Chevrolet Full Size Cars 1979-1989

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION





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Fig. Fig. 1 Standard steering linkage component for Chevrolet full size vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 2 One method of preserving toe adjustment when replacing a tie rod is to measure the assembled piece before removal



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Fig. Fig. 3 Loosen the clamp bolt before attempting to unthread the tie rod end from the adjuster assembly

Tie Rod
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins and nuts from the tie rod end studs.
  4.  
  5. Gently tap on the steering arm near the outer tie rod end (use another hammer as backing to prevent damage) or use a ball stud puller tool, such as No. J-6627, and separate the tie rod ball stud.
  6.  


WARNING
DO NOT disengage the joint by driving a wedge between the joint and the knuckle, or damage to the seal may result.

  1. Remove the inner ball stud in the same manner as the outer.
  2.  

If a tie rod end is being separated from the adjuster tube, there are various methods which may be used to preserve vehicle toe. The number of turns necessary to unthread the end may be counted. Marks may be made on the end or the adjuster showing how far the end should be threaded. A ruler may be used to measure the installed length of the tie rod end. Using 1 or more of these should help preserve the toe-in adjustment. The use of 2 methods is recommended, because the comparison allows for some correction of an error in measurement.

  1. If either end is being replaced, loosen the clamp bolt and unscrew the end.
  2.  

To install:

  1. Lubricate the tie rod end threads with chassis grease if they were removed. Install each end assembly an equal distance from the sleeve, as noted during removal. Temporarily tighten the sleeve clamps.
  2.  
  3. Install the tie rod assembly to the vehicle by properly positioning the end studs.
  4.  
  5. Install the stud nuts and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) for the outer rod end (at knuckle) and to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) for the inner rod end (at relay rod). Once done, install new cotter pins. If necessary, tighten the nut additionally to insert the cotter pin, but DO NOT back off the specification.
  6.  

Before tightening the sleeve clamps, ensure that the clamps are positioned so that the adjusting sleeve slot is covered by the clamp.

  1. Check and adjust the toe-in, as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  4.  

Idler Arm
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the idler arm-to-frame nut, washer, and bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the idler arm-to-relay rod ball end stud.
  6.  
  7. Tap the relay rod with a hammer, using another hammer as backing, or using a steering linkage puller such as No. J-24319-01 to remove the relay rod from the idler arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the idler arm from the vehicle.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Place the idler arm on the frame and install the retaining bolt, washer and nut, then tighten the fasteners to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm) for 1979 vehicles or to 60 ft. lbs. (80 Nm) for 1980-89 vehicles.
  2.  
  3. Position the relay rod on the idler arm. Ensure that the seal is often on the stud, then install the nut and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) for 1979 vehicles or to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) for 1980-89 vehicles, then install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  6.  

Relay Rod (Intermediate Rod)
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and loosen the retaining nuts, then separate the inner tie rod ends from the relay rod.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, remove the damper from the relay rod.
  6.  
  7. Remove the relay rod stud nut and cotter pin from the pitman arm. Free the relay rod from the pitman arm using a linkage puller such as No. J-24319-01, moving the steering linkage as necessary. Repeat this operation to remove the relay rod from the idler arm, then remove the relay rod from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:

  1. Install the relay rod on the idler arm. Ensure that the seal is on the stud, then install the nut and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) for 1979 vehicles or to 40 ft. lbs. (54 Nm) for 1980-89 vehicles, then install a new cotter pin.
  2.  
  3. Raise the relay and install it on the pitman arm. Tighten the nut to 44 ft. lbs. (60 Nm).
  4.  
  5. If equipped, install the damper.
  6.  
  7. Install the tie rod ends to the relay rod.
  8.  
  9. Check and adjust the vehicle toe-in, as necessary.
  10.  
  11. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  12.  

Pitman Arm
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the pitman arm stud nut and cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Tap the relay rod off the pitman arm with a hammer, using another hammer as backing, or using a steering linkage puller such as No. J-24319-01 to remove the relay rod from the idler arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the pitman arm nut and matchmark the arm-to-shaft relationship.
  8.  
  9. Remove the pitman arm using a linkage puller tool such as No. J-6632.
  10.  

To install:

  1. Install the pitman arm on the shaft, aligning the previously made marks.
  2.  
  3. Install the pitman shaft nut and tighten it to 184 ft. lbs. (250 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the relay rod on the pitman, then tighten the nut to 44 ft. lbs. (60 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Check and adjust the alignment, as necessary.
  8.  
  9. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 4 no caption

 
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