GM Bonneville/Eighty Eight/LeSabre 1986-1999

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Tie Rod Ends (Outer)

See Figures 1 through 7

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Use a suitable marker to matchmark the tie rod end installation position. This is to ensure proper installation and will lessen the chance that the toe setting will require adjustment.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Use correction fluid or equivalent to matchmark the installed position of the tie rod end

  1. Remove and discard the cotter pin, then back off the jam nut from the tie rod end.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove and discard the cotter pin from the tie rod end

  1. Attach a universal steering linkage puller to the tie rod end. Tighten the puller's threaded rod to separate the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Loosen, but do not remove, the castellated nut, then install a suitable puller to separate the tie rod end

  1. Remove the castellated nut, then lift the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the castellated nut, then lift the tie rod end from the steering knuckle

  1. Unscrew the tie rod end from the tie rod, counting the number of turns for alignment purposes during installation.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 5: Unscrew the tie rod end from the tie rod, counting the number of turns for installation



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Fig. Fig. 6: If necessary, you can unscrew the grease fitting (1) from the tie rod end (2)



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Fig. Fig. 7: Exploded view of the (inner) tie rod and (outer) tie rod end assembly

To install:
  1. Thread the tie rod end onto the tie rod until the matchmarks align. Do not tighten the jam nut.
  2.  
  3. Connect the tie rod end to the steering knuckle, then install the castellated nut to the tie rod end stud. Tighten the nut to 35 ft. lbs. (11 Nm). Tighten the nut up to 1 / 6 additional turn, or 52 ft. lbs. (70 Nm) maximum, to align the cotter pin slot. Never loosen the nut to install the cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Install a new cotter pin into the hole in the tie rod stud.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the jam nut against the tie rod end to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  8.  
  9. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Take the vehicle to reputable repair shop and have the toe professionally checked and/or set. If it is out of adjustment enough, a tire can wear out in only a few miles. It is advisable to have a front end alignment professionally done after replacing steering or suspension components to avoid costly tire wear.
  12.  

Tie Rods (Inner)

See Figures 8, 9, 10 and 11

Disassembly of the rack and pinion assembly requires special tools and skills. Before attempting this time consuming and difficult procedure, check on the availability of already rebuilt rack and pinion assemblies. You may find it more cost effective to purchase a rebuilt assembly from your local parts jobber.

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rack and pinion assembly from the vehicle, as outlined later in this section.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tie rod end.
  6.  
  7. Remove the hexagonal jam nut from the tie rod.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tie rod end clamp.
  10.  
  11. Remove the boot clamp with side cutters.
  12.  

Mark the location of the breather tube on the housing before removing the rack and pinion boot and breather tube.

  1. Remove the rack and pinion boot and breather tube.
  2.  
  3. Remove the shock dampener from the tie rod and slide it back on the rack.
  4.  
  5. Remove the inner rod from the rack. Place a wrench on the flat of rack. Place a wrench on the flat of the tie rod housing and rotate the housing counterclockwise until the tie rod separates from the rack.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 8: Place wrenches on the flats of the rack and the tie rod housing, then rotate the housing counterclockwise

To install:
  1. Hold the rack during tie rod installation to prevent internal gear damage.
  2.  
  3. Install the shock dampener onto the rack.
  4.  
  5. Install the tie rod to the rack, and tighten the tie rod to 70 ft. lbs. (95 Nm).
  6.  

Make certain the tie rod rocks freely in the housing before staking the inner rod to the rack.

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Fig. Fig. 9: Installation of the tie rod end

  1. Support the rack and housing of the tie rod.
  2.  
  3. Stake both sides of the tie rod housing to the flats on the rack.
  4.  
  5. Check both stakes by inserting a 0.010 inch (0.25mm) feeler gauge between the rack and tie rod housing. The feeler gauge must not pass between the rack and housing stake.
  6.  
  7. Slide the shock dampener over the housing until it engages.
  8.  
  9. Install the new boot.
  10.  



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Fig. Fig. 10: Exploded view of the rack and pinion boot

  1. Apply grease to the tie rod in the illustrated areas.
  2.  



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Fig. Fig. 11: Apply grease to the areas shown when installing the boot seal

  1. Install the boot onto the tie rod and up to the housing.
  2.  
  3. Align the breather tube with the mark made during removal, elbow of boot to the breather tube.
  4.  
  5. Install the boot onto the housing until seated in the housing groove. After installation, the boot must NOT be twisted.
  6.  
  7. Position the boot clamp on the boot and crimp securely.
  8.  
  9. Install the hexagonal jam nut on the tie rod.
  10.  
  11. Attach the tie rod ends, then install the rack and pinion assembly into the car, as outlined later in this section.
  12.  
  13. Carefully lower the vehicle.
  14.  
  15. Take the vehicle to reputable repair shop and have the toe professionally set. If it is out of adjustment enough, a tire can wear out in only a few miles. It is advisable to have a front end alignment professional done after replacing steering or suspension components to avoid costly tire wear.
  16.  

 
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