Inner Tie Rod Ends - Advice?


8thTon

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I'm doing inner (and outer) tie rod ends. I got Motorcraft inners with the new boot. I stopped by Harbor Freight and picked up the tool. The instructions say to use hand force only, but there is a 1/2" square hole in the end. I'm worried about putting too much force on the rack - should I use an impact or a ratchet or not?

When installing should I use Loctite red or blue?

I also picked up a cheap vise grip to modify into a clic hose clamp tool:
Tool1024.jpg


It should work a couple times anyway.
 


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Dirtman

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Do you have the kind with the c shaped wrenchy things and the tube that slides over them? If so I've always needed to put a ratchet on the end of the tube to break them free... but easy force. Not breaking a rusted ball joint loose with a breaker bar force.

Never use red unless the installation is permanent. I never actually put loctite on them, never even heard of doing that... :dunno:
how the heak could you loosen them by hand next time if you put loctite on them? :icon_idea:

And what guy doesn't have a drawer in his tool box full of "special" vice grips... some of mine are so weird, with things welded to them and ground crazy ways I honestly cant remember what they were ever for.
 
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8thTon

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Yes that’s the kind. I’ll have to read the factory instructions but I generally use Loctite on steering and brake components - I like for them to stay put. There is no locking hardware on the inner rod attachment bolt.
 

Dirtman

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If you think about it though, once its assembled the inner tie rod physically cant turn. It would just push or pull against the outer tie rod which is locked by the sleeve. I use anti-seize on steering stuff not loctite. :dunno:
 

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Yeah it can only rotate about 1/4 turn if the jam nut is tight. I still don’t want it backing off.

I’m mostly worried about being able to get to the inside boot clamp! The rest of the job looks pretty simple.
 

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It is perfectly safe, even necessary, to use a ratchet. The "hand force only" is a prohibition against power tools like and impact wrench.

Do not use any form of thread locker on the inner tie-rods. If an end seal on the rack fails it can get into the rack. Just tighten them to spec and they will be fine.

The inside boot clamp can be released with a flat blade screwdriver jammed in the crimp and then turned. Do not bother trying to install a new clamp unless you are removing the rack from the vehicle. Use a zip tie, it is just as effective, and much easier to install.
 

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It is perfectly safe, even necessary, to use a ratchet. The "hand force only" is a prohibition against power tools like and impact wrench.

Do not use any form of thread locker on the inner tie-rods. If an end seal on the rack fails it can get into the rack. Just tighten them to spec and they will be fine.

The inside boot clamp can be released with a flat blade screwdriver jammed in the crimp and then turned. Do not bother trying to install a new clamp unless you are removing the rack from the vehicle. Use a zip tie, it is just as effective, and much easier to install.
Thanks! I'll skip the thread locker then. I see it's torqued to 74ft-lbs so yeah, I'm gonna need a wrench. I'm going to try to put the real clamp on, and may make another tool to get it from the side. I was looking at the FSM and they specifically say not to use a zip tie, but I've had to do it before on things like CV joint boots so I won't worry about it if I have to.

The inner tie rod spherical joint comes greased - should I add more grease in there? The bellows are so large it seems pointless.

I'm debating about whether to put on the outer tie rods I got. The ones that are on it seem fine, and if I keep them I can count turns and get back closer to my toe setting more easily. I may just put the new ones on the shelf for now.
 

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I’m mostly worried about being able to get to the inside boot clamp! The rest of the job looks pretty simple.
I got inside boot camp once. Stayed for 8 weeks. I prefer not to go back.
 

Dirtman

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I'm gonna get bored one afternoon and go play with adsm....
 

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I'm gonna get bored one afternoon and go play with adsm....
Just remember I started back to work full time, so it has to be a weekend.
 

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The job is done, along with new brake pads and new sway bar links - I had nice blue poly ones with 7/16" bolts, but both bolts broke when I took them off to make more room to work. Now I have MOOG units from Advance Auto - they'll do for now.

Yes, it took some force to break the old inner tie rods loose, but I supported the rack with a wrench on the left side. I had expected the old inner rods to be loose, but that was not the case. Instead, the spherical joint on the left one was nearly frozen. It would pivot but it took a lot of force, so when pulling away from a stop and the front end lifted there would be a clunk as it overcame the friction.

I was able to use the metal band boot clamps. The tool I made worked fine for the right side where I could position the crimp at the top, but on the left there was too much stuff up there to position the tool. I made another tool out of an old pliers to crimp it from the side, and that worked.

I made an alignment tool as well, using some wood scrap and screws. I set it so that it just contacted the inner rims at the front before I started, so I could put it back afterwards. I took some measurements on each side as well so it would be close to start with. Seems to drive nicely, but the commute to work will tell the tale tomorrow.

IMG_4967.jpg
 

8thTon

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Truck ran great. Noise/clunk is gone.

I was surprised how big a diference the standard sway bar links made. Definitely a few more degrees of lean before the bar pushes back, and a small delay at turn in. On the other hand it's more compliant and comfortable. I'm still deciding what I think of it.

I tightened the link nuts more when I got home.
 


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