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Replacing Inner Tie Rods

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 27 Sep 2011, 07:09 pm
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Default Replacing Inner Tie Rods

I tried looking around the forums and couldn't find anything that helps, so I figured I'd ask. I'm having to replace the inner and outer tie rod ends. After a great deal of struggling (nothing had been touched on this suspension since it pulled outta the factory), I got the tie rod ends to come off, yes i marked the position on the tie rod itself. Now I'm staring at the tie rod itself i think (it has a boot on it.) My question is how the freak am i supposed to get this boot off so i can install the new rod? I can't pull the boot off, nor can i push it back to expose the bulb on the rod. the rod will just spin and spin with no signs of letting go. Any ideas?
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Old 27 Sep 2011, 10:19 pm
UptownSport's Avatar
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Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

There's generally flats on the inner tie rod nut.
The boot is generally held on by tie strap on inner part, and a spring clamp on the outer.
This is what the Neon has, i doubt the PT is any different.
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Old 28 Sep 2011, 03:48 am
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Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

just went through both the parts catalogs and the service manual and it's not even mentioned!!!
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Old 28 Sep 2011, 06:48 am
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Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

Yea I tore my haynes manual apart looking for something about this part.... all it mentions in the tie rod end, not the actual rod itself. Luckily I watched a couple videos on youtube that helped. Apparently the tie strap on the inner boot is not one that is saved after it is removed. You have to destroy the tie strap and use something like a zip tie on it. Should be fun!!
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Old 28 Sep 2011, 01:57 pm
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

yes in order to reuse the boot, which you must, you have to destroy the metal band clamp that holds it on. A zip tie will probably hold the boot in place, I used worm clamps on mine as I had some laying around that fit...

2001 PT Cruiser 5-speed; 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass S; 1990 Chevy 454SS; 1989 Chevy Suburban 2500
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Old 01 Oct 2011, 01:02 pm
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 394
Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

Agreed. Destroy the metal clamps. Which is fun with the rack in the car, but doable. Once both clamps gone, pull straight outwards toward the tires and the boot will pop off. I hope you have the tool for this, I'll link it in a bit, because there are NO flats, the inner tre is completely round. The special tool is about $30ish if I recall. I have one in my closet you can borrow if it comes to that, with a promise to return and you pay all shipping.

Use blue loctite and no need to align inners just get em in tight with the tool. Put the boot back on filled with wheel bearing grease, and put new screw type clamps on. Put outers on threaded back close to how they came out, and go get an alignment pronto.

Remember the castle nut should have a cotter pin, lots of aligbment shops *forget* to put them back in.
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Old 26 Nov 2013, 03:34 pm
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Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

I know I am late to the conversation here. However, I am in the process of replacing the tie rod for my 2005 PT Cruiser.

I do not have access to a special tool to remove the factory Tie Rod and I spent a week trying to figure out how I was going to remove it. Finally, I figured out that I was able to drop a medium sized monkey wrench down beside the engine and manipulate the throat around the ball of the tie rod. I can then fit a pipe over the handle of the monkey wrench and get just enough movement to start the tie rod loose. Of course I only need to replace the passenger side. It had bent when the passenger side outer tie rod snapped.

I have not tried to see if there is enough room to do this on the drivers side.

All I know is that removing the factory tie rod is a Pain. The new Moog one went in very nicely however.

What I am wondering is how others deal with the boot? A 1/2" Stainless worm clamp is too wide for it. Of course the factory clamp is designed to be destroyed on removal. I am not confident that a Zip Tie will keep moisture and particles out. Has anyone else had any problems with Zip Ties?
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Old 03 May 2015, 10:39 pm
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Posts: 153
Default Re: Replacing Inner Tie Rods

Here's how you do the inner tie rods without destroying anything.
1. Remove outer tie rod end.
2. Remove the spring clamp on the outer end of the boot.
3. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the side of the car you are working on, compressing the boot.
4. Slip a thin narrow screw driver between the boot and tie rod. Slide it all around the boot end slightly expanding it. With the screw driver still inserted between the boot and tie rod twist the boot and pull towards you. It will slide out of the groove in the tie rod.
5. Now, take a long skinny screw driver, Craftsman 1/4" flat 12" long works good, and find the crimped section of the band for the inner section of the boot. It will humped up, it is usually in the rearward positon.
6. Insert the screw driver at a 45* angle in the hump and twist to straighten it out. Turn it 45* the other way and do the same thing. Then take and stick it flat , into the top portion of the crimp and move it side to side straightening out the clamp even more until the sides are close to being straight up and down as possible.
7. Pull and twist a little on the boot and it will come off. There is a vent tube on the bottom you have to re-align and puch back on.
8. Rent a special tool from the parts store that fits on a 1/2" ratchet and slides over the tie rod end. This tool is kind of square and has a gear that is offset in it. As you twist it with the ratchet it tightens up against the tie rod head and breaks it loose. You will need a long 1/2" extension, 18" long works best, 12" will work but may bust a knuckle. Once broke lose it will unscrew by hand.
NOTE: sometimes there is a locking washer against the rack that needs to be straightened first.
8. Install the new inner tie rod by hand, use the tool to tighten in the reverse direction.
9. Install the boot back on the rack with the original clamp. Make sure the teeth are engaged properly in the clamp and the vent tube is aligned and installed properly.
10. Take a pair of side cutters or flush type nail cutters and re-crimp the clamp. Repositioning this so you can get the pliers in there may be necessary.
NOTE: Regular pliers won't work properly and you will destroy the clamp.

Last edited by 340x; 03 May 2015 at 10:46 pm.
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