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Old 03-19-2013, 08:28 PM   #1
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tie rods are loose on my 1999 ford super duty

hello all,


My front wheels on my 1999 ford e super duty have had a lot of play so I bought a new steering damper, while I was installing it I noticed the tie rods were loose, is this normal? if not could I replace them myself or is it to difficult?
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:32 PM   #2
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I had an 01 and had to replace the front end twice in 10 years. Had to replace tie rods and ball joints. I didn't do it myself, so not sure how hard of a job it is for a do-it-yourselfer.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:34 PM   #3
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hello all,


My front wheels on my 1999 ford e super duty have had a lot of play so I bought a new steering damper, while I was installing it I noticed the tie rods were loose, is this normal? if not could I replace them myself or is it to difficult?
You should be able to if you have a 'pickle fork' to break them loose. Otherwise I would take it to a front end shop and have them do it. It will have to be re-aligned anyway after they're replaced.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:48 PM   #4
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You should be able to if you have a 'pickle fork' to break them loose. Otherwise I would take it to a front end shop and have them do it. It will have to be re-aligned anyway after they're replaced.

What he said.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #5
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I would say that's pretty good for a '99. You should have a left and right tie rod and a tie rod at each end of the drag link. I imagine your drag link is the type where you have to replace the whole link with integral tie rod at one end. You could also have worn ball joints. Have someone rock the steering wheel back and forth and look for movement or touch where the ball joint is and feel for movement. Ball joints can be done yourself but unless have you have a good set of tools and study up on google, it can be a daunting job for the less mechanically inclined. You might even have a worn steering box which isn't too hard to re & re. A tiny bit of play in all the joints can really add up and give you some sloppy tracking.

A lot of the parts can be found on ebay for a decent price. You might take a look at a website like Ford Parts, Lincoln Parts, & Mercury Parts - Genuine OE Parts and Accessories direct from Lakeland Ford | Wholesale Ford Parts which has exploded diagrams and part numbers which can help in your parts search. And there's lots of youtube videos that will outline what you need to do. For a few more bucks at somewhere like Harbor Freight, I'd pass on the pickle fork and get a tie rod separator.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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... I'd pass on the pickle fork and get a tie rod separator.
From the neck of the woods I came from, they are one and the same.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:38 PM   #7
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Ayup, same pony different name. Do yourself a favor and go onto the Ford Truck Enthusiast forum and ask away. They might have pics and detailed instructions. It's going to boil down to just how comfortable you are with truck repair. It's not a difficult task, just detailed and time consuming. I did it on my 4X4 F350 between snow storms in the garage with hand and air tools. A torch came in handy too. Check out this link:
Super Duty & Heavy Duty - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:16 PM   #8
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A tie rod separator is like a 2-legged puller with fixed legs and you turn the bolt on the end. Won't damage anything this way and is easier to use.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:39 PM   #9
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A tie rod separator is like a 2-legged puller with fixed legs and you turn the bolt on the end. Won't damage anything this way and is easier to use.
Used a pickle fork for over 55 yrs and never damaged anything other than a few times I hit my hand with the hammer.

Also used it on race cars with expensive shocks to change shocks when they used the tapered studs. Never damaged them either. Pickle fork is a lot faster IMO.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:40 PM   #10
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How do you determine loose. If they swivel like a ball joint that's what they are supposed to do. If you can take a large pair of channel locks and compress them that's not OK. Basically the ball joint socket and/or ball are worn out. Fairly simple to change. The pickle fork will work fine for most joints. It will ruin the rubber boot which holds the grease but that's OK because you are going to change it. Before you begin count the number of threads exposed on your old ones and put the new ones back exactly. That will change your toe adjustment if you don't get them back correctly.
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