Tie Rod Replacement
by Wayne Osborne and Paul Franchina
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      Thanks to Wayne Osborne at Chevy Trucks.org for letting us use this Tech Tip that he and Paul Franchina wrote up. It "ties" in nicely with the Tech Tip submitted by Jim "Caroline's Truck" Wilson on Adjustable Drag Link, Pitman and Steering Arm Upgrade for pre-1953 AD Trucks.

      "I've gone to your site on many occasions and have sent many folks there--ya'll do have a wonderful site. Thanks for asking. ~~ Wayne"

      We're all in the business of keeping the old iron running! ~~ Editor

What is the easiest to get tie rod ends out?

      The tie rods on the stock front end components are the ball stud type connections. If you're going to replace with traditional type tie rod ends, you'll have to grind off the peening of the old ball stud and drive it out with a hammer or a press. It is easier to remove the steering arm from the front hubs and do this off the truck. A diagram of this is shown here.

      Driving out the old pin is far harder than it appears. I carried mine to our machine shop at work and asked the head machinist. After grinding off the peening, we drilled a small hole working progressively bigger. Not too big to drill into the steering arm. He then placed the ball in a large vice, and clamped down on it. Then he delivered a couple of sharp blows to the opposite end of the arm attempting to twist the arm on the stud to break the seal. A couple of whacks and it moved. We then drove them out with a punch. We did both in about 20 minutes.

      Paul adds: Here is an update to the subject of replacing original tie rod ends with the newer style. The directions I've seen all tell you to grind off the peened end and drive the old pivot ball out. Mine were not quite that easy. After a shot with the die grinder we spent a few minutes in the shop press at 30 tons with moving a .001 of an inch. From there, we chucked them up in the mill and took a few cuts on that surface to clean things off. Back in the press for another non-eventful 30ton session! OK time to get nasty. We drilled the center out to 3/8" and got the torch out.

At about 25 tons, the first one gave way and pressed out. Much to my amazement the hole in the steering arm had been countersunk before the ball was installed. This left about .015" X .015" of chamfer material.

The milling left a nice circular image of the pin but who knew it was .030" in diameter larger than the actual hole in the arm?

       Be sure to check out our extensive Forums discussions -- from General Truck talk, Electrical Bay, Big Bolts, Panels and Burbs, Engine and Driveline, Paint and Body, Interiors, Tool Chest -- The Stovebolt Collective can help in your quest and walk you through the mire and magic of working with old iron. ~~ Editor.  

v. February 2007

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