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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Tie Rod Ends

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$11 to $45

Talent:

**

Tools:

13mm socket, 13mm wrench, 17mm wrench, needle nose pliers, separating tool, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench, lug wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R107 (1972-80)

Parts Required:

Tie rod end Pelican Parts #000-338-50-10-M69 (left hand threaded), 000-338-52-10-M69 (right hand thread) Lemforder or 000-338-50-10-MBZ (left hand thread) Mercedes Benz

Hot Tip:

Use plenty of penetrating oil, mark threads, and align wheels when complete

Performance Gain:

Better handing, less vibration, smoother ride, and increased tire life

Complementary Modification:

Replace or upgrade shock absorbers

As you steer your car you are rotating a steering wheel. That steering wheel is connected to a steering shaft, which transmits your steering inputs to a power steering gearbox. This gearbox uses the hydraulic pressure from the power steering pump to move the steering gear. The steering gear moves the Pitman arm to the left and to the right. The Pitman arm is attached to your center link and also moves back and forth with your steering inputs. At each end of the center link there are tie rod ends that connect the center link to the spindles. The tie rod ends are sometimes called track rod ends. Over time the tie rod ends can wear out from all the steering and suspension movement. When a tie rod end wears out the spindle is allowed to wobble while the car is in a turn under load. This can cause a vibration in the steering wheel and uneven tire wear.

The tie rod ends can be replaced separately although we recommend you replace all of them at once. In addition, there is a connecting sleeve that connects both inner and outer tie rods together and also allows the distance between the two to change for your toe adjustment. Due to rust and corrosion on the tie rod threads it is very difficult to break the rust free and thread out the individual tie rods.

These fasteners are going to be tight, and there may not be a lot of room to swing the wrench. You are going to have to be patient and use some force to remove fasteners and components to rebuild your front end. Corrosion may hold a component in even after you have loosened a fastener. Keep in mind the joint may pop out when you use a removal tool so keep your hands clear and wear protective gloves.

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle. You have to remove the tires to perform this job, and it does make access much easier since you may not have access to an automotive lift. See our tech article on jacking and supporting your vehicle properly for removing the front tires.

The procedure to replace the front tie rod ends are the same for both the left and right sides. These pictures are of the left side of the vehicle. It is recommended you replace both sides at the same time to keep your handling neutral. Tie rod ends can either be right hand threaded or left hand threaded. Make sure you know which one you are looking to replace.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Before you do any work on your car it is important that you wear safety glasses and work gloves. If you have to jack up your car, make sure to use jack stands and chock your wheels as well as applying the parking brake. Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. Always disconnect the battery before working on your car.

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle.
Figure 1

Lift and support the front axle of the vehicle. Place a jack stand under the lower control arm. You have to remove the tires to perform this job, which makes access much easier since you may not have the use of an automotive lift. See our tech article on jacking and supporting your vehicle and removing the front tires. 

I placed a jack stand under the chassis as well.
Figure 2

I placed a jack stand under the chassis as well. The procedure to replace the front tie rod ends is the same for both the left and right sides. These pictures are of the passenger side of the vehicle. It is recommended you replace both sides at the same time to keep your handling neutral. Placing a jack stand under the chassis provides additional safety.

The tie rod end is connected with a crown bolt held in place with a Cotter pin.
Figure 3

The tie rod end is connected with a crown bolt held in place with a Cotter pin. Using a pair of needle nose pliers, remove the Cotter pin.

Using a 17mm wrench, loosen and remove the crown bolt.
Figure 4

Using a 17mm wrench, loosen and remove the crown bolt.

Using a separating tool, apply slow pressure to remove the connecting bolt.
Figure 5

Using a separating tool, apply slow pressure to remove the connecting bolt.

The tie rod is now free.
Figure 6

The tie rod is now free.

Using a 13mm socket and 13mm wrench, loosen the screw which secure the tie rod end.
Figure 7

Using a 13mm socket and 13mm wrench, loosen the screw which secure the tie rod end.

Using paint, tape or even sidewalk chalk (which is what I had that was handy), mark where the threads end and the rod begins.
Figure 8

Using paint, tape or even sidewalk chalk (which is what I had that was handy), mark where the threads end and the rod begins. This will provide a guide to how far to turn the new tie rod end in. You can also count the threads.

Unscrew the tie rod end.
Figure 9

Unscrew the tie rod end. It is now free to be replaced. Installation is the reversal of removal.

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