REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
See Figures 1 and 2
An assistant will be needed to perform this procedure.
- Loosen the wheel nuts. Raise the vehicle and support it securely with jackstands.
- Detach the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles, as previously described.
- Support the lower front suspension crossmember securely with a jack. Then, remove all 4 suspension crossmember attaching bolts. Lower the crossmember with the jack until it is possible to gain access to the steering gear and the lower steering column. Disconnect the gear from the steering column coupling.
- Remove the splash shields and boot seal shields, if applicable.
- If the car has power steering, remove the fasteners from the hose locating bracket attachment points. Disconnect both hoses at the opening nearest the steering gear and drain them into a large container. Discard the O-rings.
- Remove the bolts attaching the power steering unit to the crossmember.
- Remove the steering gear from the crossmember.
- Install the steering gear to the crossmember, tightening the mounting bolts to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm) on 1988 vehicles, to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm) on 1989-90 vehicles and to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm) on 1991-95 vehicles.
- Raise the crossmember into position with the floor jack, lining up the steering column coupling and the corresponding fitting on the end of the steering rack pinion shaft. Have an assistant inside the car help to position the column. If the car has manual steering, make sure the master serrations are lined up. Then, maneuver the crossmember/rack assembly so as to engage the column coupling and pinion shaft.
- Position the crossmember so that the mounting bolt holes will line up. Install the bolts, but do not tighten them-only start the threads. Tighten the right rear bolt, which serves as a pilot bolt to properly locate the crossmember. Then, tighten all 4 bolts to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm).
Proper torque for these crossmember bolts is very important.
- Attach the tie rod ends to the steering knuckle, as described earlier in this section.
- Clean the ends of the power steering pump hoses and the ports in the steering gear with a clean shop towel or rag. Install new O-rings on the hose tube ends and coat them with power steering fluid. Then, route the hose carefully in all clips and in such a way as to avoid kinks or close proximity to any exhaust system parts.
- Install the hose connections and tighten them to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm). Refill the power steering pump with the approved fluid.
- Bleed the steering system procedure, located later in this section, and check for any system leaks.
- Have the front end aligned by a qualified automotive service facility.
See Figure 3
- Remove the instrument panel lower cover for access to the steering shaft boot.
- Detach the steering shaft boot flange from the dash panel opening.
- Slide the boot upward on the intermediate shaft for access to the shaft U-joint coupling clamp bolt.
- Loosen and remove the U-joint coupling clamp bolt.
- Score alignment marks on the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling clamp and on the steering gear shaft for installation reference.
- Remove the splash shield retaining clips and remove the shield from the fire wall in the engine compartment. Use a small prybar to pry the retaining clips outward. Position the prybar under the retaining clip heads as indicated.
- Remove either the left or right tie rod end assembly attaching bolt and disengage the tie rod end from the steering gear. Reinstall the bolt removed finger-tight. Repeat this for the other tie rod also. This removes the outer tie rod end assemblies from the steering gear for easier removal.
- Detach the power steering gear fluid tubing from the retaining block slots.
- Position a drain pan under the steering gear and disconnect the power steering fluid tubing fittings from the steering gear.
- Remove the steering gear bracket right front attaching nut from the stud.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands.
- Remove the left front wheel.
- Remove the nuts attaching the tie rod end ball studs to the strut body brackets.
- Disconnect the tie rod end ball studs from the strut body brackets with an appropriate removal tool (puller tool).
- From under the vehicle, remove the three bolts that attach the steering gear brackets to the crossmember support.
- Remove the steering gear through the tie rod access opening in the left, inner fender panel.
- To help with the removal of the steering gear, retain the tie rods (if still attached) parallel to the gear during removal. If necessary, the tie rods can be either temporarily taped or tie-wrapped to the gear.
- Install the steering gear assembly with the outer tie rods removed and the tie rod attaching bolts finger-tight. Reinstall the tie rod end assemblies one at a time to ensure the spacer block is in place.
- Insert the steering gear through the tie rod access opening in the left, inner fender panel.
- Position the gear on the crossmember support and install the bracket right front attaching nut on the stud. Tighten the nut to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
- Raise and support the vehicle (if not already done).
- From under the vehicle, install the 3 bracket attaching bolts. Tighten the bolts to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
- Attach the tie rod ends to the strut body brackets. Tighten the tie rod end ball stud nuts to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
- Install the left front wheel. Tighten the lug nuts to 63 ft. lbs. (85 Nm) on steel wheels, and to 90 ft. lbs. (122 Nm) on aluminum wheels.
- Lower the vehicle to the ground.
- Connect the power steering pump fluid tubing fittings to the steering gear. Tighten the fittings to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm).
- Insert the fluid tubing into the retaining block slots.
- Tighten the bolts that attach the tie rods to the steering rack shaft spacer block to 55 ft. lbs. (75 Nm).
- Bend the lock tabs over the tie rod attaching bolt heads.
- Install the splash shield on the fire wall. Position the shield on the fire wall and secure with the retaining clips.
- Under the instrument panel, align the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling clamp and the steering gear shaft installation reference alignment marks that were scored during the removal of the steering gear.
- With the reference marks aligned, insert the steering gear shaft into the intermediate shaft U-joint coupling clamp. Install and tighten the U-joint coupling clamp bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (40 Nm).
- Lower the steering intermediate shaft boot and attach it to the fire wall. Be sure the rubber seal is seated on the plastic sleeve on the intermediate shaft.
- Install the instrument panel lower cover.
- Refill the power steering pump reservoir. Perform the following steering gear initial operation procedure.
- Have the front end aligned by a qualified automotive service facility.
STEERING GEAR INITIAL OPERATION
- Fill the power steering reservoir until full, then operate the engine until the power steering fluid reaches the normal operating temperature of approximately 170°F (77°C), then stop the engine.
- Turn the wheels to a full-left-turn position and add power steering fluid until it is once again full.
- Start the engine. Operate it at high idle speed, then observe the fluid level on the dipstick. Add fluid, if necessary.
- Purge the system of air by turning the wheels from side-to-side without contacting the stops. Fluid with air in it (aerated) will foam and have a milky-red color. Maintain the reservoir full of fluid.
- Return the wheels to a straight-ahead position and operate the engine for an additional 2-3 minutes, then stop the engine.
- Road test the vehicle to ensure that the steering system functions normally and is free of noise. If noise or another malfunction occurs, bleed the system again. If the problem does not subside, have the system checked by a qualified automotive service facility.
- Add fluid if necessary to fill the reservoir with the system stabilized at normal operating temperature.