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Discussion Starter #1
This is the second steering system DIY repair I'm attempting. I replaced the intermediate steering shaft in the fall. I've still got a crazy amount of horizontal play on the wheels resulting in really loose steering so I'm considering replacing the inner and outer tie rods on my cobalt and wondering what the difference between the two options available for both inner and outer could be (both options compatible with the same vehicle):

Moog Tie Rod End - Outer
Part Number: 30480-05080640
This Part Fits:​
Catalog: B

Moog Tie Rod End - Outer
Part Number: 30480-07422808
This Part Fits:​
Catalog: N


I've also read Moog is the premium option for any parts with balljoints/bushings because they have grease fittings which is why I've decided on Moog parts.
 

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Looking at the partsgeek catalogue is always confusing. I really have no idea if they’re just listing some older parts or what exactly. Moog did make a value line of parts. The premium stuff has metal internal bushings while the value line had the nylon bushings like an oem part. There should be no difference throughout the years on the outer tie rod ends fitment between Cobalt models.

I will say I have always thought highly of Moog stuff, but had a problem last Friday with some ball joints. Although, they were going on a Ford F-350 4X4 dually. They would bind up, and caused me a lot of trouble. Instead went with oem Motorcraft TRW non greasable ball joints from the dealership. Usually isn’t the case, but I do run into bad parts every now and then. More so with cheap Chinese stuff though.

AC Delco oem is always good, so is the AC Delco Professional. TRW makes really good parts. So those would be others I wouldn’t give a second thought to if they’re what’s available. MAS is also really good.

I get a lot of customers that have done steering and suspension repairs themselves. Some do a great job, others not. Some of the not so good comes from other shops too. But I usually catch it while doing their alignment. So plan on getting an alignment right after replacing steering or suspension parts. Find a shop that has someone that knows what they’re doing. At least here where I live I have to redo alignments that other shops have screwed up. It happens several times a week, which I find to be crazy. But people have to bring me stuff to fix very often that other shops have messed up somehow along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Looking at the partsgeek catalogue is always confusing. I really have no idea if they’re just listing some older parts or what exactly. Moog did make a value line of parts. The premium stuff has metal internal bushings while the value line had the nylon bushings like an oem part. There should be no difference throughout the years on the outer tie rod ends fitment between Cobalt models.

I will say I have always thought highly of Moog stuff, but had a problem last Friday with some ball joints. Although, they were going on a Ford F-350 4X4 dually. They would bind up, and caused me a lot of trouble. Instead went with oem Motorcraft TRW non greasable ball joints from the dealership. Usually isn’t the case, but I do run into bad parts every now and then. More so with cheap Chinese stuff though.

AC Delco oem is always good, so is the AC Delco Professional. TRW makes really good parts. So those would be others I wouldn’t give a second thought to if they’re what’s available. MAS is also really good.

I get a lot of customers that have done steering and suspension repairs themselves. Some do a great job, others not. Some of the not so good comes from other shops too. But I usually catch it while doing their alignment. So plan on getting an alignment right after replacing steering or suspension parts. Find a shop that has someone that knows what they’re doing. At least here where I live I have to redo alignments that other shops have screwed up. It happens several times a week, which I find to be crazy. But people have to bring me stuff to fix very often that other shops have messed up somehow along the way.
Thanks for the tips on the various parts manufacturers.

My partner wanted me to just replace the vehicle with a new one instead of putting more time and money into repairing it. For me it's a good opportunity to learn more about how to diagnose issues and DIY repair if possible while I have the time (and interest) during this pandemic. I figure I might as well do both inner and outer tie rods together while I'm under there since taking it in for the alignment will be the biggest expense. I'm going to need a new set of summer/all season tires as well.

It was pretty frustrating trying to remove the intermediate steering shaft last fall because everywhere I read said it was supposed to be a collapsible shaft but the one installed was not. I had to use a sawzall and cut it in half to remove it. Getting the new one back on was no problem.

Breaking apart the rusted bearing/hub assembly from the steering knuckle and dust cover wasn't an easy task either. For that I saturated it in pb blaster and followed a recommendation to use the strength of the power steering system to break the rust seal. Despite reading opinions saying that method could damage other components I tried it after other various failed attempts and it seemed to work.
 

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to do the inner tie rod you may need the special tool for it. Most parts store will rent one out free or cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
to do the inner tie rod you may need the special tool for it. Most parts store will rent one out free or cheap.
Thanks. I've seen at least 3 variants of tools used for the inner tie rods being removed in various videos with a big range in prices for the required tool. I'll definitely inquire about renting the tool instead of purchasing it.
 

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I did mine a while back when I had an 07 Cobalt LS. That was when I didn't know as much about cars. It was pretty easy just kinda tight doing it with the car on the gound. A lift would probably make it easier, but its not needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The hydraulic trolley jack I purchased a couple years ago is still available at Canadian tire: https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/certified-jack-combo-kit-2-ton-2993046p.html#srp

I sort of regret getting the cheapest clearance sale option that was available at the time but like you I knew less 2 years ago than I do now. However it's already paid for itself just in the number of seasons I've swapped out the winter and all seasons tire sets I have on rims myself which is why I purchased it. Now that I've been doing some repairs myself I can see how more height would make things so much easier. I was looking at all the alternative types of lifts out there and there's some really amazing technologies out there.
 

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I have a few cheap jacks around in my garage. I do have one good jack though. The cheaper ones are jack I bought while traveling, and needed one for something, and didn't ahve my good with me.
 
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