After getting absolutely nothing done last night beyond taking out the old cotter pin, things went way more smoothly this evening. The castle nut finally came off a couple minutes after I started working again, and I removed the tie rod end from the steering knuckle shortly after that.
I was surprised by how quickly the castle nut came off. Granted, I spent four hours fighting it last night with PB blaster and a torch (but that includes a 9:30PM trip to home depot to buy the torch). Then I sprayed it once more this morning before I left. So - fast forward to this evening: the nut pops off instantly after I put a wrench on it and give it a solid kick.
Given what everyone said here last night, I figured removing the tie rod from the steering knuckle would be way worse, but that was quick. Just a shot of PB, a little blow torch action, the tie rod end puller, and of course a BFH. A mallet to be precise. The puller wasn’t doing anything until I brought the BFH out, and that did the job in a few hits. Props to everyone who suggested that yesterday.
Aaaaaand now I’m stuck again. I couldn’t even budge the pinch nut let alone unscrew the outer tie rod from the inner. So I’m just regularly re applying PB blaster. My assumption is that the pinch nut will come off eventually but I’m worried about unscrewing the outer tie rod. There are like 3 inches of thread there AND it will just be loose at that point.
Any suggestions oppo? I need to get a good enough grip on both sections of tie rod somehow. Without breaking anything. How did oppo get that piece of the job done? 2 channel locks, penetrating fluid, and a torch?