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tie rod end horror story, please help

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So I started to replace the inner tie rods on my 2002 cab, easy breasy, got the trw inners, some hose clamp, blue loctite, tool from pep boys, went ahead and rented the outer tie rod end tool also.

And now the fun began, all the outer tie rod end tool did was mangle the threads, no problem, I'll just see if I can get it out as I have the old set of outer, can make due until I get a new one. WRONG!, the steel insert came off the hub assembly and I cannot get it off the tie rod end.

Any idea if it is available, the steel insert that goes in the aluminum hub assembly? How screwed am I?

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Let me guess, the tie rod tool you used did not look like this:


I am not aware of anyone selling the conical insert for the steering knuckle on the hub unit. I believe they are an interference fit part that comes with the hub assembly, which is not cheap (about $900 per side).

You can try heating the insert to get it off the tie rod end, but be careful not to damage it as it will need to be pressed back into the hub carrier.

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I encountered a similar situation - I was replacing my whole front suspension with the ROW M30 kit. First time through I removed the tie rod ends from the hub with no problem. When I put it all back together I retorqued the bolt to the spec. When I came to remove it a few weeks later (long story - I needed to replace something I broke the first time through), I could not get the tie rod end out of the hub. I used the tool with the bolt (not the Porsche tool which costs more than 200 bucks) but something cheap I saw recomended on these boards. It would not budge. I ended up bending the shaft of the tie rod end using the tool. The only way I could get it off was to heat the hub up and drive the tie rod end out with a hammer - along with the insert.

When I was done with the suspension work I repeated the heating and was able to get the insert and tie rod back into the hub.

Now I need to replace the outer tie rod end (since the shaft is bent) - and so I'm thinking that I should use the "pickle fork" style remover in order to separate the insert from the tie rod end in situ. I dont have a press to remove the insert from the tie rod end if I take them out together. I dont care if i damage the rubber sleeve protecting the ball joint since I'll be replacing the part anyway. I saw this technique recomended on a 986 site - although on these boards the pickle fork is foresworn!

Am I headed in the right direction here? Has anyone else had a similar experience and have any ideas to share.


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You need to be careful with the "pickle fork" method as some can actually damage the alloy carrier as well as the rubber boot on the tire rod end. Once the carrier is damaged, there is no going back, you will need a new one. One trick we use is to always coat the new tie rod end shaft with a very thin layer of anti-seize compound, makes future extractions a bit easier.

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  • 9 years later...

2003 996 C4S



Yes, I'm still fuming over the fume leak which turns out to be a gas leak, but not sufficient to run on the ground.  To find it "John" JFP in PA says it's a nasty job, Nasty doesn't begin to find the words to describe the work involved and we still haven't turned the corner to put the front half of the car back together.  We have removed the big water pipes, partially dropped the "A" arms, steering rack, the front bumper cover, my Mini Cooper power steering pump and plumbing, and the list goes on.


Ok, I'm not changing the subject, but where can I find just the boots for the tie rod ends?  From Porsche you have to buy the ball joints which I don't need.  We had to use the pickle fork tool to separate the ball joints from the tie rods.   In doing so we ruin one of the boots.


I had the tank pressure tested, it was good.  It appears that the gas weep and fumes are from where the fill pipe is inserted into the tank.  I believe that shows in PET 2005, illustration 201-01, item 28, Pipe.  Not sure how to remove the existing neoprene seal, or install,  hopefully once we have the new part it will show the ins and outs of this...





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Absolutely everything is in the way to get at that tank.  I believe that filler pipe seal is not retained in any way, it just pops into the tank opening (be sure the lip area is clean), and then expands slightly with the filler inserted, making the seal.


As for the tie rod end boots, I think you are out of luck there, and will need to replace the entire rod end, which fortunately is not expensive. And for future reference, with the right tool, the boots will not get torn😉:


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As to the parting tool, now you tell me...  Actually I thought the pickle fork tool was the standard of the industry, now I know better...


I'll check out the after-market rod end boots and report back with a P/N.  Replacement tie rod end ball joint boots


One last thing, I want you to know and I'm sure others will agree to thank you for your time and knowledge which you share daily and for so many years.  I think you and Loren have created a family of enthusiast.  I've had 5 Porsches over the years, all older,

but the 966 bridges the old and new.  Where some of the older Porsches styling have become dated, the 966 design has held up well.  And boys that is the test of good design...


P.S.  Porsche could have made removing the gas tank a little easier, the leaky pipe and rubber seal cost $30.00, but the labor would be around $3,000, but certainly doable for the DIY... 

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The fork is "the industry standard" for when you are replacing the ball joints; it is fast and clean, but usually kills the boots in the process.  When you need to preserve the existing components, you need a tool that allows you to get stuff apart without killing the boots; the "right tool for the job". When you put everything back together, a dab of anti-seize on the ball joint shaft will make your next service a lot easier. 😉


Nearly all brands have "nightmare" parts; several current year cars require removing about half the front-end sheet metal to replace a $35 cracked windshield washer tank that was designed to fit into an existing empty space in the front end before the fenders and facia were installed.  The result is a $4K labor bill to replace the tank.  Several GM models require dropping the entire engine and transmission cradle assembly out of the car to replace a single passenger's side front brake hard line for the same reason: It was put in before the engine and trans were installed, and there is no way to get the pre bent replacement line installed with the engine in place.  And you would think that knowing what they have created they would at least use a stainless-steel line, but no, the factory part is an uncoated mild steel part that rusts to Hell in a couple of years' service life.  So, your tank is not alone, Porsche designed it to fit and an existing space, and be installed before the rest of the front end was added.  Automotive engineers call this practice "packaging", mechanics call it a "headache".


And now that you have inflated my head size to the point my hat no longer fits, I think it is time for my afternoon nap 😀

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I know what you say is true, but it doesn't make the job any easier.  While the car has grown in size some, the demands for space to accommodate safety features, smog and air pollution,  luxury options, engine requirements all need more space, I understand that...


OK, here's a gotsha:



This the part I think that was weeping.  Anyone have any ideas?  Do you think I could use a good adhesive that doesn't

breakdown from gas?  The rubber seal is complicated it runs from the the tank surface down around the pipe for some distance.  3-5 weeks is a big window, and it might get bigger.  Any thoughts would be appreciated...


JTA from PA, you deserve all the kudos that come your way since that's all you'll get...  Keep up the good work.

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Try our board sponsor, Sunset Porsche's online parts system; currently says it is available for about $63 plus shipping: Sunset Porsche Parts Online   We have purchased parts that had to be shipped from Germany, and they offered a cheap "expedited" service that got them here pretty quick.


And just for perspective, just about every dealer and independent shop has parts on backorder these days. 

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JFP in PA...  Many thanks for that info, I'll follow up...  On further discussion today with a knowledgeable car buddy of mine he asked if there's a chance that something could be plugged up in the vent system putting more pressure on the weakest connection in the tank, in this case it would be item 28, Tube...


As of today we know the leak is occurring at the rubber flange where the fill pipe is inserted...1719406851_ScreenShot2022-03-29at11_19_40AM.png.d0a1c8f676938991155d63c9ed3f6f96.pngbber/neoprene flange, see pic...  Here's our bottom line, the tank is building pressure... My buddy Patrick has said that from the beginning, then it dawned on me that is the reason the gas cap has taken 2 hands to remove...  Plus no matter what the gas level is it continues to put out the fumes.


Then the question is, what should I do next, I've already replaced both solenoids, can they be tested out of the car?


Thanks for your help in advance...

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The fuel tank should have a venting system that uses the EVAP canister to relieve any pressure build up and vent it into the intake system to be burned.  If anything blocks this pathway, pressure can build up in the system.  As you already have the car apart, I would start checking each component of the EVAP system, the canister itself, the lines, and the valves to make sure nothing is blocked.  You need to blow some pressurized air through the lines to make sure they do not have build-up in them, which is a common occurrence on these cars.  Also check where the fuel pump enters the tank, the EVAP system should have a connection there as well.


All the electric valves can be tested outside the car, I like you use a Power Probe for stuff like this, but you can jury rig something to do the job.  The valve that normally craps out in this system is the one that lives underneath the intake of the M96/97 engine, which is also the hardest one to get to (of course). As you have a different engine in yours, I have no idea where that valve is located, but the vent line from that valve should lead to the intake system.


The EVAP system is designed to be a closed loop to prevent vapors getting into the atmosphere, the canister acts as a "storage" tank to hold the fumes until the car starts up, and they are then pulled into the intake and burned off. Normal component failures in this network typically lead to small vacuum leak codes because the closed loop is now open to the atmosphere via the intake system.  As yours is going to pressure, the vapor system is not getting rid of the fumes when it should.

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