Installing a new or rebuilt Rack & Pinion system in your car can easily breath new life back into the vehicle. Precise and smooth control of the wheel can be the central part of the driving experience which determines comfort and handling. It may sound like a complicated procedure, but this repair job is one that is actually within the reach of anyone with even minor automotive experience. The process is virtually the same with most vehicles. The only variable may be the method for removing the system from the frame.
The first replacement step is to remove the old Rack & Pinion system. You will need to adjust the wheel so that the tires are in the forward position, and lock them in place. Once complete, disconnect the positive and negative cables from the car battery. Using a jack, lift the car so that the front wheels can be removed. Continue the repair by draining the power steering fluid and detaching the lower joint of the wheel column.
The next step involves the tie rods and engine mounts. Remove all nuts from the inner and outer tie rods. Once free, disconnect the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles. The front exhaust tube must then be detached before removing the center member and all the nuts attached to the engine mounts. Next, you will remove the bulkhead hole cover by, again, removing all nuts.
Now, to the Rack & Pinion itself. Remove the lower joint and mark the neutral position of the steering for later reference. Also be sure to mark the central housing and the shaft. You then remove the entire system by detaching the power fluid pipes and the mounting bracket bolts.
Installing the new system is essentially the above process in reverse. The new system should be put in place…the mounting brackets, too. Verify all replaced nuts are properly tightened using a torque wrench. The hoses which supply the system with power steering fluid must now be put back into place. Reconnect both the high-pressure line and the low-pressure line, ensuring they are well secured to prevent future leakage.
The pinion shaft must be properly aligned when it’s reinstalled. This step takes advantage of the neutral position of the wheel marked earlier. The mark indicates where the component should be attached to the steering joint. Once these items are in place, the bulkhead can be properly put back into place. The front stabilizer is next on our checklist. Gather the nuts and mounting gear for the engine mounting center. Put the component back into its original position. Tighten it securely into place. As the replacement nears an end, tighten the nuts on the tie rod ends, and secure the new cotter pin. All other securing nuts should then be put in place for tightening. The last step in the process is to refill the power steering fluid reservoir. You must then bleed the system to achieve optimal performance. In some cases, the repair process may also call for aligning all of the wheels.
Rocky Mountain Driveline is your local leader for rebuilt rack & pinion units. Call or stop by today!