Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Inner Tie Rod Replacement Cost
How Much Does a Tie Rod End Replacement - Inner Cost?
Tie Rod End Replacement - Inner Service and Cost
Tie rods are exactly what they sound like, rods that tie together two components. In automotive applications, the two components they tie together are the outer tie rod, and either a steering gear, or the center link.
There are at least two inner tie rods per vehicle, and they are components of the steering system that rarely need service. When the steering wheel is turned, inner tie rods will pivot to allow the wheel to move, and either push, or pull the wheel to steer the vehicle. They are connected to the wheel via the outer tie rod end, and experience much less wear and tear than the outer tie rod end.
When tie rods fail, and the mentioned symptoms are noticed, the vehicle, in most cases, has at least a few days to drive the vehicle before safety concerns should be raised. As the ball-in-socket joints wear out, they slowly grind away metal that will eventually allow them to separate, so driving a length of time becomes unsafe.
Inner tie rods are normally replaced from necessity after a vehicle is involved in a traffic accident where the front end or undercarriage received damage. Also, the inner tie rod end can be damaged by failing to replace a damaged outer tie rod end. When the outer tie rod end allows the wheel play, it acts as a hammer and chisel, slowing destroying the inner tie rod end ball-in-socket.
Tie Rod End Replacement - Inner Repair Information
Inner tie rod failure on steering rack type vehicle's is diagnosed when checking the undercarriage for a sign of steering and suspension component failure. If the inner tie rod has any play, meaning any movement in the ball-in-socket joint, or is otherwise physically damaged, it will be considered a loss. When removing the boot for the inner tie rod end for further inspection, the presence of power steering system fluid will indicate the steering rack is failing. For steering gearbox vehicle's, the inner tie rods will be diagnosed faulty if there is play in the joint, or if the boot will allow the entrance of dirt and debris.
Replacing the inner tie rod on a center-link (steering gearbox) style vehicle is identical to the procedure from replacing any outer ball joint. The vehicle will be lifted, and the wheel will be removed before turning the steering wheel the complete other direction. Once inner or outer tie rod is exposed, the castle nut will be removed, and a tie rod separator will be used for removal. Once removed, the tie rod simply twists off, and the new one twists on. Once the job is complete, castle nut and wheel torqued to specification, and wheel alignment completed, the vehicle will be tested to ensure the customer complaint has been resolved. Steering racks are slightly different. The vehicle is raised and stripped of the wheel, outer tie rod, steering rack inner tie rod dust boot, and finally, by use of a specialty removal tool, the inner tie rod unscrews. There may be additional components which must be removed, as they may obstruct the clear path to the steering rack inner tie rod.
When changing the inner tie rods on rack and pinion type steering gears, there is a chance of damage occurring to the steering gear, as there is no means of preventing the steering gear from twisting inside the housing when force is applied to the tie rod. This damage is not common, but when it happens, the rack and pinion assembly must be replaced.
Upon removing the steering rack dust boots, the presence of power steering fluid may indicate a failed seal, and replacement of the steering rack will be recommended.
Inner tie rod end replacement is only advised to the experienced DIYer, and the vehicle must be taken for an alignment immediately after the repair. Inner tie rods on rack and pinion steering gears require specialty tools, and are not commonly replaced. They are most commonly replaced in the event of physical damage, in which case a certified technician should inspect the vehicle for damage, and safe operation.