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Old 02-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Inner tie rod

Every single time I have to attempt something I've never done before, I **** myself silly, I'm so scared.

Well, now that the warm feelings are over with, I did something stupid, which resulted in torn tire, $180 tow charge, and, apparently, busted inner tie rods.

I've never done that, or, if I have, I can't remember doing it myself. Neither factory or Haynes manuals are very helpful on the subject.

Would somebody be kind enough to provide some pics, or, at the very least, say something like "It's incredibly easy, you little -----! Suck it up and DO IT!!"

Thanks!
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Old 02-14-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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Make sure to buy the inner tie rods AND the washer that goes on the inside that gets bent over the inner tie rod to hold it in place.

You simply remove the old inner tie rod from both the steering rack and outer ball joints and reinstall the new one. To remove the old one, you will have to bend the previously mentioned washer out first and will have to bend the new ones back down once you complete the install. Set your toe by eye and drive directly to the alignment shop after you are done.
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Old 02-15-2012, 10:52 AM   #3
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Yeah what he said. I had to remove the driver's tie rod when I depowered my steering rack last weekend. It's relatively painless.
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Old 02-15-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Chisel and a hammer to bend the tabs of the washer up.
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Old 02-15-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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If you look in my build thread there might be some good pictures. It's actually pretty easy. I'll take some more this weekend when I install them. Although my rack is off the car so it will be easier.
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:44 AM   #6
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If the average driftard car do this in 30 minutes you can too.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:37 AM   #7
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Apply red loctite to the inner tierod threads before you screw it on to the rack. Very important step!
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Old 02-16-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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I'm glad my inner tie rod didn't have red loctite on the treads. I wouldn't have been able to remove it easily. There wasn't anything on the threads, just the bent over washer keeping it tight.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Thanks, gents!

Is it safe to say that the toe is already messed up, if the play in the inner tie rod is significant?
I'm trying to figure out what I can do to save the trip to the alignment shop.

Seems that all I need to do is re-dial in the toe, but, the question is, what to do?
Measure as accurately as possible (my buddy runs an industrial supply shop, so I have access to most amazing tools) the total distance from the outer tie rod end to the rack, or, just string the car up, and, measure the toe?

Or, do both?
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Old 02-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #10
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I did both, along with new boots. Use blue loctite instead of red. Keeps it secure but lets you remove it if need be without a torch.
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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Blue would be fine too. If you think about it, a new quality inner tierod should last close to 100k miles, so worrying about removing it once it's tightened down is kind of pointless. A majority of inner tierods you buy will include a small tube of red loctite. The reason is basically safety, a correctly installed inner is only torqued to about 50-65ftlbs and the rack is in near constant motion once you're driving.

I have seen more than a few customers come in with what they think is a worn inner tierod, only to find out that the ball socket is fine and the threaded portion is actually backing off of the rack due to improper installation. You can probably imagine what would happen if you were driving while one came completely off.

As for setting toe afterward, it helps to count the number of turns when removing the outer tierod off of the inner. This should get you pretty close when you are re-installing it. Get an alignment afterward anyway.
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Old 02-16-2012, 10:10 PM   #12
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I usually use a pry-bar to knock the tabs out of the way on the washer and use channel-locks to bend them over.

You can do this, it doesn't take me too long. I also don't like the gay boot-wraps they send you from Mazda, I use safety-wire on mine. You want to get it tight, and the Mazda tie-wire is too weak and I break it every time.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:06 AM   #13
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Is there a big difference between the p/s and non p/s washers?
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:50 PM   #14
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Well, seems that the problem is of a different nature. I finally dove under the car (btw, Advance Auto sent me the wrong tie rods, and, according to my local builder, they simply don't fit), and, discovered that the movement originates in the rack itself.
It's only side to side, so, no issues with the wheel hub.

Still, is there any kind of adjustment, or, do I need to replace the rack?
It really feels like there's slop in the rack.





Quote:
Originally Posted by flounder View Post
As for setting toe afterward, it helps to count the number of turns when removing the outer tierod off of the inner. This should get you pretty close when you are re-installing it. Get an alignment afterward anyway.

As far as the toe, I figured that all I have to do is measure the length of exposed threads on the tie rod.
Attached Thumbnails
Inner tie rod-imag0333.jpg   Inner tie rod-imag0334.jpg   Inner tie rod-imag0335.jpg  
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Old 02-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #15
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Well, according to FM, I'm off to look for another rack.
Somebody shoot me, please!
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:20 PM   #16
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When you grab on to the inner tierod and push in and out do you feel any slop?

Are the bolts that mount the rack to the cradle tight?
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:25 PM   #17
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Yes
Yes
Getting a rack from junker in the am. $75
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Old 02-22-2012, 08:59 PM   #18
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If you feel play in the tierod then you have a bad inner tierod.

An inner tierod wears at the point where the rod meets the part that threads into the rack, it's a ball and socket design. If you have the outer tierod disconnected from the spindle and grab onto the inner tierod and push/pull on it and feel/see any play where the rod meets the other part then the inner tierod is bad.

If you push/pull on the inner tierod and the whole rack moves or feels sloppy then I would say replace the rack. A new rack should also include two new inners and bellows boots too.
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Old 02-22-2012, 09:07 PM   #19
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So I have a question related to this. How the ef do those washers go on? I either got the wrong ones, or I don't see how they could possibly work.
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:21 AM   #20
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As far as the washers, it seems that they slip on over where the inner tie rod bolts in, and, then, you bend all four sides, so the tie rod doesn't spin out.

And, now, for something different.
After sorting out that it was the rack, I drove for an hour, and, got the surprise of a lifetime.

The rack came off '97, mileage unknown, with what seems like LE rod ends, brand new spanking (and, much better construction) boots, and, lifetime warranty.
Even after I told the guy that the car sees track duty, his only response was "Oh, cool. Yeah, lifetime warranty. Just bring it back, and, we'll swap it".

Color me floored.
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