GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Manual Steering/Rack and Pinion

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REMOVAL and INSTALLATION

Nova

See Figures 1 and 2

  1. Remove the cover from the intermediate shaft.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the upper pinch bolt. Remove the lower pinch bolt at the pinion shaft.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  6.  
  7. Elevate and safely support the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Remove both front wheels.
  10.  
  11. Remove the cotter pins from both ball joints and remove the nuts.
  12.  
  13. Using a tie rod separator, remove both tie rod joints from the knuckles.
  14.  
  15. Remove the nuts and bolts attaching the steering rack to the body.
  16.  
  17. Remove the rack through the access hole.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Install the rack through the access hole. Secure it with the retaining bolts and nuts and tighten them to 43 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Connect the tie rods to each knuckle. Tighten the nuts to 36 ft. lbs. and install new cotter pins.
  4.  
  5. Install the front wheels.
  6.  
  7. Lower the car to the ground.
  8.  
  9. Install the lower pinch bolt at the pinion shaft. Tighten the upper and lower bolts to 26 ft. lbs.
  10.  
  11. Install the cover on the intermediate shaft.
  12.  

Prizm
  1. Remove the cover from the intermediate shaft.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the upper pinch bolt. Remove the lower pinch bolt at the pinion shaft.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  6.  
  7. Elevate and safely support the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Remove both front wheels.
  10.  
  11. Install an engine support and tension it to support the engine without raising it.
  12.  


CAUTION
The engine hoist is in place and under tension. Use care when repositioning the vehicle and make necessary adjustments to the engine support.

  1. Remove the 3 bolts holding the center crossmember to the radiator support.
  2.  
  3. Remove the covers from the front and center mount bolts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the 2 front mount bolts, then the center mount bolts.
  6.  
  7. Support the crossmember and remove the 2 rear mount bolts.
  8.  
  9. Remove the 2 bolts holding the center crossmember to the main crossmember.
  10.  
  11. Use a floor jack and a wide piece of wood to support the main crossmember assembly.
  12.  
  13. Remove the 8 bolts holding the main crossmember to the body.
  14.  


CAUTION
When the fasteners are removed, the crossmembers are loose and free to fall. Make sure they are properly supported.

  1. Remove the 2 bolts holding the lower control arm brackets to the body.
  2.  
  3. Slowly lower the main crossmember while holding onto the center crossmember.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pins from both ball joints and remove the nuts.
  6.  
  7. Using a tie rod separator, remove both tie rod joints from the knuckles.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nuts and bolts attaching the steering rack to the body.
  10.  
  11. Remove the rack through the right side wheel well.
  12.  

To install:
  1. Place it in position through the right wheel well and tighten the bracket bolts to 45 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Attach the tie rods to the knuckles. Tighten the nuts to 36 ft. lbs. and install new cotter pins.
  4.  
  5. Position the center crossmember over the center and rear transaxle mount studs; start 2 nuts on the center mount.
  6.  
  7. Loosely install the 3 bolts holding the center crossmember to the radiator support.
  8.  
  9. Loosely install the 2 front mount bolts.
  10.  
  11. Raise the main crossmember into position over the rear mount studs and align all underbody bolts. Install the 2 rear mount nuts loosely.
  12.  
  13. Install the 8 main crossmember to underbody bolts loosely.
  14.  
  15. Install the 2 lower control arm bracket bolts loosely.
  16.  
  17. Loosely install the 2 bolts holding the center crossmember to the main crossmember.
  18.  
  19. The crossmembers, bolts and brackets should now all be in place and held loosely by their nuts and bolts. If any repositioning is necessary, do so now.
  20.  
  21. On 1989-92 models, tighten the components below in the order listed to the correct torque specification:

    Main crossmember to underbody bolts: 152 ft. lbs.
     
    Lower control arm bolts: 94 ft. lbs.
     
    Center crossmember to radiator support bolts: 45 ft. lbs.
     
    Front, center and rear mount bolts: 45 ft. lbs.
     

  22.  
  23. On 1993 Models, refer to the appropriate illustration earlier in this section and torque the fasteners as follows:

    Main crossmember to underbody bolts: 152 ft. lbs.
     
    Nut A to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm)
     
    Bolt B to 45 ft. lbs (61 (Nm)
     
    Nut C to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm)
     

  24.  
  25. Install the covers on the front and center mount bolts.
  26.  
  27. Install the front wheels.
  28.  
  29. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  30.  
  31. Connect the yoke to the pinion and tighten both the upper and lower bolts to 26 ft. lbs.
  32.  
  33. Install the yoke cover.
  34.  

OVERHAUL



Disassembly

See Figures 1, 2 and 3

  1. Clamp steering gear housing in a vise. Matchmark and remove the tie rod ends from the housing.
  2.  
  3. Mark left and right boots for correct installation, remove the clamps then remove the boots.
  4.  
  5. Remove rack ends and unstake claw washers.
  6.  
  7. On 1985-92 models, remove the rack guide spring cap locknut and the spring and rack guide.
  8.  
  9. On 1993 models, remove the 2 bolts and the rack guide spring cover and the O-ring, compression spring, rack guide and rack guide seat.
  10.  
  11. Remove the pinion bearing adjusting screw locknut.
  12.  
  13. Remove the pinion bearing adjusting screw.
  14.  
  15. Remove the pinion with upper bearing.
  16.  
  17. Remove the rack from the pinion side.
  18.  

Inspection

Check the steering rack for runout and for teeth wear or damage. The maximum runout is 0.012 inch. (0.3mm), for 1985-88 and 0.006 inch (0.15 mm), on later models. Replace the rack bushing, pinion oil seal or the rack assembly, as necessary.

Assembly
  1. Grease all necessary parts upon installation. Install rack into the rack housing.
  2.  
  3. Install pinion into the housing.
  4.  
  5. Install pinion bearing adjusting screw.
  6.  
  7. Adjust the pinion preload (loosen or tighten pinion bearing adjusting screw). The preload (turning) specification is 2.0-2.9 inch lbs., for 1985-92 and 3.5 inch lbs. for 1993
  8.  
  9. Install pinion bearing adjusting screw locknut. Torque the locknut to 83 ft. lbs. (113 Nm)
  10.  
  11. Recheck the preload (turning) specification and adjust as necessary.
  12.  
  13. On 1985-92 models perform the following:
    1. Install the rack guide and spring.
    2.  
    3. Install rack guide spring cap.
    4.  
    5. Center pinion by rotation. Adjust total preload by loosening the rack guide spring cap. The preload (turning) specification is 8.7-11.3 inch lbs.
    6.  
    7. Install rack guide spring cap locknut. Torque the locknut to 51 ft. lbs. (69 Nm).
    8.  

  14.  

When measuring the preload, measure within one rotation from the neutral position in both directions.

  1. On 1993 models perform the following:
    1. Install the rack guide seat, rack guide, compression spring and O-ring.
    2.  
    3. Install the rack guide spring cover and tighten the 2 retaining bolts to 106 inch lbs. (12 Nm).
    4.  
    5. Install the center set bolt but do not tighten fully.
    6.  
    7. Tighten the set bolt using a 4mm hexagon wrench.
    8.  
    9. Measure and adjust the total preload. The total preload specification is 6.1-13.0 inch lbs.
    10.  
    11. If the preload is less than specified, retorque the rack guide spring cover and return it approximately 12 degrees.
    12.  
    13. If the preload is more than specified, slightly return the rack guide spring cover.
    14.  
    15. Tighten the center set bolt nut to 15 ft. lbs. (21 Nm).
    16.  

  2.  
  3. Recheck the total preload. Install rack ends and claw washers. Stake the claw washers.
  4.  
  5. Install rack boots and clamps.
  6.  
  7. Align matchmarks and install tie rod ends. Torque the locknuts to 35 ft. lbs. (47 Nm) for 1985-88 and 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm) for 1989-93.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of the Nova manual rack and pinion steering gear



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Exploded view of the Prizm manual rack and pinion steering gear - 1989-92



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Exploded view of the Prizm manual rack and pinion steering gear - 1993

 
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