Question about 1992 Ford Explorer

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Can someone tell me what Tie Rod Ends are? I've been told by my mechanic that I need to replace them. Why does the car need to be realigned when I get this service?

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Tie rods hook to your steering box and the tie rods "tie" your front wheels together.. Tie rods have adjusters on them to adjust your toe which is the alignment for how straight your front tires are in relation to each other. You might think that your front tires would be perfectly parallel with each other but they aren't.To be properly aligned the front tires are usually very slightly tipped in towards each other. The only way to measure this reliably is a front end alignment. this is of course a great opportunity to get the customer for a full 69 dollar alignment.(or more).
If I was you I would get a second opinion that the tie rods were actually bad. Especially if the first opinion came from Sears.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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Tie rod ends are what is hooked to the rack and pinion steering column and turn the from tires by connection to the hub and pulling and pushing the hub to rotate on the ball joints. They roughly cost anywhere from 20 to 40 dollars apiece plus labor costs. Hopefully your bill does not exceed 150 dollars. Once they tie rods ends are pulled they will need to get re aligned on the steering rack so they are perfectly even.

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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The tie rod is part of the steering mechanism. If you replace these they will not be exactly the same as the old ones which may have changed shape over time etc... Here is a very good site for info relating to your car and helps with all the technical stuff... http://news.carjunky.com/how_stuff_works/what-is-a-tie-rod-abc170.shtml

Posted on Apr 23, 2010

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1 Answer

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I need to rplace the inner tie rods.


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.

SD

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I have a 1996 Mazda 626 and have been told I need to replace the tie rods or I will have to replace my tires about every 6 months. When I went on line to try and order the tie rods there were several...


Jack the front of the car up high enough to get under it, put jack stands under the car for safety.

Start on either side and check the tie rod ends for looseness. If you have someone to help, have them hold one tire with hands at 3 and 9 o'clock while you grab the other tire the same way. Try to move the tire by pushing and pulling. If you feel movement, have your helper sit in the car and move the steering wheel 1/4 to 1/2 turn left and righ as you check the tie rods for which one or ones are loose.

Once you have found out which to replace, after they are replaced, you will need to have the car aligned.

Replacing tires every six months is not the worst--Sooner or later a sloppy tie rod let's go. They don't always go out all at once, but sooner or later they all need replaced.

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Next, as the original owner of a 1999 model, I received a Service notice about the tie-rod ends. It said a Mechanic should separate the tie-rod ends when lubing the truck to check for rust in the socket of the tie-rod end. These are sealed fittings from the factory, Ford could have included fittings in the first place. I don't see any Mechanic doing the procedure without replacing the end.
So your tie-rod could need Service.

Check upper and lower ball-joints, rust can make the steering hard on any vehicle. If you decide to change out the pump, check whether the new pump comes with the pulley. Some of the pulleys require a special tool you can borrow from an Autoparts store and some pulley tools are meant to be used while the pump is still on the truck.

Steering and turning the wheels is also dependent on the front-end alignment. The alignment is something you can not do yourself, but the Mechanic would inspect the different things I mentioned for the ball-joints and tie-rods ends. To save money, you could replace all the ends yourself, by counting the number of turns each tie-rod end takes to come off. Then replace the end with the same number of turns. You would be close enough to drive for an Alignment.

I hope I have provided very good information for fixing your truck. Make sure the front tires are inflated well and have the heavy stuff done by someone with the right tools.

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