Love them or hate them the seventh generation Honda Civic was quite the departure from what most people came to associate with the Civic. Coinciding with the 2001 model year of the Honda Civic was the retirement of the D and B series motors that powered racers throughout the 80s and 90s to make way for the K series engine.
Many changes to the chassis and engine as well as the front suspension ( from double wishbone to MacPherson strut ) that caused this model to dip popularity from the aftermarket industry. Today we’ll be looking at how to replace a tie rod on a 2001 Honda Civic 2 door, and we’ll also be taking a look at how the process has changed from earlier model Honda Civics.
Tools you will need to complete our How To Replace a Civic Tie Rod.
- Automotive Lift ( jack and jackstands if not available )
- 14mm open end wrench
- 12mm open end wrench
- needle nose pliers
As with all our writeups and how-tos if you do not feel comfortable working on your own vehicle take it to a ASE certified mechanic. Before you begin our How To Replace a Civic Tie Rod article, make sure you have the tools and a friend to help you stay safe.
Start with one side of the vehicle if you do not have access or means to a lift and loosen your front lug nuts. Then raise and secure the vehicle safely and make sure you are working on level ground. Remove the front wheel and inspect your outer tie rod end, clean the area if any grease is leaking from the outer tie rod boot.
A look at the castle nut and cotter pin that must be removed in order to undo your outer tie rod end, ours in question happens to damaged and will require replacement. The part number for this outer tie rod end is 53541-S5A-003, and can be replaced by any shadetree mechanic.
Remove the cotter pin with your needle nose pliers, use care or it may break or become damaged when removing. Your replacement unit should have come with a replacement cotter pin so your primary concern should be to not damage the threads on the outer tie rod.
Next you will need to loosen the jam nut on your outer tie rod, this must be done with the outer tie rod in place so do not remove the castle nut just yet. You can use a white marker or chalk to “mark” where the outer tie rod is roughly sitting so that you do not throw off your alignment too badly.
Now undo the castle nut on your outer tie rod, this may be a tricky proposal especially if you live in areas where it snows. The outer tie rod castle nut is exposed to the elements as well as the threads, so make sure you try and remove the nut as cleanly as possible.
Now with the castle nut removed, use a tie rod puller or tie rod seperator to remove the outer tie rod from the spindle. We do not recommend banging on it with a hammer, as you may deform or damage the spindle or possibly other components of your suspension.
Remove the outer tie rod and set it to the side clear of your spindle. You can also turn the spindle the opposite way, allowing you the maximum amount of room to loosen the jam nut and spin off the outer tie rod. If you are going to be pushing your spindle the opposite direction, make sure to loosen your brake line bracket so that the spindle and hub assembly can move.
Slide your open end wrench over the back of the inner tie rod and hold the inner tie rod still. With the wrench in place turn the outer tie rod counterclockwise until it comes right off the inner rod. Make sure you mark how far the outer tie rod is screwed onto the inner tie rod, or simply count the number of times you unscrew it during removal.
Take your replacement outer tie rod and spin it into the steering rack, while making sure that the tie rod end cleanly and neatly screws on. Make sure to go slowly if you feel your inner tie rod threads feel bad or do not feel as though your replacement is screwing on smoothly.
Using a 1/.2 inch torque wrench, now torque the castle nut to 33 ft lbs and the correct socket. Take your replacement cotter pin and slide it through the castle nut and the hole in the outer tie rod. If your castle nut is not aligned correctly, tighten the castle nut until the hole is lined up enough for you to insert the cotter pin.
Make sure to tighten the jam nut on your tie rod, using the same principles when you removed it. Make sure the jam nut is tight and recheck all of your work. Once the cotter pin is inserted and bent away to prevent the cotter pin from sliding out you are now done!
If you are using an automotive jack and jack stands, repeat the steps for the opposite side and complete the job fully.
You have now completed our How To Replace a Civic Tie Rod writeup on your 2001 Honda Civic. Congratulations!
- Pro Street Staff