Tie rod end - Muscular Mustangs
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post #1 of 4 Old 09-05-2004, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Tie rod end

Anybody know how difficult it is to replace an outer tie rod end? My outer tie rod end on the passenger side is sqeaking like a new sneeker. I was thinking about doing the replace myself. But I don't have a lot of experience working on cars. If this something I could do, would I need special tools?

I was planning on an alignment after I get this done, so I was also wondering if there are other things that I should tackle at the same time. Expecially if there are other things I might want to do soon anyway but might also call for an alignment. I'm guessing its probably worth doing both outer tie rod ends at the same time. But maybe now is a good time to swap out some bushings in the front for poly?

Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 4 Old 09-05-2004, 08:00 PM
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The outer tierod ends are easy to do. You'll need some white out, (or something similar) and two big wrenchs to remove the tierod end from the tierod, a wrench or impact gun and socket to remove the tierod end nut from the spindle, and a ball joint "fork" (for lack of a better word) to get the tierod end out of the spindle hole.

Mark where the end of the tierod end meets the tierod so you will know where to put the end back on. You can also substitute this method with just counting how many turns it takes to get the end off the tierod and putting the new one on with the same amount of turns. (i hope that made sense...LOL)
You obviously will jack up and support the car on jack stands, remove the wheel, remove the cotter pin holding the tierod end nut in place (if it has one, i forget if the Mustangs do or not), and remove that nut.
Then use the ball joint spitter fork to get the tierod end seperated from the spindle. Last thing to do is loosen the tierod end from the tierod and reverse the order to put everything back together.

It might sound complicated but once you get in there and see what needs to be done you'll see that's it's really easy to do.

One warning though.... Every single time i've that god aweful squeaking sound in the front end it was almost always the ball joint, not the tierod end.

Feel free to ask more questions because i typed this really quickly so i'm not sure how clear i put it.
Mike



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post #3 of 4 Old 09-05-2004, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, and well put. I still think its the tie rod end. You continue the long list of folks telling me that the ball joint is nearly always the suspect. However, I asked the mechanic to give it a look while in for a brake inspection. His stethoscope found nothing at the ball joint, but a loud squeak at the tie rod.

So I'll start there. If that doesn't get it, then I'll look into the ball joint issue.

By the way, I take it that matching up the new length to the old (with a mark or by counting turns) will be only good enough to get me through the drive to the alignment shop. So, is there anything else worth messing with before dropping the cash for an alignment? Like better bushings in the front suspension. I'm looking to keep the hit on the wallet fairly light right now (just bought this car anyway).
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-05-2004, 10:34 PM
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Personally i've driven cars with and (obviously) without those poly bushings and never felt any difference in the way the car handles. A friend of mine had them and said that no matter how many times he lubed them they would squeak so i've always stayed away from the poly bushings. Then again some people like them so what do i know...LOL

As long as you either count the turns or mark it before hand with white out you will have no problems driving it to the alignment shop that way. I've known guys who made sure that both the new and old tierod ends are were exactly the same dimensions, counted the turns, and never had the car aligned without problems. BUT i don't recommend doing it that way, you are way better off paying $50 for an alignment rather than $400+ for tires when you wear them out if the alignment was wrong.

Finally, yes if you have the time/money do the both tierod ends at once and drive it around for a little bit to make sure that your squeak is gone before the alignment.



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