Neon, 2000-2005

Removal & Installation

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  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Place the steering wheel in the straight-ahead position. Lock the steering wheel in place, using a steering wheel holder.
    NOTE
    Locking the steering wheel keeps the clockspring in alignment position.

  4.  
  5. Working inside the passenger compartment, remove the steering column coupling retainer pin, pinch bolt nut/bolt and separate the couplings.
  6.  
  7. Remove or disconnect the following:
    NOTE
    Remove the tie rod nut by holding the stud securely.


    NOTE
    The screws are located behind the cooler and can be accessed from above.



    Both front wheels
     
    Outer tie rods-to-steering knuckle nuts
     



    Outer tie rod ends from the steering knuckle using Remover Tool MB991113
     
    Tie rod heat shield
     
    Power steering fluid pressure switch wiring connector by releasing the locking tab
     
    Power steering fluid pressure hose from the steering gear
     
    Power steering fluid return hose from the steering gear, if not equipped with a power steering fluid cooler
     
    Power steering fluid cooler hose from the steering gear, if equipped with a power steering fluid cooler
     
    Power steering fluid return hose from the routing clip C-clamps, if not equipped with a power steering fluid cooler
     
    Power steering fluid pressure hose from the steering gear-s routing clips
     
    Power steering cooler hose from the steering gear-s right routing clip, if equipped
     
    Both power steering cooler screws from the front suspension crossmember, if equipped, and move the cooler aside
     



    Power steering cooler, if equipped, and move it aside
     
    Engine torque strut-to-front suspension crossmember bolt from the right forward corner of the crossmember
     

  8.  
  9. Matchmark the front suspension crossmember-to-chassis location.
    WARNING
    If the front suspension crossmember-to-chassis location is not matchmarked, the front wheel alignment setting will be lost.

  10.  
  11. Place a transmission jack under the front crossmember and support it.
  12.  
  13. Remove both front suspension crossmember-to-frame rail bolts, one located at each side.
  14.  
  15. Loosen both rear suspension crossmember-to-frame rail bolts, one located at each side, until they release from the threaded tapping plates in the bolt.
    WARNING
    Do not completely remove the rear bolts for they are designed to disengage from the body threads and will stay within the lower control arm rear isolator bushing.


    NOTE
    The threaded tapping plates allow the lower control arm to stay in place on the crossmember.

  16.  
  17. Using the transmission jack, lower the front suspension crossmember enough to allow the power steering gear to be removed form the rear of the crossmember. Use the jack to support the cross member-s weight.
  18.  
  19. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Lower steering column coupling-to-power steering gear pinion shaft-s roll pin, using a roll pin punch
     
    Lower steering column coupling from the power steering column pinion shaft
     
    Pinion shaft dash cover seal from the tabs cast into the power steering gear housing
     
    Power steering gear from the front suspension crossmember

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of the power steering gear and crossmember

    View of the power steering gear and crossmember

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of the power steering gear fluid pressure switch

    View of the power steering gear fluid pressure switch

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of the power steering gear hoses and routing clips

    View of the power steering gear hoses and routing clips

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of the pinion shaft dash cover seal

    View of the pinion shaft dash cover seal

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. View of the engine torque struts and related components

    View of the engine torque struts and related components

    Click image to see an enlarged view

    Fig. Measuring the engine torque bracket

    Measuring the engine torque bracket
     

  20.  

To install:

  1. Install or connect the following:
    NOTE
    Align the seal holes with the tabs cast into the power steering gear housing.



    Power steering gear onto the front suspension crossmember and torque the bolts to 45 ft. lbs. (61 Nm)
     
    Pinion shaft dash cover seal over the shaft and onto the power steering gear housing
     



    Lower steering column coupling by aligning the coupling and steering gear pinion shaft flats
     
    Lower steering column coupling-to-pinion shaft-s roll pin until it is centered
     

  2.  
  3. Center the power steering gear rack-s travel.
    WARNING
    Be sure to align the front suspension crossmember-to-chassis matchmarks; otherwise, the front wheel alignment setting will be lost.



    Front suspension crossmember/power steering gear assembly by raising it with the jack until is aligns with its matchmarks
     
    Lower steering column coupling, guide it through the firewall hole as it is raised
     
    Both rear crossmember-to-tapping plate bolts
     
    Both front crossmember-to-frame rail bolts and torque them to 20 inch lbs. (2 Nm)
     



    Once aligned, torque both rear crossmember-to-rear lower control arm bolts to 150 ft. lbs. (203 Nm) and both front crossmember bolts to 105 ft. lbs. (142 Nm)
     
    Engine torque strut to the right forward corner of the front suspension crossmember
     

  4.  
  5. Adjust the engine torque strut by performing the following procedure:
    1. Loosen the upper torque strut at the shock tower bracket.
    2.  
    3. Position a floor jack on the forward edge of the bell housing to prevent the least amount of upward lifting of the engine.
    4.  
    5. Slowly, lift the assembly, allowing the engine to rotate rearward so the distance between center of the engine mount bracket-s rearmost attaching stud (point A) and the center of the shock tower bracket-s washer hose clip hole (point B) is 4.70 inch (119mm).
    6.  
    7. Torque the upper and lower torque strut bolts to 87 ft. lbs. (118 Nm).
    8.  
    9. Remove the floor jack.
    10.  

  6.  
  7. Install or connect the following:
    NOTE
    Verify that the seal-s lip shows grease at the coupling-s plastic collar contact.



    Power steering hose-to-power steering gear using a new O-ring lubricated with power steering oil, if not equipped with a power steering cooler
     
    Power steering fluid cooler line-to-power steering gear, if equipped with a power steering cooler
     
    Power steering fluid return hose to the routing clip C-clamps, if not equipped with a power steering fluid cooler
     
    Power steering fluid pressure hose to the steering gear-s routing clips
     
    Power steering cooler hose to the steering gear-s right routing clip, if equipped
     
    Torque the power steering pressure hose-to-power steering gear nut to 25 ft. lbs. (34 Nm)
     
    Both power steering cooler screws to the front suspension crossmember, if equipped
     
    Power steering fluid pressure switch wiring connector be sure the locking tab is secure latched
     
    Tie rod heat shield, facing outboard
     
    Outer tie rod ends to the steering knuckle. Torque the nut, using a crowsfoot wrench, to 40 ft. lbs. (55 Nm), while holding the tie rod stationary
     
    Both front wheels and torque the lug nuts, in a crisscross pattern, to 100 ft. lbs. (135 Nm)
     
    Dash-to-lower coupling seal over the lower coupling-s plastic collar
     



    Steering column lower coupling-to-steering column upper coupling pinch bolt and torque the nut to 21 ft. lbs. (28 Nm)
     
    Pinch bolt retainer pin
     

  8.  
  9. Remove the steering wheel holder.
  10.  
  11. Fill and bleed the power steering system.
  12.  
  13. Check for leaks.
  14.  
  15. Check and/or adjust the front toe setting.
  16.  

 
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