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2004 - 2008 Ford F150 General discussion on the 2004 - 2008 Ford F150 truck.

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Old 02-13-2011   #1
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Default Tie Rod Ends

Well I figured out what was loose up front, left hand inner tie rod end.
As far as I can tell, nothing else has any play. If I had the spare cash I would just refresh the front end with all new ball joints and tie rod ends, I did that with the Ranger and I was really happy after the way it drove afterward. But I spent all my cash already. lol.

I'm trying to decide what to order. Inner tie rod ends are about $35 each, outers $38 each. It seems like it would be stupid to replace just one inner tie rod end, align it, and figure out that another one is bad, replace it, align it again, etc.

If I bought new inners, outers, uppers and lower it's about $375 for parts, but I spent all my money on the other junk I've bought in the last month... Maybe I'll just order all of the tie rod ends, and do the ball joints some time in the future.
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Old 02-13-2011   #2
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Well I figured out what was loose up front, left hand inner tie rod end.
As far as I can tell, nothing else has any play. If I had the spare cash I would just refresh the front end with all new ball joints and tie rod ends, I did that with the Ranger and I was really happy after the way it drove afterward. But I spent all my cash already. lol.

I'm trying to decide what to order. Inner tie rod ends are about $35 each, outers $38 each. It seems like it would be stupid to replace just one inner tie rod end, align it, and figure out that another one is bad, replace it, align it again, etc.

If I bought new inners, outers, uppers and lower it's about $375 for parts, but I spent all my money on the other junk I've bought in the last month... Maybe I'll just order all of the tie rod ends, and do the ball joints some time in the future.
Instead of becoming loose, the inner tie-rod end on my Ranger became tight, and made a popping sound.
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Old 02-13-2011   #3
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Yeah sometimes that happens. Rod ends can work into a rough spot and click/pop as they move over it.
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Old 02-13-2011   #4
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I think if I don't work tomorrow, I'll take the truck to the mechanic who re-geared it and see if he can find anything else with play while it's on the rack. It's a pain working by myself on the floor, without a proper floor jack or anything. I've been using the factory jack on some 2x4s (to reach the proper height), and a couple of jackstands that are 2" two short. It is so much easier on a lift!
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Old 02-13-2011   #5
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Brian are you sure they have play? Does it drive funny? Strange tire wear? My F150 always had play in the steering wheel but it was never loose as far as tie rods.

At 60k my lower balljoints were a tad loose but not bad. If you rent the tool from advance auto it is really easy to change the lowers.

I would not change the uppers at all. Mine were great at 60k and my buddy that ran 35s on with a lift had 100k and his uppers were fine. Lowers are probably due however on yours.

I never replaced a Tie-rod though.
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Old 02-13-2011   #6
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Yeah, there is some play.

Basically I started hunting around because the front end jumps around and the steering wheel jerks, when I'm driving on the highway, turning and hit a bump, dip, expansion joint, etc.

It did this before, and it was the wheel bearing. We had it on the rack and grabbed the wheel, it was obvious where the play was. This time there was no play in the wheel bearings. I can't feel any play in the upper ball joints. I thought I saw a little movement from the lower ball joint on the driver's side initially, but I'm not so sure now. At $25 for a lower ball joint I might just order them too.
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Old 02-14-2011   #7
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Well, this morning was a little frustrating. lol

The mechanic that I used for re-gearing wasn't in the shop, so he couldn't give me a labor quote. He also didn't have time today, and wasn't sure when he would.

I priced the lower ball joints, inner and outer tie rod ends on rockauto for about $200. Local part store prices were all over the place, none would price match.

I went to one tire shop and they said they won't install someone else' parts. They quoted $374 for parts, $245 for labor, $65 for an alignment. Umm, no thanks!

I talked to another shop, they said "about $250" for labor, $55 for alignment.

Labor was high at both shops because of the lower ball joints.

I could do them myself, but my neck and back are killing my from working on stuff already. I don't have a good floor jack or jack stands so I don't feel very comfortable working under the truck much. If I had an impact, floor jack and stands and some help I would just do it. Align it at home with fishing line and then have a shop check it. I am pretty well fed up with rusty bolts and hand tools too. ugh. Everything becomes so much more time consuming.
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Old 02-14-2011   #8
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I ordered inners, outers and lower ball joints.

I drove out to my boss' farm to check something on the helicopter, and on the way back I stopped at a small mom & pop garage that I always drive by. I see them out there every morning when I work, figured I'd see if they wanted business. I asked the guy what he might charge for the job, told him that I already had the parts. "Well that makes me happy, now I don't get to sell you parts..."
So I said "Yeah I know, I understand. I already have them though. Any idea what labor might cost?"
"Well that's going to be hell on my guys since you have the parts already." He stood there and stared at me sideways. I stared back at him until he said something. "Well I don't even know when I could do it, probably not even this week."
So I said "Okay, any idea what you might charge?"
"We charge $50/hr for labor, for however long it takes..." Then he stared at me like an idiot again.
So I stared at him again and said, "Nevermind, thanks for your time." He grumbled and walked away.

I wonder, have I ever mentioned that I hate the people here?
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Old 02-14-2011   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian View Post
I ordered inners, outers and lower ball joints.

I drove out to my boss' farm to check something on the helicopter, and on the way back I stopped at a small mom & pop garage that I always drive by. I see them out there every morning when I work, figured I'd see if they wanted business. I asked the guy what he might charge for the job, told him that I already had the parts. "Well that makes me happy, now I don't get to sell you parts..."
So I said "Yeah I know, I understand. I already have them though. Any idea what labor might cost?"
"Well that's going to be hell on my guys since you have the parts already." He stood there and stared at me sideways. I stared back at him until he said something. "Well I don't even know when I could do it, probably not even this week."
So I said "Okay, any idea what you might charge?"
"We charge $50/hr for labor, for however long it takes..." Then he stared at me like an idiot again.
So I stared at him again and said, "Nevermind, thanks for your time." He grumbled and walked away.

I wonder, have I ever mentioned that I hate the people here?
Sounds like shops around here. Most will turn you away if you want to use your own parts.
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Old 02-14-2011   #10
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I expect it with bigger chain stores.

Usually my experience with smaller shops is that they will use your parts, but not warranty anything. And occasionally charge a little more for labor. And well, that's fine sometimes. This guy was just a ***** from the get go, that's all.

And I am totally fine with shops selling their parts if they will order the ones that I want, AS LONG AS they are reasonable. I'm not saying they have to meet internet prices, but 2x what I can pick them up for is not reasonable in my opinion. Especially when they ALSO want $265 for labor.
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