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Old 02-01-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
MrWesson
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Tie rod/steering rack boot replacement

I searched and found a couple tie rod DIY's and they mention cutting the tie rod to reuse the old boot but doesnt mention if there is a better process to installing a new boot. I assume cut off the old boot but do I have to completely remove the tie rod to install the new one?

I don't need a new tie rod and I am only replacing the boot.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:37 AM   #2
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BMW updated the design of the steering rack boots to *not* require removal of the tie rod end for installation of the boot. The old ones however are likely the older design and need to be cut. The new design consists of 2 pieces -- a rubber boot that is large enough to slip past the tie rod, and an end-piece that mates with the end of the boot.

The clamps can be a pain to get on in the back. I have an xi and the front subframe may have complicated things. I ended up using a zip tie in place of the rear clamps. Doesn't look like you have an xi, but the boots for xi's are slightly different and not interchangeable with non-xi's.

Last edited by mcopenha; 02-01-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcopenha View Post
BMW updated the design of the steering rack boots to *not* require removal of the tie rod end for installation of the boot. The old ones however are likely the older design and need to be cut. The new design consists of 2 pieces -- a rubber boot that is large enough to slip past the tie rod, and an end-piece that mates with the end of the boot.

The clamps can be a pain to get on in the back. I have an xi and the front subframe may have complicated things. I ended up using a zip tie in place of the rear clamps. Doesn't look like you have an xi, but the boots for xi's are slightly different and not interchangeable with non-xi's.
I see but seems something will have to be unbolted to slip over the boot. Do I unbolt the steering rack side and slide both of them over it?
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:09 AM   #4
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^yup, just remove front outer tie rod end, boots will come out. Just make sure you mark the tie rod with colored wire or tape.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:30 AM   #5
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So do I remove at point 1,2, or 3 in this picture?

I would assume by jacking up the front you could remove nut on 2 just not sure there will be enough clearance for the boot.

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Old 02-01-2011, 12:06 PM   #6
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To get the boot off you have to separate the inner and outer tie rods. The inner is marked 1 in your photo, the outer is 3. They separate at point 2. You will need to mark the location of the outer relative to the inner or your alignment will be off...
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Old 02-04-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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There's some confusion here: the OP is replacing his steering rack boots. That's it, nothing else, so there is no need to remove the tie rod ends as the other posts indicate.

The procedure is as follows:
1. use a pair of cutters to remove the old boot.
2. use a tie rod puller to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle (#3 in your picture)
3. slip the new boot on. As I've indicated before, the new design looks nothing like the design in your photo. It has a different opening that allows the boot to slip over the tie rod. See http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/cata...SUSstr_pg2.htm.
4. use the clamps to secure the new boot.

Last edited by mcopenha; 02-04-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 02-04-2011, 03:06 PM   #8
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Steering boot kit Part #: 32131096910

ECS has a good photos:

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/32131096910/ES51879/



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Old 03-16-2011, 05:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcopenha View Post
There's some confusion here: the OP is replacing his steering rack boots. That's it, nothing else, so there is no need to remove the tie rod ends as the other posts indicate.

The procedure is as follows:
1. use a pair of cutters to remove the old boot.
2. use a tie rod puller to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle (#3 in your picture)
3. slip the new boot on. As I've indicated before, the new design looks nothing like the design in your photo. It has a different opening that allows the boot to slip over the tie rod. See http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/cata...SUSstr_pg2.htm.
4. use the clamps to secure the new boot.
So, I'm getting very close to doing this, and am pleased to hear I just have to remove the tie rod end.

Question: anyone have a way to remove tie rod end without the tie rod puller?

Seems like a hammer would work. Also, do I need weight off wheels or can I just do this on ramps?
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Question: anyone have a way to remove tie rod end without the tie rod puller?
Bang the out of it with a pickle fork and a sledge hammer.

Neil
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:09 AM   #11
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:45 AM   #12
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Bang the out of it with a pickle fork and a sledge hammer.

Neil
So not having done this before, I have to say I hate banging my car with a sledge hammer! Perhaps just some tapping down from the top of the balljoint...no? I don't have a pickle fork...do I really need one or would a prybar work okay?

Also, any difference whether I work on ramps, or is it much easier with wheel off?

Finally, I realized the kit I have comes with grease. I haven't been inside to know where this goes. Is it for where the boot meets the tie rod (under the clamps) or up around the seal...or both?

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We have everything needed to complete this service available below...

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Best,
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Thanks, Joe. I've got the boot already, just need to know how to get it on. If you happen to know, would appreciate the help!

Doug
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:04 AM   #13
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^Doug, I don't think anyone knows I'm still trying to figure it out.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=571036
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:09 AM   #14
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I don't see it making a difference with car on ramps or not in terms of safety, but I think the job is much easier done with the wheels off. pickle fork is easiest way to pop the tierod out. you need a good sized hammer to do it without much fuss otherwise you'll be hammering away all dya. good luck
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:29 AM   #15
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^Doug, I don't think anyone knows I'm still trying to figure it out.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=571036
I suspect that the poster in that thread who mentioned that both the upper tie rod and the 'teeth' from the rack were greasy...might be right...and that the grease comes assuming that with the boot, will come a tie rod and that you'll figure it out!

Just doing the boot is probably uncommon.

Quote:
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I don't see it making a difference with car on ramps or not in terms of safety, but I think the job is much easier done with the wheels off. pickle fork is easiest way to pop the tierod out. you need a good sized hammer to do it without much fuss otherwise you'll be hammering away all dya. good luck
Thanks, Mango! One of the posters in that other thread said that turning the wheel to the side you're working on makes it easier to see the part with the grease on it, so I think that to see that and probably put some grease on it, I'll jack it up.

Not sure when I'm getting to this, but it'll be pretty soon, and I'll report back!
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:43 PM   #16
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Tapping down from the top of the ball joint will damage the threads and using a pickle will damage the rubber boot. A mechanic showed me a trick for doing this and I have used it many times. Remove the bolt and the hit the side of the joint moderately with with a 3 lb hammer. The joint will microscopically deflect and release the bolt. It works, try it.
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Old 03-16-2011, 12:46 PM   #17
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Tapping down from the top of the ball joint will damage the threads and using a pickle will damage the rubber boot. A mechanic showed me a trick for doing this and I have used it many times. Remove the bolt and the hit the side of the joint moderately with with a 3 lb hammer. The joint will microscopically deflect and release the bolt. It works, try it.
Nice! Thanks!
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:53 PM   #18
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I think 'dimazz' way is easier.
#3, is PIA to remove, isn't it?
Because I have to replace the boot this weekend and kind of searching now.

Has anyone done this job?



Quote:
Originally Posted by dimazz View Post
To get the boot off you have to separate the inner and outer tie rods. The inner is marked 1 in your photo, the outer is 3. They separate at point 2. You will need to mark the location of the outer relative to the inner or your alignment will be off...
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcopenha View Post
There's some confusion here: the OP is replacing his steering rack boots. That's it, nothing else, so there is no need to remove the tie rod ends as the other posts indicate.

The procedure is as follows:
1. use a pair of cutters to remove the old boot.
2. use a tie rod puller to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle (#3 in your picture)
3. slip the new boot on. As I've indicated before, the new design looks nothing like the design in your photo. It has a different opening that allows the boot to slip over the tie rod. See http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/cata...SUSstr_pg2.htm.
4. use the clamps to secure the new boot.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:42 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by OrientBlau View Post
Steering boot kit Part #: 32131096910

ECS has a good photos:

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/32131096910/ES51879/

Any idea where to get the special crimper/pliers used to compress these types of special clamps? I once asked a tech at the dealer about it and he showed me what he used for them and said he got it from a Snap-On rep. There are similar clamps connecting the rigid coolant overflow hose on the reservoir end too, among other places. The tech said the usual screw-driven pipe clamps would work fine if I didn't have the pliers. I'd like to get the proper tool one day though.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:52 AM   #20
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