E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rating: Thread Rating: 13 votes, 5.00 average. Display Modes
Old 10-26-2010, 07:22 PM   #21
Many330i
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Little Elm, TX
Posts: 1,200
My Ride: 330i ZHP Silver
Quote:
Originally Posted by klax View Post
Perhaps I'm missing something. As 'dshaley' asked, why replace the whole tie rod? Usually it's just the tie rod ends that wear. Much simpler job to just replace the tie rod end as well...
Because the joint between the inner and outer tie rods won't budge - hence the cutting!
Many330i is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-29-2010, 07:19 AM   #22
dshaley77
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: FL
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2001 325i E46
ahhhhh. gotcha! That makes sense!
dshaley77 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2010, 05:02 PM   #23
epistaxis2008
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 461
My Ride: 2002 330ci
do u have any close up pics of the tapered part of the inner rod... I recently opened up my boot to lube it up and the joint as seen in ur 5th pic (step 11 just below the 2inch mark on ur measuring tape) looks worn out and grinded down to a point where it is almost too weak to support any much more driving and could possibly snap in less than a few thousand miles. I was wondering if u had a close up pic of that joint on ur new rods so I would be able to tell if mine is worn more than normal.

great diy and I was thinking of using zip ties but wasn't sure if it was good to use em and I got hose clamps from home depot for 30 cents each...

did u replace urs due to any noise caused by them being old or worn or for another reason???
epistaxis2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2010, 05:06 PM   #24
badavisuf
Registered User
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Lindenhurst, NY
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2004 BMW M3
My dad's buddy rebuilds steering racks, and he sees many that were damaged when mechanics change the inner tie rods ends and put too much torque on the rack. It damages the pinion gear. The pinion gear is all that is keeping the rack in the proper axial orientation. He says that the correct way to remove the inner tie rod end is to place an adjustable wrench on the rack gear teeth so as not to load the pinion gear. The rack gear is only accessible on the driver's side, so to remove the tie rod end on the other side, you need a buddy to hold the rack with the adjustable wrench while you loosen the passenger side tie rod end.
badavisuf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2010, 06:29 PM   #25
loginfailed
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 361
My Ride: My buddies 350hp
Quote:
Originally Posted by badavisuf View Post
My dad's buddy rebuilds steering racks
My dad's buddy disagrees.
__________________

Last edited by loginfailed; 11-29-2010 at 06:32 PM.
loginfailed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 11:17 AM   #26
Wreckless
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: MD
Posts: 593
My Ride: E60 528xi
Nice! I was reading through the bentley manual and noticed the special tools and thought "great more special tools" then this thread shows that simple tools will do the job! I think i've got a tie rod issue so this will def help. I'm going to be going under the car this weekend to check and see if I can find anything loose.
__________________
Wreckless is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2010, 03:56 PM   #27
Sansho
OEM ///Member
 
Sansho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: CT
Posts: 1,826
My Ride: 2001 325i
Nicely done ... thanks for sharing.
__________________
.
Sansho is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 12:20 AM   #28
odessa91
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 2
My Ride: 330i
Per Bentley (page 320-14) and BMW TIS 32 21 231:

"To avoid damage to steering rack while removing tie rod, turn steering until end of rack as far as possible in housing"
odessa91 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 09:27 AM   #29
loginfailed
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 361
My Ride: My buddies 350hp
Quote:
Originally Posted by odessa91 View Post
Per Bentley (page 320-14) and BMW TIS 32 21 231:

"To avoid damage to steering rack while removing tie rod, turn steering until end of rack as far as possible in housing"
That is correct. And to put it more plainly:

"When removing & installing the left inner tie rod, turn the steering wheel as far as possible to the right. When removing & installing the right inner tie rod, turn the steering wheel as far as possible to the left."

On some vehicles, doing ^^this^^ will make it impossible to access the nut without a special inner tie rod tool. Which is why the manual states "as far as possible" rather than "all the way in".
__________________
loginfailed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2011, 09:30 AM   #30
loginfailed
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Houston
Posts: 361
My Ride: My buddies 350hp
odessa91, great first post. Most new members start off by asking a question rather than quoting the Bentley manual.
__________________

Last edited by loginfailed; 01-08-2011 at 09:32 AM.
loginfailed is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 06:45 PM   #31
MrWesson
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 356
My Ride: 01 330CI/09 328i
I dont need a new tie rod but do need a new boot(ordered).

What would be the easiest way to install/remove the boot?
MrWesson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2011, 04:17 PM   #32
wrecklessfool
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 621
My Ride: is paid off
Excellent write up!

I just did this last weekend and found what I feel to be a more accurate method of measuring the old tie rod length. I straightened out the inner ball joint by eye and held the entire assembly against the wall with the outer ball joint on the floor ensuring the top of the inner ball joint was parallel to the floor. I marked the EXACT height against the wall using a thin straightedge razor blade and adjusted the new tie rod to match this mark. I found it difficult to get an accurate measurement with the boot still attached to the assembly. This worked great and I even drove with them adjusted this way for a week before I could get to the alignment shop with no issues.
__________________
wrecklessfool is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2011, 11:10 PM   #33
BMWMac
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 61
My Ride: 325i
I need to do this repair in the coming weeks. Is there a reason I can't see missamo's pictures in his write up? Am I the only one having this problem? If it is not just me, is there any way you could re-post the pictures missamo?
BMWMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2011, 11:23 PM   #34
missamo80
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Snohomish
Posts: 311
My Ride: 2001 325i
I migrated to a new hosting provider and apparently it's a *nix server and thus has case sensitive filenames.

I renamed all the files to match the lowercase .jpg I used in the original post and it's fixed now. Refresh and you should be good to go. Have fun with the pickle fork.

Neil
missamo80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2011, 11:30 PM   #35
BMWMac
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 61
My Ride: 325i
Thank you, missamo! I failed to mention what a great write up this is. Please thank your wife for the photos.
BMWMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2011, 11:33 PM   #36
missamo80
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Snohomish
Posts: 311
My Ride: 2001 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by wb_carpenter View Post
I dont need a new tie rod but do need a new boot(ordered).

What would be the easiest way to install/remove the boot?
The biggest problem is simply getting the damn inner and outer rods apart so you can slip the boot off and on. In my case there was no way short of a torch that the nut was coming apart (you can see the nut in the photo for step 10). Hence the hacksaw.

If you have a torch or bigger guns than I do you can try just getting that nut off, but if it fails, you may just have to cut and replace the whole tie rod.

Neil
missamo80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2011, 11:34 PM   #37
missamo80
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Snohomish
Posts: 311
My Ride: 2001 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWMac View Post
Thank you, missamo! I failed to mention what a great write up this is. Please thank your wife for the photos.
My pleasure! I'll pass along the thanks, and good luck with your replacement.

Neil
missamo80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2011, 09:31 PM   #38
spennI
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 141
My Ride: 2004 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by missamo80 View Post
This weekend I installed a complete front suspension overhaul kit from bimmerworld. Except for getting the ball joints apart with the pickle fork it was pretty straightforward thanks to the various DIYs I found on this forum. One DIY that seemed to be missing, however, was how to replace the tie rods. It isnít a terribly difficult procedure and the Bentley manual has reasonably good steps but I figured while I was doing it why not whip up a DIY with photos. All the photos shown here are for the driverís side, but itís the exact same process for the passenger side. Thanks to my wife for taking the photos!

For those that enjoy seeing a diagram of parts RealOEM is your friend.

Tools required
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Pipe wrench
  • 19mm socket wrench
  • 13mm wrench
  • 19mm wrench
  • 22mm wrench
  • Allen key
  • Hacksaw
  • Liquid Wrench
  • Normal zip tie
  • Long (14Ē) zip tie

Step 1: Loosen the wheel bolts on your front wheels prior to going up on jack stands. Youíll need to get the wheels off shortly.

Step 2: Get your car up on jack stands.

Step 3: Take your front wheels off (if you canít figure out how to do this I suggest giving up on this DIY at this pointÖ)

Step 4: Turn your steering wheel all the way in the direction of the side you are working on. This makes it easier to get at the outer tie rod nut.

Step 5: Spray the nut holding the outer tie rod onto the wheel with Liquid Wrench. I found it made things easier when the tie rod hadnít been touched in 9 years and 150,000 miles.

Step 6: Pop apart the bands holding the protective boot onto the inner tie rod. I used a flat head screwdriver, wormed it in there, and pried it off. Thereís a small one near the outer tie rod (as seen in the photo) and a larger one attached to the steering rack. Be careful when using the screwdriver if you are planning on reusing the boots. You donít want to accidentally tear them, especially when the suckers are $52 each!



Step 7: Using the 19mm socket wrench remove the nut attaching the outer tie rod to the wheel.



Step 8: Using a pickle fork and a BFH (I used a 6lb sledge) bash away until the damn thing pops apart. Or, if youíre fancy, use a ball joint separator. If you are using a pickle fork take care not to hit any of the ABS sensors or brake lines.



Step 9: Turn the steering wheel until both wheels are roughly facing forward. This makes it easier to push the boot out of the way to get at the inner tie rod end.

Step 10: Using a pipe wrench unscrew the inner tie rod from the steering rack. Youíll likely need to push the protective boot out of the way a bit. There are lots of threads on the forum that talk about using a 1 5/16Ē crowfoot wrench to do this, but my local Sears didnít have one and claimed that they could barely special order one. I have a perfectly good plumberís pipe wrench and it unscrewed that sucker with ease.



Step 11: Measure the length of your old tie rod. This will help you get your new one to roughly the same length so your trip to the alignment shop after youíre done isnít completely terrifying. You definitely want to do this before step 12Ö



Step 12: If you are planning on re-using your old boot save yourself a ton of grief and just hacksaw it apart so you can get the boot off. I tried using Liquid Wrench and a couple of plumberís wrenches to get my old one apart without sawing and it was impossible.



Step 13: There is no step 13. That would be unlucky.

Step 14: Unscrew the new tie rod assembly and slip boot and nut onto the inner tie rod.



Step 15: Take the inner tie rod and screw it in where the old one was. I used the pipe wrench to tighten it down as hard as I could since I had no crowsfoot to put on my torque wrench. If you do have one torque spec is 100 + 10 Nm (74 + 7 ft-lb). (In theory you can do this with the outer tie rod attached but I found it was a pain as it kept whacking things as I screwed the inner tie rod on.)



Step 16: Screw the outer tie rod onto the inner tie rod until the total length is around what you measured on your old tie rod combo. In my case it was about 17 ľĒ. Don't forget to put the locking ring on the inner tie rod first! Tighten the locking nut down using your 22mm wrench. I didnít try and get mine torqued to spec as itís just going to get adjusted by the alignment shop anyway. Torque spec for the tie rod end lock nut is 45 Nm (33 ft-lb).

Step 17: Attach the outer tie rod end to the wheel. Youíll need an allen key to insert into the top of the bolt to keep it from spinning as you tighten the nut down with a 19mm wrench. Torque spec is 65 Nm (45 ft-lb), but as with most nuts on the car I couldnít fit my torque wrench in there.



Step 18: Zip tie the boot back in place. Use the 14Ē zip tie where it attaches to the steering rack. The smaller one is used to attach the boot just before where you use the 13mm wrench to adjust the toe. You can use hose clamps here too, but there are plenty of threads here that say just use zip ties. I used black, but if you want to get creative you could use a different colour.



Step 19: Put your wheel back on and see how dumb it looks. In my case I accidentally had the length of my tie rod on the passenger side at 18 1/4" It looked obviously bad. If this happens to you get under the car and loosen the lock nut with the 22mm wrench. Then use the 13mm wrench to adjust how far the outer tie rod is screwed in/out. Then tighten the lock nut again with the 22m wrench.

Step 20: Take your car off the jack stands and go get an alignment!
Step 8 worked like a champ on one side but the d*&^m joint won't come out on the other side. I must have wacked it with a 6lb hammer about 20 times. Any thoughts?
spennI is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-26-2011, 10:08 AM   #39
missamo80
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Snohomish
Posts: 311
My Ride: 2001 325i
Quote:
Originally Posted by spennI View Post
Step 8 worked like a champ on one side but the d*&^m joint won't come out on the other side. I must have wacked it with a 6lb hammer about 20 times. Any thoughts?
Keep whacking at it. 20 times is nothing. I think I wailed on mine for more than an hour before I got the #%(* thing to come apart. If you can borrow a ball joint separator from your local auto parts store that might work too.

Other people have said that heating it with a torch helps, but I didn't want to try that since I didn't know what I was doing.

Neil
missamo80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #40
spennI
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Columbia, MD
Posts: 141
My Ride: 2004 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by missamo80 View Post
Keep whacking at it. 20 times is nothing. I think I wailed on mine for more than an hour before I got the #%(* thing to come apart. If you can borrow a ball joint separator from your local auto parts store that might work too.

Other people have said that heating it with a torch helps, but I didn't want to try that since I didn't know what I was doing.

Neil
Thanks Neil. I banged some more to no avail. The ball joint on the one tie rod came off with the "sleeve" that sits in the knuckle . My Indy friend said he hasn't seen that in eight years while working on BMWs. For this reason (the sleeve must be pressed back in the knuckle) and becuase I cannot get the second tie rod off, I plan to cut my loses and have my Indy friend do this job.

For some reason I feel like I failed this DIY attempt. Do you ever feel this way when a job stumps you?
spennI is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
good for tie rods

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2011 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use