AMC Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1975-1988 Repair Information

Power Steering Gear

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REMOVAL & INSPECTION EXCEPT PACER



  1. Place the wheels in a straight ahead position.
  2.  
  3. Position a drain pan under the steering gear.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the hoses at gear. Raise and secure the hoses above the pump fluid level to prevent excessive oil spillage, and cap ends of the hoses to prevent the entry of dirt.
  6.  
  7. Remove the flexible coupling-to-intermediate shaft attaching nuts.
  8.  
  9. Raise the automobile on hoist. On Eagle models, remove:
    1. skid plate, if equipped.
    2.  
    3. left side crossmember-to-sill support brace.
    4.  
    5. stabilizer bar brackets from frame.
    6.  

  10.  
  11. Paint alignment marks on the pitman arm and the pitman shaft for assembly reference.
  12.  
  13. Remove the pitman arm using Puller Tool J-5566-04 or its equivalent.
  14.  
  15. Remove the steering gear mounting bolts and remove the steering gear.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Center the steering gear. Turn the stub shaft (using flexible coupling) from stop-to-stop and count the total number of turns; then turn it back from either stop, one-half the total number of turns to center the gear. At this pint, the flat on the stub shaft should be facing upward.
  2.  
  3. Align the flexible coupling and intermediate shaft flange.
  4.  
  5. Install the gear mounting bolts in the gear, install the spacer on the gear, and mount the gear on the frame side sill. Tighten the gear mounting bolts to 65 ft. lbs. torque.
  6.  
  7. Install and tighten the flexible coupling nuts to 25 ft. lbs. torque.
  8.  
  9. Install the pitman arm. Index the arm to the shaft using the alignment marks made during removal.
  10.  
  11. Install the pitman arm nut. Tighten the nut to 115 ft. lbs. torque and stake the nut to the pitman shaft in one place.
  12.  


CAUTION
The pitman arm nut must be staked to the shaft to retain it properly.

  1. On Eagle models, install:
    1. stabilizer bar brackets.
    2.  
    3. left side crossmember-to-sill support brace.
    4.  
    5. skid plate, if equipped.
    6.  

  2.  
  3. Lower the automobile.
  4.  
  5. Align the flexible coupling, if necessary. Refer to Flexible Coupling Adjustment.
  6.  
  7. Fill the pump reservoir with power steering fluid and bleed the air from the system.
  8.  

Pacer

GEAR ASSEMBLY

See Figures 1 through 13

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Fig. Fig. 1: Power steering gear removalPacer models



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Fig. Fig. 2: Power steering gear and mounting componentsPacer models



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Fig. Fig. 3: Power steering gear mountingPacer models



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Fig. Fig. 4: Troubleshooting Basic Steering and Suspension Problems



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Fig. Fig. 5: Troubleshooting the Steering Column



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Fig. Fig. 6: Troubleshooting the Steering Column (Cont.)



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Fig. Fig. 7: Troubleshooting the Ignition Switch



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Fig. Fig. 8: Troubleshooting the Turn Signal Switch



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Fig. Fig. 9: Troubleshooting the Turn Signal Switch (Cont.)



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Fig. Fig. 10: Troubleshooting the Manual Steering Gear



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Fig. Fig. 11: Troubleshooting the Power Steering Gear



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Fig. Fig. 12: Troubleshooting the Power Steering Gear (Cont.)



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Fig. Fig. 13: Troubleshooting the Power Steering Pump

  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. Disconnect the stabilizer bar at the left side lower control arm, if equipped.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolts attaching the stabilizer bar mounting clamps to the frame rail brackets and move the bar away from the front crossmember.
  10.  
  11. Place a support under the stabilizer bar to prevent damaging the bolt attaching the bar to the right side lower control arm.
  12.  
  13. Remove the left side frame rail clamp brackets.
  14.  
  15. Position a drain pan under the steering gear housing and disconnect the power steering hoses at the gear housing. Cap the hoses and plug the gear to prevent the entry of dirt.
  16.  
  17. Remove the flexible coupling pinch bolt and disengage the flexible coupling from the steering gear pinion shaft.
  18.  
  19. Remove and discard the cotter pins from the tie rod end retaining nuts.
  20.  
  21. Disconnect the tie rod ends using tool J-26951.
  22.  
  23. Remove the bolts attaching the steering gear mounting clamp to the crossmember.
  24.  


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

  1. Remove the steering gear housing-to-crossmember attaching bolt nuts.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bolts, washers, sleeves and grommets from the steering gear housing using a blunt punch.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the bottom of the 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 car until the housing and tube clear the mounting plate and remove the steering gear assembly.
  6.  
  7. Assemble and install the grommets, sleeves, and washers on the steering gear. The sleeves will hold the grommets in place during assembly.
  8.  
  9. Position the steering gear assembly on the crossmember. Install the gear from the driver's side of the car.
  10.  

When installing the gear, keep the pinion shaft approximately parallel with the mounting plate.

  1. Install the mounting clamp bolts. Hand-tighten the bolts only.
  2.  
  3. Install the steering gear housing-to-crossmember attaching bolts, washers, and nuts and tighten them to 60 ft. lbs.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the mounting clamp bolts to 48 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Connect the tie rod end to the steering arms. Tighten the tie rod end retaining nuts to 50 ft. lbs. and install the replacement cotter pints.
  8.  
  9. Align the flat spline of the steering gear pinion shaft with the index flat of the flexible coupling and install the coupling on pinion shaft. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it to 30 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the bolts attaching the reinforcement bracket to the front crossmember and engine support bracket. Tighten the bolts to 30 ft. lbs.
  12.  
  13. Connect the power steering hoses to the gear housing. Be sure that the hoses do not touch the brace or crossmember.
  14.  
  15. Install the left side frame rail clamp brackets.
  16.  
  17. Position the stabilizer bar on the frame rail brackets and install the mounting clamp colts. Hand-tighten only.
  18.  
  19. Install the bolts, washers, and grommets attaching the stabilizer bar to the left side lower control arm.
  20.  
  21. Tighten the stabilizer bar mounting clamp bolts to 18 ft. lbs.
  22.  
  23. Remove the supports and lower the car.
  24.  
  25. Fill the power steering pump reservoir with power steering fluid.
  26.  
  27. Operate the engine until the fluid reaches normal operating temperature. Turn the wheel right and left several times (do not hold the wheel against the steering stops). Stop the engine and check the fluid level. Add fluid as necessary.
  28.  

RUBBER BOOT

See Figure 14

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Fig. Fig. 14: Cross-sectional view of the rubber boot and tie rod endsPacer power steering

  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 on the inner tie rod for assembly reference.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the adjuster tube inboard clamp bolt and unthread the tube from the inner tie rod.
  8.  
  9. Remove the bolts attaching the mounting clamp to the front crossmember. Loosen both bolts before removing them to minimize clamp distortion.
  10.  
  11. Remove the protective boot.
  12.  


CAUTION
Do not allow the protective boot to become cut, torn, or damaged 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 clamp and grommet using a twisting, pulling motion.
  2.  
  3. Install the replacement clamp and grommet. Align the hole in the grommet with the breather tube.
  4.  
  5. Install the boot. Align the hole in the boot with the breather tube.
  6.  
  7. Install the boot clamps. Position the clamp ear 3 / 4 " (19.05mm) from the breather tube. Tighten the clamps using tool J-22610.
  8.  
  9. Install the adjuster tube on the tie rod and tighten the clamp bolts to 14 ft.lb. 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. Install and tighten the mounting clamp bolts to 48 ft.lb. torque.
  2.  
  3. Remove the supports, lower the car, and correct the toe-in as necessary.
  4.  

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 a 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. Tighten the nuts to 25 ft. lbs. torque.
  8.  

OIL LINE
  1. Raise and support the front of the car.
  2.  
  3. Remove the oil lines.
  4.  
  5. Install the replacement oil lines. Tighten the fittings to 30 ft.lb. torque.
  6.  
  7. Apply the parking brake, shift the transmission into Park or Neutral (on manual transmission) and start the engine. Turn the steering wheel right and left several times and check for leaks at the oil line fittings. If leaks are not evident, proceed to the next step. If leaks are evident, tighten the fittings and check again. If leaks persist, remove and replace the steering gear assembly.
  8.  
  9. Remove the supports and lower the car. Add power steering fluid as necessary.
  10.  

BULKHEAD SEAL

See Figures 15 through 20

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Fig. Fig. 15: The hose clamps must be removed from the bulkhead so that it can be removed



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Fig. Fig. 16: Use tool J-25509 to install the outer bulkhead on the rack



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Fig. Fig. 17: Use a 11/4 in. open end wrench and a plastic hammer to install the outer bulkhead in the tube



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Fig. Fig. 18: Installing the hose clamp and rubber seal on the bulkhead connector



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Fig. Fig. 19: Exploded view of the power steering gear assemblyPacer models



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Fig. Fig. 20: Power steering gear assembly component listPacer models

  1. Raise and support the front of the car.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the tie rod end connected to the tube side of the rack from the steering arm using tool J-26951.
  4.  
  5. Remove the mounting clamp bolts.
  6.  
  7. Remove the clamps from the boot at the tube-end of the gear and slide the boot away from the end of tube.
  8.  


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 large boot clamp at the housing end of the gear.
  2.  
  3. If the flat on the rack teeth is not visible, pull back the boot at the housing end of the gear and turn the steering wheel (to rotate the pinion) and extend the rack until the flat is accessible.
  4.  
  5. Slide the shock dampener ring off the jamnut.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the jamnut using an open end wrench. Also use an open end wrench on the rack flat to prevent the rack from turning.
  8.  


CAUTION
Do not allow the rack to turn when loosening the jamnut. If the rack turns, the gear internal components could be damaged. Place an open end wrench over the flat adjacent to the rack teeth to prevent the rack from turning.

  1. Loosen the setscrew in the tie rod housing, unthread the housing from the rack and remove the tie rod assembly, inner tie rod ball seat, and ball seat spring.
  2.  
  3. Turn the jamnut counterclockwise until it is one thread away from the end of the rack and reinstall the shock dampener ring on the jamnut.
  4.  


CAUTION
Do not remove the jamnut and shock dampener ring from the rack at this time. The jamnut and shock dampener ring will function as a stop when the bulkhead is removed.

  1. Remove the bulkhead retaining ring from the end of the tube by inserting the pin punch through the access hole in the end of tube to force the retaining ring out of its groove. Place a screwdriver blade under the ring and pry the ring from tube.
  2.  
  3. Remove the bulkhead assembly as follows:
    1. Clean the rack and bulkhead area of the tube with a shop cloth.
    2.  
    3. Position the small piece of rubber over the access hole in tube and secure the rubber with a wormdrive type hose clamp.
    4.  
    5. Position the drain pan under the tube end of the gear and wrap shop cloths around the rack and tube to prevent excessive oil spillage.
    6.  
    7. Start the engine and turn the steering wheel to the left until the stop is contacted. Oil pressure will force the outer bulkhead out of the tube. Stop the engine immediately when the oil pressure forces the bulkhead out of the tube.
    8.  

  4.  
  5. Remove the jamnut and shock dampener ring.
  6.  
  7. Remove and discard the outer bulkhead.
  8.  

Do not remove the inner bulkhead and do not remove the seals from the outer bulkhead. The outer bulkhead, bulkhead seal, and O-ring are serviced as an assembly only.

  1. Remove the hose clamp and small piece of rubber from the tube.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Inspect the tube bore and bulkhead snapring groove area in the tube for nicks and scratches. Remove the nicks and scratches using a crocus cloth or 600 grit emery cloth. Remove the burrs and sharp edges from the shoulder at the threaded end of rack, using an emery cloth, crocus cloth, or small fine tooth file. Burrs must be removed to avoid damaging the bulkhead seal during installation.
  2.  
  3. Lubricate the replacement outer bulkhead and bulkhead seal with power steering fluid.
  4.  
  5. Lubricate the replacement outer bulkhead O-ring seal with power steering fluid and install the seal on the bulkhead.
  6.  
  7. Place Seal Protector Tool J-25509 over the rack threads and install the outer bulkhead on the rack.
  8.  
  9. Install the outer bulkhead in the tube using a 1 1 / 4 in. open end wrench and a plastic hammer.
  10.  
  11. Seat the outer bulkhead in the tube using a brass drift.
  12.  
  13. Install the bulkhead retaining ring. Position the gap in the retaining ring 1 / 2 in. (12.7mm) away from the access hole in the tube.
  14.  


CAUTION
Do not scratch or damage the surface of the rack when using the open end wrench to seat the bulkhead.

  1. Wipe the bulkhead area dry.
  2.  
  3. Fill the power steering pump reservoir with fluid and start engine.
  4.  
  5. Turn the steering wheel left and right several times and check for leaks. If leaks are not evident, proceed to the next step.
  6.  
  7. Install the shock dampener ring and jamnut on the rack.
  8.  
  9. Install the mounting clamp and grommet on the tube. Position the clamp on the crossmember and install the clamp but do not tighten the clamp attaching bolts.
  10.  
  11. Apply a liberal quantity of waterproof, EP-type, lithium base chassis lubricant to the inner tie rod ball seat and the ball end of the inner tie rod. Pack the tie rod housing with the same lubricant and apply a heavy coat of lubricant to the rack teeth.
  12.  
  13. Install the ball seat spring in the end of the rack and install the ball seat.
  14.  
  15. Assemble the inner tie rod and tie rod housing and install them on the rack.
  16.  
  17. Hand-tighten the tie rod housing on the rack while rocking the tie rod to prevent grease lock.
  18.  
  19. Back the tie rod housing off approximately 1 / 8 turn.
  20.  
  21. Tighten the tie rod housing setscrew to 9 ft.lbs. torque.
  22.  
  23. Tighten the jamnut to 60 ft.lb. torque. Use an open end wrench on the rack flat to prevent the rack from turning.
  24.  


CAUTION
Do not allow the rack to turn when tightening the jamnut. If the rack turns, gear internal components could be damaged. Place an open wrench over the flat adjacent to the rack teeth to prevent the rack from turning.

  1. Check the inner tie rod movement. The tie rod most rock and turn freely in the housing to ensure proper operation.
  2.  
  3. Install the shock dampener ring over the jamnut.
  4.  
  5. Position the breather tube in the mounting grommet.
  6.  
  7. Install the protective boot over the end of the tube. Be sure the boot is fully seated in the tube undercut and that the hole in the boot is aligned with the breather tube.
  8.  
  9. Install the boot clamps. Tighten the clamps using tool J-22610.
  10.  
  11. Tighten the mounting clamp bolts to 48 ft.lb. torque.
  12.  
  13. Connect the tie rod end to the steering arm and install the tie rod end nut. Tighten the nut to 50 ft.lb. torque and install the replacement cotter pin.
  14.  
  15. Remove the supports and lower the car.
  16.  
  17. Check and correct the power steering system fluid level as necessary. Refer to Fluid Level and Initial Operation.
  18.  

ADJUSTMENTS Except Pacer



Because of the complexity involved in adjusting worm bearing preload and pitman shaft overcenter drag torque plus the friction effect produced by hydraulic fluid, the power steering gear must be adjusted off the automobile only.

The power steering gear requires two adjustments which are: worm bearing preload and pitman shaft overcenter drag torque.

Worm bearing preload is controlled by the amount of compression force exerted on the conical worm bearing thrust races by the adjuster plug.

Pitman shaft overcenter torque is controlled by the pitman shaft adjuster screw which determines the clearance between the rack piston and pitman shaft sector teeth.


CAUTION
The following adjustment procedures must be performed exactly as described and in the sequence outlined. Failure to do so can result in damage to the gear internal components and improper steering response. Always adjust worm bearing preload first, then adjust pitman shaft overcenter drag torque.

WORM BEARING PRELOAD

See Figures 21, 22 and 23

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Fig. Fig. 21: Make a mark on the power steering gear housing next to the hole in the adjuster ...



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Fig. Fig. 22: ... then make a second mark 3/16-1/4 in. from the first on models through 1979 and 1/2 in. on 1980-82 models



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Fig. Fig. 23: Use a torque wrench to measure the wormshaft bearing preload on power steering gears

  1. Seat the adjuster plug firmly in the housing using Spanner Tool J-7624 or its equivalent. Approximately 20 ft. lbs. torque is required to seat the housing.
  2.  
  3. Place an index mark on the gear housing opposite one of the holes in the adjuster plug.
  4.  
  5. Measure back (counterclockwise) 3 / 16 in. to 1 / 4 in. (4.7 to 6.3mm) from the index mark and remark the housing.
  6.  
  7. Turn the adjuster plug counterclockwise until the hole in the plug is aligned with the second mark on the housing.
  8.  
  9. Install the adjuster plug locknut and tighten it to 85 ft. lbs. torque. Be sure the adjuster plug does not turn when tightening the locknut.
  10.  
  11. Turn the stub shaft clockwise to the stop, then turn the shaft back 1 / 4 turn.
  12.  
  13. Using an in.lb. torque wrench with a maximum capacity of 50 in. lbs. and a twelve point deep socket, measure the torque required to turn the stub shaft. Take a reading with the beam of the torque wrench at, or near, the vertical position while turning the stub shaft at an even rate.
  14.  
  15. Record the torque reading. The torque required to turn the stub shaft should be 4-10 in. lbs. If the reading is above or below the indicated torque, the adjuster plug may not be tightened properly or may have turned when the locknut was tightened, or the gear may be assembled incorrectly, or the thrust bearings and races may be defective.
  16.  

PITMAN SHAFT OVERCENTER DRAG TORQUE

See Figure 24

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Fig. Fig. 24: Use a torque wrench to measure the Pitman shaft over-center torque drag on power steering gears

  1. Turn the pitman shaft adjuster screw counterclockwise until fully extended, then turn it back 1 / 2 turn clockwise.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the stub shaft from stop-to-stop and count the total number of turns.
  4.  
  5. Starting from either stop, turn the stub shaft back 1 / 2 the total number of turns. This is the gear center.
  6.  

When the gear is centered, the flat on the stub shaft should face upward and be parallel with the side cover and the master spline on the pitman shaft should be in line with the adjust screw.

  1. Install an in.lb. torque wrench with a maximum capacity of 50 in. lbs. and a twelve point deep socket on the stub shaft. Place the torque wrench in the vertical position to take the reading.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the torque wrench 45° to each side of center and record the highest drag torque measured on or near the center.
  4.  
  5. Adjust the overcenter drag torque by turning the pitman shaft adjusting screw clockwise until the desired drag torque is obtained. Adjust the drag torque to the following limits:

    On new steering gears, add 4 to 8 in. lbs., torque to the previously measured worm bearing preload torque, but do not exceed a combined total of 18 in. lbs. drag torque.
     
    On used steering gears (400 or more miles), add 4 to 5 in.lb. torque to the previously measured worm bearing preload torque but do not exceed a combined total of 14 in. lbs. drag torque.
     

  6.  
  7. Tighten the pitman shaft adjusting screw locknut to 35 ft. lbs. torque after adjusting the overcenter drag torque.
  8.  
  9. Install the gear as outlined in Steering Gear Installation.
  10.  
  11. Fill the pump reservoir and bleed the gear and pump as outlined in Fluid Level and Initial Operations after completing the overcenter drag torque adjustment.
  12.  

FLUID LEVEL & INITIAL OPERATION



  1. Fill the pump reservoir.
  2.  
  3. Operate the engine until the power steering fluid reaches normal operating temperature of approximately 170°F (77°C), then stop the engine.
  4.  
  5. Turn the wheels to the full left turn position and add power steering fluid to the COLD mark on the dipstick.
  6.  
  7. Start the engine, operate it at hot idle speed and recheck fluid level. Add fluid, if necessary, to the COLD mark on the dipstick.
  8.  
  9. Bleed the system by turning the wheels from side to side without hitting the stops. Fluid with air in it will have a milky appearance. Air must be eliminated from the fluid before normal steering action can be obtained.
  10.  
  11. Return the wheels to the center position and operate the engine for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, then stop the engine.
  12.  
  13. Road test the automobile to make sure the steering functions normally and is free of noise.
  14.  
  15. Check the fluid level. Add fluid as required to raise the level to the HOT mark on the dipstick after the system has stabilized at its normal operating temperature.
  16.  

 
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