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Old 04-12-2010, 08:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY: Change your Tie Rod Ends

I did this because I was getting a little play in both front wheels from side to side and while I was driving the car would pull left/right when accelerating/decelerating. When I got under the car to look and see what was wrong I could see that the place where the tie rod end bolted to the knuckle was worn out and loose. So, I decided to replace mine and make a little DIY in the process. The pictures displayed here are from the driver side of the car, but the passenger side is identical, with the exception of the pass. tie rod end being a little longer. The steps are the same.

Tools Needed:
Jack
Jack Stands
19mm socket
17mm socket
14mm wrench
Hammer (optional)
Cresent Wrench
something straight and at least 4ft long (I'll explain later)

First off jack the car up and put it on jack stands. Then, remove the wheels so you can access the tie rod ends a little easier. Once in there I pulled the cotter pin from the castle nut on the bottom side of where the tie rod end bolts to the knuckle. Then, I used my 17mm socket to loosen the castle nut and remove it.



Next, I used my cresent wrench (because I didn't have one large enough in my tool set) to break loose the locking nut on the tie rod end.



Once that nut was loose you can pop the tie rod end out of the knuckle. I had to use a hammer on mine, so thats where that tool comes in play for me. Then, I just un-screwed the tie rod end.



Once the old one was out I started by screwing the new one back on a good ways so I didn't have to tighten/loosen it too much with the 14mm wrench. Once it was screwed on far enough I attached it to the knuckle with the castle nut. After the castle nut was tight I put in a new cotter pin.



Now that it's all back together you're not done yet. I would recomend getting a professional alignment after doing this because your alignment will be off no matter how close you think you got it. This part I didn't get pictures of, but to get my alignment close I used a long 2x4 (approx. 4ft) and held it to the rotor. This gave me a little bit of an idea as to how far off it was in relation to the rest of the cars lines. After I made a few adjustments it was pretty close so I tightened up the locking nut on the tie rod end and put my wheels back on and went for a test drive. My little alignment trick worked well. The car drives straight and no more going back and forth on acceleration/deceleration. Although it does drive straight, I'll be getting an alignment done tomorrow as soon as I can so I don't wear through my tires unevenly.

Hope this helps anyone out that might be doing this.

Patrick
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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nice write up
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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x2 good write up, I need to do this too. But I'm lucky enough to have access to an alignment rack at school.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Good stuff, very easy to do. Abit of advice, when you take the tie rod off, when you loosen that locking nut, make sure to leave it where its at, so when you put your new rod on, its in the same spot as the old one was. That way your alignment wont be off. I did this on my old DSM, and it still drove straight.

+rep BTW.
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Old 04-12-2010, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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nice write up . wish this woulda been around when i did mine lol
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJ6Civic27 View Post
Good stuff, very easy to do. Abit of advice, when you take the tie rod off, when you loosen that locking nut, make sure to leave it where its at, so when you put your new rod on, its in the same spot as the old one was. That way your alignment wont be off. I did this on my old DSM, and it still drove straight.

+rep BTW.
Yeah, this is a good way to keep the alignment as close as you can, but it will still be off a little bit. I'm too much of a "perfectionist" to not go get an alignment. lol. It's not going to affect it a whole lot, other than tire wear and maybe .001mpg's. It just depends on how far off it is.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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nice write-up

one thing though, before you even start you need to lock the steering wheel. that will keep the inner tie rods from moving...therefore an alignment won't be needed.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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nice write-up

one thing though, before you even start you need to lock the steering wheel. that will keep the inner tie rods from moving...therefore an alignment won't be needed.
No matter how close you get it, you should still get an alignment, but locking the wheel will help get it as close as you can without a machine. I forgot to mention that I did lock my wheel when I did this.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No matter how close you get it, you should still get an alignment, but locking the wheel will help get it as close as you can without a machine. I forgot to mention that I did lock my wheel when I did this.


that, and i always count the rotations.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:11 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 04-15-2010, 12:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Great write up. There will be lots of people that find this useful. I get asked
about tie rods in conversation multiple times weekly. Good job, man. Lots
of quality DIYs lately.
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:12 AM   #12 (permalink)
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thx for the info, i def need to change mine, the rod itself is fine but the screw seems stripped which of course is just my luck. but i guess no better time than now...cuz its sitting in the garage with the motor pulled...lol
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Old 04-15-2010, 10:16 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Good write-up!

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Old 04-15-2010, 12:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by EJ6Civic27 View Post
Good stuff, very easy to do. Abit of advice, when you take the tie rod off, when you loosen that locking nut, make sure to leave it where its at, so when you put your new rod on, its in the same spot as the old one was. That way your alignment wont be off. I did this on my old DSM, and it still drove straight.

+rep BTW.
or u can count the turn
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Old 04-15-2010, 01:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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for aligning tires cant you just take a measuring tape and check the fronts and backs of the tires when you done and make sure they are straight/ slight tow out? Thats what I usually do and it works fine. Only sure when doing this is that the car is on the ground when measuring the tow. Won't get you as perfect as a professional wheel alignment but its good enough and saves some $.
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