Chrysler Full-Size Vans 1967-1988 Repair Guide

Power Steering Gear

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Power steering was introduced on Dodge vans in 1970.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



1970-73 Models
  1. Disconnect the drag link at the pitman arm.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the battery.
  4.  
  5. Remove the windshield washer reservoir.
  6.  
  7. Remove the steering column.
  8.  
  9. On models with heavy duty suspension, remove the pitman arm shield.
  10.  
  11. Place a drain pan under the gear and disconnect the fluid hoses from the steering gear.
  12.  
  13. Remove the bolts and nut retaining the gear to the frame.
  14.  
  15. From under the left wheel well, remove the 2 bolts from the bottom of the splash shield. Force the splash shield away from the frame about 1 / 2 " and lift the gear off the mounting stud.
  16.  
  17. Rotate the pitman arm to allow the gear to be lifted through the hood opening.
  18.  
  19. Installation is the reverse of removal. Tighten the mounting bolts and nut to 100 ft. lbs. Before connecting the drag link, make sure that the steering gear shaft is centered. Refill the reservoir, run the engine and check for leaks.
  20.  

1974-78 Models
  1. Remove the battery.
  2.  
  3. Remove the windshield washer reservoir.
  4.  
  5. Place a drain pan under the gear and disconnect the hoses.
  6.  
  7. Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the coupling at the steering gear, leaving the lower half on the wormshaft.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the shift linkage at the steering column.
  12.  
  13. On heavy duty suspension models, remove the pitman arm shield.
  14.  
  15. Remove the pitman arm.
  16.  
  17. Remove the mounting bolt from the left side of the gear.
  18.  
  19. Remove one of the 2 remaining steering gear mounting bolts.
  20.  
  21. Remove the toe plate and column support bolts.
  22.  
  23. Unplug the wiring connectors at the column.
  24.  
  25. Remove the steering column.
  26.  
  27. Remove the 3 bolts from the left idler arm bracket and swing the bracket out of the way.
  28.  
  29. Remove the remaining bolt and remove the gear from the underside, through the opening in the inboard side of the frame.
  30.  

To install:
  1. Position the gear on the frame and install one bolt.
  2.  
  3. Make sure that the coupling half is secured to the wormshaft with a roll pin.
  4.  
  5. Install the remaining 2 bolts and tighten all bolts to 100 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Install the idler arm bracket.
  8.  
  9. Install the steering column.
  10.  
  11. Connect the wiring connectors at the column.
  12.  
  13. Install the toe plate and column support bolts.
  14.  
  15. Install the pitman arm.
  16.  
  17. On heavy duty suspension models, install the pitman arm shield.
  18.  
  19. Connect the shift linkage at the steering column.
  20.  
  21. Connect the coupling at the steering gear.
  22.  
  23. Connect the hoses.
  24.  
  25. Install the windshield washer reservoir.
  26.  
  27. Install the battery.
  28.  
  29. Fill the reservoir, run the engine and check for leaks.
  30.  

1979-88 Models
  1. Disconnect the battery ground cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the steering column.
  4.  
  5. Place a drain pan under the gear and disconnect the hoses.
  6.  
  7. Remove the pitman arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the 3 gear-to-frame bolts and remove the gear.
  10.  
  11. Installation is the reverse of removal. Torque the mounting bolts to 100 ft. lbs. Make sure that the steering gear shaft is centered before connecting the linkage.
  12.  

ADJUSTMENTS



Preliminary Checks
  1. Remove the gear from the truck.
  2.  
  3. Rotate the gear several times through its travel to expel all fluid from the gear.
  4.  
  5. Place a 3 / 4 " 12-point socket on the stub shaft. Using an inch-pound torque wrench, check the torque 1 / 2 turn off the right stop, then 1 / 4 turn off the left stop. Record these figures.
  6.  
  7. Center the gear and check the torque 1 / 2 turn to each side of center. Record these figures.
  8.  
  9. Turn the gear 90° to the right of center and turn the gear in a 180° arc to the left of center. Record the reading.
  10.  

Worm Thrust Bearing Adjustment

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Adjusting the thrust bearing preload on power steering gear

  1. Remove the adjuster plug locknut.
  2.  
  3. Turn the adjuster plug in until the plug and thrust bearing are fully bottomed. This takes about 20 ft. lbs. torque.
  4.  
  5. Matchmark the housing and one of the holes in the plug.
  6.  
  7. Measure counterclockwise 1 / 4 " from that mark and make another mark on the housing.
  8.  
  9. Rotate the plug counterclockwise until the marked hole aligns with the second housing mark.
  10.  
  11. Install the locknut and, while holding the adjuster plug, tighten the locknut securely.
  12.  
  13. Using an inch-pound torque wrench on the stub shaft, turn the shaft to the right stop then back 1 / 4 turn. Note the reading. The reading should be 4-10 in. lbs. If not:
    1. Loosen the sector shaft preload adjuster screw locknut and turn the screw 1 1 / 2 turns counterclockwise. If the screw bottoms, turn it back 1 / 2 turn.
    2.  
    3. Retighten the locknut while holding the screw.
    4.  
    5. Loosen the adjuster plug locknut.
    6.  
    7. Turn the plug 1 turn counterclockwise.
    8.  
    9. Turn the stub shaft to the right stop then back 1 / 4 turn. Record the torque reading.
    10.  
    11. Bottom the adjuster plug firmly with 20 ft. lbs. torque, then back it off until the stub shaft rotational torque is 3-4 in. lbs. more than the total torque reading with the adjuster plug tightened.
    12.  
    13. Tighten the adjuster plug locknut securely.
    14.  

  14.  

Preload torque tends to drop off when the locknut is tightened. Even so, the torque reading must be rechecked with the locknut tight and the torque must still be 3-4 in. lbs. more that total.

Sector Shaft Overcenter Adjustment

See Figure 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Sector shaft overcenter adjustment

  1. Center the gear shaft.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the sector shaft adjusting screw locknut and tighten the sector shaft adjusting screw.
  4.  
  5. Tighten the locknut and, using an inch-pound torque wrench, rotate the sector shaft 90° to either side of center, noting the torque reading over center. The highest reading is what counts.
  6.  
  7. Continue adjusting and checking the preload until the preload is 4-8 in. lbs for a new gear not to exceed 18 in. lbs.; for a used gear (more than 400 miles), the preload should be 4-5 in. lbs. not to exceed 14 in. lbs.
  8.  

 
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