How to Replace a Tie Rod End in a Dodge Ramby Contributor
The Dodge Ram is a workhorse, but even a workhorse needs some attention at times, especially when it won't track straight, even after an alignment. That means it's time to replace your tie rod ends. No worries: This is something that you can do yourself.
Remove the Tie Rod Ends
Buy the right tie rod ends for your Dodge Ram. Not only do they vary from model year to model year, they also vary from the Dodge Ram 1500, 2500 and 3500. You don't want to get stuck with tie rod ends that won't work with your truck. Depending on the year and model, the tie rod ends come either with a nut, a cotter pin (think bobby pin on steroids), or both.
Take out the cotter pin and loosen the out tie rod end's castellated nut.
Use a tie rod puller to pull out the tie rod end out of the steering knuckle.
Mark the position of the outer tie rod's jam nut on the threaded portion of the tie rod. By doing this, you give yourself a handy reference for when you replace the tie rod end. Chalk or paint works well and can be easy to see.
Put a socket on the outer tie rod end so you can hold it still while you use a wrench to loosen the jam nut on the tie rod end.
Turn the jam nut only one turn backward, and no more.
Pull out the outer tie rod end away from the inner tie rod's spindle.
Replace the Tie Rod Ends
Use a wire brush to thoroughly clean the threaded portion of the tie rod.
Screw on the new tie rod end until it touched the jam nut.
Unscrew the tie rod end and screw the jam one turn each until the tie rod end is on the mark you made in Section 1, Step 4.
Install the new castellated nut that came with the tie rod end, and tighten it to 40 foot pounds. Tighten it once more or just until you're able to slip in the new cotter pin that also came with the tie rod end.
Tighten the jam nut, and then repeat Sections One and Two for the other tie rod. Replace the wheels; tighten the lug nuts to 95 foot pounds for the 1500, 145 foot pounds for the 2500 and 155 foot pounds for the 3500 Dodge Ram. Get your Ram aligned.