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How Do You Replace The Outer Tie Rods 1998 Ls400


richardkwon
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OK guys, it's been a year and a half since I've had to repair anything but now the outer tie rods are in need of replacement. Typical symptoms include popping over speed bumps, popping/click when turned all the way left or right and just a slight bit of wandering at highway speeds. Visual inspection shows the outer tie rod boots are now torn and compared to the new tie rods, there is some play. I've purchased new tie rods and was ready to go today thinking this would be an easy 1 hr job. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get the tie rod off. I loosened the nut that attaches to the rack. You have to hold the tie rod with a 21mm wrench and then using a 19mm wrench turn the nut right.

Today I got as far as unscrewing the castle nut but could not take the nut totally off because the brake caliper was interfering and in the way so the nut will loosen almost to the end but cannot come off. This is seconday because once the tie rod is loosened, there should then be enough room to be able to take the nut completely off. My problem is the tie rod won't budge. I tried the hammer trick but it still won't move. Also, the tie rod castle nut is in the up position. Is this correct for this car? Most tie rods I've seen have the castle nut at the bottom. Any tips on how to remove the tie rod? The sledge hammer trick has worked for me in the past for other cars but not this one. Maybe I'm babying it too much and not hitting it hard enough? And in order to get the nut off, would turning the wheel all the way left or right allow room for the nut to come off? I figure if the tie rod becomes undone, there will be space for the nut to come off.

Perhaps a trip to Autozone and the purchase of a Pitman puller is in order? The pictures attached are the passenger side.

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