- Remove the dust seal bellows retaining bands and slide the dust seals off both sides of the gearbox housing.
- Turn the front wheels full left and, using your hand, attempt to move the steering rack in an up-down direction.
- Repeat with the wheel turned full right.
- If any movement is felt, adjust the steering gearbox.
See Figures 1 and 2
- Make sure that the rack is well lubricated.
- Loosen the rack guide adjusting locknut.
- Tighten the adjusting screw just to the point where the front wheels cannot be turned by hand.
- Back off the adjusting screw 45° and hold it in that position while adjusting the locknut.
- Recheck the play, then, move the wheels lock-to-lock, to make sure that the rack moves freely.
- Check the steering force by first raising the front wheels and placing them in a straight-ahead position. Using a spring scale, turn the steering wheel, check the steering force; it should be no more than 3.3 lbs.
REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Raise and support the front end on jackstands.
- Remove the cover panel and steering joint cover. Unbolt and separate the steering shaft at the coupling.
- Remove the front wheels.
- Remove the cotter pins and unscrew the castle nuts on the tie rod ends. Using a ball joint tool disconnect the tie rod ends. Lift the tie rod ends out out the steering knuckles.
On cars with manual transmissions:
Disconnect the shift lever torque rod from the clutch housing.
- On cars with automatic transmissions, remove the shift cable guide from the floor and pull the shift cable down by hand.
- Remove the two nut connecting the exhaust header pipe to the exhaust pipe and move the exhaust pipe out of the way.
- Push the rack all the way to the right and remove the gearbox brackets. Slide the tie rod ends all the way to the right.
- Drop the gearbox far enough to permit the end of the pinion shaft to come out of the hole in the frame channel, then rotate it forward until the shaft is pointing rearward.
- Slide the gearbox to the right until the left tie rod clears the exhaust pipe, then drop it down and out of the car to the left.
- Install the steering rack. Torque the mounting bracket bolts to 29 ft. lbs.
- On the models equipped with manual transmissions, reinstall the pin retainer after driving in the pin and be sure that the projection on the pin retainer is in the hole.
- Install the tie-rod assemblies.
- Check front end alignment, if necessary. Road test the vehicle for proper operation.