Is this for me to do?

I am, shall we say, mechanically challenged. I do okay as a Saturday afternoon mechanic in that I can do my own tune ups, oil changes and similar things. Now I have to change an inner tie rod end on an 1985
Tempo with power steering.
Should I go at this myself or give it to a garage to do? The parts cost $30 at Autozone but the shops want nearly $250 to do the work. Seems a little extreme unless we're talking about a real life nightmare.
Any special tools needed?
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You can do it, but you're going to need an alignment afterwards. If you mark the tie rod, and install the new tie rod end at about the same spot as the old one, you'll be in the ballpark. Go immediately afterwards to get an alignment. Be sure to tell the alignment guy what you did when you go.
CJB

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CJB wrote:

Also, Autozone has the inner tie rod end tool.
Rob
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If you're "mechanically challenged" how do you know what you need done?
Could it be the opinion of the guy who wants your $250 (plus whatever else he can squeeze out of you later)?
or am I just really, really, cynical? :-)
Chris wrote:

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Ideally you should have access to the tools used to easily remove the inner tie rod.
The parts only cost $30.00
The shop is quoting $250.00
The shop knows it's a 1985 Tempo, it's likely going to be rusty. Other parts are going to need to be replaced. The shop may (or may not) regret quoting you only $250. You will also have to determine if the vehicle is in good enough condition to spend $250 on it this week even before you know what it needs for next week.
What I am trying to say is this. "yes the part may be cheap, for example a clutch release bearing can range from $1 to $50 but anyone who's ever changed one on a 20 year old daily driver knows the parts cost means nothing when you're 8 hours into a job."
If one inner tie rod is gone more than likely the other can't be too far behind, then the question is, is the rack in good condition? If the car's worth it sometimes it's easier and cheaper just to put in a remanufactured rack than to try to remove rusted in place parts..
Just my biased opinion.
PS if anyone wants to change the wristpins in my wife's Windstar I'll pay for the pins PLUS I'll give you 5x the cost of the new pins as an installation fee ;-)
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joe schmoe wrote:

Joe, I think you might be missing the obvious. I was asking the question for a reason. Yes, I know parts can often be only a small part of the job. Now, if you have something to contribute, let me know.
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it is quite possible that the $250 price tag is for the rod end, labor, AND the alignment. if his is the case, than that is a decent price.

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Thanks to CJB for the advice about getting an alignment and to trainfan1 about the tool. Steve, you may be right, I don't know. I brought it to Firestone for an alignment and they wouldn't do one without changing the tie rod end first.
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Two comments..... first regarding tie rod replacement. Care must be taken to avoid "excessive force". Experienced techs (aside from being difficult to find) can deal with these concerns without damaging your rack..... others, seem to be able to damage the rack easily..... if they happen to own the rack in question, they often overlook the "new qualities" that the steering gear has inherited.
OTOH... an experienced and concientious tech will return your car to you without inflicting additional damage as well as ensuring that excessive tire wear will not occur.
For some odd reason, I felt the need to check "steves" posting history.... you can follow his advice if you like.... he will also tell you that you don't need to make sure your floor is level when you refinish it (that makes a lot of sense... I can level AFTER I refinish it, right?)... He thinks he's cynical.... there are toher words to describe that logic.
I will recommend obtaining a reputable service manual to guide you through this operation. Steering is, after all, a safety system. Well within the scope of a talented DIYer but some of our mistakes can be "terminal" in nature if due care and atention aren't excercised.
Special note for steve.... don't know what you do for a living... looking at your posting history, misinformation comes to mind...

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Hi Chris,
This brings up the follow-on question (not rhetorical or sarcastic, by the way)
How do we know they're telling the truth and not engaging in bait-and-switch tactics (e.g. advertisting an alignment (liftetime, right?) then selling additional services.....
Good luck with your repair....
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