Thursday, April 4, 2013

Tie rod

Well, once again the daughters car went out.  I get a call that it's acting funny and shaking and shimmying all over so she pulled off if the church parking lot and got a ride to school from the wife.  On my way home I stopped by to take a look, everything looked fine until I drove it.
Felt like the wheels were locking up, so I parked it and got out to look.  Drives side wheel was fine, pointing forward.  Passenger side looked like it was turning left.  I squeezed my head under and saw the the tie rod ball joint was disconnected from the tie rod (official name I think is Inner tie rod).  I went home and packed a few tools and went back.  Took the tire off and the ball joint and went to screw it back on and it just slid on most of the way.  STRIPPED out.  I was able to get a couple threads to hold and babied her back home.
Everything came back off, I crawled under to see how to remove the tie rod.  Did a Internet search on removal and crawled back under, did another search and crawled back under, did that about three more times.  Looked the part up on the Internet and saw that it screwed in, so I crawled back under and saw that there was nothing to put a tool on.
This frustrated me for about three days, until... I'm a big proponent of using the right tools for the right job... I figured if I could get a pipe wrench on it I may be able to get it off.  Hunted high and low for my smallest wrench and went to work.  Blam off it came (thanks 6" pipe wrench).  Today I buy a new part and install sometime this weekend.
I get tired laying in the gravel working on my cars.
Anyway, here's the tie rod.  Top part of the picture is the ball joint end that fastens to the control arm which is what steers the car, that screws on to the rod in the middle.  Bottom end of the picture is the ball joint that I used the pipe wrench on to get it off, it's screwed into the steering rack.  It's round with nothing to grip on.
There is a rubber boot that encloses the bottom end and rack that's filled with power steering fluid.

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