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Old 10-23-2015, 03:14 PM
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default Tie Rod Replacement

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 :

All done :

Last edited by RedfireV8; 01-08-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:48 AM   #2
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congrats on doing all the work yourself
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:39 AM   #3
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nice write up, pics and link. probably have to get to it at some point. good info, details either way, doing it myself or asking shop to do.
got annoying clanking noises driving slowly over dips, bumps, etc. dealer couldn't find anything but replaced my lower cotrol arm under the ford cpo warranty that i had when i bought mine.
was really hard for me to find a way to get the clank "on request", on stand still car, in gear, foot on brakes, rapidly moving steeering side to side it clanks, so i figure its gotta be the play in tie rod ends, got 45.000mls on it.
back in "the good old days" i would have gotten out the grease gun, but now, no fittings, no access, just saying.
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Old 04-20-2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Default RedFire Nice Post

Hey RedFire, nice post and info on the tie rods. First off, is there somewhere you can get all the ford service manuals?

Next, I had a similar situation happen to me (driver side front wheel got hit). I need to replace both the inner and outer tie rod ends and possibly the steering knuckle. Any additional info/suggestions/good place to buy? Thanks for the help.
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Old 11-26-2012, 04:32 PM   #5
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I have a 2006 base, noticed some clunking on the front passenger side, the only way to describe the noise is a fridge compressor being shaken hard, lol, kind if a hollow rattle. I thought at first it was the front end plastic torn a bit from too many parking lot curbs, cleaned all that and the only thing I see out of whack are the outer tie rod ends. Going to replace them anyway, but does that sound like the right noise for that problem, or something else? Thanks
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:57 PM   #6
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Nice work...
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