Unsurprisingly our R50 Mini is broken again. The inner tie rods are shot – enough that we got an advisory on our latest MOT – so it’s time to get them replaced. You WILL need a special tool for this, but happily it’s not expensive.
As you might expect, you’ll need the car up in the air. When jacking your car up ALWAYS use a jack stand. The time you don’t is the time it’ll bit you, and a tonne of steel won’t notice you under it. Once jacked, you’ll need the wheel off. The next step is to then remove the outer tie rod ball joint, starting with the 16mm nut on top. I used a ball joint press kit to pop this out, although in theory a big hammer on the side of the knuckle should do the job too.
You’ll need to break the clips on the dust boot, then pull the boot out the way. In comes the inner tie rod end tool to loosen the whole thing, then you can just unscrew it. I did my best to match the length of the new assembly to the old one, but either way you’ll want an alignment after this anyway. You can then spin the new assembly on, using the tool to lock it down tight. Next is the clamps for the dust boot, then the tie rod end ball joint can go back into the knuckle with a new nylock nut. Then it’s just putting the wheel back on, torque the bolts, then repeat on the other side.