You guys are probably sick of hearing about inner tie rod ends but here we
This is one thing I haven't done in the past and I definitely need to
replace the passenger side inner tie rod end. Has anyone here done this and
if so, how difficult is it to do with the steering rack in place?
I've got 130k on the original parts and just finished replacing struts,
strut mounts, and ball joints (what a picnic that was) only to find that I
also have slop at the inner tie rod end on the pass side. I don't want to
replace the entire rack because I probably won't be keeping the car more
than another 9 months.
"BDS email@example.com>" <g<dot> wrote in message
(watch the wrap)
I went to alt.autos.gm on google.com and did a search for "inner tie rod"
and found a bunch of the stuff that's been discussed here.
Here are some things I've learned from a recent experience in attempting
to replace the inner tie rod ends in a 1990 Olds Silhouette mini van without
Caveat- I'm not a mechanic...(nor do I play one on tv).... never even replaced
inner tie rod end in my life... so the following information is what I've found
while attempting unsuccessfully to replace them on a mini-van. fwiw
The job normally only takes about an hour to do.... when you're an experienced
Get as much info as you can... chilton's did NOT show the procedure, but the
factory service manual did.
1- Jack and support vehicle SECURELY .... chock wheels, keep xmission in park,
emergency brake, use vehicle jacks....... you will be spending some time
2- Remove Wheel. Suggest loosening lugs before lifting vehicle.
3- Outer Tie Rod ends are pretty easy to remove....purchase a ball joint / tie
removing tool ie. otc7315A from www.sjdiscounttools.com they may also
have it at
www. autobarn.com. Or you can use a pickle fork (tie rod end removal fork)
whichever you have. Back off the jam nut, pop outter end from knuckle and
Important.... count number of turns, because you will want to put the new one
approximately the same condition. Remove Jam nut from inner tie rod end.
*** you might be able to rent these tools from your local autozone or advance
store or equivilent
4- Removing Inner Tie Rod end boot. There are two clips, the outter side
might be a
spring clip, easy to pop off. The inner clip is usually a metal strap. This
lot of patience to grab with a diag cutter or side cutter, but it can be done.
Tip #1 You can (gently) cut away the boot as you should replace it with a
use a razor or scissor but be carefull NOT to scractch the rack piston
Tip #2 Turn the steering in the direction of the side you are working on.
This allows more clearance to access the clamps. Some cars have a
vent tube that connects between the boots on both sides. Feel around the boot
with your hand...if you feel a nipple with a tube coming out of it...you have the
vent tube. OR if you have already purchased a new boot, examine the boot for a
which will accomodate a 1/4 inch tube.
5- Okay, you finally have the clamp off... you should see two flats...one on
tie rod end, the other on the rack and pinion shaft. In some cars you can
wrench to grab each flat and loosen. On other cars the flats are inaccessible
need a Lisle tool 45750 5 in 1 Inner Tie Rod Tool.... a lot tube fitting over
tie rod with a crows foot wrench on the end. Holding the rack shaft with one
you can unscrew the inner tie rod end with the other.
6- Replacement is simple..parts are readily available at your auto parts house,
rod ends, boots, outter tie rod ends. Thread inner tie rod end into rack
shaft.... tighten to proper torque (torque wrench needed).. Mine was 70 ft
comparision purposes.) Remember to keep wrench on the r&p shaft. Replace
boot, use cable ties (supplied with boot) to wrap in place). Install new Jam
Install outter tie rod ends... thread them in to the number of turns that the
ones came off. Install outter to knuckle. If using NEW outter tie rod ends,
them before installing and remember to install grease boots. Tighten to proper
and remember to install cotter pin. Replace wheel.... Lower vehicle
7- Get wheels aligned....
Things to watch out for.... if you remove the boot and see a whole bunch of
powering steering fluid...your rack and pinion is leaking and needs to be
rebuilt or replaced.
Try not to scratch the R&P shaft.
Good luck !!
1990 Olds Silhouette (mini van) with 118 K miles. The passenger
inner tie rod end had a lot of play... you could grab it and move it
in and out.
Everything came apart easy...but the flats on the inner tie rod end
were 23 mm and totally inaccessible. The Lisle 5 in 1 tool was not the
proper size... and I couldn't turn them with a crowsfoot. So I put everything
back together and took it into the shop to have it done.
Mechanic had the inner tie rod end off in less than 45 minutes. How the hell
did he do that ???
The next decision.... car is in shop, one side is done...why
not bite the bullet and have the other side done at the same time... he
went ahead and pulled the boot off the drivers side and an accumulation of
power steering fluid came out. He wound up replacing the rack and pinion
with a "short rack" which included both inner tie rod ends.
Total charges were 850.00. But what the heck... I couldn't replace the
inner tie rod ends and wasn't about to try a rack on pinion which laying on
my back in a driveway. This is not a job for the faint of heart.
End of story....
If any of you mechanics have gotten this far and see any problem with
anything that has been written OR know how I could have removed
the inner tie rod end (the mechanic knew how, he did it in 45 minutes)
please let me know.
Also, is it possible or even smart to replace a rack and pinion with the
limited space of a car up on jackstands ???
Special thanks to Ian who suggested the tools listed above and also
suggested removing the steering rack.
Thanks for the write up - this helps alot.
I basically decided to get the part and loaner tool and have a go at it. If
I can't get the thing out of the steering rack then I'll end up taking it
somewhere to have it done like you ended up doing.
I've read lots of different material on how the tie rod can be secured to
the rack - from staking to bent tabs to pins - and was just wondering
whether someone might have information specific to the late 90's Regal.
Seems like lots of folks just replace the entire rack, but I'd like to avoid
that little picnic of a job if I can.
I'll post the tale after I take my shot at it.
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