How to Replace the Tie Rods on the '00-'06 Chevy Tahoe (With Videos)
This article (with segmented videos) will show you how to replace both the inner and outer tie rod on a '06 Chevy Tahoe. You will find this information useful on many other GMC trucks and SUV's that use the same tie rod design.
On my customer's Tahoe, the dust boots on both the driver's and passenger side inner tie rods were split, with the driver's side showing the most wear. Although the outer tie rods weren't totally worn out, I decided to replace the outer rods as well, considering the truck had over 150,000 miles and was over ten years old.
Symptoms of Worn-Out Tie Rods
The symptoms of worn-out tie rods are:
- Approximately 1/2" to 1" steering wheel deflection (slack) before the front wheels respond.
- Constantly having to make steering corrections to maintain the vehicle's direction (vehicle wanders).
- The steering wheel shakes when you hit bumps.
Do a Front End Alignment After Replacing the Tie Rods
After replacing the tie rods, the customer had a front end alignment done on an alignment machine. You have to do this if you do not want premature tire wear.
Anothr customer of mine went three months without an alignment and wore out his tires to the steel cords. The tires were ready to blow out.
Step by Step: Chevy Tahoe Inner and Outer Tie Rod Replacement (With Videos)
The videos below, with text instructions, will show you step-by-step how to replace both the inner and outer tie rods on a Chevy Tahoe ('01-'06).
1. Disconnect the Outer Tie Rod From the Steering Knuckle
- Remove the outer tie rod's nut.
- Apply hammer blows to where the steering knuckle joins the tie rod to vibrate the tie rod stem loose.
Video: Outer Tie Rod Removal
2. Remove the Inner Tie Rod
- Use a large crescent wrench that expands above 30 mm and that can fit on to the inner tie rod's hex points.
- Torque the inner tie rod off the steering link.
Video: Inner Tie Rod Removal
3. Join the New Outer and Inner Tie Rods and Adjust the Length
- Screw in and join the new outer tie rod with the new inner tie rod. Make sure you first screw on the locking nut on to the inner tie rod.
- Compare the length of the old tie rod assembly with the new assembly. Adjust the new assembly until approximately the same length as the old assembly.
- Tighten the adjustment nut to prevent the outer tie rod from moving. You can use two adjustable wrenches.
Video: Joining the New Outer with the Inner Tie Rod
4. Screw on the New Tie Rod Assembly to the Steering Link
- Screw on the outer tie rod to the steering link. When hand tight, apply final torque with a large crescent wrench.
Video: Attaching the New Inner Tie Rod to the Steering Link
5. Connect the Outer Tie Rod to the Steering Knuckle
- Push the outer tie rod's stud onto the steering knuckle and bolt it. Ensure there's a path for the cotter pin to pass through the castle nut.
- Install a new cotter pin.
Video: Connecting the Outer Tie Rod to the Steering Knuckle
6. Grease the New Inner and Outer Tie Rods
- Using a grease gun or any other grease injection tool, attach the tool to the outer tie rod's grease fitting. Inject enough grease to "pop" or balloon the dust boot. Do not continue injecting grease to the point where grease is leaking out of the edge of the dust boot.
- On the steering link is a grease fitting close to the inner tie rod. Inject enough grease so that the dust boot begins to swell.
Video: Greasing the New Inner and Outer Tie Rods
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
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