Removal & Installation
Because the front stabilizer shaft is mounted to the powertrain subframe, the subframe (with the powertrain) must be lowered to service the stabilizer bar. This is a lengthy and exacting procedure requiring special lifting and jacking equipment. In addition, the rack and pinion steering assembly stub shaft must be disconnected from the steering column. GM specifies that the subframe-to-body bolts, once disturbed, must be replaced with new service replacement parts. Procure the necessary hardware before beginning this procedure. This is not a job for the inexperienced or ill-equipped.
- Center the front wheels to the straight ahead position and lock the steering column. This is important because it protects the steering wheel airbag coil from damage.
- Raise and safely support the vehicle.
- Remove the front wheel and tire assemblies.
Locate the steering shaft dust seal and move it back to gain access to the pinch bolt that joins the steering column intermediate shaft to the rack and pinion input shaft (stub shaft).
CAUTIONFailure to disconnect the intermediate shaft from the rack and pinion stub shaft can result in damage to the rack and pinion steering gear assembly and/or the steering intermediate shaft. The damage can cause loss of steering control which could result in personal injury.
Remove the pinch bolt from the lower intermediate steering shaft, noting the following:
- The wheels of the vehicle must be in the straight ahead position and the steering column in the LOCK position before disconnecting the steering column or the intermediate shaft from the rack and pinion steering gear.
- Failure to do this will cause the SIR (airbag) coil, which feeds power to the steering wheel airbag module, to become uncentered, which will cause damage to the airbag coil.
- Loosen the stabilizer shaft insulator clamp attaching nuts and bolts.
- Place an adjustable safety stand or hydraulic jack under the center of the rear subframe crossmember.
- Locate the large subframe-to-body retaining bolts. Remove the two rear frame-to-body bolts.
- Carefully lower the rear of the subframe just enough to access the stabilizer shaft.
- Remove the stabilizer shaft insulator clamps and insulators from the subframe.
- Remove the stabilizer shaft links from the control arms and pull the stabilizer shaft rearward. Swing the stabilizer shaft down and remove from the left side of the vehicle.
Insert the stabilizer shaft from the left side of the vehicle.
WARNINGDO NOT tighten the stabilizer link nuts at this time. The weight of the vehicle must be supported by the control arms so the vehicle will have the proper trim heights before the tightening the link nuts.
- Loosely install the stabilizer shaft links at the control arms.
Connect the stabilizer shaft insulator clamps to the frame and tighten the bolts to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
WARNINGMake sure the rack and pinion stub shaft is properly seated in the lower intermediate steering shaft coupler prior to installing the pinch bolt. The two mating shafts may disengage if the pinchbolt inserts into the coupling before shaft installation. This is absolutely critical. Otherwise, the vehicle steering will be compromised.
- Raise the subframe back into position, while guiding the intermediate steering shaft onto the rack and pinion stub shaft. When satisfied with the fit of the intermediate shaft to the rack and pinion stub shaft, install the pinchbolt and torque to 35 ft. lbs. (48 Nm).
Install new service replacement frame-to-body attaching bolts noting the following:
- Do not overtighten the body mount. A collapsed spacer or stripped bolt may result.
- When subframe insulator bolts are removed, always discard the bolts and replace with new bolts.
- Proper clamping by the mount depends on clean and dry surfaces. If the subframe bolt does not screw in smoothly, it may be necessary to run a tap through the subframe crossmember nut in the body to remove foreign material. Take care that the tap does not punch through the underbody.
- If for any reason, the rubber frame insulators were removed, generously lubricate with a suitable rubber lube, at installation. Failure to lubricate may prevent proper seating of the insulators in the frame.
- Carefully and evenly torque the new subframe-to-body bolts to 133 ft. lbs. (180 Nm).
- When satisfied with the fit of the subframe, remove the support from under the subframe.
- Support the weight of the vehicle by the control arms. Tighten the stabilizer shaft link nuts to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
- Install the wheel and tire assemblies and lower the vehicle.