Now, from what I can surmise based on my FSM, my 95 ZJ Laredo has four tie rods in the front. Two inner, two outer. I'm planning this Friday to get the last of my four new tires installed, and wanted to replace what might be old worn out tie rods as well just before getting the tires.
Having looked beneath my jeep, I can see the four tie rods and steering dampener, and the ones which look the worse off are the two outer rods connected to the steering knuckles. As I don't exactly have the budget to just outright replace all four tie rods (otherwise I'd have replaced all four wheels at once instead of spreading out) I'm thinking if after the cost of tires the tie rods are still manageable, I'll get them.
My question therefore are the ones which follow:
1) While it's only a short drive between here and the tires shop, I'd rather not have them too out of alignment to start. I see alingment is based on a sleeve. Is there a good way to preserve the alingment there already, or is it just basically counting how many times I rotate the tie rods to get out?
1.1) additionally, since I'm replacing possibly both outer rods, should I replace the adjusting sleeve to to be safe, or would that not be needed?
2) when it comes to removing the old tie rods, Ive done them sort of before. What I used to do on my old vehicle (which only had 2, not 4) was twist the castle nut upside down to create a flat surface, then bang at it with a hammer. However, as the jeep has additional ends to be aware of, should I invest in the tie rod removal tool? Or is the hammer trick still okay for budget mechanic?
3) about how long would one estimate the replacement of the two outer tie rods to be? Time wise?
That's it for now. Any advice welcome and will ask more as I think of more