Saturday, May 3, 2014

Yeah, I can do that in my Garage.

I recently had to do some work on my truck.  The pitman arm bolt sheered off.  After I repaired that I took it in for an alignment and was told that I needed new tie rods and that it would only cost $540 to repair.  Hating to pay extra for the same parts bothers me so I looked on Summit Racing and the parts were $145, so I bought them and did the repairs in my driveway.

First things first, I had to jack up the truck to take the wheels off.  While jacking up a vehicle is generally not a big issue, add a 6 inch lift to a Chevrolet 2500HD and it gets a little more interesting.  I assure you that this was OSHA approved, notice the jack stand to stop the 9,000 lb vehicle from crushing anything or anyone who may have been underneath it.

After jacking up the wheels I had to remove the old tie rods.  They come in two parts the inner tie rod and the outer tie rod, but rather than waste time I removed them both at the same time.

To remove the outer tie rod end simply remove the nut off the bolt that goes through the steering knuckle and give it a whack with a hammer, or use a tie rod puller.  As I had purchased a pitman arm puller, which is essentially the same as a tie rod end puller, i used that.  As you can see the old one was in bad shape.

The inner tie rod end screws into hole in the middle of the picture.

To remove the inner tie rod you need a 35mm wrench or a 12' redneck speed wrench (cresent wrench).  I ran into a small issue that I could not put enouch torque on the wrench to loosen it, and my cheater bar was too long to fit.  After looking around I saw my come-along and hooked one end to the wrench and other other to the frame of the truck and it quickly loosened the inner tie rod end.

My least favorite instruction is one that states "reverse the process"  This is usually the instruction that comes after detailed instructions on how to disassemble some part of your vehicle.  After three pages of instructions to take it apart, the instructions to put it back together, are less than a full sentence and simply state "Reverse the Process".  Trust me it is never that easy.  Nevertheless, I got them both done in the morning.

Finished Product.  A couple of hours and I saved $400.00 and a little of my sanity, if there is any left.
Shiny new parts.
Now for an alignment and all done.  I used to be afraid to work on my own vehicles, the fear of screwing it up held me back.  But after reading the shop manual and the official ASE certified instructions were to hit the part with a hammer, I realized I would have to really do something wrong to screw it up. 

Now all I need is a project vehicle in the garage, that should make Mrs. Zed1000 really happy.

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