2007 Ford Escape Hybrid - Inner tie rod replacement question

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2007 Ford Escape Hybrid - Inner tie rod replacement question

Postby ansonl - March 27th, 2017, 3:29 pm

Hi,

I am planning on replacing my 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid's Inner and Outer Tie Rods and was wondering if the steering gear need to be removed to replace the inner tie rods?

A couple sites I have found on the internet (ex: http://www.justanswer.com/ford/1r0f3-re ... scape.html) show that the Ford manual says to remove the steering gear before replacing the inner tie rods. Is the removal of the steering gear necessary to replace the inner tie rods or does it just make it easier? Are there any caveats I need to know if I don't remove the steering gear?
I have seen other posts (http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/ind ... es.187888/) where explorer owners have replaced their inner tie rods without removing the steering gear even though the explorer manual say to remove the steering gear too.

If anyone with experience doing this could advise that would be great. Thanks! :)
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Re: 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid - Inner tie rod replacement ques

Postby Mike Dee - March 27th, 2017, 6:36 pm

Not sure if the inner wears like all of the other suspension and steering parts. If you have the outer off, then you can wiggle the inner and see how it feels.
The hard part is the lack of room, there are also a couple of special tools you may find useful, but can be done without. With the electric steering, the rack is somewhat easier to take out because of the lack of P/S lines and chance of creating leaks, but its still a huge PIA because of the lack of room. If you find you have to remove too much and drop part of the sub frame, then removing the rack is just an extra few minutes, theres just 2 bolts holding the rack to the frame. If you do that, and you see that the rack is fine, you may also want to change the joint that connects the rack to the steering wheel shaft. Rockauto has them, its basically a mini u-joint. Usually the inner tierods are sealed, so once you get it loosened, then they easily thread off.
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Re: 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid - Inner tie rod replacement ques

Postby ansonl - March 28th, 2017, 6:03 pm

Thanks for the reply! So you are saying that removing the steering rack is necessary to replace the inner tie rod ends? Or just help make space and the replacement easier?

Is an inner tie rod end tool (http://www.autozone.com/loan-a-tools/in ... 552232_0_0) one of these special tools? The current list of tools I am considering renting from autozone are:
- Inner Tie Rod End Tool
- Breaker Bar 1/2 in
- Torque Wrench 1/2 in
- Tie Rod End Puller
Any others I should look for?
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Re: 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid - Inner tie rod replacement ques

Postby Mike Dee - March 29th, 2017, 9:28 pm

You can leave the rack in, like I said, but its very tight, depending on your size, flexibility and skill.
I dont know which inner tierods ones you have, some are round so that you cant put a wrench on them and you need a clamp tool instead. It looks like a muffler clamp but has teeth to bite in as you tighten it.
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Re: 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid - Inner tie rod replacement ques

Postby ansonl - April 26th, 2017, 5:59 pm

To follow up:

I was able to successfully replace the inner and outer tie rods on both sides without removing the steering gear. :woohoo:

Getting the inner tie rod off wasn't possible with the long rod like inner tie rod end tool (it kept slipping even though it fit onto the tie rod) so I bought the clamp looking inner tie rod attachment and a 24in extension bar to remove the inner tie rod end.

For anyone looking to do the same, I have attached the material list and costs for the repair below.
2 ton compact trolley jack does not raise high enough for the 6 ton jack stands.
I mistook the CV axel boot for the inner tie rod boot on accident during the replacement so had Firestone replace the entire CV axel.
Image

I wrote a post on my site with more pictures and descriptions at http://ansonliu.com/2017/04/ford-escape-hybrid-inner-outer-tie-rod-replacement/.
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