Standard Steering Gear
The removal and replacement for power steering gears is similar to that used for a manual gear with the addition of two fluid lines. When removing and replacing a power steering gear, check the condition of the fluid and hoses. Dirty contaminated fluid should be changed; faulty hoses or ones with internal deterioration should be changed. As a power steering unit is replaced, the fluid level should be adjusted, any air should be bled out, and the fluid level should be rechecked.
The steering coupler or universal joint should be marked before disassembly to ensure replacement in the same position; steering wheel position will be changed if the coupler is replaced improperly. Some coupler and steering shaft splines have a flat or missing master spline to ensure proper alignment. The condition of the coupler should always be rechecked; damaged couplers must be replaced or rebuilt.
Many steering couplers and U-joints use a flat or master spline so they can be replaced in only one position; you should place index marks on the others to insure correct alignment. Courtesy of General Motors Corporation, Service Technology Group, and American Honda Motor Company, Inc.
To remove a standard steering gear, you should:
- If the car is equipped with power steering, disconnect and cap the two fluid lines to reduce fluid loss and contamination.
When removing a power steering gear, the fluid lines are disconnected and capped to reduce fluid loss and contamination.
- Mark and disconnect the steering shaft coupler. Usually the coupler cannot be slid off the shaft until the gear is removed from the car.
Before disconnecting a steering shaft coupling, check for a flat or master spline; if there is none, place index marks on the joint and shaft to ensure correct alignment. Note that on some FWD vehicles, the steering shaft is disconnected from inside the vehicle. Courtesy of American Honda Motor Company, Inc.
- Raise and support the vehicle on a hoist or jack stands.
- Mark the Pitman-arm-to shaft position and remove the Pitman arm from the shaft.
- Remove the bolts and nuts securing the gear housing to the frame and remove the steering gear from the car. The steering shaft coupler should be slid off the shaft as the steering gear is removed.
The standard steering gear is secured to the frame using three bolts. Courtesy of General Motors Corporation, Service Technology Group.
To replace a standard steering gear, you should:
- Place the gear housing in the proper position in the frame and replace the mounting bolts. It is often necessary to slide the coupler onto the steering shaft at this time. Tighten the mounting bolts to the correct torque.
- Align the Pitman arm to the shaft and replace the Pitman arm. Tighten the retaining nut to the correct torque.
- Align the coupler to the steering shaft and slide it onto the steering shaft. Tighten the pinch bolts to the correct torque. Note that aligning and installing the coupler onto the steering shaft are often done during the first step.
- On power steering units, reconnect the two fluid lines, fill the system with fluid, and bleed the air from the system.
- After road testing, check the system for possible leaks and correct the fluid level, if necessary.