Hiring a professional mechanic to replace a tie rod in a Mercury Cougar will cost about $250. Imagine how much you can save if you only know how to replace the auto part yourself. A tie rod replacement part for a Mercury Cougar costs only about $50. Changing it doesn’t require special knowledge, skills, and even tools. But it is important and will be helpful to know the basics of replacing a tie rod in a Mercury Cougar. Read the instructions below and learn how to replace the old tie rod:
- Read the Mercury Cougar manual. Different models of this automobile may have different engineering. Familiarize the engineering of this automobile and see if the manual has special instructions when replacing the tie rod. Also, purchase a tie rod that’s specially made for your car’s model.
- Prepare the Mercury Cougar. Open its hood and then disconnect the battery’s negative cable. Use a car jack to lift up the Cougar and prepare it for loosening the wheels. The lug nut wrench is effective in loosening the lug nuts that secure the front tires. Set the lug nuts aside and then take off the wheels.
- Access the tie rod. You need to take out the wheel’s front subframe. Take off also the steering gear’s rack and pinion. Secure again the rack and pinion using a holding fixture. The outer tie rod should be visible by now.
- Remove the old tie rod. Remove the screw that attaches the outer tie rod. Take note of how many turns it took you to remove the screws. You’ll have to use the same number of turns when installing the new tie rod. Remove also the connecting clamp to the tie rod. It’s below the part’s spindle. Remove also the bellows by loosening the inner clamp. Access the pinion teeth by moving the rack and pinion. Now hold the rack using a wrench and use another wrench to unscrew the tie rod’s ball joint nut. The tie rod should be removable by now. Set the old tie rod aside. Check also the rack and pinion if there is any fluid leaks. Change the rack and pinion if there are leaks.
- Install the tie rod replacement. Attach the inner tie rod in place and then secure the rack and pinion. Secure the ball joint nut using a wrench as you grab the rack with another wrench. Apply some lubrication on the bellow’s lips and on the part when it is connected to the spindle. This way, the shaft is free to turn without any resistance. Put in the bellows and the inner clamp in place. A wrench will be useful for tightening the clamp. Put in the new outer clamp using needle-nose pliers. Apply lubrication on the outer clamp and then screw it on using the same number of turns.
- Put back the removed parts together. Secure the rack and pinion and put back the parts that you have removed like the wheel’s front subframe and the wheel assembly. Also remove the car jack. Reconnect the negative battery cable wire.
Follow the same procedures when changing other tie rods in your Mercury Cougar. Test your automobile after changing the tie rod. See if this has changed the automobile’s performance. The automobile should feel stable and easy to control with its newly replaced tie rod.