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OT! Audi outer tie rod end seized

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  • OT! Audi outer tie rod end seized

    My wife's new-to-her Audi A4 needed an outer tie rod end to pass MD inspection, so, since I have the alignment done by a shop, I decided to do both tie rod ends at the same time. The right side, ie. the bad one was fairly easy. I clamped the old and new ones side by side in V blocks so I could position the jam nut in the same position to keep the alignment as close as possible.

    The other side, however, is being troublesome. The configuration of the 'rod end is a long threaded stud with jam nut which is attached to the ball joint with a metalastic junction. You loosen the jam nut, then use the 18mm hex on the outer end of the inner tie rod to unscrew it from the stud of the outer tie rod.

    I gave it a mighty twist, and knowing that once the metalastic bushing let go ther was no easy way to apply torque, once it didn't move, I applied some heat and AeroKroil to the face of the threaded interface. I kept at it, and finally detected movement.

    That would be the threaded stud rotating in the metalastic bush. Damn.

    I took a moment to consider things before continuing. I realized that the jam nut could serve purpose the other way, so I wound it all the way out to the end of the threads, locked the inner tie rod with an 18mm wrench and and clamp, and applied a 22mm wrench to the jam nut. More heat, more AeroKroil...nothing.

    I'm down to a couple possibilities.
    • Cut the outer tie rod between the nut and the outer casting. Tig weld nut to threaded stud. 22mm socket in 1/2 impact gun. Brappp!
    • Rejack whole front of car on 2 jackstands higher for underside access. Remove entire inner and outer tie rod assembly, retire to shop with vise, oxy-acetylene heat wrench, and larger torque multipliers
    • Drill through outer joint body-metalastic bush-stud. Pin with 1/4 hardened rod. Torque is restored


    Has anyone her got a clever idea I'm overlooking?
    "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

  • #2
    My choice would be take it all out put on the bench where you can get it in the vice to work on it and get some leverage when trying to loosen stuff. you'll also be more able too see what and how much your heating things.

    Scott

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    • #3


      Is there enough of the tie rod end threads showing to get a pipe wrench on them? You'll need to hold the tie rod with another to keep it from turning too. There's a special tool but as long as you can keep the inner tie rod from turning, it should unscrew. If need be, cut the jam nut off. The kits normally come with a new jam nut. Check yours before cutting it off though.

      It's pretty rare that tie rods ends are threaded into the tie rod all the way. If there's not enough threads showing to grab, the car may have been in a collision and the adjustment was used up to compensate for frame damage.

      Comment


      • #4
        Grrrrr.

        I can't even see or feel from any angle how to remove the dust boot band to get at the big hex nut shaped area to remove the inner tie rod. It's a little frustrating, as I can have the whole suspension off a Civic or my A-H Sprite (or BMW M3) in a few hours.

        I ended up cross drilling the casting, through the shaft and driving in a 1/4" steel pin, which should withstand a couple hundred foot pounds, anyway. I can exert enough force with a huge crescent wrench on the flat on the casting that the 18mm open end I've got on the hex on the inner tie rod end begins to spread. I've heated the female part smokin' hot and applied aerokroil repeatedly. I need an 18mm flare nut wrench next, which is a single-use tool for sure. Hell, this job uses a 13, 16, 18, and 17. I've reached for a 16 or 18 single digit times in the past 5 years. A honda can be disassembled with 10-12-14-17-19mm wrenches...

        There's about 1.5" of visible threads on both sides. The car has never been in an accident.

        I reassembled everything and I'm on the verge of...gasp...paying someone to do it.

        The suck part is that I'm a good mechanic, really. I've never been defeated before. Grrrrr.
        Last edited by motomoron; 04-03-2007, 08:56 PM.
        "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi i am a tech for vw and we have the same set up on the passat. The easy is to replace the inner tie rod. When you buy the inner it comes with the outer. As far as getting the clamp off just use a long screw driver and pop the clamp apart it is pretty easy. The tie rod hex is either 34mm or 36mm i am leaning more towards the 36 but can't remember. The aligment on a audi A4 is a big deal because it uses a thing called rised toe and you need a dealer tool to set it up. Best of luck.

          Comment


          • #6
            Left hand thread?

            Some tie rod ends are left hand thread.

            Comment


            • #7
              All,

              Thanks for the tips.

              It's not LH thread, I loosened the jam nut and saw it wasn't, plus the guy at Olympic Auto parts pointed out that they're not handed.

              I hate to throw parts at it, so I'll get steering rack boot for the inevitable damage (they're cheap) and remove the inner rod end. Once the outer end is in the vise, and the oxy-acetylene is warming things up, and I have that
              18mm flare-nut wrench ready with a cheater bar, it's be a piece of cake...

              Just like I said to my wife "now that I've done one side, the other will take 15 minutes, tops"
              "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

              Comment


              • #8
                Did you ever get it loose??

                Scott

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nice to see that the saga is interesting...

                  I procured an 18mm flare nut wrench as well as a non-professional series (read: not shiny, slippery and flexible) 18mm box-open combo at Sears last night, and will assail the bastard on Saturday afternoon.

                  Having drivin a 1/4 pin through the shaft and body, I can get a pipe over the stud to apply major torque, and presumably the flare nut wrench (with a big pair of Vise Grips adding power) will keep the inner rod from rotating.

                  Plus I'm escalating things by advancing from MAPP gas to Oxy-Acetylene.

                  If that doesn't do it, I cut the end off the shaft an Tig the nut on the end and hit it with the impact gun.

                  If that doesn't do it I have AAA tow it to a nearby parking lot and it's "abandoned".
                  "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    So, after the 1/2" of snow (!) we got last night melted off, I went back out to try one last time. Put it back up on stands, popped the tie rod end out of the arm, put the 18mm flare nut wrench on the inner rod, backed the jam nut down against it to retain it, and slipped a length steel pipe with about the same bore as the OD of the bit of the tie rod end that resides in the arm normally.

                    I made sure that everything was really solid, braced myself in a biomechanically favorable position, and pulled on the pipe, hard. With it loaded about as hard as I could manage, I gave it a harder tug.

                    SNAP!

                    The tie rod end broke free. I pulled really hard and rotated it maybe 30*. I repositioned the 18, and repeated. After about 10 cycles of that it was moving a bit more easily. I could turn it by using the box end of a 17 rather than the cheater bar. I wound it out, and surprisingly, the threads has a bit of that whitish corrosion oxide coated fasteners seem to grow under cars, and a little rust.

                    I reassembled the car w/ the new TRE, setting it to match the old one. My assembly must be pretty close re. toe setting, as the car drives straight and feels "free". It displayed a check engine light for 15 minutes, which was likely from sitting with one corner jacked for several days which simulated an oil-over-fill condition.

                    I'll have it aligned on Monday, and my wife will finally get the new-to-her car.

                    There's no substitute for the correct setup and a solid way to apply force...
                    "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm sorta thinking you didn't get it hot enough the first time. Unless it is crossthreaded the proper heat (as in damm hot) will almost always loosen a rusted tierod end. The part you are heating is usually the "throwaway" part anyway.
                      You should see how some of the "frontend shops" do it....very "red" and a pipe wrench....no big deal!
                      Russ
                      I have tools I don't even know I own...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I definately didn't get anywhere near glowing any color. It was smoking though.

                        The inner rod is a $75 part, and the steering rack boots are $20/pair. I was trying to avoid buying either. Plus I'd have needed to make a 36mm crowsfoot wrench to remove the inner rod end if I destroyed it.

                        It had 2" of thread engagement, and it was all uniformly corroded.
                        "Lay on ground-light fuse-get away"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by motomoron
                          I definately didn't get anywhere near glowing any color. It was smoking though.

                          The inner rod is a $75 part, and the steering rack boots are $20/pair. I was trying to avoid buying either. Plus I'd have needed to make a 36mm crowsfoot wrench to remove the inner rod end if I destroyed it.

                          It had 2" of thread engagement, and it was all uniformly corroded.

                          Nice job, But what a PITA

                          Scott

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