Mechanic says the front inner tie rods need replacement
Took my car to a mechanic this morning and he noticed that I had a lot of wobble in my right front tire. He said that the inner tie rod needed to be replaced and that the tires will need to be replaced as well because of the way they have warn. I just spent $700 1.5 years ago to have the front tied rods replaced and some other work. Do they wear out that fast? This guy says it will cost me $500 to fix it.....
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Re: Mechanic says the front inner tie rods need...
They do not wear out that fast, 80,000 miles is a typical replacement point in your Taurus., get a 2nd opinion, wobble can also be caused by bad tires, i.e. a separated tire cord inside the tire. rotated the tires and see if it helps the problem, also an alignment is a good idea.
I am a retired Ford dealer technician, 30 years in the business.
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The inner and outer tie rods are pretty self explanatory remove the nut from the knuckle. Whack the knuckle a couple times where the tie rod goes through and the tie rod will pop out. The inner will releas the same way. Get the sleeve whe you get the inner and outer tie rod. It will make life a lot easier. Assemble the new parts to the approximate same length as the parts you removed and install.
The idler arm will be bolted to the frame and then have a ball and socket that will be removed in the same manner as the tie rod end.
The pitman arm will require a puller to seperate it from the gear box. Sometimes you have to heat up the end that attaches to the gear box to get them to pop. Sometimes the gear box needs to be removed in order to get the puller on the pitman arm.
Lower and upper ball joints are also very common on these. If they have not been done I would have them checked as well.
Inner tie rods rarely if ever need to be replaced in my experience: outer tie rod ends are far more common. Its not impossible so here's how.
1. remove the tie rod ends from the knuckle. 2. remove the clamp for the rubber bellows on the rack ends, and slide the bellows down the rod. 3. Turn the rack to fullleft or right as needed to get access to the inner rod end that screws into the rack. 4. There's a lock tab that has to be bent flat. This locks the rod end into the rack. 5. You'll need a (probably) 32mm wrench to undo the rod end from the rack. 6. Note how the lock tab is fitted to the rack/rod end.
7. Put in the new tie rods.
If your garage mechanic told you the inner tie rods are worn out, I'd ask why they think so. At step 4. above, try rotating the rod. This should be quite difficult. There should be NO evidence of slop or wear in the inner joint. What more commonly wears is the bushes on the end of the rack. These bushes are easily replacable with the rack in the car.The tie rods have to be removed to do this. So, when the rods are off, inspect the rack bushes for wear.
Raise the vehicle and wiggle the wheels left and right. You would know which one has a play if its the inner or the outer. the inner tie rod connects close to the rack and pinion. The outer is close to the tire. Goodluck
well Janet, the tie rods are what attaches the steering to the wheel assembly, so if the wheel is turned, then yes the tie rod ends are supposed to move up and down a little to compensate for the stress of the wheel moving. if they where installed correctly then the componets should not touch nor become close to each other. tpyically these componets only have one installation procedure, and it is hardly likly to install them wrong, unless the installer forgets to put the washers and rubber in the right order. and it is possible that on some vehicles the left and right tie rod ends are installed opposite of each other and this will cause them to contact other parts, and this is bad. it will bent the tie rods and offset the steering. I have been a heavy line mechanic for the past 20 yrs as well and it sounds like the technition at the alignment shop just dident want to mess with your car. in the center there is a connection point that has two bolts and a flat metal plate to attach the inner tie rods to the rack n pinion, and no these should not move any direction except a rotation, meaning circular, not up and down or left and right. and alot of the time I get this car in my shop is when its just plain worn out and they move around verry sloppy, or someome has not tightened them up enough, because they are a pain to get to. hope this helps.
You will need to rent or borrow in inner tie rod tool but here are the directions.
1. Break the jam nut on inner tie rod to outer loose.
2. Remove nut from outer tie rod attaching it to steering knuckle.
3. Use hammer to get tie rod out of knuckle.
4. Unscrew outer tie rod then jam nut
5. Remove clamp from boot and slide off inner tie rod.
6. Using side cutter or hammer and chisel break off metal clamp on the inside of inner tie rod boot.
7. Using inner tie rod tool, unscrew inner tie rod from rack and pinion
8. Reinstall parts and have it aligned