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Thread: Removing Tie Rod Ends

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    Default Removing Tie Rod Ends

    Hey Guys,

    Trying to go through my steering and replace most of the related bushings. I'm having troubles getting the tie rod ends removed from the steering arm/strut assembly.

    So far i've removed the cotter pin, and the castle nut and started hammering.

    I tap it with a hammer a little on the threaded portion (I do have new tie rod ends so not afraid of damaging these ones), I did get them to move a little, but i'm not sure where to go from here.

    The manuals are of no help to me, so the forum is my answer. Can I hit it harder? Should the rack be loosened from it's mounting before I do this? I don't want to damage anything obviously and i'm lost.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by HuD 91gt; 06-27-2014 at 07:42 PM.

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    I should be clear, looking at the new tie rod end, I seem to have gotten the old one loose enough where I think it should be clear of the tapered fit. I'm just curious as to what is holding it up now.

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    Registered User Walter Moore's Avatar
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    What you need is a tool called a Pickle Fork, or even better a ball joint separator:
    Search results for: 'pickle fork'

    Without one of these you will have a devil of a time getting the thing apart.
    '71 240Z, Because any fool can drive fast in a straight line.

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    I'm bettin' it's still stuck on the taper. Try this.--
    A block of steel, axe head, or sledge hammer held on one side of the outer part, then give a few whacks with a smaller hammer on the opposite side of the outer part. This will shock the outer housing and help to release the taper.

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    I'll take a look for a puller tomorrow.

    olzed, Sorry i'm not quite understanding what you mean. Put the piece of steel on the horizontal piece of the tie rod (same piece which the threaded adjuster threads into), and hammer the other side of this rod in a vertical/up down motion to force the tapered piece out?

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    You have mushroomed and/or bent the threaded section of the tie rod end. It is likely that it is now larger than the hole it must pass through to be removed. You should cut, grind, or file some of the threaded section off so you do not damage the tapered bore in the steering arm in an attempt to force it through.

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    The end is definitely mushroomed, I don't think that end has made it that far yet to make an impact but who knows. I will grind away at it to be cautious. This is exactly the advice i'm looking for guys, thanks. I don't want to cause any damage.

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    If you feel the steering arm - where it wraps around the ball joint - you should feel an area where the metal is not as round. You take a heavy hammer - and you smack that more flat spot - like you mean it. It will release the ball joint. Don't let fear stop you - HIT IT HARD. I usually use a large Brass Hammer - they don't kick back and they deliver more force to the object being hit. If you use a large heavy steel hammer just keep your face out of the way.

    BTW - any time you have to hammer on a treaded fastener - you leave a nut on it, so the nut is a couple threads above the end - to protect the threads.

    Good luck,
    Carl B.

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    Registered User olzed's Avatar
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    It doesn't look as though the thread is mushroomed enough to stop the taper from coming out.

    Difficult to describe, but you DON"T need to hit the end of the thread. Instead, hit the side of the round cast body that the threaded taper fits into. Hold a steel block on the opposite side if you can as you hammer the side of the round cast piece. The threaded traper will then most likely just fall out.
    Last edited by olzed; 06-28-2014 at 12:05 AM.

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    You can remove it two ways. 1. By using a ball joint puller or 2. Striking the side of the arm with a hammer to "shock" the taper and release the joint.

    I don't have a puller, but I have used the method described by olzed a lot with success. There are a couple of pointers to consider when you use this method because you can damage other components.

    Its not a good idea to try and belt the threaded shaft through the hole. The taperlock will nearly always be to tight and the top of the threaded section is weak because of the hole through it for the split pin. It will mushroom quickly and sounds like you are now in this situation.

    In the future if you do need to gently hit the threaded section use the nut to protect it (as Carl said) as much as possible. Reverse the nut to prevent damage to the castle section. Remember if the nut binds up on the threads it will be hard to remove later when the taper releases.

    Use a larger weight (hammer) on the oppersite side of the knuckle so the forces will consentrate in the knuckle when you hit it. The large hammer wants to stay where it is so most of the energy of the smaller hammer will be absorbed by the knuckle in between. This will briefly distort the taper and release the tie-rod.

    Having said that, you will have trouble finding room to hold a larger hammer on the oppersite side of the knuckle. The disc shield and lower control arm are obstructing you.
    I hold a large hammer behind the control arm and hit the front of the knuckle. Its like olzed said, a little hard to explain so I drew it on a section of the FSM.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Its a good idea to relaese the torsion arm nuts to allow the suspension to move. Otherwise you can transfer all your forces to the lower control arm ball joint or the steering rack and damage them in the process.

    Chas
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    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    mine were completely stuck and no amount of pounding or even a puller would budge them. the pickle fork was an $8 tool and worked literally in seconds. it's a tapered/wedge shaped 2-prong fork that you put between the tie rod and the end and give it a couple of whacks with a 5 lb. hammer. no worries about ruining the threads either.

    the only way to go in my book...
    '78 280z - Daily driver/work in progress...

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    Harbor Freight has a ball-joint splitters that are fairly cheap but look sturdy. The mechanical type, not the pickle fork. Looks like it might work. They had a 20% off coupon going for the summer too.

    Found a picture of it on the Google. 3/4" Forged Ball Joint Separator

    Put the tension on and wack the side with the hammer.
    1976 280Z, with some minor modifications

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    Thanks for the drawing and better description Chas.
    I used this method for years in conjunction with a ball joint puller/splitter/whatever, on stubborn overtightened ball joint tapers on tractor steering components.

    Brian.

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    You can get a free pickle fork at any Auto zone. They lend all sorts of tools.
    Cheers, Mike
    '73 240Z, 80,000 original miles, F54, N42 massaged and shaved (10.5-1 comp.), stage 2 cam, ZX ignition, Header, 2 1/2" exhaust w/ magnaflow muffler, 5 spd (Maxima), 4:11 R180 (200SX), 15" Rota RBs 205-60/15 Bridgestone Grid 109s, KYB struts, stock springs, rubber bushings, MSA sway bars and strut bars, HotRod Air hvac system, '90 300ZX seats, upgraded sound system, BRE-type spook and spoiler

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    Wow, Thanks taking the time to make the diagram! Should make that a sticky topic. I'm sure it will definitely help someone in the future.

    I ended up running out last night and picking up a ball joint separator. I managed to get them off, but I still can't believe the amount of force it took. Then it was a gun shot when they released. I analyzed the mushrooming before hand to see if it had expanded enough to effect movement. I didn't think I damaged it that much. Once it went, it bloody well exploded apart. Both sides. Wow.

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    Good result. Sounds as though they were overtightened in the past.

    This is the method i use, only with a steel block behind if possible.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWtk3e5oDwQ
    Last edited by olzed; 06-28-2014 at 10:31 PM.

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    Works for me.

    Carl B.

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    Good job. I agree with olzed. Sounds like someone overtightened them maybe trying to get to the next opening in the castle nut.

    If you tighten them to the torque quoted in the FSM specs, you can nudge them a little further to the next castle nut opening without overtightening them. You probably wont be removing them again, but if so or the next owner you have an easier job getting them free.

    Chas
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    Original colour: 305 Light Blue. The PO changed it to Red

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    I've only used a ball joint separator on such tasks, but just in case you don't know, stand clear when using it. Every time I've used it the two pieces blow away from each other. From the looks of the tool, you'd assume it slowly separates them, but yeah... they tend to loudly pop apart.

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