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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've bent/cracked my inner tie rod at the shaft/ball joint (I know, I know...just resist the wise-crack temptations for a second). I took it into a place that was clueless who said that wasn't the problem, but didn't even pull the boot. It didn't help that we had already adjusted the tie rod to fix the steering pull and dash light disco which began once the rig was pulled out.

Group consensus has it that cranking the power steering while a wheel was locked into a rut was the root cause since no large impacts or obstacles were present at the time.

Anyway, I've had the boot off and taken a look but have never done this work before. I wanted to know how difficult it is to replace it as I have the part coming in on Friday and would like to try it myself. The manual only goes over the process with the steering rack still out of the vehicle which obviously I wouldn't want to have to do. So, I just wondered whether one could do this replacement pretty simply or not? It seems like the hardest part would be getting access to bend the claw washer on, but I don't know.

Here's a couple of pics:

 

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i hope i can help alittle. we have this down to almost 1 hr. take off the tire,remove outter tie rod from the spindel. to get pressed in end out of spindel remove cotter pin & nut. place a jack under the spindel assem. and lift it up some to help it drop out without damaging the tierodend's threads. i like placing the rounded end of a small ballpeen hammer on the tierods threaded end after removing the nut the striking that hammers face with another hammer to pop the tierodend loose of the spindel. this method is good for not damaging the treads. now you have to get the larger inner boot ring off. try using a small pair of needle nose vise grips to reach across the small hooks and squeeze the ring together. while doing this place a small screwdiver under the rings end to dissengage ring from the small hook. you need to reuse this boot ring.
we use a large screwdriver and hammer to strighten up the claw washer and the a pair of channel locks to remove the screw end of the inner tierod from the rack.
thread new one on the rack tighten and goodluck on bending the clawwasher over the two flat spots. no really its kind of hard but you can do it by using long screwdivers and small pry bars and anything else that will reach in there. make sure you get it pretty good because those bent flanges are what retaines the inner-rod to the rack.
no you don,t want to remove the rack it takes hours and you pretty well have to remove the inner-rods to get it out as well.
hope this helps and good luck. do it because next time it might break on the trail and you will know how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Wow, keppyrat that's exactly the kind of info I was looking for. I've already removed the clamps and boot in order to inspect the damage and it looked doable so I just wanted some first hand information. The info about the method is going to help a lot and I feel better trying this myself now.

Also, I'd seen the info on the All Pro upgrade but it's still a ways off and I can't wait that long to get back on the trails.

Thanks again for the help folks!!!
 

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i forgot to mention that going back together if the outer tierod shaft wants to keep on spinning when you try to tighten the castle nut . apply pressure with a jack from the bottom side of the rod. make sure the pressure is applied to the outer part of the joint so the inner area is not damaged. the fj's own jack works good if you need to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i forgot to mention that going back together if the outer tierod shaft wants to keep on spinning when you try to tighten the castle nut . apply pressure with a jack from the bottom side of the rod. make sure the pressure is applied to the outer part of the joint so the inner area is not damaged. the fj's own jack works good if you need to use it.
Makes sense, I'll keep that one in mind. I got the part in today and if all goes well will have this repaired this weekend.
 

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I have a similar? problem...I think it's a bent knuckle, maybe. I have most of the front right disasembled but still not sure what is bent. Also power steering don't work, plus clicking when turning and the steering wheel is out of alignment. Major problems, but not sure what the major issue is yet.
Any ideas? Has anyone ever heard of a bent knuckle?

Eddie
 

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I just put the All-Pro heavy duty steering drag links on mine. A full thread with pictures is going up probably tomorrow.

The above description is essentially correct, but the hammer-out technique for undoing the tie-rod from the knuckle is... quite forceful. I'll never recommend hitting a hammer face with a hammer. That's generally considered an unsafe practice. The metal is hardened and very brittle. When it shatters, it sends out amazingly sharp bits of shrapnel that are magically designed to track straight for eyeballs. ;)

If you've killed the tie-rod, there's no reason to protect the boot on it anymore.

When I'm working on a knuckle (spindle arm gussets or such) and I'm popping the tie-rod with the intent to replace the very same one when I'm done, I use a gear puller so that I don't bung up the rubber boot.

However, this time, when I went to replace the tie-rods with new heavy duty drag links, I had no intention of reusing the original tie rod. I used a pickle fork separator which worked nicely.

If you're killing tie-rods, you need to upgrade too.
 

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I have replaced tons of these on various vehicles and there are special tools for removing the inner tie rod. However I have also done it with a medium to large pipe wrench with no issues. MAKE SURE TO USE LOTS OF RED LOCTITE when installing the new inner.

Lastly don't forget you will need an alignment as soon as possible. Once you do this once you won't believe how easy it is!!
 
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