REMOVAL & INSTALLATION
- Disconnect the negative battery cable.
- Raise and safely support the front of the vehicle on jackstands. Turn the wheels so they are facing in the straight ahead position.
- If equipped, remove the retainers and the shield from the base of the intermediate shaft.
- Matchmark the intermediate shaft-to-steering gear connection in order to assure proper installation.
- Remove the intermediate shaft-to-steering gear pinch
- If necessary, align and install the Pitman shaft to the gear.
- Position the steering gear to the frame and secure with the retaining bolts.
- Install the gear retaining bolts and tighten to 55-60 ft. lbs. (75-81 Nm).
When installing the steering gear, be sure that the intermediate shaft bottoms on the worm shaft, so that the pinch bolt passes through the undercut on the worm shaft. Check and/or adjust the alignment of the Pitman arm-to-Pitman shaft.
- Align and install the intermediate shaft coupling using the pinch bolt. Tighten the bolt to 30 ft. lbs. (41 Nm).
- If not done already, align and install the Pitman arm to the shaft. Refer to the procedure in this section for details.
- If applicable, install the coupling shield over the intermediate shaft-to-gear coupling.
- Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
- Connect the negative battery cable.
Steering gear adjustments are made only as corrections and NOT as periodic adjustments. Before adjusting the gear, check the remainder of the steering linkage and front suspension for wear or damage and repair/replace components, as necessary. Adjustment takes place in 2 major steps. First the worm bearing preload adjustment is made using the adjuster plug, then the overcenter preload is adjusted using the adjuster screw/bolt and jam nut.
- Position the front wheels in a straight ahead position.
- Loosen the locknut on the adjusting screw of the steering gear unit.
- Turn the adjusting screw clockwise to decrease the free-play or counterclockwise to increase it.
- When the steering wheel free-play is between 0.39-1.17 in. (10-30mm), tighten the locknut to 1522 ft. lbs. (2029 Nm).