Author Topic: Inner Tie Rod tool?  (Read 336 times)

Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39
Inner Tie Rod tool?
« on: July 24, 2020, 05:40:48 PM »
Hi - I've got to change the tie rods on my mkV GTI and from a bit of interweb research, and having a quick look while under the car, it seems to be to the case that there'll be clearance issues with getting a spanner on them? I've downloaded relevant sections from Erwin, and they use a special crow's foot spanner - but I'm not sure it would fit on the GTI?

I've seen two styles of inner tie rod tool - and the longer pipe style (where you insert a crows foot at the end) look to be good? Please could someone provide some advice on this if they've dome it themselves?

I've done them on my m3 a few times and bought a 46cm long 34mm spanner (whcih was a bargain at £13 for a halfords professional one...) - and that does the job pretty well on our E46s, but there are no clearance issues... I've also had to guesstimate the torque when reinstalling - so it'd be useful to use a tool which attaches to a ratchet.

Grateful if someone could share their experience on this.

Many thanks!

Offline FJB

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 10
  • Posts: 58
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2020, 06:05:17 PM »
I did mine using an adjustable spanner, if you don't have one large enough grips or similar will do the job. Jack up the car on both sides, go full lock on each side to move the tie rod nut out further and you will have enough access to be able to undo them.

Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2020, 07:04:33 PM »
Ah great - sounds like there’s enough room with the rack wound fully out then. I tend to wind them fully in on the bmws so I can put some force on the end of the rack without damaging it. Will see how I go. I always use a bit of blue thread lock too on installation.

Many thanks.

Offline LC5F

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 247
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2020, 08:00:47 PM »
I've seen two styles of inner tie rod tool - and the longer pipe style (where you insert a crows foot at the end) look to be good?

I did mine recently, I have had a cheap tube one that I have had for years and used on several VW's - it's great as you can confidently undo and torque with it...
However the Mk5 inner track rod is bigger than my tool can accommodate - I just measured the stump of one of the rods in my scrap pile, its 38mm across the flats, too big for your spanner.

In desperation ended up using the type below - that I had struggled with in the past, It does have a tendency to skate more than grip, but to my surprise I got it to work, the bigger diameter must help.


There is a good amount of space down there - Look into getting a Stilson type of wrench







Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2020, 10:09:40 PM »
Thanks for this. Very helpful. It’ll obviously become slightly clearer once I’ve started trying to disassemble, but I’m trying to minimise downtime on the car (the bmws we’ve got are two door and a bgger to get a car seat in...). The tubes look good - but yes - 38mm is too big for them I think (the tie rods on the M3 are 34mm!) - so good to know that the “cam” style of tool can work (I think I saw someone use sandpaper with one once to get some extra purchase...).

Do you reckon a 38mm jumbo spanner would fit/enough clearance?


Offline LC5F

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 247
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2020, 10:35:00 PM »
Can't say for sure - I was interested in getting my Golf back on the road, I managed to snap 3 out of 4 16mm consol bolts and disabled the Golf for 8 days - so I was nearly throwing it back together!
Personally I would prefer to reduce the strain on the rack by keeping the steering straight ahead, but if you go full lock it may well poke out enough -but I would suggest stilsons would be more useful than a massive spanner with only one use.

Sandpaper - good idea - I got that skating type first, it failing miserably on my Mk3 Valver and sat in the roll cab for at least 5 years, at least I finally got Torvill & Dean to work.

Offline Pudding

  • Just look at my post count
  • ******
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 2
  • -Receive: 500
  • Posts: 5868
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2020, 12:06:53 PM »
I've seen two styles of inner tie rod tool - and the longer pipe style (where you insert a crows foot at the end) look to be good?

I did mine recently, I have had a cheap tube one that I have had for years and used on several VW's - it's great as you can confidently undo and torque with it...
However the Mk5 inner track rod is bigger than my tool can accommodate - I just measured the stump of one of the rods in my scrap pile, its 38mm across the flats, too big for your spanner.

In desperation ended up using the type below - that I had struggled with in the past, It does have a tendency to skate more than grip, but to my surprise I got it to work, the bigger diameter must help.


There is a good amount of space down there - Look into getting a Stilson type of wrench

I also have the tube style one that you slide over the tie rods, but that was for my old MK4 R32.  Thanks for sparing me the frustration of jacking it up and finding out the hard way that it doesn't fit  :grin: :happy2:


2007 ED30 | Ohlins Coilovers | Revo Map | Plus some other stuff | Is all a GTI needs :-)

Offline LC5F

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 247
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2020, 01:28:23 PM »
Actually... the tube could be used -
Years ago there was an online DIY for making one, I can remember a length of scaffold pole, 4 holes drilled & tapped and you just add bolts to grip onto the inner tie rod.  I can't remember how the other end worked for 1/2 inch drive -it may have been a socket sacrificed to weld inside the tube.

Back to the present day - the tube tool has 2 bolts already to hold the adaptors - you just need to add 2 more bolts and away you go!

Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2020, 01:33:09 PM »
I think there are two style of tube. One has a cam/clutch type arrangement and the other has lugs to retain removable/different sized crows feet. The crows feet version might be ok? Will attach something links...

Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39

Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2020, 01:35:51 PM »

Offline LC5F

  • Always Involved
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 8
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 247
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2020, 10:10:00 PM »
This style has internal cams:

https://www.gsfcarparts.com/987aa5941?auto_apply_coupon=SHOP60&gclid=CjwKCAjw9vn4BRBaEiwAh0muDOv07BqxcGPVMZYpstot0R-umR8nYT73fA37aLINFnsC2SsrOPGX7hoCNh4QAvD_BwE

Yeah - saw those too, Laser stuff is OK, but considering how often you will get to use it, thats a lot of cash, this ebay one is half the price and has 3 sizes:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4pc-Inner-Track-Rod-Tool-Steering-Rack-Knuckle-Tie-Rod-End-Axial-Joint-Remover/283264866260?hash=item41f3e6d7d4:g:Xf8AAOSwN~VeeBTR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lisle-45750-Inner-Tie-Tool/dp/B0002SRGFW

Crows foot version.
That seems similar to mine - but mine has bolts to hold the different fittings, that one looks like it just slots in place, could be a PITA to use - Wow! thats a mad price

Offline svvg

  • Taking part
  • ***
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 1
  • Posts: 39
Re: Inner Tie Rod tool?
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2020, 10:51:46 PM »
Decided that it’ll either come of easy or it’ll be a total bastrd - not likely to be somewhere in between! - and when looking at the tools, the crows feet are clearly going to snap the lugs off which fit into the tube - so bought a Sealey impact crows foot for £16. Should be able to get an impact gun/breaker bar on and achieve the same thing - and also do it up to torque spec (which I always like to do...). Keeping fingers crossed on it - assuming Autodoc ever deliver the parts I ordered about two weeks ago!