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I am hearing a light clunking noise when I hit bumps from the center of my focus underneath the car. If I sit at a light and turn the wheel right and left I hear the noise and there is a little play in the steering. I was told when I got my oil changed that my inner and outer tie rods were worn and needed to be changed my Merchants tire. They also told me about ten other things needed changed due to milage. I was told by my gas station it may be the rack and pinion that is making the noise also. I was wondering if anyone else had any input before I dump four or five hundred into my focus.

I was going to maybe do the inner and outer tie rods myself. How many ends do I need? I need two inner and two outer tie rod ends correct to replace them all?
 

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Two inners & two outers is correct.

Inner is easiest to do with a special tool that clamps to it for removal, some older threads here have pictures of that option for removal.

Pipe wrench doesn't reach/fit well, and grinding flats for a wrench might be more work depending on what tools you have available.

You'd need to look at it closer to see if there is any play in the rack, replacements come with the inner joints so check for any rack issues before buying the tie rods.
 

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Do you trust what they said? When you stated they gave you a list of stuff wrong, it makes it sound like you don't trust them. If not, have it checked out by another shop and go from there.

Mine used to clunk from strut mounts. That was 2 years ago. Now it clunks again, and I have replaced all steering components such as the rack, tie rods, sway bar links, axles, control arms (all due to wear, not to track down the clunk). I haven't looked under it due to cold, but I'm leaning more towards sway bar frame bushings as everything else has been replaced.

I'm just saying this bc I read it like you don't trust them, and there are a lot of possibilities that it could be.

Any of the stuff I replaced could cause a clunk noise, which is why I listed.
 

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Okay iv got this zx3 and iv replaced struts lower a arms cvc axle on both sides and there is still a clunkng noice wen i drive over bumps it sound like it is comeing from under my car by the ty rodes where they conect to the pinion system could that be the problem i all so noticed that the sway bar linkedg that connects to the strute joints are toast Could that be it also im lost replaced everything under the frunt end need hlep
 

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Sway bar links are the MOST common cause of "clunks" when going over bumps, and axles wouldn't cause that kind of noise at all.

Tie rods can easily be wiggled to see if they are loose, but when you say the most common issue is an item that's 'shot" maybe you should start there.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My clunking noise was the sway bar link bolt had snapped off. It was hanging there and one side of the sway bar was free.
 

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Creaking noise for rack and pinion

My 2003 ZX3 has a loud creaking noise when the suspension is compressed. I put the car on a rack and by using my stethoscope have identified that the noise as coming from the right side of the rack and pinion, inside the housing where the tie rod exists (under the boot). The rack does not have any excessive play, no signs of leakage, and the tires are wearing evenly. The sway bar links were also replaced a couple of weeks ago.

Does the joint inside the rack require lubrication?
 

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Inner joint is a 'lifetime lubed" type, so it's possible it's on it's way out (got dry & sticky).

If you pull the outer loose you could move that joint easier to feel how it's moving now.
 
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