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Simonbt

Changing the track control rod (inner tie rod)

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Hi all!

I've got a loose tie rod ball and its causing one of the wheels to have a bit of play in it (shakes a bit when braking from 70-80mph) and pretty much a certain MOT failure (due in sept).

Is this something that i can realistically switch out on my driveway? Anyone had any experience? Any idea what specific tool I'll need to take the tie rod itself off?

ps. this is the part inbetween the trackrod end and the steering rack (to save any confusion) :)

Thanks!

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you could do it in the drive way easily, there is a tool for getting the inner nut off, although its possible to get it off with a set of grips...there's two different ones trw or koyo iirc you will probably require wheel alingment after tho

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you could do it in the drive way easily, there is a tool for getting the inner nut off, although its possible to get it off with a set of grips...there's two different ones trw or koyo iirc you will probably require wheel alingment after tho

Any idea what size the nut is on the end of the inner tie rod? Gonna look at getting a crows foot spanner for it, i'm warey about getting it dismatled and not being able to get that bolt off.

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Just thought i would update this as I actually managed to get round to doing this yesterday.

I bought the tierods and trackrod ends from GSF for 29.99 a side (ish), got the car up onto axle stands and wheels off. Remove the clips for the rubber boot onto the steering rack and turn the steering full lock so it pokes the steering rack out as far as it can (turn the wheel the to the other side to which you are working on, also make sure the engine is running).

You can just about get mole grips onto the rounded part of the ball joint housing, to get enough grip i had to really have them tight. Then a huge amount of effort and it will unscrew off. Its a normal thread, and pretty tight (took a chunk of skin off my arm on both sides when it turned) but not so tight as to be un-removable without the crowsfoot spanner or proper tie rod removal tool. Mines done 138k miles so wasn't expecting to be able to remove them but did and was able to change both of them in under an hour.

Changing them has solved my high speed steering shake too which is a bonus :) Just for anyone else who's thinking about changing these, it is actually very doable on your driveway! Just remember to put the boot back on (could reuse the small clip, but not the large one - tie wrap it instead) and get your car tracked afterwards.

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Just thought i would update this as I actually managed to get round to doing this yesterday.

I bought the tierods and trackrod ends from GSF for 29.99 a side (ish), got the car up onto axle stands and wheels off. Remove the clips for the rubber boot onto the steering rack and turn the steering full lock so it pokes the steering rack out as far as it can (turn the wheel the to the other side to which you are working on, also make sure the engine is running).

You can just about get mole grips onto the rounded part of the ball joint housing, to get enough grip i had to really have them tight. Then a huge amount of effort and it will unscrew off. Its a normal thread, and pretty tight (took a chunk of skin off my arm on both sides when it turned) but not so tight as to be un-removable without the crowsfoot spanner or proper tie rod removal tool. Mines done 138k miles so wasn't expecting to be able to remove them but did and was able to change both of them in under an hour.

Changing them has solved my high speed steering shake too which is a bonus :) Just for anyone else who's thinking about changing these, it is actually very doable on your driveway! Just remember to put the boot back on (could reuse the small clip, but not the large one - tie wrap it instead) and get your car tracked afterwards.

Thanks for the update. My passenger side inner track rod has a tiny amount of play and will no doubt need replacing eventually, so good to know for sure that it can be done B)

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Two tools for getting splaned bolt off .One is a split wedge tool, other is a screw tool . First one ,you drive between arm and ball joint. Second you screw tight ,and then hit with hammer. I've seen ancient mechanics part the joint with only a hammer, but that is a skilled job , requiring a lever on the arms in just the right position .

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In which case, their is a third option, by far the easiest one I've used as well, I'll see if I can post a link to it or find it, got it off the snap on guy.

It's hard to explain but it's got 2 loops and a toothed (is that even a word? <)sprocket between them. You just slide it down the rack put a 20mm socket on and pull/push. It's soooo easy! Brilliant tool.

Here's the ticket!

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com.au/viewitem?itemId=360378437384

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32mm crows foot spanner. Did this a few months ago. First tried with a set of grips to loosen the inner track rod from the steering rack but found it impossible to get decent enough grip. Was lucky enough to be able to borrow the crows foot from work which then made the whole thing a doddle. Makes it nice and easy to torque up as well on refit.

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This job is starting to show up in other forums for Polo and Ibiza, and my wife's 2003MY Polo got an advisory for one side back in October. So I might be doing this job when the weather gets a bit warmer. I was a bit concerned that applying a serious bit of torque "through" the rack might cause problems long term - any comments? Laser Tools seem to do a very long deep socket for this job.

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I can't see a socket doing this job but I haven't seen the tool.

The amount of abuse going through a steering rack when your cornering is probably huge! Same with any pot holes, curbs, speed bumps etc etc.. I'd imagine aprox 70nm or so of torque (I've never checked the correct torque setting for these but that's about what they feel when removing with a power bar!) will be perfectly fine. I've heard no issues of the racks getting damaged while doing this job.

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Quote - "I can't see a socket doing this job but I haven't seen the tool." actually I think that there are at least two designs, one like the one you posted a link to - (actually if you look at that link again I think the ones I refer to will be offered as "of interest" or something)- but with a cup round the gripping end and a long hollow tube, and a very long deep socket sort of thing - a bit like the sparkplug socket Laser plus others make for getting plugs out of "deep" heads.

Your comments about there being no history of damage due to twisting the ends of the rack give me a bit of confidence even although most shock loadings the rack will see will be compression/extension and not a twisting moment.

Edited by rum4mo

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I've used the tool I posted with a power bar a few times a never had any problems anyway.

I tried looking into the correct torque figure but couldn't find one... Even a rough guide from different cars would be handy to know for future fitting of them, could be somthing like 30nm or might be 150nm...

Like I said in a previous post, I estimate them to be fitted at around 70nm but could be a mile off!

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You were very close on the torque figure, on the Polo 9N with the TRW system Haynes quotes 80NM! I've bought a pair of new rods including TREs from ECP on their discount weekend deal, so together they were just over £40. I'll probably buy the Laser Tools version of that tool you sent the link of (Laser Tools 3829) from Tool Academy (£27) and replace both sides next week after buying new clips.

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Good to know!

I've changed quite a few now, done about 4 on Fabias, over 10 sets on vauxhalls now, seem very common on them and 1 on a ford transit.

Nice easy job really, for the price (about £7) I've always changed the track rod ends at the same time. The hardest bits getting the tool in to remove them as it can be abit tight for space.

Good luck :)

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Yes, I checked the ECP price for just the track rod - then for just the TRE - so it was a no brainer as the TREs have been replaced by me at about 5/6 years old (about 6/5 years ago) and I'll probably need to trash the nut and top of the taper part if its anything like the previous time - so that was why I opted for the cheaper option of rod+TRE from ECP. I've been a bit of a "scatter cash" and I've just bought the Neilson tool that looks exactly like the hollow Laser Tools 5112 - mainly for an easy life!!

I've done this job before, about 30 years ago on a MK2 Escort Ghia 1.6 - that involved buying new springs+nylon seat+new domed nut+track rod+dowell! No just unscrew/replace, it was take to bits, rebuild and tighten the domed nut up until an articulation figure of ??? pounds at the end of the rod using spring balance, then lock up by turning a threaded collar, then drill a maybe 4mm hole into the joining "face" and whack a dowell in!

Edited by rum4mo

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