Suspension & Steering

Tie Rod End Removal

Tie Rod End Removal

A trick that works for me every time is to just put the nut back on, holding by a thread or two, only to hold the tie rod from falling. Do NOT hit the nut to knock out the tie rod end. Use a steel hammer, and give a solid hit (good contact, not necessarily hard, only a 4 inch swing or so) to the SIDE of the steering knuckle (the part the tierod end goes through). A good hit will temporarily slightly distort the taper, and the tie rod end usually just falls down, supported by the nut. If your threads are messed up, and the nut is hard to take off, then do not leave it on, since once the taper is released, you have nothing to hold the tie rod end from turning, and you will not be able to remove the nut !!

I would not use one of those standard ball joint removal wedges if I was planning on re-using a ball joint, or tie rod end. They often damage the boot, and apply a load to a tie rod that tries to pull the tie rod apart. Tie rod ends work in "shear" and can be loosened up a bit if any abuse is required with the wedge to pull them apart. In case you're worried that a hit with a hammer might damage the taper on the knuckle, just keep in mind that it's 3/8 of an inch thick, you'll only make a small ding on the outer surface.

Take care,
Marc Robitaille

'89 928 S4
'77 911S

If you do this, it works much better if you hold the heaviest chunk of steel that you can get (such as a larger hammer) hard against the opposite side of the steering arm. This gives the necessary distortion with much less force, and is much easier on the steering arm.


I recommend using a proper tie rod puller to do the job. The ball joint is a friction fit with the steering arm on the upright.

A "pickle fork" can be used, but I hate banging on the poor steering arm. Better to use the threaded style puller, available at most auto parts stores.

Note that you'll have to R&R the calipers to allow full, vertical contact with the top of the ball joint, using the threaded style puller. No big deal, no need to disconnect the brake lines.

Best regards,
David Lloyd
Farmington, CT
79 Euro, Stuttgart hybrid, track car

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