The Spec Race Ford’s suspension maintenance includes the replacement of the tie rods. This will improve steering feel and may be necessary if the car is experiencing shunting. Begin by lifting the car up and taking off the wheel(s).
Tools and equipment
- Wrenches: 5/8″, 9/16″, 11/16″, 15mm
- Adjustable wrench
- Tie Rod End – Moog ES2287RL / Enterprise PN 261141
- Inner LH 7/16 Rod End Optional
- Tapered Drift (Optional).
- Penetrant Fluid (Optional)
- Magnetic Parts Tray (Optional).
Replacing a Tie rod
The first step in replacing the tie rod, is to remove the old one. You can remove the entire linkage if you plan to redo the suspension setup, or replace the inner rod end. Keep the rod end in place, and simply undo the tie rod.
Before you take anything out, you will first need to unlock the jam nuts with your wrenches. It is much easier to do this on the car now that nothing is moving. It is useful to have an adjustable wrench on hand as the size of the jam nuts for tie rods can vary from one unit to another.
Next, remove the tie rod from its upright. You can measure the distance between the linkage and the upright pivot to ensure that your setup is in line for reassembling.
If you’re very lucky, the tie rod may just slip out of the upright. This is not what you want. Instead, loosen the top nut. It should be 15mm, but it varies from one unit to another. You should not completely remove the nut. Next, you will need to bang the upright next to the tie rod using a hammer. This should loosen the tie rod and allow it to be removed easily. It is more likely that it will not work. To protect the threads at the tie rod’s end, place the top nut. Use the hammer to smash the tie rod and nut. Spray some penetrant liquid in the area and then walk away.
You should count how many shims were used to replace the inner rod end. To limit bump steer, you must reassemble the rod end in the same manner. Measure the distance between the rod end center and the linkage, so that you can get the toe in line when reassembling. Grab all the shims and undo the bolt that holds the rod end in its place. To prevent them from disappearing, we like to place them on the bolt. A magnetic parts tray is also useful.
Now that the linkage is removed, you can remove the rod end and the worn-out tie rod. If the threads are stuck by debris, you might need to move them back and forth.
Install a new rod end. Before installing, apply anti-seize to the threads. The new tie rod should be placed in the exact same place as the old one.
Open your new tie rod box. It should contain the tie rod, dust boots, top nut, jam nut, and top nut. If you have any of these parts missing, you can usually substitute the old tie rod with the new nuts. We have bought several tie rod ends. Sometimes they have different sizes of tops and jam nuts. It is easier to trackside service the car by having them all the same length.
Install the jam nuts and apply anti-seize to the tie rod ends. Measure the location of the old unit and thread the tie rod through the linkage.
Use the right number of shims to install the rod on its end. It can be difficult to align them properly so that the bolt slides through. To align the rod ends and shims, we use a tapered drift. Next, insert the bolt and secure the nut.
Then insert the tie rod in the upright and secure the top nut.
You will need to place the wheels back on your car and adjust the linkage length. Either do a complete setup or a quick toe check. After the toe has been set, tighten the jam nuts.