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Old 03-13-2013, 11:21 AM   #1
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Tie rod boot grease?

Found a crack in the tie rod boot in the passenger side.
Tie rod doesnt make any noise so, I presume its still good. Hence changing just the boot.

Simple question:
Ordered tie rod boot set for passenger side tie rod from FCPeuro, but it doesnt come with the grease. What grease can I use as an alternative? white lithium Grease?
And how much amount?

Going to tackle FCAB, RTABs, RSMs, diff fluid and tie rod boot at the same time, as I will be renting a lift at DIY shop.

Any specific tools other than RTAB pulling tool?
Going to rent tools from autozone for tie rods and FCABs.
3 arm bushing puller and tie rod puller(ball joint puller) is what I need, isnt it?
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #2
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Tie rod boot? You mean the rack boot?
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:25 AM   #3
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All you need is a pickle fork for the tierod balljoints and an adjustable wrench for the inner tierods. everything else is fine as far as tools go.

if you use a pickle fork, use a large hammer (bigger and heavier the better) a separator will be fine too
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:26 AM   #4
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make sure you have two 18mm sockets for when you torque the rtab bracket down to 81 ft lbs. you need one to counter. or you can use one socket and one wrench on the other side.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
Tie rod boot? You mean the rack boot?
Yup the boot at the steering rack. Sorry, I dont know the actual terms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
All you need is a pickle fork for the tierod balljoints and an adjustable wrench for the inner tierods. everything else is fine as far as tools go.

if you use a pickle fork, use a large hammer (bigger and heavier the better) a separator will be fine too
I would probably buy or rent something like this:

http://www.harborfreight.com/tie-rod...ller-1752.html

I am bit apprehensive on using hammer on the car. I have broken many things when I use hammer on the car; upper radiator hose, water pump pulley

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make sure you have two 18mm sockets for when you torque the rtab bracket down to 81 ft lbs. you need one to counter. or you can use one socket and one wrench on the other side.
Yup, I have one deep well 18mm. I will buy another one as well.

Is it possible to do RTABs and RSMs without removing the tires, as I will be using the lift? Trying to cut the lift time usage

Me and another member here are renting the lift and doing FCABs, RTABs, RSMs and diff fluids on both our cars. Steering rack boot is an addition on mine.

Still the question remains, what grease can I use at the steering rack ball joint? The kit I ordered doesnt come with the grease tube.

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...nt-32131096910
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #6
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All you need is a pickle fork for the tierod balljoints and an adjustable wrench for the inner tierods. everything else is fine as far as tools go.

if you use a pickle fork, use a large hammer (bigger and heavier the better) a separator will be fine too
Mango, as I recall from the DIY posts here, I just need to remove the out joint(wheel side) from the tie rod, cut the old bushing out and slide the new one in, isnt it?
Would I need to disassemble the tie rod assembly?
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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Mango, as I recall from the DIY posts here, I just need to remove the out joint(wheel side) from the tie rod, cut the old bushing out and slide the new one in, isnt it?
Would I need to disassemble the tie rod assembly?
I have no clue what you are talking about

as far as rtabs.. i never tried with the wheel on. i would just remove it. it's hard enough as it is raising the trailing arm back into its home. having an extra 50 lbs dangling on the axle wll make things difficult. also you'll have more room to use your tools. make sure you disconnect the brake lines from the trailing arm before you drop the arm.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:13 PM   #8
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Mango, he's correct. Why are you recommending the OP pickle fork his tie rods? There is no need when replacing the boots.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:14 PM   #9
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I thought he was changing his tierods
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:19 PM   #10
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You have to completely remove the tie rod to do the boot, so you'll need an alignment afterwards. Count the turns as you spin it off to get close. I'm not aware of those bushings being replaceable, I think you just get a whole new outer tie rod. You don't really need to add grease, but just about any is fine. White lithium included.

Removing the wheel takes less than a minute. Good luck with this, I hope you don't end up wasting money being stuck by inexperience.

The hammer is perfectly acceptable on the tie rods. If you're using it on water pumps and radiator hoses, I think your issues lie deeper. :/ IIRC, there is a small raised bit cast on the knuckle to hit.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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Yeah, whoa there. Don't use a pickle fork if you plan on reusing the parts. You also aren't going to get original tierods off the knuckle with just a hammer. Believe me, I tried. Basically all you want to do is cut off that old boot and then separate the inner and outer halves of the tierod. You'll probably need an alignment after this. You can try matching up the threads though I guess. There is no reason you need to undo the bolt on the steering knuckle or on the steering rack. If for some reason you can't simply separate the inner and outer halves, cut the boot off and take the inner tierod off of the steering rack. It's a 34mm. You can't torque it without a crow's foot though.

What's this about boot grease? The only grease is applied to the actual ball joint. The boot merely keeps dust from getting in that grease. If for some reason the ball joint is dry or filled with dust, then pack it with some thick bearing grease. Otherwise, leave it alone.

Also, there is no specific driver/passenger side tierod boot. They are identical.

Last edited by WDE46; 03-13-2013 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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like i said i was under the impression the OP was changing his tierods which i think if he's going through all the trouble of replacing everything else and remove the tierods, he might as well.

i don't always read 100% of unnecessarily long posts
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:33 PM   #13
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Oh by the way trj, that tool you linked to will not fit on the steering knuckle to remove the tierod. I have one and it did not work. I had to use a picklefork and a small sledge hammer. I also had to hit the pickle fork ridiculously hard and at an angle that wouldn't bend the brake's dust shield.

Follow my recommendation and just separate the inner and outer halves by turning the adjuster until they separate. Either do that, or just replace the tierods completely and use a pickle fork. If you go the replacement route, get a 34mm crow's foot to torque the inner bolt.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:45 PM   #14
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I have no clue what you are talking about

as far as rtabs.. i never tried with the wheel on. i would just remove it. it's hard enough as it is raising the trailing arm back into its home. having an extra 50 lbs dangling on the axle wll make things difficult. also you'll have more room to use your tools. make sure you disconnect the brake lines from the trailing arm before you drop the arm.
Yah I will just remove the wheels as well. Thanks for tips on the brakes, I will keep that in mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post
Mango, he's correct. Why are you recommending the OP pickle fork his tie rods? There is no need when replacing the boots.
Quote:
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I thought he was changing his tierods
Nope, just the boot. Tie rod is perfectly fine with no clicking noise or any effects that I have noticed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lcoleman View Post
You have to completely remove the tie rod to do the boot, so you'll need an alignment afterwards. Count the turns as you spin it off to get close. I'm not aware of those bushings being replaceable, I think you just get a whole new outer tie rod. You don't really need to add grease, but just about any is fine. White lithium included.

Removing the wheel takes less than a minute. Good luck with this, I hope you don't end up wasting money being stuck by inexperience.

The hammer is perfectly acceptable on the tie rods. If you're using it on water pumps and radiator hoses, I think your issues lie deeper. :/ IIRC, there is a small raised bit cast on the knuckle to hit.
I was hoping I dont have to get the whole tie rod to steering rack assemble dismantled.
Hopefully, I wont be wasting money. I and another member here did the xi front axle in an hour in the same DIY shop. So, I am positive about this DIY.

Hammer was being used to get the fan clutch nut out.
I have an auto and didnt have the fan clutch tool at the time with me. Hence, the whacks took out the pulley and radiator hose.

Quote:
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Yeah, whoa there. Don't use a pickle fork if you plan on reusing the parts. You also aren't going to get original tierods off the knuckle with just a hammer. Believe me, I tried. Basically all you want to do is cut off that old boot and then separate the inner and outer halves of the tierod. You'll probably need an alignment after this. You can try matching up the threads though I guess. There is no reason you need to undo the bolt on the steering knuckle or on the steering rack. If for some reason you can't simply separate the inner and outer halves, cut the boot off and take the inner tierod off of the steering rack. It's a 34mm. You can't torque it without a crow's foot though.

What's this about boot grease? The only grease is applied to the actual ball joint. The boot merely keeps dust from getting in that grease. If for some reason the ball joint is dry or filled with dust, then pack it with some thick bearing grease. Otherwise, leave it alone.

Also, there is no specific driver/passenger side tierod boot. They are identical.
Thanks, I was asking about the grease because the kit I ordered doesnt come with grease and in all the DIYs they have mentioned grease.
I will use white lithium on the boot/ring and bearing grease on the ball joint if necessary.

Quote:
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like i said i was under the impression the OP was changing his tierods which i think if he's going through all the trouble of replacing everything else and remove the tierods, he might as well.

i don't always read 100% of unnecessarily long posts
I am not replacing the tie rod, just the boot for now.
Wanted to keep the clear picture of what I going to do, hence the long post with multiple questions. Also wanted to make sure I have covered all the bases before I reserve the lift and be stuck there without knowing what to do.

Sorry Mango, english is my third language.

I will be doing the shocks and struts or go with the coil overs soon, thats when I'd be doing complete tie rods, end links and sway bars.


On this thread, http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=820392 post #7 has answered my question regarding the boot installation. Hopefully he is right and I dont have to separate the tie rod assembly.
I am going to get the alignment anyway after the FCABs and RTABs.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:48 PM   #15
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Oh by the way trj, that tool you linked to will not fit on the steering knuckle to remove the tierod. I have one and it did not work. I had to use a picklefork and a small sledge hammer. I also had to hit the pickle fork ridiculously hard and at an angle that wouldn't bend the brake's dust shield.

Follow my recommendation and just separate the inner and outer halves by turning the adjuster until they separate. Either do that, or just replace the tierods completely and use a pickle fork. If you go the replacement route, get a 34mm crow's foot to torque the inner bolt.
Yah, I remember hitting the tie rod with a hammer last time while we were doing an axle on a member's xi. I wanted to avoid that and save the perfectly good tie rod.
Well, lets see if I can the thing out of the joint without using the hammer. If not, hammer it is.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:51 PM   #16
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Yeah, whoa there. Don't use a pickle fork if you plan on reusing the parts. You also aren't going to get original tierods off the knuckle with just a hammer. Believe me, I tried. Basically all you want to do is cut off that old boot and then separate the inner and outer halves of the tierod. You'll probably need an alignment after this. You can try matching up the threads though I guess. There is no reason you need to undo the bolt on the steering knuckle or on the steering rack.
Bigger hammer or bigger muscles. Also, hit the very end of the tie rod, or the knuckle near it. Not out between the rack and knuckle--that's a good way to bend or break things.

More than one way to skin a cat, but I'd much rather just pull the outer tie rod off. At least OP has options, I guess. He'll need an alignment either way.

...

I just looked at the "updated" boot design. Seems to me that you can take the tie rod loose from the knuckle and put it on without mucking up the alignment. Saving $100+ is probably worth some hammering.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:53 PM   #17
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Basically all you want to do is cut off that old boot and then separate the inner and outer halves of the tierod. You'll probably need an alignment after this. You can try matching up the threads though I guess. .
If you note the number of threads exposed and mark the joint with white paint, you'd probably be fine without an alignment.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:00 PM   #18
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Thanks guys, I will try the ball joint puller. Else I will just separate the inner and out tie rod with the wrench mango mentioned.
I am going to get an alignment anyway, but I will definitely mark the thread so that I can get it relatively close to what I had earlier.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:53 PM   #19
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Thanks guys, I will try the ball joint puller. Else I will just separate the inner and out tie rod with the wrench mango mentioned.
I am going to get an alignment anyway, but I will definitely mark the thread so that I can get it relatively close to what I had earlier.
The ball joint puller is great, but you must get a very small one.

I purchased the smallest one at harbor freight, only to find it was too thick to clamp onto the outer tie rod.

"Car on Jack stands", I walked two blocks to Auto Zone, and rented one that was small/thin enough.

With finesse, and grace the puller popped it right out, with no drama, or banging about...although I was replacing my tie rods, I just didn't want to hammer on it like a mad man down in my apartment's underground garage.

+1000 on needing an alignment, no matter how well you try to match the length(s) it will be off.

Good luck, honestly you should just replace them while you're down there...but I'm sure you will be fine.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:57 PM   #20
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to the user formerly known as e46mango.

Some say his notoriety is so profound, that he was able to drop the e46 in his name, and like Highlander there can only be one....all we know is he is called "Mango"
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