GM Firebird 1982-1992 Repair Guide

Power Steering Gear

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ADJUSTMENTS



Adjust the worm bearing preload first, then proceed with the Pitman shaft over-center adjustment.

Worm Bearing Preload

See Figures 1, 2, 3 and 4



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Fig. Fig. 1: Loosening the power steering gear adjuster plug



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Fig. Fig. 2: Marking the housing even with the adjuster plug hole



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Fig. Fig. 3: Scribing the second index mark



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Fig. Fig. 4: Using a spanner wrench to align the adjuster plug with the second mark

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the steering gear.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the stub shaft and drain the power steering fluid into a suitable container.
  6.  
  7. Remove the adjuster plug nut.
  8.  
  9. Turn the adjuster plug in (clockwise) using a suitable spanner wrench until the adjuster plug and thrust bearing are firmly bottomed in the housing. Tighten the adjuster plug to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Place an index mark on the housing even with 1 of the holes in the adjuster plug.
  12.  
  13. Measure back counterclockwise 1 / 2 in. (13mm) and place a second mark on the housing.
  14.  
  15. Turn the adjuster plug counterclockwise until the hole in the adjuster plug is aligned with the second mark on the housing.
  16.  
  17. Install the adjuster plug nut and using a suitable punch in a notch, tighten securely. Hold the adjuster plug to maintain alignment of the marks.
  18.  
  19. Install the steering gear and connect the negative battery cable.
  20.  

Pitman Shaft Over-Center

See Figures 5 and 6



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Fig. Fig. 5: Aligning the stub shaft parallel with the top cover



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Fig. Fig. 6: Checking the over-center rotational torque

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the steering gear.
  4.  
  5. Rotate the stub shaft and drain the power steering fluid into a suitable container.
  6.  
  7. Turn the Pitman shaft adjuster screw counterclockwise until fully extended, then turn back 1 full turn.
  8.  
  9. Rotate the stub shaft from stop-to-stop and count the number of turns.
  10.  
  11. Starting at either stop, turn the stub shaft back half the total number of turns. This is the "Center'' position of the gear. When the gear is centered, the flat on the stub shaft should face upward and be parallel with the side cover, and the master spline on the Pitman shaft should be in line with the adjuster screw.
  12.  
  13. Rotate the stub shaft 45 degrees each side of the center using a suitable torque wrench with the handle in the vertical position. Record the worm bearing preload measured on or near the center gear position.
  14.  
  15. Adjust the over-center drag torque by loosening the adjuster locknut and turning the Pitman shaft adjuster screw clockwise until the correct drag torque is obtained: Add 6-10 inch lbs. (0.7-1.1 Nm) of torque to the previously measured worm bearing preload torque. Tighten the adjuster locknut to 20 ft. lbs. (27 Nm). Prevent the adjuster screw from turning while tightening the adjuster screw locknut.
  16.  
  17. Install the steering gear and connect the negative battery cable.
  18.  

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 7



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Fig. Fig. 7: Steering gear removal

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable. Remove the coupling shield.
  2.  
  3. Remove the retaining bolts at the steering coupling to steering shaft flange.
  4.  
  5. Remove the Pitman arm nut and washer. Mark the relation of the arm position to the shaft.
  6.  
  7. Remove Pitman arm using special tool J-6632 or its equal.
  8.  
  9. Remove the steering box to frame bolts. Remove the steering box.
  10.  

On vehicles with power steering, remove the fluid hoses and cap them to prevent foreign material from entering the system.

To install:
  1. Position the steering box and secure with the steering box-to-frame bolts.
  2.  
  3. Install the Pitman arm to the matchmarks made earlier.
  4.  
  5. Install the Pitman arm nut and washer.
  6.  
  7. Install the retaining bolts at the steering coupling to steering shaft flange.
  8.  
  9. Install the coupling shield.
  10.  
  11. Connect the negative battery cable.
  12.  

 
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