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Tie Rods a DIY in the driveway job?


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Hey folks,

Woke up this morning with a screw in my tire so I took it to my local tire shop to get it patched. I also bought the Lifetime Alignment package from them so I asked them to throw it on the alignment rack for me.

I got a call back from them saying that they'd rather not do the alignment b/c my inner tie rods are worn and loose. Not dangerously loose, they said, but loose enough to undo the alignment in short order and something I should get fixed.

Looks like PelicanParts sells inner tie rods for $52 each. Unfortunately my tire shop won't put on parts that I bring them, so they'd have to order them from the dealer (and we haven't priced them yet since it's Sunday).

Anyways, I enjoy turning wrenches as long as I'm confident that I'm not going to render the car undrivable.

Are inner tie rods something I can do in my driveway with standard tools? The car is a '99 996 cabrio with 70k miles.

thanks!

Dave

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Not a hard job. As long as you are going to have it aligned right away just measure the length of the existing tie rods before you take them off the car and set the new ones as close as possible. Then take it straight to the alignment shop.

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Hey folks,

Woke up this morning with a screw in my tire so I took it to my local tire shop to get it patched. I also bought the Lifetime Alignment package from them so I asked them to throw it on the alignment rack for me.

I got a call back from them saying that they'd rather not do the alignment b/c my inner tie rods are worn and loose. Not dangerously loose, they said, but loose enough to undo the alignment in short order and something I should get fixed.

Looks like PelicanParts sells inner tie rods for $52 each. Unfortunately my tire shop won't put on parts that I bring them, so they'd have to order them from the dealer (and we haven't priced them yet since it's Sunday).

Anyways, I enjoy turning wrenches as long as I'm confident that I'm not going to render the car undrivable.

Are inner tie rods something I can do in my driveway with standard tools? The car is a '99 996 cabrio with 70k miles.

thanks!

Dave

You should be aware that this is an extremely typical SCAM...

You may be replacing two perfectly good parts.

What tire shop..?

Oh, your lifetime alignment package probably doesn't apply since you will be "intentionally" mis-aligning the car.

Edited by wwest
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Hey folks,

Woke up this morning with a screw in my tire so I took it to my local tire shop to get it patched. I also bought the Lifetime Alignment package from them so I asked them to throw it on the alignment rack for me.

I got a call back from them saying that they'd rather not do the alignment b/c my inner tie rods are worn and loose. Not dangerously loose, they said, but loose enough to undo the alignment in short order and something I should get fixed.

Looks like PelicanParts sells inner tie rods for $52 each. Unfortunately my tire shop won't put on parts that I bring them, so they'd have to order them from the dealer (and we haven't priced them yet since it's Sunday).

Anyways, I enjoy turning wrenches as long as I'm confident that I'm not going to render the car undrivable.

Are inner tie rods something I can do in my driveway with standard tools? The car is a '99 996 cabrio with 70k miles.

thanks!

Dave

You should be aware that this is an extremely typical SCAM...

You may be replacing two perfectly good parts.

What tire shop..?

Oh, your lifetime alignment package probably doesn't apply since you will be "intentionally" mis-aligning the car.

It's Tire Kingdom, a pretty well-known place around here and they've seemed pretty trustworthy in my past experience, but ya never know...

What should I be looking for on my inner tie rods to see if they're in good shape or not?

thanks!

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Dave, The check on the inner (and outer) tie rods is pretty straightforward. Lift the front tires off of the ground. Then put your hands on the "3" and "9" positions on the tire and try to rock the tire side to side. If there is play then either the inner or outer tie rod is bad. Then, try to position yourself so that you can watch the tie rod and rock the tire again. (it might be easier to have someone else rock the tire while you look.) If there is no play on the outer rod joint then your inner (which you can't see) is bad.

I had to replace my drivers side inner last year (at about 100k). I went ahead and did both inner and outer on both sides.

btw, I picked up an Inner tie rod wrench from my snap on guy. It was actually a BluePoint tool. Cost about $100 buck but MAN, it made the job a snap. Can't imagine doing the job without it. The tool is tube that slides down over the tie rod, various size flare type sockets come with it that you put on the car side of the tool and over the tie rod bolt. You then attach your 3/8" ratchet and turn. Magic. as I think of it, the local automotive shop might have something similar but cheaper.

With the tool, I can say that this is an easy and quick driveway job.

one tip, mark where the adjustment nut is on the old tie rod. You can then count the threads and use to to install the new ones reasonably closely to the old ones.

enjoy,

GA

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Generally, it is more economical to replace the entire unit. The price of the whole tie-rod is usually not that bad compared to buying the inner and outer separately.

BTW, what is the material for the inner end? Does it have a very hard rubber isolator like the 993? Also, as in the 993, the tie-rod ends are generally shot after about 80k, depending on the driver's driving style and road conditions. What kind of mileage are 996 tie-rods getting? Also, if anyone has a picture of an inner end or and entire tie-rod, please post one. Thanks!

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