. It seems simpler and I will be less apt to "get stuck".
Can you tell me where the clock spring for the air bag should be located, so I can avoid it if possible?
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On Tue, 24 Jun 2008 08:04:59 -0700 (PDT), EADGBE

The clock spring is usually located at the firewall on the steering column. I may be wrong on your particular car. The way to avoid problems is to center the steering wheel before you start work and do not turn it more than necessary to align the spline at the coupling when you install the new rack. Although I have replaced several of the racks on the older Mustangs, I'm sorry I don't know all I should about your particular car in that respect. IIRC, the rack bolts on in front of the crossmember like it did in my earlier model. It is easy to get at. You can get a close approximation of toe in alignment when you reassemble it with a tape measure. With the wheels on and the car still up, use something to either scribe or make a mark around the circumference of the tread while rotating the wheel. You can measure the front and rear difference on the front tires. You should be shooting for less than 1/8" toein with the front of the tires being closer together than the rear side. Toeout make make it drive a little dodgy. That will get you a few miles to an alignment shop without destroying the tires. This should be an easy job with a decent assortment of hand tools - air tools make it a piece of cake with the rack out front.
Lugnut
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Absolutely agreed. Did inners once, ended up having to replace the whole damn rack anyhow, what a waste of time/money let me tell you.
-GV
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Since your going to be selling it soon, why are you bothering with this? Your not going to get squat in enhanced resale value by doing this repair yourself.
IMHO the only people who should be buying inner tie rods are the steering rack rebuild houses.
Ted
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I'm doing this repair because although I will eventually sell the car, I won't be selling it anytime soon...probably keep the car another year, tops. But you are missing the most important point: Resale value is NOT why I'm doing this repair. I'm doing this repair because this is a safety issue. I should not drive the car in its present condition, and I certainly wouldn't want to sell the car to someone else if it weren't safe to drive.
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Thank you Ted... I'll be sure to pass your remarks on to my customers....
Nearly everything we do to the modern automobile has special considerations.... be it removing or installing spark plugs , installing a wheel or brake pads, deciding on the proper lube spec for any subsystem....
Sadly, some DIYers are better prepared (both toolwise and smartswise) than some "professionals" for many of these tasks.... The OP has the common sense to see that "something is up" and you turn into a dick....
OP... simply push the pin (if present) into the cavity inside the tie rod end...
Using a large crescent wrench in the manner TRW perscribes is no big deal.. but I highly recommend it to avoid any possible concerns with the rack.On reassembly, I like to use red loctite (I don't care who might have to change these things later... they ain't coming loose on my watch). Torquing these things to spec is always a problem.

Thank you Ted... I'll be sure to pass your remarks on to my customers....
Nearly everything we do to the modern automobile has special considerations.... be it removing or installing spark plugs , installing a wheel or brake pads, deciding on the proper lube spec for any subsystem....
Sadly, some DIYers are better prepared (both toolwise and smartswise) than some "professionals" for many of these tasks.... The OP has the common sense to see that "something is up" and you turn into a dick....
OP... simply push the pin (if present) into the cavity inside the tie rod end...
Using a large crescent wrench in the manner TRW perscribes is no big deal.. but I highly recommend it to avoid any possible concerns with the rack.On reassembly, I like to use red loctite (I don't care who might have to change these things later... they ain't coming loose on my watch). Torquing these things to spec is always a problem.
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