In a message dated 6/3/04 2:48:32 PM Eastern Daylight Time,
<< It seems to me that you have to separate one of the tie-rod ends.
I'm about to separate the outer tie-rod end but I know I'm going to split
that new rubber gaiter so I thought I would check with you guys first. >>
Since someone else addresses the adjustment issue, I'll take the tire rod end
Do not use a ball joint/tie rod pickle fork on any joint you intend to reuse.
Not only will it split the boot, the joint will be stressed in a direction
never intended and there is a possibility the top of the joint will be
compressed causing the joint to stick during normal operation.
The generally accepted "factory" method for most brands is to use a super
heavy duty looking special c clamp with a loosely placed heavy nut on the joint.
The generally accepted "shop" method is to loosen the attaching nut a few
turns then hit the part the joint is attached to.
For example, the outer tie rod attaches to the steering arm, loosen the nut
, then at a 90* angle to the tapered stud, give a quick moderately hard hit.
Tapping will not work, and repeated light hits will only peen the surface.
Sometimes prying in the direction of disassembly then hitting works, be sure to
have the nut engaged a few turns to prevent things form flying apart.
Upper and lower ball joints are pretty easy, just remember the suspension is
spring loaded even when the wheel are off the ground. With a jack under the
suspension, loosen the nut a few turns. Lower the jack but keep it under the
suspension, hit the spindle/steering knuckle/ upright where the ball joint
attaches and the joint will pop apart. The loosely attached nut prevents
from flying apart, the jack is a safety measure. Raise the suspension using
the jack, then remove the nut.