Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Inner tie rod boot

Inner tie rod boot

The inner tire rod boot has one job; to keep dust and dirt away from the inner tie rod ball and socket and from the rack seal.

The boot is clamped on one end to the steering rack housing and on the other end to the inner tie rod shaft. As the rack moves in and out of the steering gear housing, the accordion style boot opens and compresses.
rack and exploded rack with inner tie rod
What causes the inner tie rod boot to fail?

The rubber boot can be physically damaged during an alignment if the technician fails to disconnect the clamp that secures the boot to the tie rod and then twists the tie rod. That twists the boot, causing it to leak.

The boot can also be damaged by external oil spills or by an internal power steering fluid leak.

How inner tie rod boots fail

Inner tie rod boot replacement cost

If the boots are torn due to physical contact or during an alignment and there’s no power steering rack leak, the boots can easily be replaced.

How to replace inner tie rod boots

inner tie rod boot kit

1) Loosen the jam nut on each outer tie rod end.
2) Disconnect each outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
3) Unscrew each tie rod end, counting the number of turns for each side.
4) Remove the two clamps securing the inner tie rod boot to the steering rack and inner tie rod and remove the old boots. Note the location of the “breather bypass” tubes connected to each boot.
5) Slide the old boot off the rack and replace with the new boots. Re-insert the breather bypass tubes.
6) Secure the new boots to the rack and inner tie rod using the clamps provided in the boot kits.
7) Screw the old the outer tie rod ends back onto the inner tie rods by the exact number of turns you noted during removal.
8) Install each outer tie rod end into the steering knuckle. Add the castle nut and torque to the specified torque. Secure with cotter key.
9) Tighten the outer tie rod end jam nut.

Inner tie rod boot replacement cost

New inner tie rod boots cost about $45 (shop price). The labor to replace both inner tie rod boots is about 1.5 hours shop time. So the entire job should cost $200 – $250

©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat


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