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Discussion Starter #1
My driver side tie rod ends are flopping all over the place due to hitting a berm while turning left at low speed in a dark place with black snow covering the berm while the passenger side ones were replaced 10,000 miles ago. I have read the previous posts on this subject yet want to make sure of a couple things.

I have loosened the castle nut and broken the outer stud free of the mounting ring and note that the jam nut is 7/8" diameter and the flat on the rod to steady the assembly while loosening is 3/4".

Also, I have removed the metal cage to expose the inner tie rod end and have loosed the inner band and the outer clip on the accordion boot and slid the boot toward the outside to expose the inner tie rod end.

I note that the diameter of the flat on the inner tie rod end is 1 3/8" (less 1/32") or 34 mm. I don't hold out much hope being able to purchase a crowfoot of this size as it will probably be a special order and way expensive. So I will turn the steering out to expose as much of the inner tie rod end as possible and see what I can fit on there.

I probed what I think is the hole for the allen set screw with a 3/32" (2.5 mm) allen wrench and maybe it is too big or there IS no allen screw; not sure and can't see inside so I will wait picking up the inner tie rod end tomorrow and see what is being used on the replacement.

Maybe it would be easier to remove the inner tie rod end first and break the jam nut on the bench in a vise. If I don't do this but rather remove it while it is fixed to the steering knuckle:

Which way do I turn the jam nut to get it to "unjam"---move towards the interior? Since I am facing towards the passenger side, this would be a clockwise turn, correct? I should have the outer tie rod end installed in the knuckle with the castle nut secured to do this, correct? All I have to do it move it a turn or two, correct? Then I remove the outer tie rod end from the knuckle and remove it from the rod turning the flat provided and holding it with the smaller flat (1/2") down the rod after the threaded part---and count the turns to preserve a rough toe alignment, correct? I imagine that I will be turning it counter clockwise when facing the interior.

Tie rod end to steering arm---25 foot/pounds
Tie rod jam nuts---50 foot/pounds

I have a small JPEG photo and don't know how to post it using the new format.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Maybe it would be easier to remove the inner tie rod end first and break the jam nut on the bench in a vise. If I don't do this but rather remove it while it is fixed to the steering knuckle:

I picked up the replacement part and noted which way the jam nut turned and broke it with a hammer blow to the 7/8" spanner.

Which way do I turn the jam nut to get it to "unjam"---move towards the interior? Since I am facing towards the passenger side, this would be a clockwise turn, correct? I should have the outer tie rod end installed in the knuckle with the castle nut secured to do this, correct? All I have to do it move it a turn or two, correct? Then I remove the outer tie rod end from the knuckle and remove it from the rod turning the flat provided and holding it with the smaller flat (1/2") down the rod after the threaded part---and count the turns to preserve a rough toe alignment, correct? I imagine that I will be turning it counter clockwise when facing the interior.
The answer is yes to the above questions.

Advance Auto lent me the special tool---for light trucks and RVs---to remove the tie rod end; the smallest insert fits my car and spans "33.6 mm" (I measured 34 mm across the flat with a pocket caliper) which worked like a charm. There was a role pin instead of an allen screw. I was biased towards finding an allen screw since the passenger side had one when I replace it 10,000 miles ago.

When I removed the inner tie rod end, I noticed the remnants of a seal falling out of the rack hole at the steering gear; further inspection revealed the remainder of the seal (one of those white plastic kinds). I have 3/4 of it and can get diameters from this. When I called Advance Auto and Autozone, they could not provide me with this seal. It appears to fit over the rack stub and has "stake" holes where it apparently was driven to pin it against the circumference of the hole out of which the rack emerges.

Any thoughts on this seal and obtaining one. I am calling NAPA tomorrow.
 

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I'm not sure where you'll find the seal. If it was my project, at this point I'd return the inner tie rod and get a reman steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm not sure where you'll find the seal. If it was my project, at this point I'd return the inner tie rod and get a reman steering rack.
Thanks for the response; agree that a rack makes sense in principle. I have no time for it right now, however. The part is called a "shock damping ring" by Chrylser part # 5205287 for the Saginaw rack and is discontinued. Now I am reduced to walking it by a couple of alignment shops to see if I can scavenge something or else I stick it back in "as is" (6/7 of a whole ring with a a chunk out of it).

Since it doesn't actually seal hydraulic fluid, I now realize, but rather protects the inner race from a steel (inner face of inner tie rod barrel) to steel (outer race of steering gear/rack egress) contact and maybe keeps heavy grease from migrating outwards into the boot (there WAS some grease coating inside the boot), maybe this will do for now.

Breaking news update: just as I was typing this I got a phone call from the Knopf Automotive Saginaw Superstore (Division Sales Manager) who gave me THEIR number for this "ring shock damper" as 7831234 and they have also discontinued it under this listing in the 2012 catalog. However "Rich" is calling engineering for me to see if there is a replacement equivalent for this approximate 1 1/2" OD with 1/8" thickness (the donut part of the torus before the hole) of hard plastic. He is going to try to see if there is a cross number for a listed product.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Breaking news update: just as I was typing this I got a phone call from the Knopf Automotive Saginaw Superstore (Division Sales Manager) who gave me THEIR number for this "ring shock damper" as 7831234 and they have also discontinued it under this listing in the 2012 catalog. However "Rich" is calling engineering for me to see if there is a replacement equivalent for this approximate 1 1/2" OD with 1/8" thickness (the donut part of the torus before the hole) of hard plastic. He is going to try to see if there is a cross number for a listed product.
To put a cap on this, I ended up getting the part sent to me by a Chrysler dealer 300 miles away in Pennsylvania who had 2 left; the part was nothing like what I took out of my vehicle and I reason that what I retrieved was just a piece of the part. The dealer gave me a dealer price and US Postal shipping for a charge of less than $5.00. It was more of a "barrel" with a large hole in the bottom through which to fit the rod. It was a VERY tight fit into the receiving barrel and the effect was to "line" it with the 1/32" thick plastic with about 3/16" edge hanging out. I had to drive it in 1/32" at a time with an alignment drift going around in a circle in a pattern that I witnessed on the piece that I removed (just the rim of the bottom of a pre-existing barrel shaped hard plastic). I plunked a little grease in the empty barrel around the protruding rack and rod. Good to go.

With the tool lending program at Advance Auto supplying me with the 33.4 mm crowfoot insert and long tube with a 1/2" drive hole on the user end, I unsrewed the old piece of spaghetti inner tie rod end out with no trouble. Cost of Advance Auto inner tie rod end was $7.99 complete with two roll pins (for safety sake) which fit in by hand and tapped in by a small hammer. I used a plastic snug tie rather than attempt to rewire the original inner keeper for the accordion boot. The 3 hold down sheet metal screws with a 5/16" head (1 in front and 2 in the back) for the protective metal tunnel have to be fitted in by feel if one is lying on one's back with little working room under the car as I was. An 8 mm or 5/16" closed end wrench with a slight offset is the ticket for these.

I roughed in the toe-in and am tempted to not shell out the $30 for a toe and go (didn't disturb anything else and kept the steering wheel locked the entire procedure) and just run the medium marginal tire and keep an eye on the additional wear and adjust as necessary---inside wear-->toe outwards a little; outside wear--> toe inwards a little.

anybody know what the specification actually is?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I roughed in the toe-in and am tempted to not shell out the $30 for a toe and go (didn't disturb anything else and kept the steering wheel locked the entire procedure) and just run the medium marginal tire and keep an eye on the additional wear and adjust as necessary---inside wear-->toe outwards a little; outside wear--> toe inwards a little.

anybody know what the specification actually is?
So I got the car tracking just right with no oversteer in either direction by screwing the new outer tie rod end in the same number of turns which I turned out the old one. I needed to do a minor adjustment (1 1/2 turns---clockwise CW I think) to accomplish the "no oversteer" conditon as it was pulling left a little at first. The only problem remained was that the steering wheel itself was now offcenter by about 10 degrees of a full circle pointing right. My neighborhood Exxon owner/mechanic said "now just turn the opposite side in the "OPPOSITE" direction by 1 1/2 turns."

So I did this (which involved a 1 1/2" turn---also CW since facing the other way this would be an OPPOSITE adjustment); the steering wheel is now centered and the car tracks fine. I had lengthened the drivers side tie rod arm rod so I shortened the passenger side. This returned the steering wheel to straight ahead

I will now do a rough difference of distance measurements for the front and the rear of the tires across the horizontal (transverse) and see what my actual toe measure approximates and then call the dealer repair facility and ask them what the specification is. I am sure they will appreciate me bothering them and they are welcome. Of course I will monitor the tie wear as I drive happily from hereon.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will now do a rough difference of distance measurements for the front and the rear of the tires across the horizontal (transverse) and see what my actual toe measure approximates and then call the dealer repair facility and ask them what the specification is. I am sure they will appreciate me bothering them and they are welcome. Of course I will monitor the tie wear as I drive happily from hereon.
So I did the difference measurements with my eyes telling me that I had overadjusted the passenger side and it was toed out slightly. My measurements showed that I was correct with the difference being 1/8" shorter at the rear of the tire rims---3 o'clock--- projected to the floor with a carpenter's level than the front of the tire rims---9 o'clock---projected to the floor. So I turned the passenger side adjusting bar clockwise by 1/2 turn and even that little bit of a turn was apparent in the toe of the tire coming in slightly.

The Chrysler dealer couldn't tell me the alignment spec (jeesh) so I called a neighborhood garage who gave me "plus or minus 1/16" which he looked up on his online service (Mitchel?) . So I had 1/8" = 2/16" by my measure and I figure that I am now within the specification now. Further the steering wheel is straight and the car does not drift one way or the other.

I have proved to myself that by recording the number of turns when taking the old outer tie rod end off and then installing the new one the same number of turns, one can get the toe alignment close. From there on, one must fiddle with the logic of clockwise/counterclockwise turns and what effect this has on the wheels pointing in/out. The new trick I learned was getting the steering wheel straight again once it was necessary to fiddle with the adjustment arm. My starting point for final adjustment was a test drive that showed me that I was not drifting one way or the other even though the steering wheel was slightly askew.

From there, I did a rough measurement of the toe in/out, attempting to get an accurate reading by dropping a perpendicular from the rear edge of the tire rim on each side and a perpendicular from the front edge on each side and making a mark at each of the 4 locations. A helper then assisted me whilst I extended a tape measure with the locking feature across the front edge marks and then the rear edge marks. This proved to be shorter by 1/8" at the rear edge and since my eyes confirmed this b noting that the passenger side wheel LOOKED slight toed out, I went with my measurements and did a light adjustment as noted above to toe it in slightly. Lots of fun.
 
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