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How to Replace Tie Rod 98-05 Ford Explorer

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How to Replace Tie Rod 98-05 Ford Explorer

Created on: 2010-10-13

This video will show a few methods for removing the tie rod and will show how to properly replace it. We recommend getting an alignment after this repair

  1. step 1 :Remove the wheel
    • Loosen the lug nuts
    • Raise and secure the vehicle
    • Remove the lug nuts and set the wheel aside.
    • Put the wheel under the vehicle for added security in the event of a jack failure.
  2. step 2 :Remove the brakes
    • Remove the 13 mm sockets anchoring the caliper.
    • Wire tie the caliper up out of the way.
    • Use a 15mm socket to remove the caliper bracket
    • Remove the rotor
    • Remove the dust shield with your 8 mm socket and ratchet
  3. step 3 :Remove the outer tie rod
    • Use your pliers to remove the cotter pin from the tie rod
    • Remove the nut with your 21 mm socket and ratchet
    • Pull apart the tie rod with a tie rod puller.
    • Use a paint marker to mark where the top nut on the tie rod is.
    • Use two adjustable wrenches to remove the tie rod.
  4. step 4 :Install the new tie rod
    • Apply a little loctite to the inner tie rod
    • Screw on the outer tie rod to the inner tie rod up to your paint marker mark.
    • Fill the dust boot with grease
    • Reassemble the tie rod end, replacing the nut and cotter pin.
    • Reassemble the brakes and wheel.
    • See our other videos for more detailed instructions.

Tools needed

  • 13mm Socket

    15mm Socket

    Rust Penetrant

    Jack Stands

    Liquid Thread Locker

    21mm Socket

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

    Tie Rod Puller

    8mm Socket

    Wire Ties

    Lug Wrench


    Floor Jack

    Needle nose pliers

    1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

    Wire Cutters

    Marker / Writing Utensil

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Hi, I'm Mike Green. I'm one of the owners of 1A Auto. I want to help you save time and money repairing and maintaining your vehicle. I'm going to use my 20+ year's experience restoring and repairing cars and trucks like this to show you the correct way to install parts from 1AAuto.com. The right parts installed correctly that's going to save you time and money. Thank you and enjoy the video.

In this video we'll be replacing the tie rod on this '98 Explorer same as any '95 to '01 Explorer, Navajo, and Ranger, Mazda B Series pickup, and really this is a procedure that is similar for most cars.

Tools you'll need on the Explorer: jack and jack stands, 8mm, 13mm, 15mm, 19mm, which I forgot there, 21mm sockets and ratchet, pliers, a tie rod puller which is the right way to do it. You can use a hammer but you have to be careful. Loctite, a red or black marker, and two large adjustable wrenches.

So obviously you're going to want to jack up and secure your vehicle. You can just work a screwdriver in there to pry off your cap, and these are 19mm. If you don't have impact tools, loosen your lug nuts on the ground, then raise your vehicle and secure it with a jack stand, and then remove the lug nuts. Once the lug nuts are off just pull the tire right off, and there's four bolts that basically hold the brakes on. There's one here 13mm, and one up here, and those just hold the calipers to this big bracket. There's also a 15mm bolt here, and a 15mm bolt right up here. We're just going to speed through removing those four bolts, and you pull the caliper up and off and you can wire tie it up top and then that bracket comes off with the 15mm bolts, and we'll pick it up from there.

This bracket then comes right off, and your rotor comes right off. You're going to want to take off this dust shield and its 8mm bolts. Remove this cotter pin with a pair of pliers. Needle nose usually works best but usually the best thing to do is just grab hold and break off the pin on this side. It's a 21mm bolt, and actually give it a good tug. It does come easy. We'll put our puller on there. Now you could just use a big hammer and pound this through, but we want be very careful. If you go that route, you don't want to mushroom the end of this, and then it actually won't go through your steering knuckle. Now really this is using the tie rod ball joint puller is the best way, and you'll end up tightening this up good, and pretty soon it will pop. There it goes. A couple of big adjustable wrenches here. I'll fast forward a little here as I try and mess with it to try and get the best angle to both get a good pull on the wrenches and still be able to see it with the camera.

So that's off so now I'll lock this one onto here. The new tie rod does come with a new nut here so what I'm going to do is mark really well where this nut was so that when I put the new one on I know to go right up to where I put the red marks. I'm going to put just a little bit of Loctite on here, some down here, and put the new nut on. You can tell pretty well where it was. What you want to take into account is if either this nut or the length of your new tie rod is any different, you want to adjust the position of this nut. So if your tie rod is a little shorter, you adjust it out a little bit, or if the tie rod was a little longer than your original adjust it back in. So that's about where my old one was.

Now I'll put the new tie rod on, and you want to make sure you hold this. You don't want this twisting because that is adjustment as well, and if you do this this should give you a pretty good initial alignment. I recommend you go get an alignment so you don't wear out your tires too quickly or end up wearing out the new tie rod or wearing out your ball joints or anything like that if you car's not aligned correctly. Start my bolt down here to hold this in place. Now I want to tighten the lock nut up here really good. So I'm going to now tighten up this nut to about 75 foot pounds, and tighten it up a little more to get that and get my cotter pin right through there. The cotter pin you just take it and yank it right around. Then last but not least we'll put in our grease fitting and take our pliers and tighten that up. It comes pre-greased, but you can fill it up with grease, and now we can put everything back together.

We'll kind of fast forward putting that brake shield back up and tightening up those three 8 mm bolts. We'll also fly through putting the brakes back together and your wheel back on. A couple of notes, again, you probably would want to get a alignment after you've done any steering or suspension work like this, and then also just the first time you drive your car just be very careful. You've worked on the brakes. You've worked on the steering. So make sure your car is stopping before you go fast, and make sure that there is no looseness or anything in the steering before you road test it.

If you do want to see putting your brakes back together in regular motion, just check out our front brake video. We'll put the wheel back on. Put your lug nuts on. Get them snug then lower your car to the ground. Torque them up to 90 to 100 foot pounds. Replace your cap, and you're in business.

We hope this helps you out. Brought to you by www.1AAuto.com, your source for quality replacement parts and the best service on the internet. Please feel free to call us toll free, 888-844-3393. We're the company that's here for you on the internet and in person

2004 - 2005  Ford  Explorer
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2002 - 2003  Ford  Explorer
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2004 - 2009  Mazda  B4000 Truck
1998 - 2011  Ford  Ranger
2001 - 2005  Ford  Ranger
1999 - 2001  Mazda  B2500 Truck
1998 - 2007  Mazda  B3000 Truck
1999 - 2000  Mazda  B3000 Truck
2001 - 2007  Mazda  B3000 Truck
1998 - 2009  Mazda  B4000 Truck
1999 - 2000  Mazda  B4000 Truck
2001 - 2003  Mazda  B4000 Truck
2006 - 2009  Ford  Ranger
2001 - 2005  Ford  Explorer Sport Trac
2001 - 2003  Ford  Explorer Sport
2004 - 2008  Mazda  B4000 Truck
1998 - 2008  Mazda  B4000 Truck
2002 - 2005  Ford  Explorer
1998 - 2000  Ford  Ranger
1998 - 2001  Mazda  B2500 Truck
1998 - 1998  Mazda  B3000 Truck
2010 - 2011  Ford  Ranger
2001 - 2009  Mazda  B2300 Truck
1998 - 1998  Mazda  B4000 Truck
2001 - 2002  Ford  Ranger
2002 - 2002  Ford  Ranger
2005 - 2005  Ford  Ranger
2001 - 2004  Mazda  B3000 Truck
2004 - 2004  Ford  Ranger
2006 - 2007  Ford  Ranger
1997 - 2001  Mercury  Mountaineer
1995 - 2001  Ford  Explorer
2000 - 2000  Ford  Ranger
1998 - 1999  Ford  Ranger
2001 - 2001  Ford  Explorer Sport Trac
1998 - 2000  Mazda  B2500 Truck
1998 - 2000  Mazda  B3000 Truck
1998 - 2000  Mazda  B4000 Truck
1998 - 2004  Mazda  B4000 Truck
2001 - 2003  Mazda  B2300 Truck
1998 - 2003  Mercury  Mountaineer
1998 - 2004  Mazda  B3000 Truck
1998 - 2003  Ford  Explorer
1998 - 2005  Mercury  Mountaineer
1998 - 2005  Ford  Explorer
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