The Point (for those in a hurry):
What's the deal on the outer tie rods? How long do these normally last? Mine look ugly, boots are in pretty bad shape, but no wheel play and solid joints. Should I consider replacing? 120K miles on the truck.
Short story (for those slightly interested):
Got the lifetime alignment at Firestone and went in today. The tech said he got it aligned but said he wont align it again until I get my outer tie rods replaced.
The boots are pretty bad but no noticeable hole/tear (no excessive grease leaking). Again, the joints are solid. No wheel play.
Long story (my rant for those that are board):
The tech working on my truck likes to assume he is the all knowing god of automobiles and Im a helpless ******. He proceeds to explain to me that if I drove my truck anymore, the tie rods "will snap in two" and that Im a "driving time bomb." I don't want to fight with this guy as he's going be doing my alignment for a long time and tends to do a good job regardless of his interpersonal skills. Either way he's on the list of people I don't piss off: barbers, mechanics, dentists, and cooks. I told him Ill get it looked at (imagine your doctor diagnosing you with cancerous terminal aids and you tell him you will get it looked at...yeah). Anyways, I got home and jacked up the truck found no play at all in the wheels at all. Tie rods look ugly but are holding just fine.
Im pretty the Firestone my contract says he can eat shit while he continues to align my truck regardless of what he thinks of the tie rods but if I go that route I don't think Ill get very good service...