How to Use a Tie Rod End Puller

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Tie rods are an important part of your steering system that transfer steering movement to the wheels. If you have a lot of play in your steering wheel, chances are that your outer tie rods are worn. With the right tools, this is an easy repair that can be finished in less than a couple hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • Tie rod end puller
  • Ratchet
  • Sockets
  • White-out
  • Jack vehicle, and place on jack stands.

  • Remove the cotter pin from the tie rod end.

  • Remove the nut securing the tie rod to the steering knuckle.

  • Install the tie rod end remover on to the steering knuckle, with the puller bolt tightened securely against the tie rod stud.

  • Tighten the puller until the tie rod breaks free from the steering knuckle.

  • Now notice where the outer tie rod threads into the inner tie rod. Use white-out to make a mark at this joint before proceeding to the next step. You are doing this so that when you install the new tie rod, it gets positioned in the exact place the old tie rod was, ensuring proper alignment.

  • Loosen the lock nut securing the outer tie rod end, and remove the tie rod end. Replace it with the new tie rod end, and tighten the lock nut.

  • Place the tie rod stud into the steering knuckle, and tighten the nut.

  • Place a new cotter pin through the nut. If the pin doesn't line up with the hole, tighten the nut until it's in alignment.

  • Re-install the wheel, and torque to specification.

  • Get your alignment checked, as it may be out of specification due to changing the tie rod.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sometimes the tie rod lock nut is difficult to loosen. This could be caused by corrosion. If your vehicle is presenting you with this problem, the best solution is to heat up the lock nut with a propane or oxyacetylene torch. This will expand the nut and make it easier to remove.
  • Make sure to support the vehicle on jack stands. Serious injury or death could occur otherwise.

References

  • "Automotive Steering, Suspension, and Alignment;" James D. Halderman; 2004
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