How to change a track rod end

Written by russell wood
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Rod ends have many different uses. Some people use them for building custom 4-links, others for tie rod ends and linkages. They're pretty versatile, and depending on what you want to build, you've got some options. Changing them is only slightly tricky and involves a bit of planning depending on placement. In this case, we'll use a lifted Jeep as an example, one equipped with a 4-link and coils.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Jack
  • Jack stands
  • 3/8-inch ratchet and socket set
  • Wrench set
  • Hammer
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Tape measure

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  1. 1

    Jack up the vehicle using the jack, and place it on jack stands. Make sure the vehicle is secure before you crawl underneath it.

  2. 2

    Remove the bolt that holds the rod end in place. Generally, it's a nut and bolt combination, so use the 3/8-inch ratchet and wrench to remove the bolt.

  3. 3

    Drop the rod end out of the mount. This should just drop out of place, but it may take a bit of tweaking depending on how much space the rod end has to work with.

  4. 4

    Place a wrench on the jam nut that locks the rod end in place, and twist the rod end out of the link. If the rod end is tightly in place, put a screwdriver in the centre of the rod end to twist off for leverage. Rod ends come in left- and right-hand threads, so if it doesn't loosen in one direction, try the other.

  5. 5

    Loosen the jam nut off the old rod end, and place it on the new rod end.

  6. 6

    Screw the new rod end into the original link. For good alignment, make sure it's screwed it in as tightly as the original rod end. You may want to measure the opposing link with a tape measure to make sure they match.

  7. 7

    Place the rod end into the original mount, and bolt it in place.

  8. 8

    Tighten the jam nut onto the linkage with a wrench. Once everything is tightened up, lower the vehicle off the jack stands with the jack.

Tips and warnings

  • Always be careful when you're supporting a vehicle by a jack. Make sure the vehicle is completely secured before you crawl underneath it.

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