How-To: Inner tie rod replacement version 2

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latief
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How-To: Inner tie rod replacement version 2

Post by latief » Wed May 17, 2006 10:11 am

My driver side inner tie-rod is shot, move the steering left and right and it cluncks badly....after trouble shooting this for while it turned out to be the inner-tie rod which is supposed to be un-servicable accoridng to dodge. my car is a 2000 warranty expired ages ago.
so i'm left with these options:

drop the k-frame and replace the steering rack. a shop will charge me tons of money for that, not to mention that they will have to mess with the lower torque strut and mess-up engine mount balance. unless i could do it my self, but i don't feel comforatble dropping the k-fame while the car is on jack stands...... a lot of forces invloved in that, and most likley something bad will happen.

my other option is to change the inner-rod. auto parts stores sell inner -tie rods for the 00-05 neons, although dodge says the rack should not be serviced, and should be replaced. i'm quite certain that it is changable....but i'm wondering how to do this. a shop quoted me 300$ for one side including allingnment, but he told me it is not guranteed, and will charge me the labor if it does not work out or the vehicle does not align properly. i could try and to do it my self, yet again, i will have to jack up the car really high using jack stands to be able even get close to the steering gear area not to mention using tools, i will also need a special tool to remove the old tie-rod, not to mention i could discover that the new rod is longer than the orginal which will reuire some cutting, so it seems like such a complicated job.

what do you guys think could be the better approach to this problem? any once changed the inner tie rod before?


maybe i should just sell the damn car...
some help please, this is really troubling....

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refect
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Post by refect » Wed May 17, 2006 11:55 am

i have a steering rack from my 2000 in good condition. has bout 70,000 miles on it. if you want it ill sell it to you.

edit: ill post up instuctions on how to install as well if you wanted to do it yourself
-Brad
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latief
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Post by latief » Wed May 17, 2006 12:47 pm

thanks for the offer ,

how did you jack up your car to remove your steering gear?

at this point, i need to know what options are possible, i need some of the vetern mechanics to weigh in on this ......


some help guys.....

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refect
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Post by refect » Wed May 17, 2006 8:16 pm

i used jack stands on both sides to jack the front up then used 2 jacks on each side of the k frame to support it while i lowered that and put it back up since i didnt have a big one like they say in instructions......ill post some up below for you if you are interested....this is how to remove it....to install it is basicaly reverse minus a few little things to know like torque of the bolts and stuff like that....i just copy and pasted this from my manual, but i pretty much followed these when swapping steering stuff out with the srt steering. it really isnt all that hard just as long as you have the right tools. if you wanna do it yourself ill put the pics up that came with it and copy the install instcutions as well and send it to you in a pm or somethin..

(1) Place the steering wheel in the STRAIGHTAHEAD position. Using a steering wheel holder, lock the steering wheel in place to keep it from rotating (Fig. 2). This keeps the clockspring in the proper orientation.

(2) Inside the passenger compartment, remove the steering column coupling retainer pin, back off the pinch bolt nut, and remove the steering column coupling pinch bolt (Fig. 3) (the pinch bolt nut is caged to the coupling and is not removable). Separate the upper and lower steering column couplings.

(3) Raise the vehicle. (Refer to LUBRICATION & MAINTENANCE/HOISTING - STANDARD PROCEDURE).

(4) Remove both front tire and wheel assemblies from the vehicle (Refer to 22 - TIRES/WHEELS - REMOVAL).

(5) Remove nuts attaching both outer tie rods to the steering knuckles (Fig. 4). Remove each nut by holding the tie rod stud stationary while loosening and removing the nut with a wrench.

(6) Remove the outer tie rod from the steering knuckles using Remover, Special Tool MB991113 (Fig. 5).

(7) Remove the tie rod heat shield.

(8 ) Release the locking tab on the wiring harness connector for the power steering fluid pressure switch before connector removal. Remove the wiring harness connector from the power steering fluid pressure switch (Fig. 6).

(9) Back out the tube nut securing the power steering fluid pressure hose to the gear.

(10) Loosen the clamp, then disconnect the fluid cooler hose from the gear.

(11) Open the routing clips on the front of the power steering gear and remove the power steering fluid pressure hose from the routing clips. At the same time, remove the cooler tube from the right routing clip.

(12) Remove the two screws securing the cooler to the front suspension crossmember. They are located behind the cooler and can be accessed from above. Allow the cooler to hang out of the way.

(13) Remove the drive-belt splash shield fasteners. Remove the shield.

(14) Remove the pencil strut from the right front corner of the crossmember and body of the vehicle (Fig. 7). Remove the washer behind the strut from the torque strut bolt.

(15) Remove the bolts mounting the engine torque strut in place (Fig. 7), then remove the engine torque strut from the vehicle.

NOTE: Before removing the front suspension crossmember from the vehicle, the location of the crossmember must be scribed on the body of the vehicle (Fig. 8 ). Do this so that the crossmember can be relocated upon reinstallation against the body of vehicle in the same location as before removal. If the front suspension crossmember is not reinstalled in exactly the same location as before removal, the preset front wheel alignment settings (caster and camber) will be lost.

(16) Using an awl, scribe a line (Fig. 8 ) marking the location of where the front suspension crossmember is mounted against the body of the vehicle.

(17) Position a transmission jack under the center of the front suspension crossmember and raise it to support the bottom of the crossmember.

(18 ) Loosen and completely remove the two front bolts (one right and one left) attaching the front suspension crossmember to the frame rails of vehicle. The right side bolt can be viewed in the mounting bolt figure (Fig. 9). The left side bolt is located in the same location on the other side of the vehicle.

(19) Loosen the two rear bolts (one right and one left) attaching the front suspension crossmember and lower control arms to the body of the vehicle until they release from the threaded tapping plates in the body of the vehicle. Do not completely remove the rear bolts because they are designed to disengage from the body threads yet stay within the lower control arm rear isolator bushing. This allows the lower control arm to stay in place on the crossmember. The right side bolt can be viewed in the mounting bolt figure (Fig. 9). The left side bolt is located in the same location on the other side of the vehicle.

(20) Lower the front suspension crossmember using the transmission jack enough to allow the power steering gear to be removed from the rear of the crossmember (Fig. 10). When lowering front suspension crossmember, do not let crossmember hang from lower control arms. The weight should be supported by the transmission jack.

(21) Remove the roll pin securing the steering column lower coupling to the power steering gear pinion shaft using a roll pin punch (Fig. 11). Push the steering column lower coupling up and off of the power steering gear pinion shaft.

(22) Release the pinion shaft dash cover seal from the tabs cast into the power steering gear housing and remove the seal from the power steering gear (Fig. 12).

(23) Loosen and remove the four bolts attaching the power steering gear to the front suspension crossmember (Fig. 1). Remove the power steering gear from the front suspension crossmember.
-Brad
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latief
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Post by latief » Thu May 18, 2006 9:36 am

Thanks for the response, that was helpful....

i do have the FSM and the chilton manual so i am familiar with the steps. again my problem is with the access to the area, and how to jack the car without getting killed, when you jacked your car up, any idea how high that was, and you said you used to jacks to support the k-frame.... regualr floor jacks? if i lift the car high enough, do you think i'll have enough space to work on the tie-rods and replace them while the k-frame is in place?

thanks,

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BlackRoseRacing
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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Thu May 18, 2006 6:38 pm

ZZZZ oh wait im on....
I highly doubt your inner tie rods are shot, Ive been working for DCx for 5years now and the dealership I work for NEVER had a neon come in for inner tie rod replacement. There has got to be something else wrong....or atleast thats my opinion. How do you know there bad?

latief
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Post by latief » Fri May 19, 2006 9:56 am

with the car parked, and truned off, grab the steering wheel, and move slightly left and right a number of times, it clunkcs a strong clunk while turning to the left. i also feel the vibration from the clunck in my steering wheel. the same sound shows up at sudden sharp bumps such as a speed bumps. i took it to dodge 3 times for to find the sound, we changed a number of bushings (rear control arm bushings, stabilizer bar bushings), but nothing. i took it to other mechanics, but no one could find anything and there is no play in the tire. the only time i could feel some play was with the steering facing left (grab the tie-rod and you could feel some minimal play). i took of the outer tie-rod and replaced it hoping that was the problem, but nothing. but while i was changing the tie-rod end i could easily push on the inner tie-rod and it wil go inwards with no effort (yet it cannot be pulled outwards). a number of people (with 2000) neons reported having such sound on neons.org. some of them had the sturt mounts changed, but the sound remained. any suggestions ? and please descirbe to my how a bad strut mount will sound like... although i doubt that it is the problem. i really hate my car due to this issue, and i need it fixed although other than the clunk sound nothing else is happening.

thanks,

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BlackRoseRacing
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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Fri May 19, 2006 6:56 pm

Is it in the Column itself making the noise?
There's a TSB for that....TSB#19-002-04

latief
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Post by latief » Fri May 19, 2006 8:54 pm

yes i'm aware of the TSB, it has been performed, did nothing. get really close to the wheel well, and move the steering left and right, no doubt about it, the clunk comes from the driver's side inner tie-rod area. what do you advice when it comes to fixing this thing? new rack (remanufactured) or tie-rod ends (after market off-course) dodge does not think it should be serviced.....??

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01rtgurl
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Post by 01rtgurl » Fri May 19, 2006 10:21 pm

hmm. very interesting. i've got an 01 R/T and ive noticed this clunk for about the last 15,000 miles. i replaced ball joints, outer tie rods, even put the new camber plates up front, replacing the strut mounts. nothing fixed it. turned off, just sitting, i can move my 'locked' steering wheel about 1" each direction, and it makes a faint clunking (my sis's 02 SXT with ~12k on it does NOT move like that nor make noise).

my main problem... when i hear it, is when i make a turn while moving... and usually righthand turns, but sometimes on lefthand turns. it almost always makes the clunk when im backing out of my drive, with the wheel turned... and it also makes a LOUD pop....
have you ever hit any curbs or had any accidents? im pretty sure that's how i FUBARed mine.. i ran into a few curbs. i even had to replace the hub/spindle on the right front b/c i f*c*ed it up good... ill be watching this thread... ive got mine apart right now replacing stuff i messed up :oops: i might do some work while its out of commission anyways!
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latief
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Post by latief » Fri May 19, 2006 11:24 pm

The car has not been recked or anything, but i have no clue what the previous owner ran over, anyhow, your describing the same stuff i hear, and i'm 99% sure it is the inner tie-rod, a guy on the Neons.org fourm had the same problem, but he had warranty and replaced the steering gear and that solved it for him. ....... so i'm still trying to decide what is the best way to fix it since i don't have warranty, and i don't feel very confident about dropping the k-fame my self.......

anyone changed the inner's on his car on this forum?

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BlackRoseRacing
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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Sun May 21, 2006 9:28 am

I would help, but like I said no one has changed just the inners at work, they just change the whole rack. See if someone here has a descent used one for sale.

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BigMac
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Post by BigMac » Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:46 pm

Doesn't look like this was ever resolved, but I thought I'd post my experience FWIW. I replaced the passenger-side inner tie rod on my 99 Neon. It just wore out inside the ball socket. By far the most noticeable symptom was BAD torque steer, though that might be because it was the passenger side (no lsd).

Anyway, the best way to check it -- if you can -- is to get under the car and squeeze your hands around the inner tie rod boots, then have someone turn the wheel back and forth slightly. If you feel one side moving but not the other, the moving one is the bad side.

The inner tie rod can be changed, at least on a 1st gen. It was a real pain breaking it loose -- I needed a 16" :shock: crescent wrench (which fortunately I had), and there wasn't much room to turn it. I don't know if it's realistically possible on the driver's side of a 2nd gen, but it should be in theory.

I had a problem like the original poster described when my 99 was still under warranty. It was a snapping/cracking sound whenever I turned, especially when going over the curb part of my driveway. I took it to the dealer, who said the steering rack itself had come slightly loose. Once they tightened it, the problem never returned.

Like I said, FWIW. I hope it helps someone.
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01rtgurl
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Post by 01rtgurl » Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:30 pm

so after replacing practically all suspension pieces after my wreck... it still clunks. which leads me to believe, YES its the inner tie rod... aka the rack. lol dammit... i even replaced the k-member.. would have been an ideal time to do the rack!
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BlackRoseRacing
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Post by BlackRoseRacing » Sun Jul 09, 2006 8:17 am

**off topic***
rtgurl, what wreck?

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01rtgurl
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Post by 01rtgurl » Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:31 am

BlackRoseRacing wrote:**off topic***
rtgurl, what wreck?
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