The tie rod should move, I just put a new drag link in with removable ends like a tie rod and it was a pain to line up both ends square with the parts. The tube will move by hand now and it is new. However, it is tight, not loose.
I loosen off the castle nut to the end of the threads, then hit it hard with a hammer and it usually pops out. I have just hit the bolt before, but that can cause it to bend or mushroom before it pops out so I like to leave the nut on a bit. I live in the rust belt however and have had far too many castle nuts spin out and not loosen off so I had to cut the suckers off.
You can measure the length of the rod now to get it close when you reinstall it. If the makes of the tie rod ends are the same (ya right), then you can get it pretty exact this way. One thread turn in or out is a big measurement and if you leave the other side attached, you might be exact.
If not, you have to loosen off the other end's lock nut only and the stabilizer shock so you can spin the tube to do the alignment. Lots of good penetrating oil is called for and a pipe wrench may even come in handy for turning the rod but be careful, a pipe wrench can crush. I use vise grips also for grabbing the rod, they can slip and are less prone to crushing. Though if it is that freaking tight, more penetrating oil is called for.
Then you can do the alignment right in your driveway. I use the seam of the tire as a measuring point and measure across the front of the tires as high up as I can and then across the back of the two tires. The front measurement should be about 3/16" less with 33" tires. A little less with smaller tires.
I have been using this method since 97 on this CJ with perfect tire wear.
86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG AT's, 'glass nose to tail in '00, 'New' frame,wires and plumbing in '09. Carter BBD Carbed 4.0 HO in '10.
89 YJ Renegade. BBD Carbed 4.0 HO. Locked front and rear with 33x9.5 BFG AT's
Some Canadian Bush Jeep Runs and Build Photos: http://mikeromainjeeptrips.shutterfly.com
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