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Unread 07-24-2011, 09:45 PM   #1
jamin2dmb
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2004 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Long Beach, New York
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Drag Link and Tie Rod Ends

I purchased new ends along with nnew sleeves so I dont have to mess around with taking the old ends off the old sleeve.

My questions are:

1. I dont have jack stands. Can I remove and install these parts with the truck on tthe ground?

2. What tools will I need to remove the existing parts?


I own a 2004 WJ, 4.7l

Thanks. Any tips or advise you can give would be greatly appreciated.

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Unread 07-25-2011, 06:57 AM   #2
tbone1004
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big channel locks or vice grips.
pipe wrench most likely
pickle forks
Lots of PB blaster
various sockets, can't remember but think 15 and 18's
torque wrench
tie rod end puller doo flotchy
tape measure
string
more pb blaster
grease gun if your things have greaseable nuts on them
lots more pb blaster
and anti-seize compound is highly recommended

I'm probably missing something... If you go to advance auto or whoever they will often loan out various kits and I know the one around me has a tie rod puller and the pickle forks for their free loan program.
Google is your friend on this, I believe Rusty's offroad has a good writeup for a TJ and that applies to ours as well
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Unread 07-25-2011, 08:27 AM   #3
4Tom
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It's possible to remove while it's on the ground but a lot more difficult.
Axle stands are cheap and you will use them over and over so worth getting. Plus you don't want to be under the jeep if jack slips. Get the 3 ton ones.

Ball joint pickle fork and 2 to 5 lb hammer
Will separate the tie rod ball joints.
Remove split pin and nut. Push pickle fork in and give it a couple sharp blows with hammer it will pop out.

Socket set. You might need a breaker bar as nuts can be very stiff. Some penetrating oil helps.

As previous post said measuring tape
So you can adjust tie rods and sieves to same length as old.

When your finished get it aligned in shop.

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Unread 07-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #4
jamin2dmb
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Thanks guys

Is the Tie Rod End Puller necessary? Can't I remove the existing end with a hammer and pickle fork?
Is there special instructions when removing the end that's connected to the Pitman arm?
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Unread 07-25-2011, 09:48 AM   #5
billzcat1
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The pickle fork works ok but I picked up the "Forged Ball Joint Separator" from Harbor Freight for $20 and it is one of the best specialty tools I've ever used. It is very easy to use and makes pulling tie rod ends a snap (literally). Another great thing about it is that you don't damage the tie rod ends at all when using it (unlike heat, hammering, and pickle fork) so if you are just disassembling something and NOT replacing tie rod ends, you don't booger them all up. I really recommend it and I don't know why I DIY'd so many jobs without it.

Oh also, yes you can do the job on the ground, but personally I find it easier to access the tie rod ends with the tires removed.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 09:48 AM   #6
ArloGuthroJeep
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Ditch the pickle fork. They hardly work. You'll notice that the knuckles have a flat spot on them. Remove the cotter pin, undo most of the castle nut, and wack the flat spots (not the bolt/nut/tie rod end) with a BFH until it falls out. MUCH easier than a pickle fork.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 06:28 PM   #7
tegster1
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Just do what Arlo said. I just replaced all of my tie rod ends and whacked away. Only took a few hits and they just fell right out. There is a video on youtube showing the exact same thing. You are going to have some issues, leaving the wheels on, though trying to get the outers off/on.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #8
ArloGuthroJeep
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Surely you have a jack?

Jack up a corner, take the wheel off, put the tire/wheel under the axle, lower the axle/jack so the axle is resting on the tire.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 07:02 PM   #9
billzcat1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbone1004 View Post
I believe Rusty's offroad has a good writeup for a TJ and that applies to ours as well
Actually, TJs use a significantly different steering setup with the "Inverted Y" geometry also found on ZJ/XJ/LJ/MJ models. While the fundamentals are similar, the actual geometry is much different. On a TJ, the drag link connects to the right front knuckle and the tie rod connects the left front wheel to a point in the middle of the drag link. On the WJ, the drag link connects to the right front knuckle and the tie rod connects the left and right knuckles completely independently of the drag link.
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Unread 07-25-2011, 07:07 PM   #10
4Tom
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I done all four tie rods with fork and it made light work of separating them.
as pointed out it does damage the rubber covers on tie rods. No a problem if replacing but a no good if you wanted to reuse the tie rod.

Hammer only method also works, hitting what it goes through with a BFH. as shown in the video (great video)


I didn't feel comfortable bashing the pith-man with hammer as its directly connected to steering gear box... The ball joint separator is good price and would be ideal here.

Its really down to yourself what you are most comfortable with using.

The real difficult part is removing tie rods from sleeves but as you got this covered it should go much quicker for you.

best of luck
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Unread 07-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #11
shepd
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A real Tie Rod End Separator (not a pickle fork) will make this job so easy you'll laugh at anyone telling you it is hard. When you use it, it'll make the job so much fun the $20 will be worth it for the entertainment value alone (the entertainment of laughing at people using hammers and pickle forks). I mean it! If you are careful, you can even use the TRE separator on the tie rod connecting to the pitman arm, it will just barely fit (mine did). That means ZERO damage to the steering box. Very nice!

I found the job very easy since I replaced all the parts, which you are too. If you're not replacing all the parts, it's a pain in the ***. Using an impact wrench on the TRE Separator made it real fun, literally the TRE will "explode" out its connection to the wheel. Might not want to do that if you're not replacing all the TREs.

You'll just need a set of wrenches, possibly two sets depending on what you bought. And you might want a grease gun if you got grease-able joints.

Count the number of threads showing and match it with the new ones. Half of the TREs are left-hand thread.

I also recommend plenty of anti-seize.

Don't forget to get an alignment immediately after. Don't put it off.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:05 PM   #12
jamin2dmb
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Thanks for your replies. They are very helpful. I don't have a grease gun, but I can buy one. Can I drive to an alignment with out greasing it up then have them grease it there? Does AdvancedAutoParts Sell thos TRE separators or ball joint separators?
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Unread 07-26-2011, 06:10 PM   #13
tegster1
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My tie rod ends had grease in them but I did them anyway to be sure. Green came out and whitish went in.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 06:27 PM   #14
tbone1004
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having a grease gun around is very handy and a worthwhile investment. Make sure you at least get the alignment close before you drive to the shop. You can wear tires out REAL fast with a bad alignment and it can pull all over the place
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Unread 07-26-2011, 09:21 PM   #15
shepd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamin2dmb View Post
Thanks for your replies. They are very helpful. I don't have a grease gun, but I can buy one. Can I drive to an alignment with out greasing it up then have them grease it there? Does AdvancedAutoParts Sell thos TRE separators or ball joint separators?
Any shop claiming to be an auto parts shop will have them. ANY shop.

And while you're there buy some jack stands. Really. Never work under a vehicle only on a jack (and never use crap like cinder blocks!) 3 1/2 ton ones will be plenty enough to start with (you could get away with 2 1/2 ton ones, but they will be a little short for everything) and should be good enough for most jobs. If you have more money, buy 6 ton stands, but honestly, I doubt you'll need them for a long time, and you'd need to buy a jack that can jack high enough to get the extra height out of them.

I suppose you could get someone else to grease it for you, but the labour will cost more than the gun and the grease (They'd probably charge you the price of an oil change, since really nice shops will grease the chassis when they do an oil change). The greasing is the really easy part, so if you're going to do this yourself, why give them the gravy job?

If you buy the parts from RockAuto, and you buy the tools on the cheap (Habor Freight or something similar in your area?), this job is going to cost you $200 or so. Compare that to a shop where they're probably going to charge you at least $100 per TRE (parts included), maybe more (I know in Canada you'd not find a shop that'd do the work for under $150 parts included, more like $200, but parts are priced something crazy here).

A little suggestion, since you've not jacked up the Jeep--I found on mine that the frame would bend if I rested it directly on the jack stands. Not good. So I put a small bit of scrap 2x4 between the stand and the frame. No more bending! Held up just fine.
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