If you’re a DIY enthusiast or find yourself in a situation where you need to replace the inner tie rod of your vehicle but don’t have access to specialized tools, fret not. With a bit of patience and some basic tools, you can successfully remove the inner tie rod without the need for specialized equipment. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process to accomplish this task effectively and safely.


Before diving into the removal process, let’s understand what inner tie rods are and why it’s crucial to maintain them properly. Inner tie rods are essential components of a vehicle’s steering system, connecting the steering rack to the outer tie rods. They play a pivotal role in ensuring smooth and responsive steering control.

Why Remove Inner Tie Rods?

Knowing when to replace or repair inner tie rods is essential for maintaining the overall health of your vehicle’s steering system. Here are some signs that indicate it’s time to remove and replace the inner tie rods:

  • Excessive play or looseness in the steering wheel
  • Unusual noises, such as clunking or knocking, when turning the steering wheel
  • Uneven tire wear, particularly on the front tires
  • Visible damage or corrosion on the inner tie rod assembly

Precautions and Safety Measures

Before you begin the removal process, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Here are some precautions to keep in mind:

  • Always wear safety goggles and gloves to protect your eyes and hands from potential injuries.
  • Park the vehicle on a level surface and engage the parking brake to prevent it from rolling.
  • Use jack stands to support the vehicle securely while working underneath it.

Steps to Remove Inner Tie Rod Without a Tool

Step 1: Prepare the Necessary Tools and Materials

Gather the following tools and materials before you start:

  • Jack and jack stands
  • Lug wrench
  • Adjustable wrench or pipe wrench
  • Penetrating oil or WD-40
  • Hammer
  • Inner tie rod end tool (optional but not required)

Step 2: Loosen the Jam Nut

Using an adjustable wrench or pipe wrench, loosen the jam nut located on the inner tie rod. Apply penetrating oil or WD-40 to the threads if the nut is stubborn or corroded.

Step 3: Remove the Tie Rod End from the Steering Knuckle

Remove the cotter pin and castle nut securing the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Use a hammer to gently tap the steering knuckle to release the tie rod end.

Step 4: Detach the Inner Tie Rod from the Outer Tie Rod

Using an adjustable wrench or pipe wrench, unscrew the inner tie rod from the outer tie rod. If necessary, use a hammer to tap the inner tie rod to loosen it from the outer tie rod.

Step 5: Install the New Inner Tie Rod

Once the old inner tie rod is removed, thread the new inner tie rod into the outer tie rod assembly. Tighten the jam nut securely and reattach the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Ensure all connections are tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications.


Removing an inner tie rod without specialized tools is entirely feasible with the right approach and precautions. By following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can successfully replace the inner tie rod of your vehicle and ensure smooth steering performance.


  1. Can I use a regular wrench instead of a pipe wrench?
    • While a pipe wrench provides better leverage, a regular wrench can also be used effectively for this task.
  2. Do I need to align the wheels after replacing the inner tie rod?
    • Yes, it’s recommended to get a wheel alignment done after replacing the inner tie rod to ensure proper steering geometry.
  3. What should I do if the inner tie rod is stuck?
    • Applying penetrating oil and using a hammer to tap the tie rod gently can help loosen it. If it’s still stuck, consider using an inner tie rod end tool for added leverage.
  4. How often should I inspect the inner tie rods for wear and damage?
    • It’s a good practice to inspect the steering system, including the inner tie rods, during regular maintenance intervals or whenever you notice symptoms of steering issues.
  5. Can I drive the vehicle without replacing a damaged inner tie rod?
    • Driving with a damaged inner tie rod can compromise steering control and lead to further damage to other components. It’s best to replace it as soon as possible to ensure safe driving conditions.
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