GM Prizm/Nova 1985-1993 Repair Guide

Power Steering Rack

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The power assisted rack and pinion system has a rotary control valve which directs hydraulic fluid under pressure to either side of the rack piston. The piston uses this pressure to move the rack left or right. The rack then moves the tie rods and knuckles, which turn the wheels.

REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Nova

See Figure 1

  1. Remove the intermediate shaft cover.
  2.  
  3. Loosen the upper pinch bolt and remove the lower pinch bolt.
  4.  
  5. Place a drain pan below the power steering rack assembly. Clean the area around the line fittings on the rack.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the front wheel lug nuts.
  8.  
  9. Safely elevate and support the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Remove the front wheels.
  12.  
  13. Remove the cotter pins and nuts from both tie rod joints. Separate the joints from the knuckle using a tie rod joint separator.
  14.  
  15. Support the transaxle with a jack.
  16.  
  17. Remove the rear bolts holding the engine crossmember to the body.
  18.  
  19. Remove the nut and bolt holding the rear engine mount to the mount bracket.
  20.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Nova power steering rack assembly

  1. Label and disconnect the fluid pressure and return lines at the rack.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 4 bolts and nuts holding the rack brackets to the body. It will be necessary to slightly raise and lower the rear of the transaxle to gain access to the bolts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rack through the access hole.
  6.  

To install:
  1. Place the rack in position through the access hole and install the retaining brackets to the body. Tighten the nuts and bolts to 39 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Connect the fluid lines to the rack.
  4.  
  5. Install the nut and bolt holding the rear engine mount to the mount bracket. Tighten the nut and bolt to 29 ft. lbs.
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the engine crossmember bolts and tighten them to 29 ft. lbs.
  8.  
  9. Remove the jack from the transaxle.
  10.  
  11. Connect the tie rod ends to the knuckles. Tighten the nuts to 36 ft. lbs. and install new cotter pins.
  12.  
  13. Install the wheels and lower the vehicle to the ground.
  14.  
  15. Connect the intermediate shaft to the steering rack. Install the lower bolt; tighten both the upper and lower bolts to 26. ft. lbs. Install the intermediate shaft cover.
  16.  
  17. Add fluid and bleed the system.
  18.  
  19. Have the alignment checked and adjusted at a reliable repair facility.
  20.  

Prizm

See Figure 2

  1. Place a drain pan under the steering rack.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cover from the intermediate shaft.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the upper pinch bolt. Remove the lower pinch bolt at the pinion shaft.
  6.  
  7. Loosen the wheel lug nuts.
  8.  
  9. Elevate and safely support the vehicle.
  10.  
  11. Remove both front wheels.
  12.  
  13. Install an engine support and tension it to support the engine without raising it.
  14.  


CAUTION
The engine hoist is now 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 and then the 2 rear mount bolts.
  6.  
  7. Remove the 2 bolts holding the center crossmember to the main crossmember.
  8.  
  9. Use a floor jack and a wide piece of wood to support the main crossmember.
  10.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Prizm power steering rack assembly

  1. Remove the 8 bolts holding the main crossmember to the body.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 2 bolts holding the lower control arm brackets to the body.
  4.  


CAUTION
The crossmembers are loose and free to fall. Make sure they are properly supported.

  1. Slowly lower the main crossmember while holding onto the center crossmember.
  2.  
  3. Remove the cotter pins from both tie rod ball joints and remove the nuts.
  4.  
  5. Using a tie rod separator, remove both tie rod joints from the knuckles.
  6.  
  7. Label and disconnect the fluid pressure and return lines from the rack.
  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 43 ft. lbs.
  2.  
  3. Connect the fluid lines to the rack and tighten the fittings to 33 ft. lbs. Make certain the fittings are correctly threaded before tightening them.
  4.  
  5. Attach the tie rods to the knuckles. Tighten the nuts to 36 ft. lbs. and install new cotter pins.
  6.  
  7. Position the center crossmember over the center and rear transaxle mount studs; start 2 nuts on the center mount.
  8.  
  9. Loosely install the 3 bolts holding the center crossmember to the radiator support.
  10.  
  11. Loosely install the 2 front mount bolts.
  12.  
  13. Raise the main crossmember into position over the rear mount studs and align all underbody bolts. Install the 2 rear mount nuts loosely.
  14.  
  15. Install the 8 main crossmember to underbody bolts loosely.
  16.  
  17. Install the 2 lower control arm bracket bolts loosely.
  18.  
  19. Loosely install the 2 bolts holding the center crossmember to the main crossmember.
  20.  
  21. 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.
  22.  
  23. 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.
     

  24.  
  25. On 1993 Models, refer to the appropriate illustration found 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)
     

  26.  
  27. Install the covers on the front and center mount bolts.
  28.  
  29. Install the front wheels.
  30.  
  31. Lower the vehicle to the ground.
  32.  
  33. Connect the yoke to the pinion and tighten both the upper and lower bolts to 26 ft. lbs.
  34.  
  35. Install the yoke cover.
  36.  
  37. Add power steering fluid to the reservoir and bleed the system.
  38.  
  39. Have the alignment checked at a reliable repair facility.
  40.  

OVERHAUL



Nova

See Figure 3

DISASSEMBLY
  1. Clamp steering gear housing in a vise.
  2.  
  3. Remove right and left turn pressure tubes. Matchmark and remove the tie rod ends from the housing.
  4.  
  5. Mark left and right boots for correct installation, remove the clamps then remove the boots.
  6.  
  7. Remove rack ends and unstake claw washers.
  8.  
  9. Remove the rack guide spring cap locknut.
  10.  
  11. Remove the rack guide spring cap.
  12.  
  13. Remove rack guide spring and rack guide.
  14.  
  15. Remove the rack housing cap.
  16.  
  17. Remove self-locking nut while holding control valve in place.
  18.  
  19. Remove the control valve housing assembly.
  20.  
  21. Remove the cylinder end stopper.
  22.  
  23. Remove the rack bushing and rack.
  24.  

Inspection

Check the steering rack for runout and for teeth wear or damage. The maximum runout is 0.012 in. (0.3mm). Replace the bushing, oil seals, teflon rings and O-rings if necessary.

Assembly
  1. Grease or coat with power steering fluid on all necessary parts upon installation. Install rack into the rack housing.
  2.  
  3. Install rack bushing.
  4.  
  5. Install cylinder end stopper.
  6.  
  7. Install control valve.
  8.  
  9. Install oil seal.
  10.  
  11. Install dust cover.
  12.  
  13. Install control valve housing. Torque housing retaining bolts to 13 ft. lbs.
  14.  
  15. Install self-locking nut. Torque to 18 ft. lbs.
  16.  
  17. Install rack housing cap. Torque to 43 ft. lbs.
  18.  
  19. Install rack guide and rack guide spring.
  20.  
  21. Adjust total preload-tighten the rack guide spring cap. The preload (turning) specification is 7.8-10.4 inch lbs.
  22.  
  23. Install rack guide spring cap locknut. Tighten the locknut to 33 ft. lbs.
  24.  
  25. Recheck the preload (turning) specification which is 7.8-10.4 inch lbs.
  26.  
  27. Install rack ends and claw washers. Torque the rack ends to 53 ft. lbs. Stake the claw washers.
  28.  
  29. Install rack boots and clamps.
  30.  
  31. Align matchmarks and install tie rod ends. Torque the locknuts to 35 ft. lbs.
  32.  
  33. Install right and left turn pressure tubes. Torque tubes to 18 ft. lbs.
  34.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Nova power steering rack components

Prizm

See Figure 4

DISASSEMBLY
  1. Remove the power steering gear assembly from the vehicle as described earlier in this section. Mount the steering gear assembly into a vise. Place a piece of wood or soft metal between the steering gear assembly and the vise jaws to prevent damage to the steering gear.
  2.  
  3. Remove the right and left turn pressure pipes between the valve housing and the cylinder using a J 29698-A fuel line wrench, or equivalent. Loosen the locknuts and match the tie rod end marks to the tie rod marks.
  4.  
  5. Remove the locknuts and both tie rod ends.
  6.  
  7. Remove both rack boots, one retaining clip and one retaining clamp per boot. Unstake claw washers retaining both tie rods to steering rack.
  8.  
  9. Remove the tie rods and claw washers from the steering rack using a J 35414 tie rod housing wrench and a J 35418 steering rack end wrench or their equivalents.
  10.  
  11. Remove the steering rack guide cap nut, cap, spring, rack guide and seat using a J 35423 rack guide spring cap wrench and a J 35692 spring cap locknut wrench.
  12.  
  13. Remove the rack housing dust cover.
  14.  
  15. Remove the housing snapring using snapring pliers.
  16.  
  17. Remove the housing cap.
  18.  
  19. Remove the lower valve nut, the lower bearing and spacer using a J 35428 pinion preload socket.
  20.  
  21. Remove the control valve using a J 35420 steering gear bushing installer or its equivalent .
  22.  


WARNING
Do not remove the control valve by tapping it out of the housing; the valve may be damaged.

  1. Remove the end stopper snapring using snapring pliers.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rack housing stopper and spacer.
  4.  
  5. Remove the rack and oil seal from the housing.
  6.  
  7. Remove the cylinder inner oil seal and spacer using a J 35434 rack cylinder seal remover or its equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Clean all disassembled parts. Do not use a wire brush.
  10.  

ASSEMBLY
  1. Install the new inner (teflon) and outer O-rings seals.
  2.  
  3. Install the new control valve (teflon) rings. Apply the power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to a new housing oil seal.
  4.  
  5. Install the new housing oil seal.
  6.  
  7. Install the inner bushing to the valve housing using a J 35695 inner pinion bushing installer with a J 8092 driver handle or their equivalent. The bushing must be installed to a depth of 2.736 inches (69.5 mm).
  8.  


WARNING
If the bushing is pushed in too far, it will cause deformation of the housing. If it is not pushed in far enough, it will interfere with the pinion valve.

Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to control valve and inner bushing. Install the control valve and inspect for proper operation. Remove valve after inspection.

Clean the rack teeth, then cover the teeth with electrical tape. Tape both ends of the rack bar, especially the air bleed holes, to prevent damage to the oil seal lips.

Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to the cylinder bore and the new inner oil seal.

  1. Install the new inner oil seal onto the rack lip end first.
  2.  
  3. Install a 0.079 inch (2 mm) cylinder spacer.
  4.  
  5. Apply electrical tape to the rack teeth. Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to a new cylinder outer oil seal.
  6.  
  7. Install the new outer oil seal onto the rack lip end first. Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to cylinder bore. Carefully install steering rack into cylinder. Push the inner oil seal, piston seal ring and outer oil seal into the bore. Be careful not to damage components on cylinder bore end or snapring groove.
  8.  
  9. Install a 0.236 inch (6 mm) cylinder spacer.
  10.  

Make sure to install spacer with shallow side facing out. Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to rack housing stopper.

  1. Install rack housing stopper onto rack and push into cylinder bore.
  2.  
  3. Install rack into cylinder. Tap the end of the rack with a fiber hammer to seat the inner seal and spacer. Seat the rack housing stopper using a J 35425 power rack pinion bearing and seal installer. The stopper should be in far enough to expose the snapring groove.
  4.  
  5. Install the snapring to cylinder end stopper. Inspect the inner and outer cylinder seal operation using a J 23738-A valve stem seal tester and a J 35376 cylinder pressure tester or their equivalents. Apply 15 in. Hg of vacuum. If vacuum does not hold for a minimum of 30 seconds, replace the faulty seals.
  6.  
  7. Install the control valve into the housing.
  8.  
  9. Install the rack housing upper bearing using a J 35425 power rack pinion bearing and seal installer or its equivalent. Apply the power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to rack housing oil seal and snapring.
  10.  
  11. Install the rack housing oil seal and snapring.
  12.  
  13. Install the dust cover.
  14.  
  15. Install the spacer and lower bearing on the control valve shaft.
  16.  
  17. Install the new self-locking nut on the control valve shaft using a J 35428 pinion preload socket or its equivalent. Tighten the pinion shaft locknut to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm). Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017 or equivalent, to the threads of a new rack housing cap.
  18.  
  19. Install the new rack housing cap. Tighten the rack housing cap to 51 ft. lbs. (69 Nm). Stake the housing cap using a hammer and chisel.
  20.  
  21. Install the rack guide seat, the rack guide and the rack guide spring. Apply Loctite pipe sealant (with Teflon) GM P/N 1052080, or equivalent to rack guide spring cap.
  22.  
  23. Install the rack guide spring cap using a J 35423 rack guide spring cap wrench and a torque wrench. Tighten the rack guide spring cap to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm). Adjust the total preload. Turn the rack guide spring cap 15 degrees counterclockwise. Turn the control valve shaft right and left 1-2 times. Use a torque wrench and a J 35428 pinion preload socket to adjust the pinion valve to 7-11 inch lbs. (0.8-Nm).
  24.  
  25. Install the rack guide spring cap locking nut. Tighten the rack guide spring cap locking nut to 33 ft. lbs. (44 Nm). Inspect the final preload of pinion valve. If preload is not 7-11 inch lbs. (0.8-1.3 Nm), readjust the preload.
  26.  
  27. Install the tie rods and the new claw washers. Tighten the tie rods to 61 ft. lbs. (83 Nm). Using a brass bar and hammer, stake the claw washers. Important: Be certain that the air bleed hole is clear of grease and contaminants. Apply power steering gear and pump fluid GM P/N 1050017, or equivalent, to the inside of the steering rack boots' small end.
  28.  
  29. Install the steering rack boots to the steering rack. Do not twist the boots during installation.
  30.  
  31. Install the clips securing the boots to the steering rack with the open ends of the clips facing outward.
  32.  
  33. Install the locknuts and the tie rod ends onto the tie rods until the matchmarks are aligned. Tighten the tie rod locknuts to 41 ft. lbs. (56 Nm).
  34.  
  35. Install the left and right turn pressure pipes using a J 29698-A fuel line wrench and a torque wrench. Tighten the left and right turn pressure pipe fittings to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm).
  36.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Prizm power steering rack components

 
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