GM Firebird 1982-1992 Repair Guide

Steering Linkage

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See Figure 1



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Fig. Fig. 1: Steering linkage (exploded view)

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Pitman Arm

See Figure 2



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Fig. Fig. 2: Removing the Pitman arm with the tool shown

  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the nut from the Pitman arm ball stud.
  4.  
  5. Remove the relay rod from the Pitman arm by using a tool such as J-24319-01 or equivalent. Pull down on the relay rod to remove it from the stud.
  6.  
  7. Remove the Pitman arm nut from the Pitman shaft and mark the relation of the arm position to the shaft.
  8.  
  9. Remove the Pitman arm with tool J-5504 or tool J-6632 or equivalent. DO NOT HAMMER ON THE PULLER.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Position the Pitman arm on the Pitman shaft, lining up the marks made upon removal.
  2.  
  3. Position the relay rod on the Pitman arm. Use J-29193 or J-29194 or equivalent to seat the tapers. A torque of 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) is required. With the tapers seated, remove the tool, then install a prevailing torque nut, and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Set the relay rod height. Torque the idler arm-to-frame mounting bolts to 61 ft. lbs. (83 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  

Idler Arm
  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the idler arm to frame nuts, washers, and bolts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut from the idler arm to relay rod ball stud.
  6.  
  7. Remove the relay rod from the idler arm by using J-24319-01 or equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Remove the idler arm.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Position the idler arm on the frame and LOOSELY install the mounting bolts, washers and nuts.
  2.  
  3. Install the relay rod to the idler arm, making certain seal is on the stud. Use J-29193 or J-29194 or equivalent to seat the tapers. A torque of 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) is required. With the tapers seated, remove the tool, then install a prevailing torque nut, and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Set the relay rod height. Torque the idler arm-to-frame mounting bolts to 61 ft. lbs. (83 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Lower the vehicle.
  8.  

Relay Rod

See Figures 3, 4 and 5



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Fig. Fig. 3: Removing the relay rod-to-tie rod nut



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Fig. Fig. 4: Separating the tie rod from the relay rod using a gear puller



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Fig. Fig. 5: Disconnecting the tie rod from the relay rod

During production, the installed position of the relay rod is carefully controlled to assure that the rod is at the proper height. Both the left end and the right end of the relay rod must be held at the same height. The side-to-side height is controlled by adjusting the position of the idler arm

Whenever disconnecting the relay rod assembly, it is important to first scribe the position of the idler arm-to-frame, and to reinstall the idler arm in the same position. Be sure to prevent the idler support from turning in the bushing, since that motion could result in improper relay rod height.

Whenever replacing the relay rod, or the idler arm, or the Pitman arm, it is mandatory to establish the correct height.

  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the inner ends of the tie rods from the relay rod.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut from the relay rod ball stud attachment at Pitman arm.
  6.  
  7. Detach the relay rod from the Pitman arm by using tool such as J-24319-01 or equivalent. Shift the steering linkage as required to free the Pitman arm from the relay rod.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nut from the idler arm and remove the relay rod from the idler arm.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the relay rod to idler arm, making certain idler stud seal is in place. Use J-29193 or J-29194 or equivalent to seat the tapers. A torque of 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) is required. With the tapers seated, remove the tool, then install a prevailing torque nut, and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Raise the end of the rod and install on the Pitman arm. Use J-29193 or J-29194 or equivalent to seat the tapers. A torque of 15 ft. lbs. (20 Nm) is required. With the tapers seated, remove the tool, then install a prevailing torque nut, and tighten to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the tie rod ends to the relay rod. Lubricate the tie rod ends.
  6.  
  7. Install the damper, if equipped.
  8.  
  9. Set the relay rod height. Torque the idler arm-to-frame mounting bolts to 61 ft. lbs. (83 Nm).
  10.  
  11. Lower the vehicle.
  12.  
  13. Check and, if necessary, adjust front end alignment.
  14.  

Tie Rod Ends

See Figure 6



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Fig. Fig. 6: Using a tie rod removal tool

  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely on jackstands.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins from the ball studs and remove the castellated nuts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the outer ball stud by using the ball stud puller. If necessary, pull downward on the tie rod to disconnect it from the steering arm.
  6.  
  7. Remove the inner ball stud from the relay rod using a similar procedure.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tie rod end or ends to be replaced by loosening the clamp bolt and unscrewing them.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Lubricate tie rod threads with chassis grease and install new tie rod(s). Make sure both ends are an equal distance from the tie rod and tighten clamp bolts.
  2.  
  3. Make sure ball studs, tapered surfaces, and all threaded surfaces are clean and smooth, and free of grease. Install seals on ball studs. Install ball stud in steering arm and relay rod.
  4.  
  5. Rotate both inner and outer tie rod housings rearward to the limit of ball joint travel before tightening clamps. Make sure clamp slots and sleeve slots are aligned before tightening clamps. Make sure tightened bolts will be in horizontal position to 45 degrees upward (in the forward direction) when the tie rod is in its normal position. Make sure the tie rod end stays in position relative to the rod during the tightening operation. Tighten the clamps, and then return the assembly to the center of its travel.
  6.  
  7. Install ball stud nuts and torque to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) Then tighten (do not loosen) further as required to align cotter pin holes in studs and nuts. Install new cotter pins.
  8.  
  9. Lubricate new tie rod ends and lower the vehicle.
  10.  

 
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