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Old 12-30-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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Inner Tie-Rod Removal Suggestion

As most of you know, for some reason, most Focus cars were manufactured with inner tie rods that do not have the standard groove on the ball that screws into the steering rack. Such a flattened grove makes it possible to use an inner tie rod removal tool (Google for it and you'll see what I mean; long tube with about 5 or so claw foot adapters). If you work on many cars, such a tool is indispensable.

On the Focus, the passenger side inner tie rod may be accessed with a small pipe wrench with some success, though it's a real pain getting the right angle and grip. The driver side inner tie rod is nearly impossible to access with a pipe wrench or locking pliers; these rods are on very tight.

My solution for the drivers side:

1. Turn the steering wheel to the right as far as possible to bring the driver side inner tie rod out as far as it will go.

2. There's enough room on both sides of the ball part of the tie rod to use a 4" angle grinder to grind flat a portion of the ball to allow me to use the removal tool. I ground the left and right side of the ball gradually so that the "next size" claw foot adapter that comes with the tool would fit snuggly. [NOTE on using the angle grinder. Most angle grinders come with a half moon shaped shield to help direct sparks. Such a shield is removable, which is what I had to do to make it fit in the small space around the tie rod ball. I also took care to stuff thick cloth rags beyond the tie rod to protect components from the sparks.]

I wish the "brain fart" that gave me this idea would have come sooner in my project. It would have saved me a lot of hassle taking off the driver and passenger side inner tie rods.

A shop will charge you between $300+ to replace both inner tie rods. For about $150 or less you can get two rods (lifetime warranty), a tie rod removal tool, and a cheap 4" angle grinder at Harbor Freight if you don't have one. In the end, you come out ahead big time--plus you have some tools for your next inner tie rod removal job.



Last edited by romeroom; 12-31-2009 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:28 PM   #2
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i had no problem doing either with a 10" pipe wrench.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:26 PM   #3
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what i did was turn the wheel so it would stick out and took the bolts out of the control arm and pushed it out of the way then jus layed down with a pipe wrench and it came off without a problem
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by j-zetec_pr View Post
i had no problem doing either with a 10" pipe wrench.
I tried as hard as I could with same size pipe wrench on the driver's side and could not get a good enough grip to make it work. I'm glad other's have had success with that.
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Old 12-31-2009, 01:25 PM   #5
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what i did was turn the wheel so it would stick out and took the bolts out of the control arm and pushed it out of the way then jus layed down with a pipe wrench and it came off without a problem
I did not know loosening the control arm and moving it around was as easy as removing a few easily accessible bolts. If you can find pics or a diagram detailing the procedure, it would be very helpful in the future for me. No big deal if you can't since my method worked well also. It would just help me learn "one more repair method" on my dearly beloved Focus. No big deal if you can't. Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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i just paied $300 to replace the pass inner tie rod... i took the rod.. :)
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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A word of wisdom here, if I may. Be careful when you turn out the rack towards you for more access to the inner tie rod nut. Doing this puts great strain on the racks inner components and can cause you to break said rack resulting in a great decrease on your wallet. lol

Here's what I do for those inners that are hard to get to, or don't have flat edges on them. I pull the rod straight as I can get it and weld the ball to the socket and then the lock nut to the rod. This will allow you to take a socket and ratchet and loosen it all up. I just showed another tech at the shop this very trick today as a matter of fact. Kind of ironic that I would see this thread this evening after doing the same thing earlier today.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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Inner tie rod issues

I called my local ford dealer and the service gentlemen I spoke with said that the stock rod is pressed on to the rack, not threaded. Although, the rack has a threaded end on it?!?!?! He said the inner tool is like a pitchfork design, and you'd need to turn the wheel all the way to the opposite side so the rack goes all the way back in or really close and then wedge the the pitchfork in between the rack end and inner rod end to pry it off. WTF? Any help will work. I've seen a youtube video where it was welded and then impact wrenched off...
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romeroom View Post
A shop will charge you between $300+ to replace both inner tie rods. For about $150 or less you can get two rods (lifetime warranty), a tie rod removal tool, and a cheap 4" angle grinder at Harbor Freight if you don't have one. In the end, you come out ahead big time--plus you have some tools for your next inner tie rod removal job.
Or one could just replace the rack with a rebuilt unit, with new outer and inner tie rods for $125, which is what I chose to do. No cutting, grinding, fussing with specialty tools, and fresh seals to boot.
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:07 PM   #10
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Let me give some history about my issue; I hit a curb and my tire has major negative camber afterwards. That's why I want to replace the now bent tie rod. What other parts might be up from this impact? Secondly, do tie rods correct camber? Cause if not then I have another part that needs to be replaced.
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