I recently had to change a tie rod end on the steering rack of the van. I also took the opportunity to change the steering rack gaiter as well as both of these jobs needed doing for the upcoming MOT.
The replacement of the tie rod end is pretty straight forward, I just had to loosen a locking nut that secures the tie rod onto the steering rack. I then popped the ball joint using a special fork and hammer. I could have used a proper ball joint splitter, but this was lent out to friend some time ago, and I haven't seen it back yet! Doh!
With the tie rod end off, I could remove the old steering rack gaiter, and then proceed to fit the new one! And what a pain in the ass it was fitting the new gaiter.
It took 2 of us to slide the gaiter over the inner part of the steering rack. Access was tight, and I was working from under the van, while my dad was working from within the wheel arch. With the help of a few screwdrivers and lost of swearing, the gaiter finally popped into position, and I then secured it with a zip tie.
The outer part of the gaiter was much easier, and was done in a few minutes. I then screwed on the new tie rod end, and did up the locking nut, and then secured the ball joint into position with a new nyloc nut.
As the tie rod ends are what control the tracking on the front of the van, I am now going to take the van to get tracking set up correctly.
As you can see in the photos (and video above), the old tie rod end was well past its best!