So I am trying to install new inner tie rods on my 99 Maxima and I must "cinch" the lock plate back onto a groove on the steering rack.

  • I have no idea how I'm supposed to see the location of the groove once the tie rod is torqued down.
  • This makes it difficult to apply force
  • I don't want to damage the rack by pushing in the wrong place
  • I don't know what kind of tool I could use to cinch this plate down.
  • There is barely enough clearance for a hand to pass by the back of the inner.

From the Factory Service Manual [ST-21]:

1999 Nissan Maxima FSM ST-21

In order for this to work I have to:

  • Attach the lock plate to the inner's socket
  • Thread the inner into the rack
  • THEN "cinch" the lock plate down

Any suggestions would be appreciated! Can't wait to get this thing back off the jack stands.

Edit [5 years later]: I went to a Nissan dealer and spoke a technician who was used to working on 4th gen Maximas. He said that he only ever used loctite on these and reinstalled them, never had a problem that he heard about. I used blue loctite and drove the car for another 20k miles without issue. Getting the boots back on the inner tie rod required pulling the engine though...

  • What year is your maxima?
    – vini_i
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 13:41
  • I usually use a punch or a flat tipped screwdriver to get these into place. EDIT: I use a hammer on the screwdriver or punch, btw. Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 14:11
  • @vini_i it's a 1999
    – Shrout1
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 15:17
  • @Paulster2 It's a real tight fit. I can just fit my hand over top of it, no more room than that. The transmission sits directly above it with barely any room.
    – Shrout1
    Commented Feb 26, 2017 at 15:19

1 Answer 1


enter image description here

The installation direction gives a deceptive description. The above pictured tie rod is what you would expect to get (this one is specific to your car). Note the washer. The washer installs between the tie rod and rack. The two tangs in the washer lock into the two holes in the rack (they are pictured in #4 in your picture). Once the tie rod is tight then the washer is bent over at the flats on the tie rod where a wrench would be used.

  • Thanks! The tie rod depicted in my post is identical to the one I'm installing and the lock plate does not have tangs on it. It's sitting, unbooted on the passenger side of my steering rack right now. The diagram is from my copy of the factory service manual and, sadly, I haven't dreamed up a solution just yet. Tomorrow perhaps!
    – Shrout1
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 1:48
  • I wonder if I could just go buy a washer like that... Certainly would be a lot easier to use...
    – Shrout1
    Commented Feb 27, 2017 at 2:52

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