Fulltext TSBs

Technical Service Bulletins

TSB
03-15-13
  • STEERING – TIE ROD END INSPECTION PROCEDURE
Publication Date: July 25, 2003

FORD:
1997-2002 EXPEDITION
1997-2003 F-150
2001-2004 ESCAPE
LINCOLN:
1998-2002 NAVIGATOR
2002-2003 BLACKWOOD

This article supersedes 03-9-9 to update the vehicle models covered.

ISSUE:

This article is to be used as an updated procedure for inspecting tie rod end wear.

ACTION:

This procedure is designed to supplement the Workshop Manual, as it provides a more detailed tie rod end inspection procedure.

SERVICE INFORMATION

NOTE:FOR ESCAPE VEHICLES, THIS TIE ROD END INSPECTION PROCEDURE SHOULD ONLY BE COMPLETED ON THE OUTER TIE RODS. FOR ESCAPE INNER TIE ROD INSPECTION PROCEDURES, REFER TO WORKSHOP MANUAL SECTION 211-00.

Step 1 – Free Play:

Check the outer tie rod ends by grasping by hand and push up and down. Check the inner tie rod ends, pushing them front to rear. If any free play is observed in a joint, it is worn and should be replaced.

Step 2 – Stud Lash – Free Play:

While vehicle is on the ground or on a drive-on hoist, have an assistant rotate the steering wheel rapidly back and forth from 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock to 10 o’clock while observing the inner and outer tie rods. If the outer tie rod ends have any vertical movement or the inner tie rod ends have any horizontal movement, the tie rod end with the observed movement should be replaced.

Step 3 – Seal Inspection:

Raise the vehicle on a hoist and remove the front wheels. The wheels will need to be turned to the right in order to inspect the passenger side inner tie rod end and to the left to inspect the drivers side inner tie rod end. Inspect all four seals for tears, perforations and wear. If there is any indication of wear or perforations on the seal, that tie rod end should be replaced.

Step 4 – Stud Corrosion:

For Escape Vehicles – If Squeak is noticed during Step 2, disconnect tie rod from knuckle and articulate stud in socket. If squeak is verified, replace part. While pushing down on seal, at stud end, if corrosion present at contact point at base of stud, replace part.

For All Other Vehicles Covered In This Article: Using a wrench, rotate the tie rod end so that the front of the seal on the outer tie rod end is expanded (Figure 1). Using a putty knife or other hard, flat, dull object, lift the bottom of the seal up, exposing the stud (Figure 2). If any water escapes from the seal in the form of bubbles or in a liquid form, that tie rod end should be replaced. Closely examine the stud for signs of corrosion, especially around the interface with the knuckle. A rag might be needed to clean off any grease on the stud that impairs a good visual inspection. If there is any sign of corrosion, that tie rod end should be replaced.

Rotate the tie rod end in the opposite direction to expand the inner tie rod seal. Repeat the inspection procedure used on the outer tie rod. Repeat this entire procedure on the other side of the vehicle. If there is sign of corrosion, that tie rod end should be replaced.

NOTE:IF ANY TIE ROD ENDS ARE REMOVED, INSPECT THE SEAL AND THE STUD AGAIN NOTING ANY DIFFERENCES IN VISUAL PERCEPTIONS FROM WHEN THE PART WAS ON THE VEHICLE. CHECKING THE STUD AFTER REMOVAL HELPS IMPROVE CONSCIOUSNESS OF ISSUES WHEN INSPECTING PARTS ON VEHICLE.

OTHER APPLICABLE ARTICLES:

NONE

SUPERSEDES:

03-9-9

WARRANTY STATUS:

Information Only




Figure 1 – Article 03-15-13




Figure 2 – Article 03-15-13