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  1. #1
    Enthusiast Luisv's Avatar
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    TIe Rods and Tie Rod ends on a Gen 2 GTS

    I recently replaced the tires on the car and took it over to the alignment shop to get everything as it should be in terms of alignment. When there, the tech found that the inner tie rod links seemed to be bad. I brought the car back and I checked it myself and found that the out links were OK but there was definately some play in the inner joints.

    When I went to go find the links, I was told that the inner tie rod ends are not replaceable at the parts dept of my Dodge dealer. This seemed odd, but when I checked the manual I find that the tie rods and rack are one part as far as dodge was concerned. This means that the bad inner ends would need a rack replacement! Wow! I quickly started to search up the Viper forums and found that there was a source for the parts.

    I found the tie rods (inner joints are fixed onto the rods so you have to replace as a whole) at a great price so I went ahead and ordered a pair. Now that I have found they are not easy to find, I went ahead and ordered a second pair to have the spare. Since I was going to be in there I went ahead and replaced the outer tie rods as well. No reason to not do it given you have to dissassemble the rods to change them.

    Bottom line, the tie rods I ordered were exactly the same as the stock units. Great news for everybody.... it's orders of magnitude cheaper to replace the tie rods than it is to replace the rack. Not to mention the repair is FAR easier.

    Total spent for the tie rods and tie rod ends, less than $135, delivered to my door. By comparison, a rebuilt rack is about $300 and a new rack north of $700...

    The swap was relatively easy so here's the quick write up.

    The basic process is simple:

    Pull off the tie rods with the ends as one piece.
    Measure the tie rod coming off the car as precisely as you can.
    Disassemble the tie rod coming off the car to get the boot off the tie rod.
    Assemble the new tie rods with the new rods ends and boot matching the length of the rod coming out of the car.
    Replace the tie rod in the car.
    Grease the new tie rod end.

    To make life simple and to make sure you get everything correct, work on one side of the car at once. Once you have completed one side, do the other. This avoids mixining up the measurements.

    I will show you one side... the other is exactly the same, simply repeat the process. Be sure to measure the rod lengths! On my car there was only a 1/32" difference between left and right. Not much... but it is a difference.

    The details...

    This is the shot of the tie rod in the car. To work on the driver's side (in these photos) you should turn the wheel to the left to make it easy to get to everything. The passenger side, simply turn the wheel all the way to the right. Yes... I noticed the sway bar link boot burst... ;-).... already ordered. :-)



    This is a shot of the dust boot. Of note here I'd like to mention some things to keep an eye on when removing this. Specifically there are three clamps that need to be removed to get the boot off. Once is the obvious which is the larger clamp around the steering rack itself. The second is outer clamp on the outter half of the tie rod. The last is the smaller green clamp around a small line that attaches to the boot. The small line is an air pressure equalizer. It allows the bellows to expand and contract relieving the pressure by allowing the air to move from the driver to the passenger boot via the small line.



    Here is a tighter shot looking at the green clamp for the equalizer line. It's the green clamp right in front of the pliers.



    Here is the boot as it comes off. None of these are particularly hard to get off. In my case, the boot and clamps all came off very easily. The dust boot itself came off real easy.



    Once the boot is off the rack you can pull it out of the way exposing the "nut" that allows you to remove the tie rod form the rack. The nut is 1 and 1/4 inches (approx) so I used and adjustable wrench to get it off.



    At this point, I would not try to break loose the tie rod. Wait until you release the out rod from the front knuckle. To do that, it's quite simple. All you need to do is remove the cotter pin and nut.



    Once you have that nut off, you simply get a tie rod end puller and you can remove the tie rod end link from the knuckle. You can get this on a loaner from just about any auto parts store.



    In my case the tie rod ends popped out real easily from the front knuckle. No fighting, heating or beating needed at all.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Now that the outer tie rod end is off the knuckle you should go ahead and break the inner tie rod loose from the rack. Here there is no "flat" on the steering rack to hold the rack shaft as you loosen the tie rod. As a result you need to loosen the tie rod by just turning the nut without holding onto the rack rod itself. This is not a problem, at least in my case. All you have to do is apply even pressure to break the nut loose. I was able to remove the arm applying the pressure with just the adjustable wrench. Once you get a turn or two out, it will thread right off. It was not difficult at all and the rack was not affected in any way.

    At this point you should have the tie rod out of the car all togther. Once out of the car, you will now need to measure it as precisely as you can. While you will never get it to be exactly identical, make sure you get it to withing a 1/16" or better. The way I did it was like this. I lay the rod on the ground against a wall. I then lay a tape measure against the same wall out with the rod. I measure from the flat of the wall to the grease fitting on the tie rod. The reason I pick the fitting is because that is fixed on the rod and centered over the end bolt. If you measure on the bolt the length can change if the bolt is at some deflection. Remmember the bolt is on a ball joint.



    Once I took the measurement, I measure again. I then wrote down the value. IN MY CASE... the measurement was 13-9/16" from the flat of the inner tie rod nut to the center of the grease fitting.

    Once you are dead certain you have the measurement accurate, take the rod appart. Release the locking nut on the tie rod end. Thread off the tie rod end. Remove the locking nut, small boot clamp (you will reuse this) and the boot itself.

    Here are just a pair of shots to show you the new parts compaired to those coming off the car.






    The tie rod I took off the car definately had a bad inner link. When removed the nut on the ball joint end flopped around by just shaking the rod a bit. If you grabbed the inner link you could feel the play on the ball in the joint. By comparison, the new rod's inner link was tight. To move it you needed to grab it and apply some force to move it. Huge difference. The outer links on the car were fine but I replaced regardless.

    Here are the new parts assembled. The tie rod ends (outer) were Raybestos replacements. They came with a new lock nut, new grease boot, new grease fitting, outer knuckle bolt and cotter pin.



    You assemble the tie rod as it was when it came out of the car. First the dust boot, then the boot clamp, the locking nut and then the outer link. Thread the outer link to the point that it matches the length of the one you took off the car. Once it is there you tighten the locking nut against the tie rod end. Do this with a pair of wrenches. Once tight double check that the measurement is the same. Once you are satisfied it is good, install the new rod on the car.

    To do that you reverse the process. Essentially, thread the inner link onto the steering rack. Tighten it with the adjustable wrench, Do not go nuts here! Don't tighten this to the point you see the rack deflecting 3". Just get it tight with the wrench and try to apply about the same force as you did to remove it. Finess here... not 500 lbs of torque!

    Once the tie rod is on attach the outer link to the knuckle. From there you will reattach the boot. Place both clamps in place (main clamp on the rack & the small vent tube clamp) and then fit the boot back over the rack and vent line. Replace the clamps.



    Once you have the inner part of the boot on, set the outer part of the boot in place in the small groove on the tie rod shaft and secure the clamp.

    Once it is all done... you should see this....





    Once you do the other side.... Grease up the tie rod ends through the fitting and your next trip is back to the alignment shop.
    Last edited by Luisv; 06-23-2014 at 01:55 PM.
    Luis V.
    Miami, Florida
    2002 Dodge Viper GTS - FE #298 & 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 - Vortech Supercharged

  2. #2
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    Nice write up and photos, thank you.

    Frank

  3. #3
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    Great write-up (as usual) and outstanding find on the spare parts. I'm surprised that Dodge didn't list service parts vs. the entire rack.

  4. #4
    Enthusiast Luisv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roller View Post
    Nice write up and photos, thank you.

    Frank
    Thanks... a pleasure....

    Quote Originally Posted by C.J View Post
    Great write-up (as usual) and outstanding find on the spare parts. I'm surprised that Dodge didn't list service parts vs. the entire rack.
    Thanks....

    Yeah... I found it odd that they would not reference the tie rods as a part as well. I mean given the fact they are a wear item, lets face it, the ball joints will wear, how can you put that out as part of the rack?!?! To me it would be the equivalent of saying the wheels and tires are a single unit and you would have to replace the wheels with each tire change!

    Anyway... it is what it is... swap works like a charm.
    Luis V.
    Miami, Florida
    2002 Dodge Viper GTS - FE #298 & 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 - Vortech Supercharged

  5. #5
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    Great write-up. Post up the part # of the inner and outer tie-rod ends and where you got them(amazon?). This is a great resource for other Viper owners.

  6. #6
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    I printed out all your info...Big Thanks! for sharing. I not I will need these at some point in time. can you post the info for all. Post up the part # of the inner and outer tie-rod ends and where you got them?

  7. #7
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    Great info, you also need to replace the dust boot on the anti roll bar drop links

    Thread here
    http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/t...tors&mid=68474
    Last edited by Fatboy 18; 07-10-2014 at 03:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    Luisv, I found on my Gen 1 that the inner tie rod was the same as a Dakota (um, remember why there are 6 lug nuts) except about 1.5" shorter. I bought a 15mm x 1.5 die to add more threads to the outer end, cut off the extra inch and a half and had a Viper inner tie rod. Part # EV252 is about $15, the die is about $30.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for the great write-up, Luis. Quick question, where did you get replacements for the torn sway bar link boots?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck 97 GTS View Post
    Thank you for the great write-up, Luis. Quick question, where did you get replacements for the torn sway bar link boots?
    Snakeoyl/Viperpartsusa website hasw a kit with boots and retainer rings. Saves a ton of money
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    Thanks Steve!

  12. #12
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    Some here too
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3212964995...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    No idea how long they would take to get to you guys

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fatboy 18 View Post
    Some here too
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3212964995...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    No idea how long they would take to get to you guys
    For the difference in price I can afford to wait a bit

    So is 16 31 23mm the correct size for front and rear on a Gen 2?

  14. #14
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    I can't remember, I have a spare down in the garage I will measure it up and let you know

    There is also this company in the UK
    http://www.balljointboot.co.uk/

    Just taken off the spare boot from the old drop link, but ebay site seems to be down at the moment, I will confirm sizes when its back up
    Last edited by Fatboy 18; 10-01-2014 at 06:50 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck 97 GTS View Post
    For the difference in price I can afford to wait a bit

    So is 16 31 23mm the correct size for front and rear on a Gen 2?
    Sorry, No, Wrong size

    Measuring the take off one its coming out at 11 25 28

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    For $15 you can get new MOOG Part # K750518 rear links and for $24 you can get new MOOG Part # K750254 front links at RockAuto.com. Apologies to a Viper vendor, but how can MOOG sell them for that price and vendors sell the same functionality for 10X the price?

    http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/x,ca...,parttype,7580

  17. #17
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    End link dust boots - just received Energy Suspension # 13003

    http://www.energysuspensionparts.com...Dust-Boots.asp

    they measure 11.55 mm (0.455 inch) 30.5 mm (1.20 inch) 24 mm (0.945 inch) and fit.

  18. #18
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    OK, just to clarify/update..

    Front outer tie rod, Moog ES3011RL
    Inner rod, EV252 trimmed and threaded
    All cool so far, and looks a LOT less $$ than listed on that Viper site mentioned....

    Q1: any comments on steering rack bellow boots? I see them on rock auto for $24 and elsewhere for $46, but not sure of figment.
    Q2: any new sources on inner rods that fit without modification, and that don't cost $158 each??

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Blue96GTS; 01-05-2016 at 01:20 AM. Reason: Typos
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  19. #19
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    Any experience with these inner tie rods??

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-INNER-TIE-...-/261172414596

  20. #20
    I bought my 99 gts a few months ago. I had the factory trained viper tech at the dodge dealer near the seller check it out as a pre purchase inspection. They were very good and very through and gave me a written list of problems found and estimated costs for them to repair any identified issues. They found a few things wrong. Play in the steering rack and sway bar link ends and boots were bad. Car had 16000 miles. The seller had a viper race tech in the mid west install a new complete steering rack and the sway bar link ends and boots all parts were purchased from dodge with a dealer discount i was very happy with this as the seller arranged the repairs and paid to have it done. It was like less then $1500 for the complete parts, installation and alignment as the dealer wanted much more for the parts and labor. I do not do work myself and this was the easiest and most cost effective way for me. I have a receipt for all work done.
    Last edited by CRANKENSTINE; 03-15-2016 at 08:04 AM.

  21. #21
    Can we get the part number for the inners referenced by the OP? I see mention of a MOOG piece that requires modification, but the original post appeared to use an in-kind (dimensionally) part.

  22. #22
    Enthusiast Luisv's Avatar
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    I had not seen replies to this re the parts. Sorry for the delay. I dug up the source I purchased them from on old emails.

    These are the units I bought:

    http://www.bestpartsonline.com/inner...er%20tie%20rod

    Brand shows as "Superior Chassis" and their part number shows as 26-6301.

    They were a correct size and direct replacement for the Units on the car.
    Luis V.
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    2002 Dodge Viper GTS - FE #298 & 2010 Dodge Charger SRT8 - Vortech Supercharged

  23. #23
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    Were did you get your outer tie rod ends? I went to the best parts online but don't see the outer tie rod ends.

  24. #24
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    EBay hast the for abut $30 a pair. Check Rockauto.com too
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