How-To: Inner Tie Rod Bushings - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 11-23-2009, 12:43 AM Thread Starter
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How-To: Inner Tie Rod Bushings

Since we don't have one, I thought I would write up a how-to on replacing inner tie rod bushings.

In this how-two you will need the following:
  • 1/2" ratchet
  • 3/8" ratchet
  • 1/4" ratchet
  • Pipe to extend the ratchet and act as a breaker bar
  • Socket adapters
  • 13mm socket
  • 15mm socket
  • 22mm socket
  • 120 torx bit
  • 10" curve jaw locking pliers
  • Utility Knife
  • Interchangeable bit screwdriver
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Large flathead screwdriver (or in my case a big file)
  • Rubber mallet
  • WD-40 or similar
  • Inner Tie Rod Bushing Kit (I used Moog Part No. K7408, which is a complete kit, Made in USA, poly bushings and limited lifetime warranty. $18.99)

(1) Park the car on fairly level ground and turn the wheels full lock to the left (so they face outward toward the driverís side of the car).

(2) Remove the battery ground cable from the ground stud and isolate the cable by installing the cable isolator on the ground stud.

(3) Remove the caps from the wiper arm pivots (this can be done with your fingernails or a small screwdriver) to expose the attaching nut. Remove the nuts (15mm socket).

(4) Remove the wiper arms by rocking them back and forth on the pivots until they can be pulled off the pivots.

(5) Remove the wiper module cover and cowl cover (120 torx)

(6) Remove the 8 bolts attaching the strut tower brace to the strut towers and the one bolt attaching the wiper module to the reinforcement. Note: some of these bolts can be very hard to remove. I cracked my socket on one. What I did was loosen them enough to fit the WD-40 straw under the washer and spray then let sit for a few minutes. This loosed them enough to remove fairly easily. Remove the brace from the vehicle.

(7) Remove the in-line resonator and inlet hose from the throttle body (small screwdriver to loosen the clamp from the throttle body). At this point you will have fairly good access to the inner tie rod to steering gear mounts.

This is what will greet you (although the tabs will be bent down):


(8) Bend back the retaining tabs on the mounting plate for the tie rod to steering gear mounting bolts. Note: This was the most annoying part of the whole job to me. Use a large screwdriver (or in my case a large file), place the end of it on one of the lower tabs and gently tap it with a rubber mallet. Repeat this with the other lower tab. For the upper tabs, place the screwdriver horizontally between the tabs. Rest one side on the lower tab and the other on the opposite upper tab. Push the side of the screwdriver closest to the lower tab downward to bend the upper tab up. Repeat this for the opposite side.

(9) Remove the one of the bolts fastening one of the tie rods to the steering gear (22mm socket). Note: These bolts are pretty tight and due to their location you canít really put leverage into the 1/2Ē ratchet to break t hem free. Place the pipe over the ratchet to extend it and to give you extra leverage. They will loosen easily this way.

(10) Loosen but do not remove the opposite inner tie rod bolt.

(11) Rotate the loose end of the mounting plate out of the way.

(12) Move the tie rod away from the mounting point to have space to remove the bushing. For the first tie rod the bushing was mostly disintegrated so it basically just fell out. For the other tie rod the bushing was still relatively intact and in there quite good. To remove bushings like this, use the curve jaw locking pliers (vise grips as I call them) and utility knife. Use the knife to cut away the lip on one side of the bushing. Lock the tool onto the bushing. While holding the tie rod with one hand, push the vise grips forwards towards the side of the bushing you cut. The curved shape of the vise grips will prevent them from coming into contact with the inner tie rod. Do this back and forth until the bushing pops out.

(13) Install the bushing and spacer into the inner tie rod.

CAUTION: Before installing the bolt, be sure the tie rod spacer block inside the steering gear boot is correctly aligned with the bolt holes in the rack of the steering gear and boot.

(14) Align the inner tie rod with the mounting bolt hole in the center take off on the steering gear. Rotate the mounting plate into position over the tie rod. Install the tie rod attaching bolt (22mm if you are reusing the bolts, 15mm if you are using the new bolts) through the tie rod and washer into the steering gear. Do not tighten the bolt if you still have to do the other bushing. Be sure the washer is installed between the tie rod and steering gear.

Note: if you car is badly misaligned like my car was, you will need a person to manually turn the wheel so the bolts line up with the bolt holes.

(15) Follow steps 10 - 15 for the opposite tie rod bushing.

(16) Tighten both tie rod to steering gear bolts to a torque of 100 N-m (74 ft. lbs.).

(17) Bend the retaining tabs against the heads of the tie rod attaching bolts. (I used the horizontal screwdriver trick to bend them down)

(18) Have someone turn the wheel for you while you inspect and ensure everything is connected and working properly.

Your inner tie rods should now look like this:

Pretty!

(19) Install the in-line resonator and inlet hose onto the throttle body. Tighten clamps.

(20) Install the strut brace. Install the 8 bolts attaching the brace to the strut towers. Install the bolt attaching the wiper module to the brace.

(21) Install the covers over the wiper module and the cowl. Install and securely tighten the screws.

(22) Install the wiper arms onto the pivots. Install and securely tighten the attaching bolts. Install the caps on the wiper arms covering the pivot nuts.

(23) Install the battery ground cable on the show tower and install the nut.

(24) Take the car for a driver around the block to ensure everything is working properly.

(25) Immediately take the car to be aligned.

Enjoy much better steering!

Sorry for the lack of images. I didn't think to take more to make a How-To.


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