How to Replace a Tie Rod End in Cars

by Contributing Writer; Updated June 12, 2017

When the tie rod ends develops too much play, or becomes damaged, you'll Hyundai car it in the steering of your Hyundai car. Your crossover SUV just won't track straight and it doesn't improve after an alignment. The only fix is to replace the tie rod ends, and get your vehicle aligned. You can replace the tie rod ends yourself.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace a Tie Rod End in a Chevy Silverado

Remove the Tie Rod End

Make sure you purchase Chevy Silverado tie rod ends that are specific for your truck, as these can vary not only from model year to model year, but from the Chevy Silverado 1500, 1500 HD, 2500, 2500 HD, and the 3500.

Loosen the lug nuts on the wheels, but don't remove them. Raise your truck up with a jack then support it on jack stands. Remove the tires.

Take out the knuckle end ball stud's nut, then separate the tie rod ball stud and the steering knuckle with a screw-type tie rod puller. Loosen and remove the nut that's located on the inner tie rod ball stud, then separate the tie rod ball stud and the relay rod using the screw-type puller. If you have a C3HD, do not remove the tie rod ball stud's nut.

Use a wire brush, then count the number of threads exposed on the threaded portion of the tie rod, and record it. Measure the length of the tie rod assembly and record this number.

Loosen the nuts on the clamps, and spread the clamp so you can unscrew the tie rod end from the inner tie rod. Record the number of turns it takes to do so.

Replace the Tie Rod End

Put a coat of chassis grease on the tie rod ends, and screw them on the same number of turns as it took to remove them (see Section 1, Step 4). Measure the length of the tie rod assembly, and adjust the tie rod end's position if necessary.

Connect the tie rod assembly with the relay rod and put a new nut on the ball stud, tightening it to 40 foot pounds.

Place the other end of the tie rod in the steering knuckle, and tighten the nut to 46 foot pounds. For the C3HD, tighten the nut to 65 foot pounds.

Make sure you position the clamp so it's between the nuts' dimples and on either side of the adjusting sleeve. Tighten the clamp nuts to 18 ft-lbs. For the C3HD, tighten the nuts to 65 ft-lbs.

Repeat Sections One and Two for the other tie rod end, the reinstall the tires. Tighten the lug nuts to 140 foot pounds. Get your Silverado aligned.

Items you will need

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Wrench

  • Screw-type ball joint tool

  • Wire brush

  • Pen and paper

  • Tie rod ends

  • Chassis grease

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a Tie Rod End in a Chevy Impala

Remove the Tie Rod End

Buy tie rod ends specific to your Chevy Impala's model year. Tie rod ends vary from model year to model year, so you want to make certain you get the ones meant for your vehicle. You'll find that the tie rod ends come with a nut and a cotter pin (which looks like a heavy-duty bobby pin).

Loosen the lug nuts on your front wheels but don't remove them. Jack up your vehicle, support it securely on jack stands and remove the wheels.

Take out the cotter pin that secures the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. If your Impala has a nut that connected the ball stud of the tie rod end to the wheel knuckle, remove it.

Mark the position of the jam nut on the tie rod end, for it's very important to put the new tie rod end in the right position, as this affects the toe angle of your Impala's steering alignment. You can use paint or chalk. Loosen the jam nut one turn.

Remove the tie rod end from the wheel knuckle. If necessary, you can use a tie rod puller to help you.

Separate the tie rod from the inner tie rod by unscrewing it. Try not to alter the position of the jam nut after you turned it the one turn (see Step 6).

Replace the Tie Rod End

Make sure all of the parts are clean--especially on the stud knuckle where other parts will mate with it.

Screw on the new tie rod end until it touches the jam nut, then unscrew it one turn.

Put the tie rod ball stud into the wheel knuckle and tighten the nut, if it has one, to 18 ft-lbs, then turn it another 1/2 of a turn. If the tie rod end of your Impala has a cotter pin, slip the new one.

Tighten the jam nut one turn, which will bring it against the end of the tie rod's threaded portion. Make sure you tighten the jam nut to 50 foot pounds.

Examine the pinion dust boot as well as the rubber rack to make sure they're not twisted.

Repeat Sections 1 and 2 for the other tie rod end on your Impala, replace the wheels and get the vehicle aligned.

Items you will need

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Pliers or wrench

  • Paint or marker (for marking position of jam nut)

  • Tie rod puller (hopefully not needed)

  • Cleaner and rags

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a Tie Rod End in a Hyundai Santa Fe

Remove the Tie Rod Ends

Get tie rod ends that are specific to your Hyundai Santa Fe model year. The parts can change from model year to model year, so you don't want to get stuck with parts you can't use.

Undo the clip that closes the cover on the universal joint (located inside the vehicle on the driver's side), and use a wrench to loosen the noise covers.

Remove the bolt that holds the universal joint to the gear box, and separate the universal joint from the gear box.

Loosen the lug nuts on the front tires, but do not remove them. Jack up your Santa Fe and secure it on jack stands. Remove the tires.

Take out the split pin on the tie rod ends, and use a Pitman arm puller to separate the tie rod end and the steering knuckle.

Unscrew the tie rod end from the threaded portion of the tie rod, and make sure you count the number of turns it takes. Write that number down.

Replace the Tie Rod Ends

Screw on the tie rod end, making sure it takes the same number of turns as it took to remove the original (see Section 1, Step 6).

Slip tie rod end into the steering knuckle, and tighten the nut that secures it to 18 to 25 foot pounds. Slip in a new split pin.

Reconnect the universal joint to the gear box and tighten the bolt to 11 to 14 foot pounds.

Replace the tires, and tighten the lug nuts to 66 to 81 foot pounds. Put the cover back on the universal joint (inside the SUV), and get your Hyundai Santa Fe aligned.

Items you will need

  • Wrench or pliers

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Jack and jack stands

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Pitman arm puller

  • Pen and paper

  • New tie rod ends

  • Torque wrench

 How to Replace a Tie Rod End in a Toyota Camry

Make sure you buy tie rod ends that are specific to your Toyota Camry's model year. These do vary from model year to model year, so you want to make sure you get the right ones. The tie rod ends come with new cotter pins as well as castellated nuts.

Disconnect the battery cable from the negative post, and wait 90 seconds or so for the air bag system to deactivate. Loosen the lug nuts with a lug nut wrench, then jack up the car. When your Camry is safely supported on jack stands, remove the wheels.

Take out the cotter pin from the tie rod end with a pair of pliers. Loosen and unscrew the castellated nut with a wrench, then use a two-arm puller to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.

Unscrew the tie rod end, and write down the number of turns it took to remove it. This number will help you when you install the new tie rod ends.

Screw on the new tie rod end, making sure you do it with the same number of turns as it took to remove the original. Slip the tie rod end into the steering knuckle, then screw on the replacement castellated nut, tightening it to 36 foot pounds. Slip in the cotter pin, and repeat the steps for the other tie rod end.

Put back on the tires and tighten the lug nuts to 76 foot pounds, reconnect the battery cable, then get your Camry aligned.

Items you will need

  • Lug nut wrench

  • Jack

  • Jack stands

  • Pliers

  • Wrench

  • Pen and paper

  • Tie rod ends

  • Torque wrench

About the Author

This article was written by the It Still Runs team, copy edited and fact checked through a multi-point auditing system, in efforts to ensure our readers only receive the best information. To submit your questions or ideas, or to simply learn more about It Still Runs, contact us.