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 Rack and pinion replacement problem

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jcc3inc
Newbie


Name : Jack C. Cain
Joined : 2010-02-21
Post Count : 7
Merit : 0

PostSubject: Rack and pinion replacement problem   Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:26 pm

Good morning,

I have a 97 Riv with a reman rack and pinion that is leaking fluid at the place where the wires enter the unit. While it steers well, the leak limits how far you can go without refilling the fluid.

So I bought another reman rack and got ready to remove the old and install the new. Jacked up the car and put it on jackstands, removed wheels. I removed the pinch bolt and disconnected the steering wheel input; loosened the back cradle bolts, removing one from each side and put the jack under the back crosspiece, expecting to take out the bolts, lower the cradle and proceed with taking out the rack. But the back end does not want to drop! I pried downward on the cradle but something is still holding up the back, engine & trans.

I am mystified!! What am I overlooking? It is almost impossible to replace the rack unless it is lowered.

Thanks for your suggestions,

Jack C.
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98riv
Moderator


Location : USA
Joined : 2007-01-14
Post Count : 965
Merit : 30

PostSubject: Re: Rack and pinion replacement problem   Mon Jun 04, 2018 8:32 pm

You may have to also support the front part of the subframe and loosen the front two bolts to get the back to drop down far enough. You'll also need to have all four rear bolts removed. Be careful and make sure you have the front and back supported.

Which manufacturer did you go with for the rack?

_________________
1998 Supercharged Riviera - Custom CAI, Alpine spx-13ref, Infinity 6x9's, Alpine 4 Channel Amp, Kicker KX3, Silverstars, STB, Hawk Brake Pads, Monroe Air Shocks, KYB GR2
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brutusk1
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Name : Brutusk
Location : Bothell, Washington
Joined : 2011-01-23
Post Count : 79
Merit : 10

PostSubject: Rack and Pinion replacement... How to support?   Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:17 pm

98riv wrote:
You may have to also support the front part of the subframe and loosen the front two bolts to get the back to drop down far enough.  You'll also need to have all four rear bolts removed.  Be careful and make sure you have the front and back supported.

I'm going to attempt to replace a bad rack and pinion assembly (steering gear) but haven't quite figured out how the car is supposed to be supported when lowering the back of the cradle.

The FSM in Section 3B-4 says to support the car with a "Suspension contact Hoist" which would seem to hold the cradle in position even if all 6 bolts were removed. This doesn't make sense to me.

The FSM in Section 10-3-2 says (when replacing cradle insulators on-vehicle) to use a Frame contact hoist which of course would allow the weight of the cradle to bring it down away from the car's body so you could snake some new insulators into place.

What am I not understanding here?  It seems to me that I should be supporting the car at the "Frame Contact Hoist" points behind the front wheels,then:
1. Support the rear of the cradle frame with a floor jack.
2. Support the front of the cradle frame with jack stands.
3. Loosen the (2) bolts at the front of the cradle frame.
4. Remove the (4) bolts holding up the rear of the cradle frame.
5. Allow the floor jack to slowly lower the rear of the cradle frame to allow clearance to get the steering gear out through the right front wheel well.

Does this sound correct?

Incidentally, the FSM says in Section 3B-4 to "Remove or Disconnect the Exhaust System".
What in actual practice must be disconnected or removed from the exhaust to lower the back of the cradle frame?  Will I likely need a new donut gasket when I break it open?

Also, I got a remanufactured rack and pinion from Rockauto (BBB Industries).  I can't say I'm impressed with the paint job they sprayed on it. Hopefully, they put the money into the important components and not the paint job.
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Abaddon
Expert
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Name : Scott
Location : Macomb, Michigan
Joined : 2010-02-24
Post Count : 4263
Merit : 179

PostSubject: Re: Rack and pinion replacement problem   Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:05 pm

Every single reman rack is painted horribly with black paint. They usually just paint right over top of all the greasy surfaces, and the paint starts peeling off in the box. I don't know about that reman company, but with the cheaper reman racks, they don't rebuild the spool valve, and it results in more effort in one direction and less in the other because of it. They usually replace the end seals, the inner tie rods, and the transfer tube seals.

As for the cradle, you just have to lower the back of it down with a jack (if you're doing it in the driveway). You must make sure the car is high enough in the air for clearance, though. I don't remember if the exhaust has to be removed. I know I had to move it just doing the sway bar.
Make sure the car is well supported. It isn't simply going to stay put when you take out the bolts. The weight of the engine and trans will make the body jump up a little bit.
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