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Do-It-Yourself Projects
Steering Rack Replacement
By Mike Bumbeck/
Printable version
Degree of DifficultyDifficult
Estimated Time300 minutes
300 minutes
Safety First
Since the front-end components like tie rods and ball joints literally help hold the wheels on the car it pays to follow procedure. Some steering racks are easier to remove and replace than others. A service or repair manual will show what it takes and have torque values for front-end assembly. The torque wrench is an invaluable tool. Too little torque and fasteners can come loose. Too much torque can cause fasteners to shear and break. When wrapping things back up always use a new cotter pin as a final step.
Step 1 - Remove the cotter pin and castellated nut on the outer tie rod ends. Use a puller as shown or a few well-placed smacks of a hammer on the meaty portion of the knuckle to free the outer tie rod ends. A pickle fork is a last resort.
 Remove the Cotter Pin and Castellated Nut on the Outer Tie Rod Ends
Step 2 - Center the steering wheel and loosen the bolts that secure the intermediate shaft. Push the shaft up off the rack. Remove the mounts that hold the rack to the chassis. Fish the rack out of the chassis. Turning can help unlock the puzzle.
Remove the Mounts that Hold the Rack to the Chassis
Step 3 - In this case we also installed a new set of outer tie-rod ends on the new steering rack. Measure the distance of the old steering rack so that the alignment will be fairly close with the new.
If Installing New Outer Tie-Rod Ends, Measure the Distance of the Old Steering Rack.
Step 4 - New steering rack bushings are also a good idea. The rack bushings secure the steering rack in place. If the bushings are worn out the rack will move around, causing steering wander and wobbles.
New Steering Rack Bushings Are Also a Good Idea
Step 5 - Reverse the removal procedure. Torque everything to specifications and install new cotter pins. Put the wheels back on and get the car to the local alignment shop.
Reverse the Removal Procedure, Put Wheels Back on and Get Car to Shop for Alignment
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