This isn't really a how to but wanted to share. About a year ago, before the wheels and suspension, the girlfriend and I were on our way back from a concert. On the way home there was something, box shaped, in the middle of the interstate. I had 2 choice swerve and cause my girlfriends resting head resting on the door to go through the window or hit it. I hit and it sounded bad and dragged whatever it was till I pulled over. When I got out I smelled burning rubber and saw a tire about 30 yards back. I looked over the entire underside of the car for a minute. Didn't see anything broken or bent and the bumper and everything was intact. The next morning I gave it a good look. I did happen to shatter the air deflector. (http://www.cjponyparts.com/ford-air-...05-2009/p/AD4/
) Got a new one and all good to go.
Months later I get the GT500 wheels and shocks and springs and go to get it aligned. After getting the alignment it felt fine but I noticed I had to keep the steering wheel slightly, and I mean slightly, turned to the left. Maybe 3-5 degrees. So I learn to live with it. A few months later I try again at another shop and I ask them to make sure the ball joints and tie rods are all good. They say everythings fine and the car feels much better. Probably a week later it feels as if the car went back to what it was. A slight turn of the wheel and some vibration in the steering wheel. Note I have always had this since going from the stock 17s to 18s. I've had about 2-3 balances but it was never 100% and have come to live with it. Long story huh?
Well finally a week or so ago I decide to look at everything and see what I can find. Sure enough I see that my driver side tie rod looks bent. Checked the passenger and the drivers side definitely is bent. So I find the part numbers and order a new tie rod and figured I'd get new tie rod ends while I'm at, since they'll have to come off anyway.
I looked over the service manual and was a little nervous about doing it but went ahead with it. With the right tools, it was very easy. Granted those tools cost you a $172 to rent but made things so much easier. I followed this http://iihs.net/fsm/?dir=133&viewfile=InnerTieRod.pdf
and was able to do it in about an hour. I felt very accomplished and happy doing it myself. I now just need an alignment cause the steering wheel tilts to the right now. lol Sucks but will get it done.
The drivers side (bent) and passengers side (straight):
Got the tie rods off with the special tool. New vs old:
The old tie rod and what it looks like underneath the boot:
New vs old tie rod:
The inner tie rod tool, reminds me of a flashlight:
The inner tie rod came as a kit with a new boot and clamps. I was kind of nervous about the inner clamp because its a one time use clamp and I've never used one like it:
This clamp tool made quick work of it :