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We're replacing wes's Front knuckles and decided to do end links as well. We've got the new knuckle on, but we're trying to replace the outter end link and can't figure out how to get the outer link out of the inner link. We're using a large adjustable cresent wrench and a set of channel locks. Does the stock end link have a retaining nut on it that goes on the tire rod before the end link itself, or is that part of the end link?

-Dan
 

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Oooh... me, me, me! I just did this on the SHO.

First off, you mean outer tie rod end. Not end link--that is for the sway bar.

The outers are SIMPLE. The absolute first thing you should do is use a paint marker to mark the inner tie rod end right where the nut is sitting. This may help you keep your alignment when you put the new end on.

To remove the outer tie rod end, you first loosen the retaining nut (the nut on the inner tie rod end, which is currently tightened up against the outer tie rod end) by turning is so it moves away from the outer tie rod end. So, yes, it is indeed a seperate nut. Then you remove the cotter pin on the bottom of the tie rod end (under the steering knuckle.) That will allow you to remove the castle nut. You can try using a tie rod seperator (aka Pickle Fork) to pop the tie rod end out of the knuckle, but I find it's much easier to whack the stud from below with a heavy hammer. Trust me--it'll pop out. Then you just unscrew the outer tie rod end from the inner. You can use vise grips to hold the inner rod still while you unscrew the outer. Some people count the turns it takes for it to come off, so you can put the new one on the same number of turns, and theoretically your alignment won't change much. I use the paint marker method instead.

For the installation, remove the old retaining nut and replace it. Screw the new nut to about 1/2 turn past where you marked the inner tie rod w/ the paint marker. Screw the new tie rod end all the way up against the retaining nut. It doesn't matter which way the tie rod end is facing, since the entire inner rod rotates freely. Tighten the retaining nut against the outer tie rod end pretty dang tight (they say 44-55 ft-lbs, but I don't know how you can measure that.) Rotate the whole tie rod so the stud can go down into the knuckle. There should be torque specs for the castle nut with the new end, but I think 65 ft-lbs. is OK. From there, keep tightening until the hole lines up w/ the slots in the castle nut, do NOT back the nut up to make it line up, just keep tightening. Attach the NEW cotter pin, and you are done.
 

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We were haveing trouble getting the retaining nut back off the outer tierod end.. cheifly because we didn't totally understand and inturpret how the thing works. We ended up using a monkey wrench to hold the OTRE in place while we twisted the retaining nut. Having read your post, I now realize we did this in reverse order. If we had have simply left the castle nut on until we backed the locking nut off, we wouldn't have needed the monkey wrench at all.

Thanks for the help! This certainly has been an interesting project (replacing the front knuckles that is). This I think marks the end of the first side. We've got the new OTRE in place on both the ITRE and the knuckle, we just haven't torued the nuts down yet. With wes fighting a cold and sore throat and being a 1/4 to 10, I think we'll continue in the morning. Maybe we'll be able to take his car to church! "Lord bless and watch over us...as we risk our lives in this car..."


-Dan
 

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I need to replace the left inner tie rod end on my car and one of the outer tie rod end squeaks as well so I will replace all the tie rod ends.
The SHO post is for an older 93 Taurus. Does anyone know if the procedure the same for a 99 Taurus and is a special tool needed to remove the inners?
 

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yes you will need the tool for the inners. Auto zone can loan them to you if there is a store near you.
 

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I figure I may as well do this while I have the car apart....

Does anyone know if there is much difference between the Motorcraft and Moog / Dana outer tie rods? I found them at RockAuto.com. The Moogs are a little cheaper, but are they made as well as the Motorcrafts?
 

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I know the stock ones (not sure if they're identical to motorcraft) are made of like polyurithane, not steel like the Moog (actually we used TRW from Advance Auto Parts). Also, we didn't need any special tools once we figured out how to work it. If you take the lock nut off before you take the tie rod end from the knuckle it's alot easier.

Wes and I are probably going to do a writeup for this. We didn't take pictures, but we'll try and write a good article. It'll probably cover front brakes, the knuckle/hub assembly replacement, and the outer tie rod ends.

-Dan
 

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The Moogs are superior to the Motorcrafts. They are a tight-fitting metal-to-metal unit with a Zerk fitting for greasing them. The inner tie rods are basically the same no matter which manufacturer you choose (I went with Moogs there too.) I just replaced them as well, and the instructions in that article work just fine.

I did both outers and both inners in about 2.5 hours. AutoZone did not carry the proper tool for the inner tie rods, but it doesn't hurt to ask. The tool you will want is the Lisle #45750 aka "crows foot." It is like a very deep socket, but it can access the wrench flats even though they are behind the larger socket. I paid $45 for it, and it comes with 5 different crows feet. The 33.6mm crows foot is the one you will use.

The easiest way to do the inners is to drop the rear subframe a few inches. This will allow you better access to the bellows. You will need to get the clamp off the bellows and it will be destroyed in the process. Replace the clamps with regular hose clamps. Other than that, it's really not a hard job.
 

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Well, I brought my car into a local shop to replace the inners, outers and the lower ball joints with Moog parts. My car is a 99 Taurus with less than 75K on it and the drivers front tire was wearing faster than the other tires. If you do the inners and outers, make sure you check out the ball joints as well.
 
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