I’ve done this before and it’s not too difficult. For $98 delivered, I ordered OEM tie rod ends and set off to replace these.
With a vehicle of this age there is one thing that is a must; lubricant! PBblaster, Silly Kroil, ATF, or all of the above will work. I sprayed the bolts and alignment nuts liberally a few days prior.
Whenever I embark on these projects, I find the simplest things often create the most problems. On this job, it was the rusted cotter pins that secure the nut for the tie rod end. Liberal coating of lubricant, even a little bit of a torch to heat it didn’t phase it. It wasn’t budging and I ended up breaking off the ends. Then it was time to break out the real tool; hammer!! I used a screw driver to drive the broken pieces out the other side of the nut.
At least now the 19mm socket could fit over the nut. Loosening took some leverage, but it came off. The new tie-rod ends come with a new nut as well, but you’ll still need to get this one off.
Before removing the tie rod from the steering knuckle, I always loosen the tightening nut on the steering rack first. This usually requires two wrenches; one on the tie rod and one on the steering rack side.
Once the steering rack side was loosened enough to remove by hand, I set off to remove the tie rod from the steering knuckle. None of my pullers would fit in the tight space. A few well-placed wallops with my hammer knocked it out of the steering knuckle.
Installation was easy, just screw the new one back into the steering rack and then bolt it into the steering knuckle and install new cotter pins. A new alignment will be needed, even if you line up the marks close to what they were previously.
The steering is a little tighter, the clunk in the front end is gone, and now I know those critical parts of the steering section are good for awhile. On to the next project…..