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?
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.
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? :-)
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 ;-)
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.
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.
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...
This brings up the follow-on question (not rhetorical or sarcastic, by
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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