Fixing a Worn-out Ford Tie Rod End
A busted tie rod end can make vehicle steering sloppy, unpredictable, or less responsive. Your ride may start pulling to one side as you drive it or you may have to turn or adjust the steering wheel because it's off center. A bad tie rod end can also cause uneven tire wear. To fix the steering issue and other troubles this may cause, you'll have to get rid of the old and bring in the new. These are best replaced by pairs (both inner or both outer). And as you replace the Ford tie rod end, you also need to have the alignment settings adjusted, preferably by a professional. Here's a quick guide to changing the tie rod end:
Difficulty level: Moderate
Things you'll need:
- Replacement tie rod end
- Jack and jack stands
- Wheel chocks
- Tire iron or impact wrench
- Needle-nose pliers
- Tie rod puller or ball joint separator
- Open-end wrench
- Lug wrench
Step 1: Use a tire iron or impact wrench to slacken the front tires slightly. Lift the front end of the vehicle with a jack and support it with jack stands. Block the rear tires with wheel chocks for safety. Now that you've prepped the vehicle, access the tie rod end by removing the wheel. Undo the lug nuts and remove the wheel from the base.
Note: Placing the wheel you just removed underneath the vehicle can be done as an additional safety measure in case the stands suddenly break or fail.
Step 2:Loosen the pinch nut, which holds the tie rod in place, with a wrench. As you break it loose, you can turn the tie rod end. You then have to move this nut up till it reaches the tie rod end. With this, you can tell how far you should go to thread on the replacement. Don't tighten the nut just yet.
Step 3:Locate the cotter pin, where the tie rod end comes in contact with the steering knuckle, and remove this. With needle-nose pliers, pull it out. A new cotter pin should be used in place of the old one.
Step 4:Pull out the castle nut, where the pin goes through, using a ratchet. This nut secures the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. After this, you can disconnect the tie rod end using a tie rod puller or a ball joint separator.
Step 5:Set the new tie rod end in place and thread it onto the inner tie rod shaft. Do the threading by hand till this touches the pinch nut. By loosening it about one quarter turn, you can tighten the nut properly.
Step 6:Link the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Make sure that the tie rod end shaft will fit through the knuckle. Adjust them until their lined up appropriately.
Step 7:Seal in the tire rod end to the steer knuckle. You have to tighten the castle nut according to torque specs and put in a new cotter pin. See to it that the nut will line up with the hole in the shaft before slipping in the pin through and twisting the ends to wrap around the nut. (Note: If the tie rod end comes with a grease fitting, now is the best time to screw it into the top. Coat the tie rod assembly with grease and be sure to remove any grease residue that may ruin the brakes.) With an open-end wrench, you can now tighten the pinch nut.
Step 8: Put back the wheel. Secure it with the lugs, tightening it by hand in a star pattern. After you lower the vehicle back to the ground, tighten the lug nuts with a lug wrench according to torque specifications.
Mevotech Tie Rod End
For only 25.77 dollars, a Mevotech tie rod end can offer superb steering performance in the vehicle. This high-quality product is made using OE standards and materials to ensure optimum function and reliability. It is designed to promote a very smooth steering provided by the high-tempered steel ball joints. It has an adjustable fit that allows a very easy installation on its proper mounting point at the front driver's side of the vehicle. This non-grease tie rod end is sold individually. After a successful order online, it can be shipped and home delivered as early as one to three business days.
Superlift Tie Rod End
This Superlift tie rod end is engineered to outlast the extreme steering conditions. Its unique design allows the rods to move in sync with the axle beams for a smoother wheel steering. Made from tip-top materials, this rod doesn't easily bend or kink. Its ball joints are made from heavy-duty metal that is highly resistant to corrosion. It also has a greasable feature that allows a regular application of lubricant so the ball joints won't go stiff. Available in direct fit style, it can be easily installed in the vehicle; there's no need for trimming, welding, or cutting. This non-adjustable tie rod end is sold individually. It can be shipped and delivered right at the doorstep in as early as four days.
Rare Parts Tie Rod End
A Rare Parts tie rod end is perfectly constructed and designed to help the car's steering system function to its optimum. Its precise engineering allows the conical plated studs to swivel, twist, turn, or move along with the steering arm's orientation or direction to deliver better wheel handling and smoother ride. This greasable type of rod permits the use of lubricants to inhibit rust formation that can intervene with the rod's mechanical operation. With its adjustable components, it can be easily fitted in the vehicle. This universal-fit tie rod end is sold individually under limited product warranty plans that guarantees free replacement in case the product is damaged upon delivery.