AMC Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1975-1988 Repair Information

Manual Steering Gear

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REMOVAL & INSPECTION EXCEPT PACER



See Figures 1, 2 and 3

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Fig. Fig. 1: Use puller J-5566-04 or its equivalent to remove the pitman arm



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Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of the Pitman shaft seal assembly sequence



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Fig. Fig. 3: Sectional view of the intermediate shaft and flexible coupling alignment

  1. Remove the flexible coupling bolts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the pitman arm, using puller J-5566-04 or its equivalent.
  4.  
  5. Remove the steering gear mounting screws and lower the steering gear.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Center the steering gear with the index mark up. The mark on the shaft of the flange must be aligned at assembly.
  2.  
  3. Insert the flexible coupling bolts into the shaft flange. Tighten the nuts to 20 ft. lbs. torque and the pinch bolt 30 ft. lbs.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the gear mounting screws to 65 ft. lbs. and the Pitman arm nut to 115 ft. lbs.
  6.  

After tightening the Pitman shaft nut, stake the thread at nut with a center punch to insure nut retention. Whenever the steering gear assembly is removed for replacement or overhaul, or the mounting bolts are loosened for any reason, the steering column MUST be realigned to the gear assembly. Slight misalignment of the steering column may cause increased steering effort and additional wear to the steering components.

Pacer

GEAR ASSEMBLY
  1. Unlock the steering column.
  2.  
  3. Raise and support the front of the car.
  4.  
  5. Remove the screws attaching the reinforcement brace to the front crossmember and the left engine support bracket and remove the brace.
  6.  
  7. Remove the flexible coupling pinch bolt and disengage the flexible coupling from the steering gear pinion shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pins and nuts from the tie rod ends.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the rod ends using tool J-26951 or its equivalent.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bolts attaching the steering gear mounting clamp to the right side of the front crossmember.
  14.  

Before removing the bolts, loosen them slightly to minimize clamp distortion.

  1. Remove the steering gear housing-to-crossmember nuts. Remove the bolts, washers, sleeves, and grommets using a blunt punch.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the bottom of gear housing toward the front of the car until the pinion shaft is approximately parallel with the skid plate. Slide the gear assembly toward the right side of the car until the housing and tube clear the mounting plate and remove the steering gear assembly.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Assemble the grommets, sleeves, and washers and install them on the steering gear. The sleeves will hold the grommets in place during assembly.
  2.  
  3. Position the steering gear assembly on the crossmember. Install the tube and housing from the right side of the car. During installation, keep the pinion shaft approximately parallel with the mounting plate.
  4.  
  5. Install the mounting clamp-to-crossmember attaching bolts. Hand-tighten the bolts only.
  6.  
  7. Install the steering gear housing-to-crossmember attaching bolts, washers, and nuts and tighten them to 60 ft. lbs. torque.
  8.  
  9. Tighten the mounting clamp-to-crossmember attaching bolts to 50 ft. lbs. torque.
  10.  
  11. Connect the tie rod ends to the steering arms. Tighten the nuts to 50 ft. lbs. torque and install the replacement cotter pins.
  12.  
  13. Align the flat spline on the pinion shaft with the flat on the flexible coupling and install the coupling on the shaft. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it to 30 ft. lbs. torque.
  14.  
  15. Install the bolts attaching the reinforcement brace to the front crossmember and the engine support bracket. Tighten the bolts to 30 ft. lbs. torque.
  16.  
  17. Remove the supports and lower the car.
  18.  
  19. Check and correct the toe-in adjustment if necessary.
  20.  

RUBBER BOOT

See Figures 4, 5 and 6

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Fig. Fig. 4: Exploded view of the manual steering assemblyPacer models



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use tool J-26951 or its equivalent to disconnect the tie rod end from the manual steering gearPacer



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Fig. Fig. 6: Manual steering gear mounting and componentsPacer models

  1. Raise and support the front end of the car.
  2.  
  3. Cut and remove the boot clamps from the boot adjacent to the mounting clamp.
  4.  
  5. Mark the position of the adjuster tube and tie rod for assembly reference.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the adjuster tube clamp bolts and unthread the tube from tie rod.
  8.  
  9. Remove the boot.
  10.  


CAUTION
Do not allow the protective boot to become cut or torn during service operations. A damaged boot will expose the gear internal components to dirt, foreign material, and road splash resulting in premature wear.

  1. Remove the bolts attaching the mounting clamp to the front crossmember. Loosen the bolts before removing to minimize clamp distortion.
  2.  
  3. Remove the clamp and grommet using a twisting, pulling motion.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install a replacement clamp and grommet. Align the hole in the grommet with the breather tube.
  2.  
  3. Install the mounting clamp attaching bolts. Tighten the bolts to 50 ft. lbs. torque.
  4.  
  5. Install the boot. Align the hole in the boot with the breather tube.
  6.  
  7. Install the boot clamps. Position the ear of the clamps 3 / 4 in. (19.05mm) from the breather tube. Compress the clamps using tool J-22610 or its equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Install the adjuster tube on the tie rod and tighten the clamp bolts to 22 ft. lbs. torque.
  10.  

At least three threads should be visible at each end of adjuster tube. The number of threads per side should not differ by more than three.

  1. Remove the supports, lower the car, and correct the toe-in as necessary.
  2.  

BREATHER TUBE
  1. Raise and support the front of the car.
  2.  
  3. Cut and remove the large diameter boot clamps from the boots.
  4.  
  5. Slide the boots away from the breather tube and remove the tube.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Install the replacement breather tube. Align the holes in the boots with the tube.
  2.  
  3. Position the boots on the flanges at each end of the tube and housing and install the boot clamps. Position the clamp ear 3 / 4 in. (19.05mm) from the breather tube. Tighten the clamps using tool J-22610 or its equivalent.
  4.  
  5. Remove the supports and lower the car.
  6.  

FLEXIBLE COUPLING
  1. Remove the nuts attaching the coupling to the intermediate shaft flange and compress the shaft to provide working clearance.
  2.  
  3. Remove the coupling pinch bolt using 7 / 16 in., 12 point socket or box end wrench and remove the coupling.
  4.  
  5. Install the replacement coupling (flat-to-flat) and install the pinch bolt. Tighten the bolt to 30 ft. lbs. torque.
  6.  
  7. Connect the intermediate shaft to the coupling and tighten the nuts to 25 ft. lbs. torque.
  8.  

ADJUSTMENTS Except Pacer




CAUTION
Adjustments to the steering gear must be made only in the sequence given here or the steering gear will be damaged. That is, you must do the worm bearing preload adjustment before the sector and ball nut backlash adjustment, and you must do them both.

WORM BEARING PRELOAD

See Figures 7 and 8

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Fig. Fig. 7: Use a torque wrench to measure the manual steering gear Pitman shaft over-center torque drag adjustment



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Fig. Fig. 8: Worm bearing preload adjustment on the manual steering gear

  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the Pitman arm (the arm on the steering box) nut and mark the relationship of the arm to the shaft.
  4.  
  5. Use a puller to remove the pitman arm from the shaft.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the pitman shaft adjusting screw locknut and back off the adjusting screw (the small adjusting screw on the cover) a few turns.
  8.  
  9. Remove the horn button or bar.
  10.  
  11. Gently turn the steering wheel in one direction until it can't go any further, then turn it back half a turn.
  12.  


CAUTION
If you turn the steering wheel hard against the stop with the linkage disconnected, you will damage the steering gear.

  1. Attach a torque wrench with a maximum reading of 50 in. lbs. or less to the steering wheel nut. Turn the wheel through a quarter turn with the wrench. The torque reading should be 5-8 in. lbs.
  2.  
  3. To adjust, loosen the big worm bearing adjuster locknut with a brass drift and hammer. Turn the adjuster plug (viewed from underneath) clockwise to increase the preload.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the locknut to 50 ft. lbs. and recheck the preload.
  6.  
  7. Go on to the next adjustment.
  8.  

SECTOR AND BALL NUT BACKLASH
  1. Turn the wheel gently from full right stop to full left stop and count the total number of turns stop-to-stop.
  2.  
  3. Turn back half the number of turns to the center position, then turn half a turn past the center position.
  4.  
  5. Use the torque wrench on the steering wheel nut to turn the gear through the center of travel. The torque required should be 4-10 in. lbs. The sum of this torque and that measured after worm bearing preload adjustment must not exceed 16 in. lbs.
  6.  
  7. To adjust, turn the adjusting screw on the cover. Tighten the locknut and recheck the torque or force required.
  8.  
  9. Replace the pitman arm on the shaft, aligning the marks you made back in Step 2 of worm bearing preload adjustment.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the pitman arm nut to 115 ft. lbs. and stake it to the shaft. This is a critical fastener; it must be torqued. To stake the nut means to slightly distort its inner edge by use of a punch or chisel.
  12.  
  13. Replace the horn button or bar and battery ground cable.
  14.  

 
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