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Old 04-27-2018, 07:04 AM   #1
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2 (probably) dumb questions

Hello Forum,
I have 2 (probably) dumb questions that I would like to get some clarity on.
I have read and re-read most of the threads on these subjects, but can't quite get my head around the answers.
So here goes:

The car is a 2002 Base with 150K

1. To replace the external chain tensioners only, do the engine and the cams need to be locked at TDC or can I just unscrew the old tensioners and screw in the new ones?

2. To replace the inner tie rods, it appears to me that there is a ball joint in front of the part where a wrench would lock onto the rod to thread it into place. Would this type of tool work? I don't understand how it would go around the ball joint to reach the tabs on the inner part of the tie rod to thread it in. For that matter, I'm not clear on how any of these tools get around/over the ball joint.
I can't visualize how this works!
Some have mentioned the Harbor Freight Tie Rod Tool and others Wayne's book suggests channel locks or a plumbers wrench. Not sure which tool to get or use.

Thanks

Rob
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Old 04-27-2018, 07:55 AM   #2
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No clue on the first one, but on the tie rod, I'm not sure how the hell that tool would work. In a pinch, channel locks should work fine on the inner, but its tight in there and you might have a hard time getting leverage, especially on jackstands.

I bought the harborfreight tie rod tool and it works a treat. Makes it a totally trivial task.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:00 AM   #3
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Thanks Quadcammer.
Just to be clear, it's this Harbor Freight Tool?
I'm glad they bombard me with 25% off discount coupons!
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:08 AM   #4
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thats the one. You use the 1 1/4" insert. Depending on what replacement tie rods you buy, you may have to grind a different insert to fit a bit, but it didn't take much. Well worth the $40 or so.
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:27 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by robdelorenzo View Post
Thanks Quadcammer.
Just to be clear, it's this Harbor Freight Tool?
I'm glad they bombard me with 25% off discount coupons!
+1 Harbor Freight Inner Tie rod Tool. I like because it allows you to use a torque wrench to tighten

As far a Tensioners, from what I've read TDC takes pressure off chains. If I ever did this job I would lock the cams because I'm a chicken and would be terrified that the cams might skip timing
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Old 04-27-2018, 08:31 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by robdelorenzo View Post
Hello Forum,
I have 2 (probably) dumb questions that I would like to get some clarity on.
I have read and re-read most of the threads on these subjects, but can't quite get my head around the answers.
So here goes:

The car is a 2002 Base with 150K

1. To replace the external chain tensioners only, do the engine and the cams need to be locked at TDC or can I just unscrew the old tensioners and screw in the new ones?

2. To replace the inner tie rods, it appears to me that there is a ball joint in front of the part where a wrench would lock onto the rod to thread it into place. Would this type of tool work? I don't understand how it would go around the ball joint to reach the tabs on the inner part of the tie rod to thread it in. For that matter, I'm not clear on how any of these tools get around/over the ball joint.
I can't visualize how this works!
Some have mentioned the Harbor Freight Tie Rod Tool and others Wayne's book suggests channel locks or a plumbers wrench. Not sure which tool to get or use.

Thanks

Rob
1. The engine should be locked at TDC, and the cams locked as well. You have a three chain engine, which is the most sensitive to jumping time, so take the necessary precautions.

2. That is wrong tool. You need an appropriate inner ball joint tool that slides on after the outer tie rod end is removed. We use a Mayhew Pro in the shop that automatically adjusts to any type of inner (pricey, but very useful):

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Old 04-27-2018, 09:36 AM   #7
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Thanks JFP.
This board is the best!
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Old 04-29-2018, 05:27 AM   #8
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I just did my inner and outer tie rods and used the HF tool to put new ones on and rented tool from Advanced auto parts to get old one off. Worked fine.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:32 AM   #9
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Do you have a manual, follow the directions in the manual for the chain tensioners. No substitution for the FSM. I think I'd lock the crank at TDC, it's an easy enough process. And from what I've seen inside the engine, the timing isn't likely to jump.

Wayne's book is wonderful, and at $22 at Amazon, it's such a bargain. But sometimes you need to consult the factory manual.
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Old 04-29-2018, 08:44 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the help.
By "manual" do you mean The Bentley One?
That's next on my list, since I have 101 Projects, but sometimes it's a tad thin on the details.

Other obvious questions are then is which tools is the best ones (other than the gold plated $300 Porsche ones) to remove the ball joints on the coffin arms and to lock the cams.

I have seen videos where people have made their own cam locking tools, or am I being foolish trying to save $100?

thanks

Rob
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Old 04-30-2018, 06:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by robdelorenzo View Post
Other obvious questions are then is which tools is the best ones (other than the gold plated $300 Porsche ones) to remove the ball joints on the coffin arms and to lock the cams.

I have seen videos where people have made their own cam locking tools, or am I being foolish trying to save $100?

thanks

Rob
Rob, buy the cam locking tools, all the other ones that you may need should be already on your toolbox, to remove the ball joints, 'borrow one' from Autozone, it works great.

Good luck!
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:18 AM   #12
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Great. I'm ordering the parts from Pelican and this will be next weekend's project!
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Old 05-01-2018, 07:24 AM   #13
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Next question!

Thanks for all the sage advice.
I just got off the phone with my trusty Pelican Parts Specialist (Hi Katy!) and am ordering the parts to refresh the front end. Both Tie rods, control arms, coffin arms, nuts and bolts.
But when trying to order the boots for the steering column, apparently there are different ones depending on the steering rack #
How do I find that #?
We were unable to determine it from the VIN
The car is an 02 Base
As always, your help is appreciated!
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