GM Cutlass RWD 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Power Steering Gearbox


See Figure 1


It is not recommended that the power steering gear be adjusted in the vehicle. It should be adjusted at time of major rebuild. It does not require adjustment as part of periodic maintenance.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Power steering gearbox assembly


  1. Disconnect the negative (-) battery cable. Remove the coupling shield from the steering shaft.
  3. Disconnect the hoses from the gearbox and cap or plug the hose fittings.
  5. Raise the front end of the vehicle and support it with jackstands.
  7. Remove the pitman shaft nut, then disconnect the pitman shaft using a special puller (it is a press-fit).
  9. Remove the three bolts attaching the gearbox to the frame side rail and remove the gearbox.

To install:

If the mounting threads are stripped, do not repair; replace the housing.

  1. Before installing the gearbox, apply a sodium fiber grease to the gearbox mounting pads to prevent squeaks between the gar housing and the frame. Note that the flat on the gearbox lower shaft must index with the flat in the coupling flange and make sure there is a minimum of 0.040 in. (1mm) clearance between the coupling hub and the steering gearbox upper seal.
  3. Before tightening the gearbox-to-frame bolts, shift the gearbox as necessary to place it in the same plane as the steering shaft so that the flexible coupling is not distorted. Torque the gearbox-to-frame bolts to 80 ft. lbs. (108 Nm) and the pitman shaft nut to 185 ft. lbs. (255 Nm).
  5. After connecting the hoses to the pump add GM Power Steering Fluid or an equivalent to bring the fluid level to the full COLD mark. Bleed the system by running the engine at idle for 30 seconds then at a fast idle for one minute BEFORE turning the steering wheel. Then, with the engine still running, turn the steering wheel through its full travel two or three times. Recheck the oil level and top up if necessary.