The first step in replacing the inner tie rod is to remove the tie rod end.
It's basically a three step process, where you start by loosening the jam
nut that's used to set the alignment (toe-in or toe-out). That jam nut determines
how far up the inner tie rod the tie rod end is fixed. The tie rod end is
hollow and threaded, so it can be screwed on or off the inner tie rod. Any
procedure for removing a tie rod will start by telling you to count the turns
you unscrew the tie rod end, something that I didn't do, and I'll save the
explanation for the end:-) After you loosen the jam nut, you remove the cotter
pin from the post on the outer tie rod ball joint, and unscrew the nut that
holds the ball joint into the tapered fitting on the steering knuckle (video
to right). After you pop the outer tie end free of the steering knuckle,
you can unscrew the tie rod end. from the inner tie rod, but you need to
grip it with something. Inner tie rods normally have some flat surfaces or
a splined surface for grabbing with pliers. In this case, I needed two pairs
of visegrips and a clamp to hold the visegrips on the inner tie rod from
moving in order to get the outer tie rod end broken free and turning easy.
That video is below.
I happen to own the shop manuals for my Dodge Omni, so I was able to study
the procedure for replacing the inner tie rod in detail. I didn't follow
it for a couple reason. First, they show my type of power steering rack (Saginaw
vs TRW) needs to be removed from the car to change the inner tie rod. That's
a lot of extra work, not to mention the fact I buried one of the
in my unibody and flooring repair!
So I went with an inner tie rod removal kit from Harbor Freight, manufactured
by U.S. General (in Taiwan). The tool is very simple, basically a large steel
tub with a snap in opening for a large crows foot insert on one end and a
1/2" socket drive on the other end. The kit is shown in the photo to the
lower left (which I need to replace), and a video of the procedure is shown
below. The kit wasn't quite right for my car, I had to use an oversized crows
foot and the ball joint housing on the inner tie rod was too long, so the
flats on the housing were barely held with the crows foot positioned by hand
at the very end of the tool. But I got it out.