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Tie rod replacement

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Old 07-17-2017, 01:21 AM   #1
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Default Tie rod replacement

I need some help. I've got a 2004 F150 Lariat 4x4 5.4L with an outer tie rod that has a little bit of play in it. I bought some new outer tie rods to replace both sides but on the side I started with, the locknut is rusted/stuck to the inner tie rod. I got it to break free from the outer tie rod but it's the whole inner tie rod that moves and not just the locknut. I've tried PB Blaster, wire brushes, propane torch and it just won't break loose. I need to get it loose to be able to get the new tie rod locked into the right spot. So, I need suggestions on getting it loose or guidance on replacing the inner tie rods. Which special tool do I need if any to replace the inners...Rock Auto lists 3 different special tools? How do I measure to keep the alignment at least close to what it was when replacing the inner and outer ones? Do I have to have help to hold the rack and pinion shaft stationary when removing the inners? Please help.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:21 AM   #2
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Do you have an impact gun ?
I use a 4 foot pry bar...pry off the frame of the truck putting pressure down onto the tie rod.
Then take the lock nut off with the impact.
As far as the inner tie rods they make a tool that has all 3 sizes in it.
You can usually rent it at your local auto parts store.
Don't forget to check You -Tube.... might be a video out that shows how to do it.


The alignment will need to done no matter what, unless you are buying new tires very soon and getting it done then.


Measure across the tire from the middle of one to the other....
Front and back side, then adjust your new tie rods to be as close as it was before.
That should set the toe close enough to drive it to an alignment shop.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response but you've misunderstood what I mean. I can get the outer tie rod nut off. I'm talking about the locknut on the inner tie rod that you loosen when doing an alignment. It locks against the outer tie rod to keep it from spinning. I can get it broken lose from up against the outer tie rod but it's stuck onto the inner tie rod just causing the inner tie rod to turn. Rock auto lists 3 different special tools with different sizes for the inner tie rods all with different sizes. I need to know the size of the tool needed to remove the inner tie rod.

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Old 07-17-2017, 08:26 AM   #4
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Like Phil said.. go to your local auto parts.. Auto Zone would be a good choice.. they have a loan-a- tool program.. get their tie rod box... it comes with all sizes.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:48 AM   #5
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Any help on getting the locknut off the inner tie rod and keeping the inner tie rod from spinning? I tried using the hex flats built into it but it's just rounding those off. Vice grips aren't holding either. I would like to get the locknut off so I don't have to replace the inner.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:51 AM   #6
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The tool will hold the inner from spinning and allow you access to the nut.. now if you have it rounded off that's another problem.. you may need to cut it off ..
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:06 AM   #7
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Ok, I'm confused. The tool from AutoZone is to remove the inner tie rod. I need to get the locknut off that locks the outer tie rod onto the inner tie rod. I only want to replace the inner if I can't get the locknut off. The tool from AutoZone would block my access to the frozen locknut unless I'm just totally confused.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:32 AM   #8
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Picture is worth a thousand words... Outter tie rods ends will come off by cracking the nut and spinning off the end. Not sure why your messing with the inner nut. Or I'm confused.. Which nut are you trying to get loose ?
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Last edited by techrep; 07-17-2017 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:36 AM   #9
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Yep, I can get the outer tie rod off but the new Moog outer tie rod is slightly longer than the stock so the adjusting nut needs to move up the inner tie rod to get it to fit on there and maintain the same measurement as before. Also, in order to do an alignment, the locknut has to be free to move up and down on the inner tie rod. I don't want to take it to a shop, they can't get it to break loose and then want to charge me for replacing the inner.

Last edited by waldreps; 07-17-2017 at 09:39 AM.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:37 AM   #10
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At this point, I'd think about trying a pipe wrench.
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