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So I installed some new front end components, including tie rods and the tie rod dust boots. 2 or 3 weeks ago I took the pilot to a shop for an alignment, after which I noticed the dust boots were twisted on both passenger and driver side - they have holes now so they need to be replaced at this point.

To get twisted around like that, the only reasoning I can think of is that the inner tie rod was rotated for the adjustment, but the outer part of the boot was not held in place/loosened. It seems exactly like this post from a Taurus forum: Wheel alignment disappointment
This seems like the obvious answer but the shop doesn’t seem to agree - I’m not going crazy here am I? I’ve reallynever had an issue with this shop before, so any other opinion is appreciated.
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They damaged them because the boots don't rotate like CV joints. You're going to have to argue with the manager/owner that is if you don't have before and after pictures. Someone (we all know who) didn't release the boot clamps (at the outer end) because the inner rod has a large nut that screws onto the steering rack itself and it's a ball and socket joint there. Now how the "mechanic" didn't see or know this was happening is beyond me, moving the clamps off the boots is one of early steps. Take your receipts for the argument, you may have to call corporate.
 
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