GM Chevy Mid-Size Cars 1964-1988 Repair Guide

Steering Linkage

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



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

Tie Rod
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins and nuts from the tie rod end studs.
  4.  
  5. Gently tap on the steering arm near the outer tie rod end (use another hammer as backing to prevent damage) or use a ball stud puller tool, such as No. J-6627, and separate the tie rod ball stud.
  6.  


WARNING
DO NOT disengage the joint by driving a wedge between the joint and the knuckle, or damage to the seal may result.

  1. Remove the inner ball stud in the same manner as the outer.
  2.  

If a tie rod end is being separated from the adjuster tube, there are various methods which may be used to preserve vehicle toe. The number of turns necessary to unthread the end may be counted. Marks may be made on the end or the adjuster showing how far the end should be threaded. A ruler may be used to measure the installed length of the tie rod end. Using 1 or more of these should help preserve the toe-in adjustment. The use of 2 methods is recommended, because the comparison allows for some correction of an error in measurement.

  1. If either end is being replaced, loosen the clamp bolt and unscrew the end.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Lubricate the tie rod end threads with chassis grease if they were removed. Install each end assembly an equal distance from the sleeve, as noted during removal. Temporarily tighten the sleeve clamps.
  2.  
  3. Install the tie rod assembly to the vehicle by properly positioning the end studs.
  4.  
  5. Install the stud nuts and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm), then install new cotter pins.
  6.  

Before tightening the sleeve clamps, ensure that the clamps are positioned so that adjusting sleeve sot is covered by the clamp.

  1. Check and adjust the toe-in, as necessary.
  2.  
  3. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  4.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Example of a common steering linkage assembly found on Chevrolet mid-sized vehicles



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Fig. Fig. 2: Use a puller to free stubborn joint studs

Idler Arm
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the idler arm-to-frame nut, washer, and bolt.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut from the idler arm-to-relay rod ball end stud.
  6.  
  7. Tap the relay rod with a hammer, using another hammer as backing, or using a steering linkage puller such as No. J-24319-01 to remove the relay rod from the idler arm.
  8.  
  9. Remove the idler arm from the vehicle.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Place the idler arm on the frame and install the retaining bolt, washer and nut, then tighten the fasteners to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Position the relay rod on the idler arm. Ensure that the seal is on the stud, then install the nut and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  6.  



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Fig. Fig. 3: Straighten the ends of the cotter pin so it can be removed



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Fig. Fig. 4: Use a pair of pliers and a small prytool to pull the cotter pin from the stud



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Fig. Fig. 5: Remove the steering linkage stud nut



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Fig. Fig. 6: The adjuster clamp bolt must be loosened in order to adjust toe-in or replace a tie rod end

Relay Rod (Intermediate Rod)
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pin and loosen the retaining nuts, then separate the inner tie rod ends from the relay rod.
  4.  
  5. On 1974 models with manual steering, remove the damper from the relay rod.
  6.  
  7. Remove the relay rod stud nut and cotter pin from the pitman arm. Free the relay rod from the pitman arm using the a linkage puller such as No. J-24319-01, moving the steering linkage as necessary. Repeat this operation to remove the relay rod from the idler arm, then remove the relay rod from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install the relay rod on the idler arm. Tighten the nut to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Raise the relay and install it on the pitman arm. Tighten the nut to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the damper on 1974 models.
  6.  
  7. Install the tie rod ends to the relay rod.
  8.  
  9. Check and adjust the vehicle toe-in, as necessary.
  10.  
  11. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  12.  

Pitman Arm
  1. Raise and support the front of the vehicle safely using jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the pitman arm stud nut and cotter pin.
  4.  
  5. Tap the relay rod off the pitman arm with a hammer, using another hammer as backing, or using a steering linkage puller such as No. J-24319-01 to remove the relay rod from the idler arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the pitman arm nut and matchmark the arm-to-shaft relationship.
  8.  
  9. Remove the pitman arm using a linkage puller tool such as No. J-6632.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the pitman arm on the shaft, aligning the previously made marks.
  2.  
  3. Install the pitman shaft nut and tighten it to 180 ft. lbs. (244 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the relay rod on the pitman, then tighten the nut to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm) and install a new cotter pin.
  6.  
  7. Check and adjust the alignment, as necessary.
  8.  
  9. Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
  10.  

 
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