Home | Mailing List | Specifications | Care and Feeding | Modifications | Vendors | Literature


Tie Rod Replacement Parts

New 5/15/05

I may be doing my tie rods this weekend. Inners and outers on both sides.

Now I've already got an inner tie rod (Motorcraft) that I picked up cheap on e-bay a while back. I need to order a second one as well as the outer tie rod ends. Should I go with a second Motorcraft inner or can I use a Moog instead?

I'll probably do the front rotors while I'm at it. I found that the SHO front rotors are the same rotors on the following cars: 1996, 1997 Thunderbirds 3.8 and 4.6L (did they make anything else, I imagine this means any T-bird)
95-02 Lincoln Continentals
93-98 Mark 8's (or VIII if you prefer)
96-97 Cougar XR7 01+ Taurii and Sables

For the rears here's the interchange list (according to motorcraft.com): '93-01 Taurus and Sable (those that had rear discs) '93-02 Continentals

The last time I bought rotors I got SLO front rotors on the first try. The second time I found that the T-bird rotors were cheaper than the Continental rotors. I'm not sure if they quoted the same rotor or not. Maybe they mark them up more for the Lincoln owners (local parts store not dealer).

Hey Larry or Tim, think you could throw that info on the website when you get a chance?


I pay the extra and use moog parts when I can get them. - Clare

Yeah but should I pay extra to get a Moog part when I already have a Motorcraft part? I'm looking for a reason not to use the Motorcraft inner. I can't see any reason to not use it.

I should have asked about the inner tie rod tool. I know the Lisle tool has been recommended. I've found it on e-bay for $43 but I also see some other cheaper tools. There's other name brands like AC Delco, MAC, Snap-on, Astro, Matco, and some others. Should I try one of these or should I stick with what is known to work. I'll probably go with the Lisle but I like to hear if anybody has had any luck with the other tools.


I just did my inners & outers a couple of weeks ago using all Moog and I can't honestly remember if the Moog inner was better than stock but the outers sure were. Plus the Moog outers have a grease fitting. You definitely need the special tool to get the inners on & off.

The outers seemed to be fine and the inners weren't that loose but it sure fixed my wheel shake problem.

The process to change the inners was actually pretty easy: Remove the brake calipers and move them out of the way. Remove outer tie rod ends. From underneath remove the band around the inner part of the boot. Turn the steering all the way to bring each side closer to the wheel. Cut the other band & slide off the boot. Using two hands, reach in and put the tool around the nut then remove. Screw on the new & use the tool again to tighten. While it recommended to hold the steering rack while tightening the new, we didn't bother because the 35-40 lbs of torque didn't even budge the rack. Use tie wraps or new metal bands on the boots.

Richard Wills

Thanks for the advice. Somehow I think this step will be the hardest part seeing how I live in the capital of the salt belt.

On 5/4/05, Richard Wills <rwills@nc.rr.com  wrote:   Remove outer tie rod ends.

The Motorcraft part will be fine if it fits. I have heard a few stories of SLO owners getting the wrong part #, but I don't know if the same issue plagues the SHOs. The issue was the thread size for the rack end.

I used all Moog when I did this project. It wasn't too bad--the procedure is essentially identical to the V6 SHO procedure, with the exception that 90% of the "tie rod tools" out there don't work. Get the Lisle tool if you want a sure thing.

Getting the outer tie rod end off has a trick to it, especially if rust is a concern. Loosen the jam nut BEFORE removing the tie rod end from the knuckle. This will allow you to use both hands on the wrench. :-) You might want to go spray some PBlaster on there now well before you begin. Also mark the threads where the two ends meet before disassembling them. This will allow you to put the ends back together out of the car, and make the new ends approximately the same combined length which will make setting the tow alignment much easier. Once it's loose, pop the outer end out of the knuckle however you see fit. I used the BFH method which worked like a charm, but some people use a pitman arm tool or a puller. The pickle fork almost never works since the tines are usually too close together (even on the "large" ones.)


Felt like tires were out of balance. Most apparent when the steering wheel was just touched off center. Got worse the faster I went.

Richard Wills 99 TR

fredle@srv.net wrote:

  Concerning the periodic topic of tie rod (inner/outer) replacement, what  has been the driving symptom to warrant the work and have the results been  satisfactory?   

 Lucien Frederick  
'96 SF welded  

Contact Information