GM Cavalier/Sunfire 1995-2000 Repair Guide

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Tie Rod Ends

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9



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Fig. Fig. 1: The tie rod end connects the steering gear to the steering knuckle



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



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Fig. Fig. 3: ... remove the retaining nut from the tie rod end



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Fig. Fig. 4: A special puller is recommended for removing the tie rod end from the steering knuckle without damaging the tie rod end



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the tie rod end from the steering knuckle



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Fig. Fig. 6: Mark the outer tie rod jam nut on one side with a reference line for installation



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Fig. Fig. 7: Use two wrenches, one to hold the inner tie rod, and one to loosen the jam nut



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Fig. Fig. 8: Back the jam nut off ONE TURN ONLY and then unthread the tie rod end from the inner tie rod and ...



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Fig. Fig. 9: ... remove the tie rod end from the inner tie rod

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and the castellated nut from the outer tie rod end. Discard the cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Separate the outer tie rod end from the steering knuckle using an appropriate tie rod end remover.
  8.  
  9. Mark the outer tie rod jam nut on one side with a reference line for installation.
  10.  
  11. Hold the outer tie rod end with a wrench and loosen the tie rod end jam nut.
  12.  
  13. Back the tie rod end jam nut off ONE FULL TURN ONLY.
  14.  
  15. Remove the outer tie rod end from the inner tie rod spindle.
  16.  

To install:
  1. Clean the threads on the inner tie rod spindle (front wheel spindle connecting rod).
  2.  
  3. Thread the new outer tie rod end onto the inner tie rod until it bottoms on the jam nut.
  4.  
  5. Back the tie rod and jam nut out one full turn until the reference line is in the same position as before.
  6.  
  7. Place the outer tie rod end stud into the steering knuckle. Set the front wheels in a straight ahead position.
  8.  
  9. Install a new castellated nut onto the outer tie rod end stud.
  10.  
  11. Torque the nut to 44 ft. lbs. (60 Nm).
  12.  
  13. Continue to tighten the castellated nut until a new cotter pin can be inserted through the hole in the stud. Install a new cotter pin.
  14.  
  15. If required, repeat the procedure for the opposite side.
  16.  
  17. Reinstall the wheel and tire assembly. Torque the lug nuts to 100 ft. lbs. (140 Nm).
  18.  
  19. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  20.  
  21. Check the alignment and set the toe adjustment to specification.
  22.  
  23. Torque the outer tie rod end jam nut to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  24.  

Inner Tie Rods

See Figures 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15



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Fig. Fig. 10: Inner tie rod and rack and pinion boot assembly



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Fig. Fig. 11: Remove the inner clamp using J-22610 boot clamp pliers or equivalent



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Fig. Fig. 12: Remove the outer clamp and remove the boot from the rack



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Fig. Fig. 13: Use the appropriate size wrenches to loosen the inner tie rod and hold the rack and pinion assembly



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Fig. Fig. 14: Make sure the tie rod rocks freely in the rack before staking the tie rod



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Fig. Fig. 15: Stake the tie rods behind the ball assembly and inspect them with a feeler gauge

  1. Remove the rack and pinion (steering gear).
  2.  
  3. Working on one side, remove the outer tie rod end as outlined in this Section.
  4.  
  5. Remove the outer tie rod end jam nut.
  6.  
  7. Remove the outer clamp securing the inner tie rod boot to the rack and pinion.
  8.  
  9. Loosen the larger inner clamp using J-22610 boot clamp pliers or equivalent.
  10.  
  11. Slide back the dampener from the inner tie rod end (toward the rack assembly).
  12.  
  13. Hold the rack with a suitable wrench on the flat while loosening the inner tie rod nut (ball joint nut) with a suitable wrench.
  14.  
  15. Once the inner tie rod is loose, remove by hand.
  16.  
  17. Remove the inner tie rod from the vehicle and inspect the rack and pinion for seal leakage. Replace the rack and pinion if there is excessive leakage from the rack seals.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Install a new inner tie rod assembly.
  2.  
  3. While holding the rack with a suitable wrench nearest the rack end, tighten the inner tie rod nut (ball joint nut) using a suitable wrench to 74 ft. lbs. (100 Nm).
  4.  

Make sure the tie rod rocks freely in the rack before staking it.

  1. Support the rack and inner tie rod and stake both sides the inner tie rod, just behind the ball of the tie rod, to the rack assembly. Staking is accomplished by using a blunt instrument to crush a small slot in order to prevent the object from coming loose.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the stakes by trying to place a 0.010 inch (0.25 mm) feeler gauge between the stakes and the rack. The feeler gauge should not fit.
  4.  
  5. Apply a small amount of grease to the lip of the rack boot where it clamps to the inner tie rod spindle to allow the shaft to turn without twisting the bellows.
  6.  
  7. Install the boot with the larger inner clamp and tighten the clamp using J-22610 boot clamp pliers or equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Install a new outer clamp using needlenose pliers.
  10.  
  11. Install the jam nut onto the tie rod spindle.
  12.  
  13. Apply a small amount of grease to the outer tie rod threads and install the outer tie rod end using the same number of threads recorded during disassembly.
  14.  
  15. Repeat the procedure for the opposite side.
  16.  
  17. Reinstall the rack and pinion.
  18.  
  19. Reconnect the negative battery cable.
  20.  
  21. Check the alignment and set the toe adjustment to specification.
  22.  
  23. Torque the outer tie rod end jam nut to 50 ft. lbs. (68 Nm).
  24.  

 
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