Chrysler Neon 1995-1999 Repair Guide

Steering Gear

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The replacement procedure for both the manual and power steering gears is the same. The only additional steps for power steering gear removal and installation is the disconnection and connection of the power steering fluid lines from and to the steering gear

These vehicles are designed and assembled using NET BUILD front suspension alignment settings. This means that the alignment settings are determined as the vehicle is designed by the location of the front suspension components in relation to the body. This is carried out when building the vehicle, by precisely locating the front crossmember, to meter gage holes located in the underbody of the vehicle. With this method of designing and building a vehicle, it is no longer possible to adjust a vehicle's front suspension alignment settings to the required specifications. As a result, whenever the crossmember is removed from a vehicle, it MUST be replaced in the same location on the body of the vehicle it was removed from. The front suspension toe settings can still be adjusted by the outer tie rod ends.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6

  1. From inside the vehicle, disconnect the steering gear coupler, from the steering column shaft coupler.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: You must disconnect the steering gear coupler from inside the vehicle

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle with jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove both front wheel and tire assemblies.
  4.  
  5. If equipped, remove the engine/transaxle bobble damper, from the front suspension crossmember. The bobble strut does not have to be removed from the transaxle.
  6.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Some vehicles are equipped with a bobble damper which must be removed from the crossmember

  1. Unfasten the nut attaching the outer tie rod end to the steering knuckle. The nut is removed by holding the tie rod end stud with an 11 / 32 in. socket while loosening and removing the nut with a wrench.
  2.  
  3. Separate the tie rod ends from the steering knuckles using a side puller, tool MB-991113 or equivalent.
  4.  
  5. If equipped with power steering, perform the following:
    1. Rremove the vehicle wiring harness connector from the power steering fluid pressure switch.
    2.  
    3. Remove the power steering pressure and return hose routing bracket from the front crossmember. The bracket does not have to be removed from the power steering pressure and turn hoses.
    4.  
    5. Remove the power steering fluid, pressure and return hoses from the power steering gear assembly.
    6.  

  6.  


WARNING
Before removing the crossmember from the vehicle, the location of the crossmember MUST be scribed or marked on the vehicle, as shown in the accompanying figure. This has to be done so the crossmember can be installed in the exact location from which it was removed. If this is not done, the proper NET BUILD alignment specifications will not be obtained and may lead to handling and/or tire wear problems.

  1. Using a paint marker or an awl or equivalent, make a line marking the location where the crossmember is mounted against the body of the vehicle.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: You MUST matchmark the crossmember installed position

  1. Place a transmission jack under the center of the crossmember. The jack will be used to lower, support and raise the crossmember when removing the steering gear.
  2.  
  3. Loosen, then remove the front 2 bolts attaching the crossmember to the frame rails of the vehicle. Then, loosen the 2 rear bolts attaching the crossmember and lower control arm to the body of the vehicle. Lower the crossmember while loosening the rear bolts.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Location of the front crossmember mounting bolts

  1. Using the transmission jack, carefully lower the crossmember enough to allow the steering gear to be removed from the crossmember. When lowering the crossmember, do not let the crossmember hang from the lower control arms, the weight should be supported by the jack.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: You must carefully lower the crossmember for access to the steering gear

  1. Loosen and remove the 4 bolts securing the steering gear to the crossmember. Then remove the steering gear assembly from the vehicle.
  2.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: Unfasten the mounting bolts, then remove the steering gear from the vehicle

  1. If a new steering gear is being installed, transfer any necessary parts from the old steering gear to the new steering gear.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Position the steering gear on the crossmember. Install the 4 mounting bolts and tighten to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Using the transmission jack, raise the crossmember and steering gear against the body and frame rails of the vehicle. Start the 2 rear bolts into the tapping plates, attaching the crossmember to the body. Then install the 2 front bolts, attaching the crossmember to the frame rails of the vehicle. Tighten the 4 mounting bolts until the crossmember is at the 4 mounting points. Then tighten the bolts to 20 inch lbs. (2 Nm) to hold the crossmember in position.
  4.  

When the crossmember is reinstalled in the vehicle, it MUST be aligned with the matchmarks made during removal. This MUST be done to maintain NET BUILD front suspension alignment settings.

  1. Using a rubber mallet, tap the crossmember into position, until it is aligned with the 2 previously scribed positioning marks on the body. When the crossmember is properly positioned, tighten the 2 rear crossmember/lower control arm bolts to 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm). Then tighten the 2 front bolts to 120 ft. lbs. (163 Nm).
  2.  
  3. If equipped with power steering, perform the following:
    1. Install the power steering fluid pressure and return hoses into the correct fluid ports on the steering gear. Tighten the line-to-steering gear tube nuts to 23 ft. lbs. (31 Nm).
    2.  
    3. Install the power steering pressure and turn hose routing bracket and attaching screw on the crossmember. Tighten the hose routing bracket-to-attaching bolt to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
    4.  
    5. Install the vehicle wiring harness connector onto the power steering fluid pressure switch on the steering gear assembly. Make sure the locking tab on the wiring harness connector is securely latched to the pressure switch.
    6.  

  4.  
  5. Install the tie rod end into the steering knuckle. Start the tie rod end-to-steering knuckle attaching nut onto the stud of the tie rod end. While holding the stud of the tie rod still, tighten the tie rod end-to-steering knuckle attaching nut. Then, using a crowfoot wrench and 11 / 32 in. socket, tighten the tie rod end attaching nut to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm).
  6.  
  7. If equipped, install the engine/transaxle bobble strut back onto the crossmember bracket. Install and securely tighten the dampener-to-crossmember attaching bolt.
  8.  
  9. Install the wheel and tire assembly and tighten the lug nuts in a criss-cross pattern to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. From inside the vehicle, reconnect the steering gear coupler with the steering column shaft coupler. Install the steering gear coupler retaining pinch bolt and tighten to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm). Make sure to install the upper-to-lower steering coupler retaining bolt retention pin.
  14.  


WARNING
When filling and bleeding the power steering system, always use the proper type of fluid. NEVER substitute automatic transmission fluid for the specified fluid.

  1. If equipped with power steering, fill the power steering pump fluid reservoir to the FULL-COLD level with the proper type and amount of fluid. Bleed the system, as outlined later in this section.
  2.  

 
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