Inner tie rods and boot clamp questions

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Old 05-28-08, 08:57 AM
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Question Inner tie rods and boot clamp questions

Howdy all,

I'm going to be replacing my ball joints and tie rod assemblies on my 2000 VW Jetta 2.0L 4 cylinder. The car has 150k+ miles and while I've changed the ball joints before, these are the original tie rods (inners, anyway). There's some noise in the front end (struts are newer already), and while I've not jacked the car up and grabbed a tire and shook, it's probably a good idea to replace these parts. From what I remember lower control arm bushings seem to be intact and in good shape too. Basically, the car's been squirrely for a long time and I've lost the feeling of the road. When it was younger and rock solid I could tell when the tires were about to lose grip and could 'feel' the general road conditions. This was nice and it felt good that I had a connection with what I was driving on, and that's been gone for a long time. I want that back, as best as I can, that is.

I've purchased a special inner tie rod socket tool (think SUPER deep well socket, PIC Here) and a boot clamp tool (Pic here). Removing the hub and getting at the tie rod shouldn't be too much of a problem, and while I'm already in there I decided to replace the ball joints. 4 bolts later, I should have that part done. One curious thing about tie rod removal is that my Bentley manual says that I should remove the whole rack from the car. Like that's going to happen! The pictures show 2 wrenches, one to hold onto the part coming outta the rack, and the other on the tie rod itself. If I'm careful not to yank it around much, I see it happening right on the car. Plus, your local fix-it shop isn't going to remove the whole thing either. The inner rod is only torqued on to about 75ft/lbs, if I remember correctly, so it shouldn't be too difficult.

Ok, I seem to be rambling... Sorry.

Anyway, like I said before, I have one of those band clamp tools that uses a socket wrench to draw up the slack, but I have ZERO idea how to use it. Also, where should I get the bands? I'll need 2 larger and 2 smaller bands. From looking at the manual each one has a section that juts out of the otherwise perfect circle and resembles a rectangle on the outside. I assume that this is the area where all the tightening will occur. What about an open type clamp? I doubt it really makes a difference what type I use. Though, my tool's probably for the open type band only, and should focus on those types.

Anyone have any tips regarding the removal of the inner tie rod?
Here's what I'm going to do....
Assume that the hub has been unbolted from the car already using the 12 pt. socket. Once I remove the tie rod end (keeping a close eye on the position on the threads), I'll need to cut the bands on the inner tie rod boot, and slide it off. From here, insert the inner tie rod tool, apply another wrench to the part coming from the rack and loosen. Unscrew old one, screw in new one, tighten to appropriate pressure. Should I use any thread locker in this? Insert big ring, boot, then small ring onto new tie rod end. Fit boot to proper location on rack, tighten clamp (HOW does my tool work?). Is any lubrication necessary inside the boot, similar to a CV joint boot? Probably not, but I'm just checking. Screw on tie rod end to the correct depth, attach as required to hub. Get the rest put back together... That sounds about right, yeah?

I understand that it's a very good idea to get an alignment too because you can never be perfect with these.

Thanks for the hand holding! I appreciate any tips and suggestions that you might have.

Thanks!
SkydiverMN
 
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Old 05-28-08, 02:39 PM
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might read up here on cv boot:
http://www.aa1car.com/library/2004/bf100434.htm
 
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Old 05-28-08, 07:49 PM
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First of all, I believe you have the wrong tool for this job. The band clamp tool that you have is not the proper tool for the type of clamp you have described. The correct tool will look like a pair of bull nose cutters but the "blades" will not come together, instead there will be a small plate in the center between the "blades" that will allow the top of the crimp to stop rather than fold over or crimp incorrectly.
There is no lubrication required. I would definately not use thread locker. Other than these few suggestions you have it pretty much under control. I do however have one recommendation... Before you replace anything unnecessarily you should really consider properly diagnosing the real problem. Just replacing parts can get very expensive and can be a big headache when you spend all of the time and money and it doesnt fix the problem.
One thing I do know from experience on these vehicles is that they had an issue with the upper strut mounts wearing out and causing noise and other issues.
Hope this helps ya,
Billy

P.S. I would definately recommend an alignment.
 
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Old 05-28-08, 09:42 PM
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clamp tool

You have a link or picture for the tool you're describing?

Thanks!
 
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Old 06-16-08, 09:59 AM
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Did you do this job? Have the exact same thing staring me in the face - with side-side wheel movement (hands at 9 and three) with no up-down/top and bottom movement (hands at 12 and 6). In this case the car only has 113k but the outer tie rods are really rusted to the inner and will NOT come apart - otherwise i don't think i'd bother with the inner for this one.

I also bought the inner tie-rod arm from Harbor Freight - the instruction say to use some of the blue Loc-Tite on the inner threads - no mention of holding the rack side, won't the other side being connected serve that purpose?? Guessing my ignorance might be showing at this point...

As for the tie rod boot, when discussing with local NAPA, I was told to just use zip-ties on the tie-rod boot - making sure the boot is back in the groove. I realize this sounds cheesy but this is WI - i mean, this guy has given me good advice in the past - thoughts on this?? (PS - the clamps are available at any auto parts store - the good stores will also sell you the crimper - although it is about $30. I'm gonna try the zips unless i get totally clobbered by this post with new/better info).

Question; how do you know which rack you have? They have two styles; TRW or ... i forget and don't have my notes. I took the boot off (yup, it's zip-tied back on for now) and it appear that my inner tie rod threads OVER the steering gear piece ... is that a TRW??

Finally, can you give me the exact torque spec for the inner rod?

Thanks,
Warren
 
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Old 06-16-08, 10:39 AM
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Thumbs up update

I haven't done my repair yet due to a goofy price match issue with AutoPartsWarehouse.com. They sold me the same parts as AutoHausAZ.com (I love these guys) for almost $100 more, and I thought that was ridiculous. I sent back the APW parts and got the AHAZ stuff (209 vs. 115), PLUS AZ included all the bolts, etc! I can't say enough about the AZ guys. Sure, shameless plug, but they're here to help and give you everything you need. That's how you stay in business.

You shouldn't need too much pressure to unscrew the inner tie rod. I don't have the exact figure, but I think it's only using 50ish ft/lbs. I'd give it constant torque, vs. giving it a fast yank when pulling it off. Then again, I haven't seen what it looks like in there yet to see if there's a place to put another tool on the rack side.

Okay, don't worry about the ziptie. It'll work just fine. Personally, I have the self locking (like a ziptie) metal ties that use a ratcheting action tool to tighten. It's crazy easy to use, and the instructions were printed on the back of the tool. There are some cool tools that can cut the excess too, but these are expensive. Mine's all manual, and I'm okay with that.

Now, I don't know about one version of inner tie rod or another. I didn't realize this could be a possibility, nor did the parts people ask which one I had. Perhaps it's listed by year, and the website took this into consideration? What year vehicle do you have? My vehicle's replacement tie rods have the male, threated end on the inner tie rod, but I'm not sure if these'll match what's on the car right now. Also, I purchased a big crescent wrench that would fit the replacement part so I'm hoping to forego the special tool. I do have it on backorder from HF, but I'll cancel this if I can work it with what I have. From what I've read, this should work too, so it'll save me $45.

I hope to give it a go and do the replacement in the next day or so, and I'll post pics and stuff on a website so others can easily get the lowdown. Do you have any pics of your car's inner tie rod assembly?

I'll let you know soon... Thanks!
 
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Old 06-16-08, 10:53 AM
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VW Jetta Tie Rod Assembly Replacement

It's gonna be tight getting a wrench on the rack side of teh inner tie rod - hope that's not necessary. It might be possible to slip one up through the support bracketry but it sure doesn't look like a straight shot!

The car belongs to friends - they say it's a '99-1/2 Jetta GL 2.0 w/5-spd manual - so not being totally up on the 'dubs i'd guess it's the "newer" (gen 4?) body style. I unclamped the boot and pulled it down to get a good look - but i didn't take a pic (and i brought me camera for that too - DOH). I can post the new one and will if it looks the same ... speaking of which

The local VW dealer is selling me the inner/outer assembly for $102/side - and they have them waiting for me right now. This was cheaper than at least one other parts store here (Madison, WI). Are you saying that the AZ parts were $115 total - for both sides?! With shipping? How do i find them and how fast do they ship ... 'cause i'm committed to doing this job over the coming weekend...

Thanks,
Warren
 
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Old 06-16-08, 11:43 AM
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Thumbs up Auto Parts

Here's their website: http://www.autohausaz.com/

Here are the parts that I got for the 2000 VW Jetta GLS 2.0, 5 speed. 99.5-mid 2005 are all the same. I'm not sure about 2004 or 2005, but for us it doesn't make a difference.

2 1J0407175 Ball Joint; Front Left/Right; Retainer/Lock Plate for Ball Joints
1 1J0407365C Ball Joint; Front Left for Control Arm
1 1J0407366C Ball Joint; Front Right for Control Arm
1 1J0422803B Tie Rod Assembly; Left
1 1J0422804B Tie Rod Assembly; Right

You won't need the top line item, because it's included in the ball joints, but I didn't know. They also include the required bolts too. That was unexpected and it saved me a trip to get those. All the parts appear to be new, and nothing on the website says otherwise.

I spent $114.xx for ALL the above parts with free shipping. Can you believe that S#!t? The tie rod assemblies are all Meyle/Moog, while the ball joints are Meyle/Febi-Bilstein. From what I remember, they're all made and imported from Germany. Sounds good to me....

We basically have the exact same car, so you should be able to just use the part numbers and get what you need. Unless there's a difference in parts based on color.... Give the site a look and let me know if you see something that I (we) might need.

Oh, one thing that I've found from the autopartswarehouse.com site and three or four others... It seems to me that there are a bunch of auto parts sites that might look different (graphics, company name, etc), but they must pull their info from the same database because they literally have the exact same part layout, same prices, and pictures. I personally think that this is one parent company with 'doing business as' child companies that are all at the top of search engines. No matter who you hit at the top of the Google list, you're bound to get one of their businesses. Years ago I found the AZ place, but I forgot about it on this most recent purchase. Just my thoughts on the whole online buying experience.

Good luck!
 
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Old 06-16-08, 10:04 PM
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WOW, unreal prices! Plus - TRW is the mfr for the steering gear/rack so this is the shizzle! Thank you for the tip!! even with expedited (3 days to WI) shipping I'll save over $100 on just the tie rod assemblies alone ... like i said UNREAL. Keep the thread up-to-date and i'll do the same.
ps - the parts guy at VW also strongly hinted that the zip ties will work on the dust boots - just get make sure they're seated back in the groove (2nd guy to emphasize that point - must be a problem with folks??).
 
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Old 06-18-08, 08:49 AM
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Talking Throwin' in the towel....

Okay, so for all my yappin' I decided to not do anything... WHAT? Yeah, so my whole point of all this was to just replace some older components, despite them working mostly fine. There's some front suspension noise over the occassional bump and some looseness in the steering but otherwise my ride's fine.

So, there's no 9-3 o'clock or 12-6 o'clock movement in my tires, so that alone should tell me to not mess... Nope, gotta do something. I get under the car and remove the inner tie rod boot, which is a serious s#!t storm (at least for me...) seeing there's just no room, despite my child-sized adult hands. Overall, the big issue that I decided to just have a beer and enjoy my non busy time was that my outer tie rod was totally frozen and I ruined the hex bottom and threads and I didn't want to cut the nut off seeing it was already late...

A few things that I've learned:
A strong zip tie will work just fine as a replacement for the metal strap/band. Just make sure it's one of those that you can't break just by pulling on it. I think the one that I used was 14"-16" long and maybe 5/16" wide. Once it was torqued on there, it wasn't going anywhere.
Turn your wheel to the opposite direction for whatever wheel you'll work on. Working on the left? Turn the wheel all the way to the right. I don't have a clue how you can get at all this stuff without doing this.
For my year VW (2000 Jetta GLS 2.0, 5 sp) I needed a minimum 35mm opening crescent wrench. It's a 12" or 14" long one, part of a kit that I got at Harbor Freight, and it was able to bite onto the big nut-like inner tie rod 'thing' at an oblique angle. I couldn't get perpendicular to the nut from below, which would have been ideal, and had to almost have the end of the wrench pointing at me, rotating up into the wheel well. It didn't take too much to break free, so there's no special inner tie tod tool that's absolutely necessary.
Sorry, about not posting pics, etc. Yeah, I'm a quitter... Perhaps, I'll tackle this when I have torn boots and leaking seals. Priorities, my friends, priorities... Good luck with your tinkering!

Thanks,
SkydiverMN
 
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Old 06-21-08, 08:59 AM
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Got mine done, last nite, both sides. Had to cut the D/S as it would not come apart. I was somewhat cheating in that
a) i had access to a car lift
b) air tools
c) a few smart/tenacious/badgering friends

Lessons:
1) Start the zip tie on the inner part of the dust boot before you slide it back into position
2) You don't (appear) to need to hold rack/steering gear for this job (i didn't - what woe will befall me???)
3) AZ AutoHaus has unbelievable prices, free shipping, and it got here on time!

My biggest problem was that the outer ends spun in the steering knuckle - luck to have got a Vise-Grip on that top shaft (and thanks for teh 675 ft lb double hammer impact wrench (again HF - like the inner tool - that was super slick (I guess i'm lucky enuff to have a HF store nearby - they had it in stock - sure made the job EASY - especially the torquing (I went to 50 ft lb and used some blue Loc-Tite (tm 3-M).

This was an easy job with the right tools. I figure that i got this done for about $210 out of pocket (and that included the $21 repair manual (which didn't even cover the inner tie-rod removal!), $40-ish dollar tool, $84 for parts (w/expedited shipping - otherwise this would have been less than $70), and $63 for an alignment - scheduled for ... Now!

Bye and good luck!
 
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Old 06-25-08, 02:53 PM
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Question Frozen nuts, and it's not even winter here in MN....

Had to cut the DS?

Wow, how nice it must be to have a lift...

I have a Harbor Freight nearby too, but I'm not following how you got your outer tie rods to stop spinning. When I've done this in the past, I've used a hex wrench to fit into the bottom while I used a vise grip to loosen the nut. This time the hex part got all wasted and useless. Did you do something to the top of the tie rod to hold the bolt from spinning, or simply torque the living sheeeit outta it with your impact wrench and that was enough? I'm not sure if there's even anything to hold onto on the top of the tie rod end. Its covered by a rubber dust cap or something that I've never attempted to remove it... Is this what you were talking about?

Thanks.
 
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Old 07-28-08, 08:08 PM
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This is probably too late being a month later - but I got the outer tie rod end to stop spinning by clamping the vise-grip on the top of the shaft going thru the steering knuckle (part under the dust boot) and then used the impact on the nut (bottom end). you have to waste that dust-boot on the top - but u got a new one anyway.
 
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