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2009 saab 9_7x
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I searched the site and have not seen a write up on a tie rod replacement. I just ordered the outer tie rod for the passenger side on my TB. It will be here tomorrow so I will take pictures, write up the steps and then post it. Looks like a pretty simple job. I was able to break the bolt on the knuckle loose as well as the jamb nut on the adjustment sleeve.

I have been having an issue with play in the steering wheel. I had my son turning the wheel while I was looking down below. It was painfully obvious what was wrong. As soon as I jacked up the passenger side you could feel and see the slop in the tie rod end. I am kind of surprised it hasn't broke.

This should be the last of the repairs for a while.
 

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2004 gmc
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I did mine a few weeks ago, took pictures, and then got too busy to finish it up. You're right - it is a hole in our how-to coverage. Thanks!
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_lt
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:sadcry: I cannot believe that the roadie actually had a how-to for the following and he did not post it. :hissy:
 

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2004 gmc
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Hey - I replaced my upper control arms today in an hour and a half, took pictures as well, but am getting really jammed for time. Gotta start driving to Missouri for MORA in 32 hours or so and I have a dozen new mods for the Roadiemobile to show off, if only I get them installed in time. :eek:
 

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2009 saab 9_7x
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have this whole document in a PDF File. If anyone is interested send me a PM with your email address and I can send it to you.

In order to preserve the picture alignment I will post multiple times.

Tools Needed
21mm Socket (tie-rod nut, my new one was a 22mm)
22mm and 24mm open end for tie-rod shaft (I do not have large metric open end wrenched so I used two adjustable ones). Also, I am not 100% sure on the size wrenches needed.
Pickle fork or tie rod puller.
Machinist’s ruler
PB Blaster

I sprayed the nut and tie rod shaft threads with PB Blaster the day before I planed to do this job. The nuts all came off with little trouble. I was somewhat surprised and my Trailblazer has spent 5 years in Chicago, winters included. I also found out that I should have installed both tie rods and it cost me a second trip to the store.

The total cost for both tie rods was about $140.00. All in it took be 1 hour and 15 minutes to change both tie rods and this included taking the pictures. This job was MUCH simpler than I originally thought.


Step 1

(Assumption is you already have the car securely supported and the tire removed.)

Using a machinists ruler measure the exposed threads on the tie-rod (see picture) and write this figure down. This step will allow you to get the alignment close to original but you still need to get an alignment done. I measured to the end of the threads, as well as to the end of the shoulder on the tie rod.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Step 2

Loosen the jam nut on the tie rod while holding the nut closest to the steering rack and turning the outer. I found it easiest to wedge the on wrench against the lower control arm as seen in the picture. Once this is loose leave it for now
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Step 3

Loosen the 21mm nut on the top of the tie rod where it attaches to the spindle (see picture). Do not take the nut all the way off. Now you must separate the tie rod from the spindle. This can be done with a puller of a fork. I have a puller so that is what I used. Once the tie rod has separated from the spindle you can remove the nut and pull the tie rod all the way out. Now just unscrew the tie rod from the steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Step 4

Installation is generally in reverse of the removal. . I found it best to lay the old and new side by side. Then I installed the jam nut at the same distance as listed from Step 1. Install the new tie rod into the steering rack and try to screw it in the same amount as the one removed. Do not snug the jamb nut yet
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Step 5
Now you need to slide the tie rod into the spindle. You will need to wiggle the spindle some for it to pop into place. My manual said the nut should be tightened to 33 foot pounds. You need to make sure the tie rod is all the way into the spindle and use caution to ensure the tie rod is going in straight. Once the tie rod is tight on the spindle verify the length of the threads on the shaft and once close to the original measurement tighten the jam nut while holding the nut on the steering rack.





Here is how the tie rod looks prior to tightening. I forgot to take a picture after it was all tight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here is what the original one looked like prior to removal. The new one has about the same amount of threads showing after installation and tightening.



Reinstall the tire, lower the car and take a short, slow, test drive to verify all is good. I would recommend rechecking the nut on the spindle and steering shaft after your first drive to make sure all is good. Once this is done I suggest you head off to your favorite alignment store and have an alignment done.

One more word of advice, I would HIGHLY recommend replacing both sides. I did not plan to but went back to the store and bought the drivers side as well.

This whole job took me about 30 minutes per side. The end result is steering that is spot on again and it feels like everything is connected.

The End!! Have a beer and celebrate a job well done.
 

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2002 chevy trailblazer_ltz
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Awesome

This is truly a great write-up. The pics are fantastic...
How did you know that you needed new tie-rods??:undecided
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Thanks, I have used many other write ups from this board so I am glad to give back.

My steering had a very vague on center feel, the vehicle would wander and need steering corrections while going down. I could feel movement in the steering wheel when turning the wheel gently while sitting still. To verify this I jacked up one side of the front end and was able to wiggle the wheel in and out some. The wheel should not move when turned from the outside.

I took the boot off the old tie rod and I can see how worn it is. This picture doesn't really show how bad it is but you may be able to tell.

So I guess the best answer I can give is I felt the steering seemed sloppy so I started to check things out.

My wife drives the TB more than I do so it was very evident to me that something was wrong.
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Thanks!

Keith, getting ready to do the exact same procedure on my 02 TB. The pictures and text were great. Hopefully mine will go as smoothly as yours! Got the tie rod today and will be doing it sometime this week. Again, thanks for the great post!:thx
 

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2003 chevy trailblazer_lt_ext
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Suspension Issues

I have a 2003 Trailblazer LT. 77k miles. Bought new. Thank God I bought an extended warranty. The symptoms are that the vehicle has "after shakes" when driven over a bump. I've had the dealer replace the front sway bar links at 30k and 61k, the rear at 66k, the lower ball joints at 66k, the left front outer tie rod at 66k, the right front outer tie rod at 77k. I took it to another mechanic and now he says the left one is loose too. He explained that GM uses non-lubricated plasticy tie rods and they don't last as long. Is there an after market tie rod that will last longer? Did I mention we drive this vehichle like a minivan? It's never been off road or over any major bumps. I tow a boat once a year. The last set of tires wore out unevenly after 25k miles due to all the issues. Suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The tie rod ends from Napa have a grease fitting in them but the ones from Autozone did not. I am not sure if this will help but you may want to try the Napa ones. Ask me in another 50K miles and I may have a better answer. I have one of each on mine now.

I live in Chicago and the TB has never been off road either. However our streets are terrible and I am sure the potholes in conjunction with the weight of the vehicle raise havoc with the suspension components.
 
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