I am looking to change the inner and outter tie rods on my 1985 Brat. I have read the section in my haynes book, but still have some questions for everyone and wondering if people have some tips they can offer that the haynes cant. One of the main things I was wondering is: do I need to have a tie rod puller, or is there another way to get those done? And is it possible to save the boot that is on the inner rod? Can I put the rods together first and then just install the inner rods? And I know there is a certain way the inner's need to be installed... something about the timing and way things need to go in there. Any tips would be very helpful. Thanks.
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Changing inner and outter tie rods: What do I need to know?
Posted 22 July 2013 - 09:38 AM
every subaru tie rod has been the same for like 3 or 4 decades now, so should be really simple. i googled a brat tie rod since i've never done one and it looks just like every other subaru. so should be really easy.
i generally have a large pipe wrench on hand for removing the inner and rusty outers - rust is the hardest part to the whole deal. if it's not rusty/corroded it'll be easy.
the outer tie rod is hard to get out of the steering knuckle sometimes. having a good tool for that would be good - tie rod separator or i guess since yo'ure replacing it all you can bash the snot out of them too.
the nut that holds the two tie rods together is often rusty and hard to get off - i generally use pipe wrenches again here because the flats on the tie rod itself intended for holding it in place can't even come close to holding up to what it takes to loosen those things in the rust belt.
the inner joint is generally not bad because it's sealed from elements and doesn't corrode rust. may be tight due to time and age but they're generally not a problem.
yes you can reuse the steering rack boots, the Subaru boots are quite good quality and hold up well if they still seem in good shape. but now is a good time to replace them.
they are hard to slip in place when reinstalling the boots - i pull up on about half of the boot and get it up on the steer rack lip...then rotate that half up top where you can't reach. while holding it in place grab the lower lip of the boot (not installed yet) with pliers and pull it the rest of the way on the bottom remaining half of the lip where it goes onto the rack. before it would take me multiple tries, wait til i get lucky, etc - doing it that way i can do it once every time.
if you keep measurements or count number of turns and use an identical replacement (OEM if it's a Subaru original part) then you can keep alignment in spec. but if you can't or don't want to fiddle with that kind of problematic method:
i actually did my own home alignment (toe only, which is what tie rods affect) a week or two ago and it was unbelievably easy. run a tight piece of fishing line (clear is nice so you can see through it) from a measurement off the front center of the hub - then the same off the rear. but find the track width difference and add it where needed. so on 95-99 legacy's the rear had to be set 2.5mm further from the locating point than the front - that gives you a straight line. then simply measure the distance from that line of the front of the tire and rear of the tire and adjust the tie rods until they're identical. it was really easy and there are some threads about it.
Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:04 AM
Can I assemble the inner and outter rod, then just install them as a whole since I am doing both? or do I need to seperate the inner and outter, take them out seperately, then install them seperately. Seems like installing them together would save a ton of a pain (the rusty bolt that holds them together, for example.
And thanks for the tips on the alignment, I am not doing it with OEM parts, so I will probably just go and get an alignment done. Thanks a lot for all the help.
Posted 22 July 2013 - 10:14 AM
knock the outer tie rod off the steering knuckle and remove both as an assembly without separating them though once you do that, saving you from the rusty nut connecting them.
as for installing, it'll have a new nut on it so it's the same effort installing individually or together, no savings there. probably be more room to forget something since you'll have to put the steering rack boot on first before you connect the tie rods - it can only go on with the nut and outer tie rod disconnected. be simple to just install the inner rod, secure the boot, then install the second. but yeah - you can do it that way if you want, not much to tie rods in the end.
Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:33 PM
Where the inner tie rod goes into the engine... does it just sit in there, or is there a pin that needs to be popped in and out? Or should it just sit real tight with the outer rod? And do the boots need to come off to replace the inner rods? And do the inner rods just slide in any old way, or is it like an axle and you need to match up things like the hills and valleys on the threads?
Posted 22 July 2013 - 02:42 PM
Posted 22 July 2013 - 03:45 PM
unthread old tie rod, install new tie rod. nothing complicated about it at all. yes you can slide the boot out of the way to do whatever you want.
Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:38 AM
It was dark when I got home, so no Brat photos. The FSM should clear up most of what you are asking about, though. If you still need the actual photos: let me know, and i'll make an effort to get them.
Edit: Here's a exploded that's not upside down.
NVM... it wont work correctly. I'll deal with it tomorrow... i'm very tired and my scanner did not help with that
Edited by BratRod, 23 July 2013 - 01:44 AM.
Posted 23 July 2013 - 09:21 AM
Thanks a lot for this everyone, seems like a much easier fix than I anticipated. Going to try and get them done this weekend. I was under the impression you can only seat the rod ends into the steering column a certain amount or something. I thought there was a bunch of stuff about timing and making sure things were put together in a certain way instead of just getting them in as tight as possible.
Posted 23 July 2013 - 10:40 AM
That manual makes it look difficult. I literally just changed out my front passanger CV axle last night. Which involved dropping the control arm as well as disconnecting the sway bar. In terms of a tie rod... Easy peasy. Nuts and bolts. Undo 'em, put the new ones in. With polyurethane fittings ; ) Without any manual, just go to town. Refer for tork specs. I guess my only advice would be... Don't reuse cotter pins. Post finished pictures = D
Posted 23 July 2013 - 01:05 PM
yes - easy. could be done in 30 minutes. the only problems or hard parts about this are rust and that's not covered in an FSM or anywhere else.
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