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Old 09-17-2009, 12:34 AM   #1
ShawnV
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2000 SW2
Default Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Here is a how-to guide for replacing the inner tie rods on a Saturn S-Series. I performed this on my 1997 SW2. When I replaced my outer tie rod ends, I noticed that the tie rods would drop very easily from any position Ė time for new inner tie rods!

Make sure to watch the Richpin inner tie rod walkthrough video.

First get the car up on jack stands and remove the wheels. Hereís a picture of the tie rod to remove. Note that I was also replacing my hubs, but you donít need to remove the drive shaft nut.



Remove the cotter pin and castle nut and use either a pickle fork (youíll need to replace the outer tie rod boot) or a tie-rod separator (youíre keeping your outer tie rod end boot) to remove the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle. Leave the outer tie rod end on the tie rod and just let it hang there. Next, remove the boot thatís covering the inner tie rod ball and socket. There is a spring clamp on the small end and there is a metal band on the larger end of the boot. If you canít see the connection part of the metal band, grab the boot and turn it until you can. I shoved my flathead under the end of it and it popped off. Once the metal band is off grab the boot and pull it off.



On mine there was a plastic cover covering the socket end that had me stumped as to how to remove. I mistook it for the socket itself, but just grab it and push it back. Skipping ahead, hereís a picture of the socket and the cover once it was off.





Back on trackÖ Youíll need a crow foot wrench to properly remove the tie rod. There are two flat surfaces on the socket end that will accept your wrench. I could not find anyone who had a large enough crow foot, so I fashioned my own using my cheapest 12Ē crescent and my angle grinder.



This was a pain to get in there, but it worked. I also used some channel locks to finish unscrewing the socket once it was loose.

After itís off, place in your vice and loosen the jam nut on the outer tie rod end.



Next, remove the outer tie rod end counting how many turns it takes to remove. Keep that number in mind then remove the jam nut, spring clamp from the small end of the boot, and boot. Reinstall everything onto the new tie rod, making sure to count the turns for the tie rod end.

Hereís a picture of the new and old tie rods.



Place some lock tite on the threads of the new tie rod and thread back into the steering rack. I used my wrench to snug it back up. Pull your plastic cap back over the socket end and replace the boot. I used a zip tie for the larger end of the boot where the metal strap was and replaced the spring clamp on the small end.

Here are some pictures of the passengerís side of the car. There was much more room to work from under the car on this side.







If I had not recently replaced my oil and filter I would have removed the oil filter to gain more room, but it came off all right anyway.

Reinstall everything and youíll be on your way. With any luck you wonít have messed up your alignment too much.


Some notes:

A mechanic told me I had to ďhold the steering rack or youíll break itĒ but I didnít have any problems when I was wrenching on the socket end of the tie rod.

Power steering fluid will leak out once you remove the boot, but I didnít need to add any after the replacement. Check your fluid level after a day of driving.

The tube-style inner tie rod removal tool from autozone will not work with our style inner tie rods.

The inner tie rods were $25 each from Napa.
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Old 04-07-2010, 11:16 AM   #2
cincy_14
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Thanks for posting this shawn. What size crow foot wrench fits on the flats?
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Old 04-07-2010, 02:23 PM   #3
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Another FANTASTIC way to break those 30MM axle nuts is, have a friend sit in the car, and hold the brakes down firmly.

The brakes can STOP THE ENTIRE CAR, they can certinally be used to get that axle nut off.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by cincy_14 View Post
Thanks for posting this shawn. What size crow foot wrench fits on the flats?
I wish I knew. They're huge. Perhaps the best way to find out would be to go to the auto parts store and ask to look at a replacement inner tie rod end then match it up to a wrench on the shelf.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

I did this and it is a 1 7/16 in wrench pretty big.
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Thanks! I wondered how the inner TR ends were attached to the steering rack. Now I know.
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:23 AM   #7
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Quote:
Originally Posted by kjtyo4 View Post
I did this and it is a [strike]1 7/16 in[/strike] 36mm wrench pretty big.
Fixed.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

Using an inner tie rod tool (if available) makes the job much easier. Dont know if the parts stores rent them out.
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Old 10-18-2021, 02:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: Replacing the inner tie rods S-Series

just remove the plastic cover,, WHOO!!!!! man, i was just about to enter freak out mode,, WTF, how do i remove this,, .. Thanks a million.
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