- Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
- Disconnect battery negative cable from battery and properly isolate to prevent accidental reconnection.
Hold the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position, using a suitable holding device.
WARNINGDo not allow the intermediate shaft to rotate while it is disconnected from the steering gear or damage to the clockspring can result. If there is evidence that the intermediate shaft has rotated, the clockspring must be removed and recentered.
- From the engine compartment, remove the pinch bolt and detach the intermediate shaft from the gear.
Remove the wheel and tire assemblies.
NOTEThe hex holding feature can be used to prevent turning of the stud while removing the nut.
- Remove the nuts and detach the tie-rods from the wheel knuckles.
- Remove the clamp plate bolt and disconnect the steering gear lines.
- Drain the fluid into a suitable container and discard the O-ring seals.
- Disconnect the electrical connector.
- Remove the steering gear-to-crossmember nuts.
Remove the studs and the steering gear.
Install or connect the following:
Steering gear studs and torque to 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm)
- Lower the vehicle.
- Install the steering wheel intermediate shaft and torque the pinch bolt to 22 ft. lbs. (30 Nm)
- Ensure that the wheels and steering wheel are lined up.
- Refill the power steering system, bleed, check for leaks and repair if necessary.
The Variable Assist Power Steering (VAPS) system used on these vehicles consists of a micro-processor based module, a power rack and pinion steering gear, an actuator valve assembly, hose assemblies and a high efficiency power steering pump.
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- From inside the vehicle, remove the nuts securing the steering column tube boot to the cowl panel.
- Remove the two bolts retaining the steering column gear input shaft coupling to the power steering gear shaft and yoke assembly.
- Set the steering column tube boot aside. Remove the pinch bolt at the power steering gear shaft and yoke assembly, then remove the steering column gear input shaft coupling.
- Raise the vehicle and support safely. Remove the front wheel and tire assemblies. Support the vehicle under the rear edge of the subframe with jack stands.
- Remove the tie rod cotter pins and nuts. Remove the left and right-side tie rod ends from the steering knuckle.
- Mark the position of the jam nut (to maintain the alignment), then remove the tie rod ends from the spindle tie rod.
- Remove the nuts from the gear-to-subframe attaching bolts.
- Remove the rear subframe-to-body attaching bolts.
- Remove the exhaust pipe-to-catalytic converter attachment.
- Lower the vehicle carefully until the subframe separates from the body approximately 4 in. (102 mm).
- Remove the heat shield band, then fold the shield down.
- Disengage the VAPS electrical connectors from the actuator assembly.
- Rotate the gear to clear the bolts from the subframe and pull to the left to facilitate line fitting removal.
- Position a suitable drain pan under the vehicle, then remove the line fittings. Remove the O-rings from the fitting connections, then replace with new ones during installation.
- Remove the left-hand side sway/stabilizer bar link.
- Remove the steering gear assembly through the left wheel well.
- Install new Teflon® O-rings into the line fittings.
- Place the gear attachment bolts in the gear housing.
- Install the steering gear assembly through the left wheel well.
- Connect and tighten the line fittings to the steering gear assembly.
- Engage the VAPS electrical connectors.
- Position the steering gear into the subframe.
- Install the tie rod ends onto the front wheel spindle tie rod.
- Install the heat shield band.
- Attach the tie rod ends onto the knuckle. Install the nuts and secure with new cotter pins.
- Attach the sway/stabilizer bar link.
- Raise the vehicle until the subframe contacts the body. Install the rear subframe attaching bolts.
- Install the gear-to-front subframe nuts, then tighten to 85-100 ft. lbs. (115-135 Nm).
- Attach the exhaust pipe to the catalytic converter.
- Install the wheels, then remove the jackstands, and carefully lower the vehicle. Tighten the lug nuts to 85-105 ft. lbs. (115-142 Nm).
- From inside the vehicle, push the steering column tube boot end out of the vehicle, then install over the steering gear housing.
- Install the steering column gear input shaft coupling to the power steering gear shaft and yoke assembly. Tighten the bolt to 30-38 ft. lbs. (41-51 Nm).
- Install the inner steering column tube boot to the cowl panel.
- Install the input shaft coupling to the steering gear shaft and yoke assembly.
- Fill the power steering system with Premium Power Steering Fluid E6AZ-19582-AA or equivalent.
- Bleed the power steering system. For details, please refer to the procedure located later in this section.
- Connect the negative battery cable, then check the system for leaks and proper operation.
- If necessary, have the alignment checked by a reputable repair shop.