hey guys, i'm in the middle of changing my inner tie rod bushings, i just can't get the old ones out! all guides kinda skip over this part and i was wondering if anyone knew an easier way than just ripping the rubber till it comes out.
Try this. Pry the rubber bushing down and spray PB Blaster or WD-40 or even dish soap between the rubber bushing and the tie rod end. Try twisting the bushing in the hole so it'll work its way around. If you are installing one piece bushings use dish soap on the rubber to help get them in. Old trick that worked good installing handlebar grips on bikes, works good for bushings, tire valve stems, etc... Best part about dish soap is its nice and slippery, and unlike oil, just wash it away when you're done.
Well, &^$#@%#. Just tried to post a longer reply, but the system ate it. Short version:
Try a regular #2 Phillips screwdriver, about 5"-6" long. Put it through the metal insert in the rod end, then angle it up/down/around and use the leverage to compress the rubber part of the bushing. The ones I recently replaced did *not* look to be terribly worn and it seemed I would have to cut up a lot of the rubber to get them out. Especially when thinking of pushing them straight out of the rod ends.
I first thought I'd just use the screwdriver to expose a little more rubber for cutting and gouging, but quickly discovered the angling trick. 10 seconds or less per original-style one piece bushing is all it took to get them out.
I used a socket, slightly smaller in size than the bushing. I clamped the tie rod down to a bench, then took the socket and a hammer and gently tapped it out. As for getting the new ones back in, i took mine to a local parts store and had them press them in for me for $20. Worth every cent.
If you take the tie rods out you're gonna need a front wheel alignment. And even if you count the threads on the adjusters and such, unless you know exactly what you're doing you run the risk of not getting the adjusters and nuts torqued correctly. The factory manual has a fairly extensive rundown on this.
Far easier to go with the 2-piece bushings; I suggest Moog K7349 (in stock at my small-town O'Reilly for $15.99) with the blue [apparently] urethane inserts. Almost as quick and easy to install as removing the old inserts with the Phillips screwdriver... Pic on the K7349: