Tie rod end replacement cost and procedure
Tie rod end replacement cost varies depending on whether the vehicle is equipped with rack and pinion steering or traditional recirculating ball steering. In addition, tie rod replacement cost varies on whether you’re replacing the inner or outer tie rod end.
Difference in tie rod end replacement cost between inner tie rod and outer tie rod end on a rack and pinion steering system
Inner tie rod end replacement cost is significantly higher than the cost of outer tie rod end replacement because it’s more involved. An inner tie rod contains the tie rod shaft and the inner tie rod end. The tie rod end connects to the steering rack. The ball and socket design of the inner tie rod end allows up and down and slight side to side movement. The inner tie rod end is protected from the element by a pleated rubber boot at the rack and pinion gear.
The inner tie rod end can have either a male or female coupling to the rack and may or may not require the removal and replacement of a roll pin.
Outer tie rod end replacement is easier and less expensive than inner tie rod replacement
To replace an outer tie rod end, the technician simply removes a cotter key retaining pin and than a castle nut. Using a tie rod puller tool, the technician disengages the tie rod ball stud from the steering knuckle.
Next, the technician loosens the outer tie rod end jam nut and unscrews the worn end. Installation is the reverse of the removal procedure.
Most outer tie rod ends can be swapped out less than a half-hour per side, plus the time required to reset proper toe-in alignment. Caster and camber angles are not disturbed when replacing outer tie rod ends.
Outer tie rod end replacement parts cost
High grade outer tie rod ends cost between $50 and $75 per side. However, there’s a plentiful supply of cheap low quality offshore parts available for as little as $6 each. These parts are poorly designed and built and fail early, sometimes in less than a year. You should insist on high quality name brand parts when you need steering system components.
Inner tie rod replacement cost
In some applications space is so limited that carmakers recommend removing the entire steering gear to perform an inner tie rod replacement. However, if the technician has access and the right tools, they can remove and replace the inner tie rod without removing the gear. Here’s the procedure:
1) Disconnect the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle using a tie rod puller. Unscrew the tie rod end and remove it and the jam nut
2) Release the inner and outer boot clamps and slide the boot off the inner tie rod
3) Remove the roll pin (where applicable) from the inner tie rod ball joint. Then hold the rack while unscrewing the inner tie rod with a special tool.
4) Install the new inner tie rod and torque to specifications or use a thread locking product if recommended by the carmaker. Reinstall roll pin if removed.
5) Install the boot, clamps and outer tie rod end and set toe-in.
Inner tie rod replacement takes approximately 1.2 to 1.75 hours per side, depending on the vehicle. Inner tie rod parts are priced similar to outer tie rod components.
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©, 2017 Rick MuscoplatPosted on by Rick Muscoplat