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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I need to replace the tie rod ends on my '04 XC90 T6 as the outer passenger one is going out. I was told that I actually need to replace both sides, which I have no problem with, but the mechanic said I need to replace the sway bar links too. I had a friend look at it who is a shadetree mechanic and he said he doesn't see anything wrong with the sway bar. My mechanic is saying that they have to replace at the same time and this jacks the bill up considerably because of the extra labor for the sway bar. So my question then is are they truly interconnected where everything needs to be replaced, or is my mechanic just trying to "upsell" me at this point?
 

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It's good practice to change them out when doing the rods because you are already in there but I did my tierods without changing the links.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm sure it is, but unfortunately it's a matter of money. I know the tie rods are a safety thing were they to break, but I just don't have the funds to do all of it at once.
 

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I had a shop tried to charge $500 to do the tierrods but they really are not that bad to buy the part and do it yourself. My inner rod was seized to the outer so I had to buy both.

You just have to try and get the tierods as close to the same distance as the ones you take off and then let the shop do an alignment. Would save you a good chunk of change if you can turn a wrench.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
While I can turn a wrench, don't have the tools or the space to do the work...:( I'm just hoping I can do the tie rods and not the sway bar.
 

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End links are what's being mentioned (not the sway bar itself), super easy to do with the front up and a small jack to lift the wheel hub to release stress off the end link to remove and replace. Agree on the surface that ideally you should do both the inner and outer TRE, but if you do the outer it's better than doing nothing.

Would not hurt to double check this is really is a TRE issue, these racks get worn and the slop is sometimes misdiagnosed. I've replaced the racks in both vehicles, having done inner and outer TRE to no avail. If you're doing inner and need a replacement Oetiker clamp for the boot, this guy sells them- https://www.freewebs.com/howardsvolvos/apps/webstore/products/show/2912378

Good luck with your repair
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I will definitely take your advice. I am almost certain that it is the TRE. there is side-to-side play in the wheel and there is a separation in the TRE. I will see if I can get it done cheaper, but at the end of the day, I must get it done sooner than later. I just don't want spend money on stuff I don't need urgently; especially when I don't have the money. :):nono:
 

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Hmm, I don't like your mechanic. The sway bar end links are independent of the tie rod ends. The end links can be changed at any time and do not effect the alignment. If you don't hear a rattle/click over bumps on one side, then the end links are good enough for you to wait. They also will not just break-off, the rattle/click will definitely give you much notice.

The tie rod ends can be done by a mechanic or you. It is really simpler than people think and doesn't require special tools. If you feel safer, have the shop do it and make sure they put quality parts.

Now, you say the wheels are moving, like there is play. Are you sure this isn't the lower control arm bushings? Not the bearings? Are the boots of the tie rod ends torn?
 

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If the outer is indeed the problem, you can chose to just do that outer tie rod end. The inners are the ones that are sometimes hard to properly diagnose because a worn rack can look like a worn inner tie rod end.

The gamble you take by just doing one outer tie rod end is that there is a chance an inner or the other outer develops play shortly after, requiring replacement and another alignment.

Personally, when I inspect a car and find just an outer tie rod end with play, I just recommemd that outer tie rod end. Otherwise, where do you stop? Sure, the othee tie rod end could fail soon. But so could a ball joint. Or strut mount. Or control arm bushing. I'm not going to recommend replacing every suspension component just because one is bad.

The sway bar links have nothing to do with the tie rod, as mentioned.
 

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Maybe there is someone local to you on the forum that could help you out on this. If you wanted to give out your location?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all your advice. I went back to the shop yesterday and I spoke w/ the manager, not the assistant manager, and he got it straightened out. I'm glad I did too because the assistant quoted the wrong parts. Apparently, he quoted for the standard XC90 not the T6, and the manager didn't even mention the sway bar. He even gave me a $40 discount on the alignment. I decided just to do all the tie rod ends, even though it's gonna cost more. I figure it's probably better in the long run. They'll all be new and I don't have to worry about it anymore.
 

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The tie rod ends can be done by a mechanic or you. It is really simpler than people think and doesn't require special tools..
Yup.

I've done tie rods myself for all the cars I've owned. Nothing difficult about it, hardest part is sometimes busting the nut or just getting the outer rod out of the assembly. Thus, when I got our XC90 and did the tie rods myself, was surprised how easy it was on this car. Once I got the top nut off the outer rod, it just pushed right out of the assembly by hand, no need for a hammer, separator or puller.

I have one of those Harbor Freight inner tie rod tools ($32 at the time), that saves a tremendous amount of time for a DIY mechanic. I literally did both sides of the car in under and hour, including lifting the car and removing the wheels. Other than that inner tie rod tool, just used regular sockets/wrenches along with the car jack and stands. Anyone that can turn a wrench, can do this job. You just need to keep track of how many turns to remove the outer rod, in order to be close to alignment when finishing. Luckily and alignment shop is just a block a way from me.
 
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