About to embark on replacing hte center link.. the part comes in tomorow,, i got a pitman puller and a tie rod puller as suggested earlier..

i was reading th book on it, and I diidnt pick about the wheels... can i put the car on a ramp with the wheels stationary or do i need lift up the car and have the wheels hanging freely?

any other tips or tricks,,,,anyone who has read my adventures should know by now,, its take a part adn put back together 3 or 4 times,,,, so any tips would be appreciated,,or any thing else i will need besides the speicalized pullers...


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The front wheels must be off the ground to remove the center link, so the linkage is free to move.  Really only one wheel needs to be free, but anyway.

You won't need to take off the pitman arm unless you're replacing that or the box.
You will need a big hammer if you're using a pickle fork type remover.

will the system be under a lot of tension when you pull it apart or break the joints..

are they put back using the reverse of the tie rod puller or should it slip back together fairly easily,, ??

If the wheels are in the air there will be no tension at all, but if the wheels are on the ground you won't be able to get the new one in at all without a fight.

You won't need any tools to put the new one in.   Just slip the studs into the holes and tighten the nuts, then align and install the cotter pins

Sounds pretty straitforward.    Tben its off to allignment shop,,,correct?

Wheel alignment shop is last after the replacement parts are in —- Correctly  


Make sure you pay attention to the old center link before you remove it. There’s a slight difference in the length to the inner tie rod ends. One side of the center link is slightly longer then the other side to the tie rods. Make note of that so you put new one on properly. I just completely replaced my front suspension including steering box, ball joints, springs, and center link, etc. it’s very straight forward. Don’t be afraid to hit that fork with the hammer. Couple good whacks and the ends will pop out!! 

as anticipated,,,, and is usually the case,, i messed up the inner tie rod bolt,, and the threads got stripped out or bent,,, or comppressed,, so its misshaped and nut wont go on.  ii have gotten to the point of almost buying two of everything,,, cause the first attempt i eff it up,,

SOOOO,, the question, i have to order an inner tie rod now for the driver side, and it has this sleeve that goes over the inner and outer.   When ordering the inner tie rod, do i need to order the sleeve as well.  i just didint know if both pieces were required or should do it anyway while its off...

thanks again,, 

give us a picture.  

I've taken off literally thousands of front end components, and I've peened the tops of some ball studs in my day.  If you just mushroomed the top one or two threads, just grind a chamfer in the top of the stud until you can thread the nut on.   It won't make a difference if it's above the castellated part of the nut or just a lead-in.    You will probably be able to save it.

A picture will help

yeah,,i hit it with a 3 lb sledge, got a little confused on which parts to use puller on,,so i whacked it,,

so if i just get a grinder, an get it down to fresh thread not mushroomed, that will work,, maybe??? i can do that,, thanks for the idea.. i will try to get a picture tomorrow.. again, thanks for the idea, id a never thought of that

I try to keep an open mind but I get confused when you take the time to ask for suggestions on how to go about doing something right but then take a 3 lb hammer to a threaded stud you are going to have to reuse? At a minimum, all you had to do was thread the nut back on the stud until it was even with the top of the stud, and hit the nut on the stud firmly and squarely with the large hammer.  I really haven't used a pickle fork for anything in years as they mar the ends of the tie rods, etc, and can destroy the grease seals, which leads to more purchases. I use a simple tie rod puller you can get from amazon for about $15 on Amazon.  At this point I would see if you can just grind off the end as Mark suggested, to try and salvage especially if these were recent replacement tie rod ends. If they  are old worn out tie rods I would just order new ones as they can definitely help tighten up "loose front end" which I think was the purpose of the center link. 

My thinking was,    i was warned to try and not tear up the boot,  so the pickle fork was out,  i did get the tie rod puller but was having truble keeping it on the bolt to get it to get enough pressure to pop loose.  It kept sliding over the houseing,so i decided to hit the end of yhe bolt,   it just never occured to me to keep the nut on b4 hitting, hitting bolts is not somethingbindo or have done regularly, so the resultingdeformity never entered my mind,   just thought. Thick bolt, hit, knock loose, re attch.

Well, i learned i cant do that know,  wont happen again.  Also learned that minor deformities caused by whacking might be curable with grinder in case of accident.    Sure, its probably 100.00 lesson in the end but intend to learn from those. Still cheaper than taking to the shop and got a lesson out of it.

Im guessing its an original part, nothing in the volumes of invoices i recd on purchase of the car that steering work was ever done, so f i cnt grind, i will order the part.

I hv replaced the outside rods in the last year.  

Ifvthe inner rod needs to be replaced, should i get the sleeve also, or should that be ok generally?

Sounds like it would be a good time to replace the tie-rods! If inners have never been changed I''m assuming outers have never been changed and inners & outers are both reasonably cheap (compared to many other car parts) and would strongly suggest replacing inner and outers.  Again, if the goal is to tigten up the front end, why just replace the center link... replace the tie rods while you are at it. You will of course want to have the front end realigned. No need to replace the sleeves, unless you just want them new. I think I remember them being $10 or less each.



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