Outer Tie-rod end. Removal and Installation
for this install:
(1) 18mm socket
(1) 7/8 open end wrench
(2) New tie-rod ends (should come with new stud nut, lock nut, and cotter pin)
(1) Vice grips
(1) Grease gun with grease
(1) Something to mark with (to mark the stock position of the tie-rod end)
After about 70K miles, the outer tie-rod ends on my Mustang started to squeek and make an incredibly annoying noise. The genius's at Ford put a teflon bushing inside the stock tie rod end so that it would never need greasing. They do last a long time, but start to make noise after a while. So I decided to replace the stock ones with new ones that are grease-able. This install was not that hard. Tie-rods can be a pain to get off, but they will come off with a little patience
First, you want to loosen the lug nuts from the tire that is on the side you are going to do first. Then jack up the car on that side. Loosen the lug nuts the rest of the way and remove the tire. Now, you should be able to see the tie-rod end that is attached to the spindle behind the brake disc.
Now, notice the position of the tie-rod locking nut. It is on the opposite side of the spindle. You want to mark the position of this so that when you put the new ones on, your alignment doesn't get all screwed up. After you have marked the position of the nut. Attach the vice-grips to the tie-rod itself (so that it doesn't move when you try to loosen the lock nut. Once the vice grips are in place, use the 7/8 wrench to loosen the nut. Hold on the the vice grips while you are trying to loosen the nut, so the rod doesn't turn. This can be a bitch, but keep at it, it will budge eventually.
Once you have broke the nut loose, back it off a little bit.
Now we go back to the spindle, where the tie-rod is attached. Remove the cotter pin from the top of the spindle. You will have to bend it so it is straight again. Then it will come out. Now you want to remove the nut from the tie-rod end stud. use the 18mm socket to do this. With the right amount of torque, it will come of easily.
Now you have the tie-rod basically detached from the car. All you have to do it get it all the way out. This is where the hammer comes into play. Use it to pound on the top of the stud. It will eventually pop-out. When it does, unscrew it from the tie-rod and unscrew the old lock nut.
Installation of the new tie-rod is basically the opposite of removal. One important thing, remember that mark you made so you could remember where the old tie-rod was? Make sure the new on lines up with that mark or your alignment will be off!
Screw the new lock nut on to the tie-rod along with the new tie-rod end. Line up the nut with the mark you made from the previous tie-rod end. Tighten the new lock nut against the new tie-rod end. This will ensure the new tie-rod end is in the correct position. Now, slide the new tie-rod end stud up into the spindle. You may have to move wheel assembly back into position (because it was free to move once you had the tie-rod off). Install the new rubber boot and crew the new end stud nut onto the end stud and tighten. Lastly, install the cotter pin through the hole in the stud. Do not forget to grease up the new end with the grease gun. You are done!!! The other wheel will work the same way.
If you have any questions about this write up, please feel free to e-mail me!