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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Fig 4 on page 19-20 shows a 3.5L air tube being removed. Did you read through the whole process in that PDF? The Wiper Assembly is the metal plate you're talking about.

Thanks. I studied the pages more than once, but sometimes it's hard to relate a diagram to the real thing without getting your hands dirty. A mechanic next door said he has replaced these without removing the items mentioned, but I am wondering if he has ever tackled inner tie-rod ends on a 3.5 engine.

I was also worried about breaking any plastic fasteners.
 

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All you have to do is: take the plastic covers off the wiper arm where it connects to control arm by using a screw driver and flick the round rubber cover that's over nut that holds the blade on. Remove the wipers.Then remove the screws that hold the cowl I think it's like five or six of them. Then disconnect the metal cowl by removing the four bolts two long and two short one this cowl is bolted right to the strut towers Once that's removed you'll see the wiper motor without removing that if you look down your firewall you should see the steering linkage and on front of that's the inner tie rod linkage bend the tabs back and loosen the nuts be careful not to pull out anything but the rod from the stud replace the rubber grommet bolt on bend tangs back ones done now do the other and you're done easy peasy !!!! Good Luck
 

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All you have to do is: take the plastic covers off the wiper arm where it connects to control arm by using a screw driver and flick the round rubber cover that's over nut that holds the blade on. Remove the wipers.Then remove the screws that hold the cowl I think it's like five or six of them. Then disconnect the metal cowl by removing the four bolts two long and two short one this cowl is bolted right to the strut towers Once that's removed you'll see the wiper motor without removing that if you look down your firewall you should see the steering linkage and on front of that's the inner tie rod linkage bend the tabs back and loosen the nuts be careful not to pull out anything but the rod from the stud replace the rubber grommet bolt on bend tangs back ones done now do the other and you're done easy peasy !!!! Good Luck
Your referring to a second gen. The metal part on a first gen cowl can not be removed with out drilling some spot welds
 
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For real that could be true I never worked on a 3.5 now that I see the whole thread.I apologize to the original poster. I had a 98 that came off the same as this 99 just ass..umed the LH was same
They're all LH's. It's a 1st gen. vs. 2nd gen. thang.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
Fixed!

At least it should be, but it took me at least five hours to finish the job, and I still haven't replaced the wiper box and cowling yet. I could have finished the whole thing in one day, but it was getting dark. Finishing up tomorrow will give me a chance to vacuum loose debris out of the cracks and crevices - plus I'll clean up the cowling and hit it with some Meguiars trim dressing. I'll probably wash the car too, and get it ready for a fall buffing.

For what it's worth, I used a Moog bushing kit (blue rubber) which included replacement hardware with new bolts with a 5/8" head instead of reusing the 22mm originals. The biggest obstacle was finding a low profile 22mm socket because there is not much room between the motor and the bolt heads. Removing the tires allowed me to finish unscrewing the bolts by hand. The left bushing was shot, and the right bushing was completely gone. A nearby garage loaned me all the special service tools I needed - including a torque wrench, but I forgot to ask for an adapter, so I torqued the bolts with a long 3/8" drive Mac ratchet by feeling instead (I hope this is OK).

The steering is good and tight now, but the toe-in feels off.

I can't thank all of you enough for assisting me with advice and encouragement. I was apprehensive about tackling this job, but all has went well so far. I did damage a plastic cowling rivet, so I'll be looking for a replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I did damage a plastic cowling rivet, so I'll be looking for a replacement.

The dang thing jumped out of its socket after I had trouble securing the passenger side of the cowling, and now it is lodged deep in the rocker panel.

Is this a dealer-only item, or can I find it on ebay, etc.? I could stand to buy a whole pack of those things. You know, the ones that look like a phillips screw.
 

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...For what it's worth, I used a Moog bushing kit (blue rubber) which included replacement hardware with new bolts with a 5/8" head instead of reusing the 22mm originals...
Actually the new bolt heads were probably 15mm. If so, 5/8" wrench would work, but would fit a little loose.

I don't know if you read thru the How-To that Scooter-Man linked on page 1 of this thread, but there is discussion there about the smaller heads that the kits come with and how important it is to be sure to either squeeze the locking tabs down tight against the head or to use blue thread locker on the bolt threads. I usually try to mention that in all inner tie rod bushing threads, but forgot this time.

I also generally recommend re-using the original larger-head factory bolts if you still have them and they're in good shape. (I may have read that even the factory started using the smaller-head bolts in later years, but I may be wrong about that.)

If you didn't do that, you might ought to try to reach down in there with a big screwdriver and hammer or something and whack an extra bend near the base of the top tab on both bolts so it lies tight along a flat of the bolt head (if you had the cowling off, you could squeeze both tabs at the same time with a pair of Channel-lock pliers). It's not good enough that the tabs lean over at an angle and contact the flat at the very top of the head - it needs an extra bend to go against the flat near its base for a more positive locking. I prefer thread locker *and* the extra bend in the tab, but I doubt you want to take everything apart again for the thread locker.

There have been *several* instances over the years here of people posting scary stories about one of the bolts backing all the way out or backing part of the way out and breaking off! That would be a scary situation if the car were moving. Very dangerous that they sell the kits with the smaller head bolts.

The dang thing jumped out of its socket after I had trouble securing the passenger side of the cowling, and now it is lodged deep in the rocker panel.

Is this a dealer-only item, or can I find it on ebay, etc.? I could stand to buy a whole pack of those things. You know, the ones that look like a phillips screw.
NAPA has a good selection of plastic rivets on a rotating rack - often an exact replacement, but if not exact, ones that are the right size and work fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 · (Edited)
I had planned to reuse the 22mm bolts, but I asked a local mechanic, and said that he would go with the ones in the kit, so I obliged. Another reason I decided to use the 5/8" bolts is because a smaller socket has more room to work with.

As for the bolt(s) coming out, a friend of ours has a '94 Concorde, and that very thing happened to her. Only in her case, the tabs were not bent down at all. Fortunately, the left bolt slipped out right in my driveway instead of on the highway. The same local mechanic put a new kit in for her.

I bent those tabs as well as I could, but I did notice they were not flush with the sides of the bolt heads, and were angled a bit. There is so little room to work with on a 3.5 engine, and it made for difficult working conditions. I have bruises and scratches still healing. I guess I should have read the link more thoroughly and applied the blue thread compound. I will certainly keep an eye on these bolts in case one or both decides to back out. I kept the original bolts, plates, and washers for backups.

Thanks for posting.
 

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As you can see below, the wiring junction box is in close proximity to the air intake tubing...

View attachment 32409

Here is a shot of the tubing itself...

View attachment 32417

Has anyone ever owned a 1996 era Concorde LXi model, and what procedure did it take to gain access to the inner tie rod bolts?
I have a 2001 LHS, and on this one you have to remove the cowling under the wipers and the air cleaner housing/tube assembly and the piece under the cowling that is under the wipers... Its pretty straight forward... Then you can at least see the inner tie rod ends.. the rest can be tricky... Best to have another set of hands to hold one side together while you get the other side started.
 

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I have a 2001 LHS, and on this one you have to remove the cowling under the wipers and the air cleaner housing/tube assembly and the piece under the cowling that is under the wipers... Its pretty straight forward... Then you can at least see the inner tie rod ends.. the rest can be tricky... Best to have another set of hands to hold one side together while you get the other side started.
The thread is from 6 years ago. Much of the discussion is about the difficulties specific to 1st gen with the 3.5, and that access issues are different enough (simpler?) on 2nd gen so as to make advice about access not very useful (for this 1st gen thread).

Regarding your last sentence, if I'm reading you correctly, the very best advice (applicable to both 1st and 2nd gens) is to completely do one side (bolt and bushing), then do the other - IOW, never have both inner tie rod bolts out at the same time, otherwise (see illustration, below) the spacer block (hidden inside the rubber sleeve/cover) can slip out of place side-to-side relative to the two bolt holes in the rack main rod (also hidden inside the rubber sleeve/cover), and it can be a PITA to get the holes in the spacer block, the rubber sleeve/cover, and the rack main rod all three lined up with each other to get the first bolt properly installed. (To get the two-holed bushing kit washer plate and locking plate swapped in, you have to play games with letting the old and new plates dangle by one bolt hole and one bolt at a time, then remove the other bolt, pivot the washer and locking plates in place for the second bolt, and reinstall the second bolt - the idea, again, being to never have both bolts removed at the same time)

Exploded view of rack (I added the red and green arrows indicating the spacer block and main rod bolt holes):
Product Bicycle part Auto part Engineering Cylinder
 

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The thread is from 6 years ago. Much of the discussion is about the difficulties specific to 1st gen with the 3.5, and that access issues are different enough (simpler?) on 2nd gen so as to make advice about access not very useful (for this 1st gen thread).

Regarding your last sentence, if I'm reading you correctly, the very best advice (applicable to both 1st and 2nd gens) is to completely do one side (bolt and bushing), then do the other - IOW, never have both inner tie rod bolts out at the same time, otherwise (see illustration, below) the spacer block (hidden inside the rubber sleeve/cover) can slip out of place side-to-side relative to the two bolt holes in the rack main rod (also hidden inside the rubber sleeve/cover), and it can be a PITA to get the holes in the spacer block, the rubber sleeve/cover, and the rack main rod all three lined up with each other to get the first bolt properly installed. (To get the two-holed bushing kit washer plate and locking plate swapped in, you have to play games with letting the old and new plates dangle by one bolt hole and one bolt at a time, then remove the other bolt, pivot the washer and locking plates in place for the second bolt, and reinstall the second bolt - the idea, again, being to never have both bolts removed at the same time)

Exploded view of rack (I added the red and green arrows indicating the spacer block and main rod bolt holes):
Yep. One bolt at a time, and have the front elevated with wheels off to make handling the tie rods easier. Use to do mine once a year. On 1Gs MOOG kit they also had washers behind the bushings before the block and rack. What a nightmare. Finally learned removing the intake and laying across the whole front made it kinda easy.


Side note for future reference. in 1996 the rack was changed / redesigned with different bushings holding the rack in place requiring pressed out vs the slip on / off design 93-95 got.
 
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