99 Regal GS Inner tie rod end

You guys are probably sick of hearing about inner tie rod ends but here we go...
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.
Thanks.
Bruce
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"BDS snipped-for-privacy@hotpop.com>" <g<dot> wrote in message

Actually, there has been a lot of discussion on this very thing over the past couple of weeks. DAGS and you will find quite a bit. Most if not all of your questions will probably be answered.
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-Mike-
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Strange - Google Groups doesn't turn much of anything up. Is there a better way to search?

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"BDS snipped-for-privacy@hotpop.com>" <g<dot> wrote in message

http://groups.google.it/group/alt.autos.gm/search?group=alt.autos.gm&q=inner+tie+rod&qt_g=1&searchnow=Ricerca+in+questo+gruppo
(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.
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Thanks for the link - I found some older stuff too but not the stuff that one poster said was discussed just recently in the last few weeks.
Bruce
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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 success.
Caveat- I'm not a mechanic...(nor do I play one on tv).... never even replaced an inner tie rod end in my life... so the following information is what I've found out 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 mechanic.
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, set emergency brake, use vehicle jacks....... you will be spending some time underneath.
2- Remove Wheel. Suggest loosening lugs before lifting vehicle.
3- Outer Tie Rod ends are pretty easy to remove....purchase a ball joint / tie rod ends 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 unscrew. Important.... count number of turns, because you will want to put the new one back in 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 auto parts 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 takes a lot of patience to grab with a diag cutter or side cutter, but it can be done. Two tips here
Tip #1 You can (gently) cut away the boot as you should replace it with a new one use a razor or scissor but be carefull NOT to scractch the rack piston underneath.
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 nipple which will accomodate a 1/4 inch tube.
5- Okay, you finally have the clamp off... you should see two flats...one on the inner tie rod end, the other on the rack and pinion shaft. In some cars you can use a wrench to grab each flat and loosen. On other cars the flats are inaccessible and you need a Lisle tool 45750 5 in 1 Inner Tie Rod Tool.... a lot tube fitting over the inner tie rod with a crows foot wrench on the end. Holding the rack shaft with one wrench you can unscrew the inner tie rod end with the other.
6- Replacement is simple..parts are readily available at your auto parts house, inner tie rod ends, boots, outter tie rod ends. Thread inner tie rod end into rack and pinion shaft.... tighten to proper torque (torque wrench needed).. Mine was 70 ft lbs. (for 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 Nut. Install outter tie rod ends... thread them in to the number of turns that the original ones came off. Install outter to knuckle. If using NEW outter tie rod ends, grease them before installing and remember to install grease boots. Tighten to proper torque 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 !!
MY story....
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 ???
hth
Peter
Special thanks to Ian who suggested the tools listed above and also suggested removing the steering rack.
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wrote:

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.
Bruce
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The replacement tie rod has female threads so apparently there must be a stud on the steering rack.
Bruce
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