Help! 98 Camry Tie Rods Bad! - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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#1 Old 11-21-2007, 01:10 PM
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4th Generation Help! 98 Camry Tie Rods Bad!

Hey Guys and Gals,

I went in for an alignment today, after about 15 minutes they came out and told me they couldn't do the alignment because the both inner and outer tie rods were bad, they didn't say which side. To change both sides, parts and labor they quoted me a price of $500+ , after leaving within a matter of two hours I was able to find it for $275. All things aside I just wanted to know was either (inner or outer) tie rods replaceable without taking it to a shop or mechanic? I am planning to do a brake job so I figured I could tackle that while I am already getting my hands dirty. If so any help or any tips would be appreciated. I did search the forums but no luck with anything on this topic. If there is something in the forums please let me know!

Thanks
John

Last edited by John5516; 11-21-2007 at 01:12 PM.
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#2 Old 11-21-2007, 02:12 PM
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I'm trying to understand the "inner/outer" tie rods?? Did they mean the tie rod ends? If so then I think you just have two, one on each end of the steering rack. Do it yourself, not hard, then take it to another shop for alignment.

1995 Camry Wagon LE. 2.2 4cyl, 5S-FE, Auto, 187K
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#3 Old 11-21-2007, 02:21 PM
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buy the parts yourself. You will need a "pickle fork" tool (they are cheap, $10 -20) undo the cotter pin and nut and wack them apart with your new toy. Put the new ones together, CAREFULLY measure how far apart the ends are! The new ones must be sized exactly the same or at least close enough to get you to the shop without scuffing off all your tire tread.
Alot of times people just change one tie rod end at a time and CAREFULLY count the number of turns to unscrew each piece, then screw the new ones on the exact same number of turns.
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#4 Old 11-21-2007, 02:31 PM
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The steering system has two joints on each side of the rack. One at the inside of the rack end and hidden by the boot attached to the rack housing, the other is the tie rod end that screws onto the rack end and bolts to the steering knuckle.

The inside joint is permanently attached to the rod end. The outside joint screws onto the treaded rod end.

Usually the tie rod end wears out. As Stillrunning states, try to determine from the shops what joint is bad and on what side.

For prices and photos of the parts go to www.rockauto.com.

DIY would cost between $30 and $100 depending on what brand of parts you want. Aftermarket parts are just fine.

For detailed service info go to the site below:

http://www.camrymanuals.com/
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#5 Old 11-21-2007, 10:25 PM
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Ok guys I was looking at the manuals big help, kinda hard to understand but I will find out which ones are bad, does not look too hard to replace. Quickly just to make sure, do the tie rods themselves go bad or is it mostly the ends? Finally to get to the one covered by the boot will I have to complete take apart the wheel? I dont feel too comfortable doing that i might leave that to someone else.

Thanks again!
John
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#6 Old 11-21-2007, 11:36 PM
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On the toyotas, mostly I see inner tie rods bad. Could be either though ... or both.

The outer tie rods (tie rod ends) are easy to change. A 10 minute job even without air tools.

The inner tie rods are a little more tricky, but still not bad if you've got some nice pliers or a pipe wrench. You have to take the outer tie rod off, the take the boot off the rack housing (usually have to bust a clamp and replace it with zip ties), then use whatever tool you need to unscrew the inner tie rod from the rack.

Not that hard, there's just some cramped areas under there, and it might be awkward with the car on jack stands.

Just find out what you're up against for sure, then make a decision.

Good luck!

'96 4cyl 5spd Camry
147k miles and running out of things to fix...
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#7 Old 11-22-2007, 06:16 AM
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Well I've looked at my FSM and see where the inner ends are and how they function. They look like nylon. Quite frankly if the inner and outer rod ends are gone then I'd buy a new rack with outer ends rather than try to disassemble on the car and replace, especially if you are a DYI novice. There's also seals in there and maybe a bushing to be replaced as well. If there's that much wrong with the rack then more parts are soon to fail with the extra labor. I'll bet the shop quoted replacement of the entire rake. Look on-line for rake re-build/new venders.

1995 Camry Wagon LE. 2.2 4cyl, 5S-FE, Auto, 187K
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#8 Old 11-22-2007, 06:43 AM
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4th Generation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillrunning View Post
Well I've looked at my FSM and see where the inner ends are and how they function. They look like nylon. Quite frankly if the inner and outer rod ends are gone then I'd buy a new rack with outer ends rather than try to disassemble on the car and replace, especially if you are a DYI novice. There's also seals in there and maybe a bushing to be replaced as well. If there's that much wrong with the rack then more parts are soon to fail with the extra labor. I'll bet the shop quoted replacement of the entire rake. Look on-line for rake re-build/new venders.
The $500 dollars they quoted me was inner and outer tie rods for both sides, labor for two and half hours and a wheel alignment. No other parts or anything, if it was the whole rack they would have tried to rip me off with probably adding another couple hundred dollars on the bill.

But anyways I am going to get a second opinion before I do anything. If they say the same thing I'll find out which sides are bad, if its the outer I will do it myself. Unfortunately if its the inner tie rod, I will take it in and have them replace it at the lower priced shop. I will keep you guys posted and for anyone in the future who runs across this problem.

Thanks for all the help!
John

Last edited by John5516; 11-22-2007 at 07:33 AM.
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#9 Old 11-22-2007, 02:01 PM
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I was under the car this morning, I saw the outer tie rod from the condition it looked fine, just to make sure the inner tie rod is inside the boot rite?? Either way I'm taking it to a shop to double check it again!

Thanks!
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