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Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15 May 2009, 09:35 am
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 8
Default Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

I have a '05 PT Cruiser convert that the rack and pinion is going bad. Has anyone done this replacements themselves? I have read online that the crossmember must be drop to get to the rack and pinion (i think the same bolts that hold the crossmember up are the aft control arm bolts). Makes sense as this is what it looks like when I looked under the car.

Any help would be appreciated.

Heres how I think it will go;
1) raise and support front of car
2) remove wheels, brakes and rotors
3) remove outer tie rod end from spindle
4) remove lower control arm from spindle
5) remove rear lower control arm bolt
6) remove remaining crossmember bolts and lower crossmember to access steering shaft connection
7) disconnect steering shaft from the steering assembly. Is this a bolt or a pin? If its a pin is the pin re-usable?
8) lower crossmember to get to rack and pinion mounting bolts, remove bolts and disconnect power steering hoses. disconnect electrical connection for rack and pinion sensor.
9) remove old rack and pinion assembly
10) install in reverse order
11) get a front end alignment

Am I missing anything?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02 Jun 2009, 05:01 pm
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Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

Anyone thinking about doing this just beware that the pin the holds the steering knuckle to the rack and pinion is a total pain to remove. There is a special tool to get it out, but it cost $75 and access is very limited. Unless you like cursing at your car, this is one repair best left up to a shop. Took me over 5hrs, mainly due the pin. If it would have used a simple bolt, the job could have been done in less than 3hrs.
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Old 04 Apr 2011, 07:17 am
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Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

Were these the steps to remove change out the rack? I am looking to do this job this tuesday and just need a little help.
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Old 04 Apr 2011, 09:16 am
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 607
Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

As best I remember, that is it. I do suggest getting a repair manual to have on hand. You need to mark the assembly that the rack is mounted to, on the underneath of the car, in order to install it back in the correct position. Step 7 was the hardest for me. There is a pin (or was it a bolt) inside the car that needs to be removed. I had to lay on my back in the floor of the car to get to it.
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Old 16 Sep 2011, 08:51 pm
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Join Date: Sep 2011
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Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

I know this post is older but anyway, the rack and pinion job is not all that difficult if you have some mechanical ability. The haynes manual walks you right through it also. You do not need a special tool to remove the roll pin or the bolt/pin inside the car. A proper sized punch will take the roll pin out and a wrench for the inside, if you can I would replace the roll pin but as long as you don't mess it up removing it it will go back in with a punch. A few things I want to mention about the procedure are: Ensure you mark the position of the cross member before you remove it, it has to go back how it came off, you will need to bleed the power steering system completely after you are finished, this is also a good time to inspect the mesh filter inside the power steering reservoir for clogging since all your fluid will be drained most likely. If its clogged, replace the reservoir, also when working around the steering column , use caution because of the airbags. Other than that its a pretty straight forward job. Above all else, if you don't know what you are doing or aren't sure if you can perform the job, get someone that knows what they are doing or take it to the shop!
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Old 15 Dec 2015, 10:55 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2004
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Posts: 153
Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

I've done this a couple of time without all the hassle.
1. Block car up on both sides, not under sub-frame. Jack stands front e-brake and block rear wheels.
2. Remove both front wheels, break lugnuts loose before blocking up.
3. Loosen sub frame bolts on passenger side, remove on drivers side.
4. Remove tie rod ends on spindles either by hitting them up with a 2lb hammer or hitting the side of the spindle where i connects pretty good.
5. Loosen bolt on steering shaft to rack inside of car and pull out. Nut stays attached to U-joint.
6. Remove rack bolts and lines.
7. Slide rack out drivers side.
Reverse for install.
Lower ball joints will hold the sub frame in place, just don't remove the front conrol arm bolt. You can remove the passenger sub-frame bolts if necessary. It just makes it harder to line up upon reinstall.

Last edited by 340x; 15 Dec 2015 at 10:59 pm.
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Old 11 Feb 2016, 04:28 pm
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Tampa,FL.
Posts: 1
Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

My daughter bought a PT from her aunt who bought it new. Its in good shape for the most part. But the steering is loose above 45 mph. steering wheel slop between 11 o'clock thru 1 o'clock there is no movement of the wheels. Its tight under acceleration and at a stop which it also pops with greater turning such as in a parking lot. The Tie-rods are tight and I replaced the lower control arms (Moog which I like because they make great aircraft parts) and replaced all the sway bar bushings. I'm also getting a road noise which goes away on R/H turns, I put on 4 new Michelins, no change. I just bought a reman'd rack today and will change it this weekend. My question is there is no adjustment like the older Mopars is there? I don't see any in any tech spec's. Thanks for help.

Last edited by Krulm; 11 Feb 2016 at 04:31 pm.
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Old 03 Jul 2017, 12:07 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

This is my first steering rack, and personally I see nothing but trouble ahead after reading posts, but I can't afford the labor shops want to charge me. So my question is, will the above directions work for my 2001 with a manual transmission?
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Old 03 Jul 2017, 12:55 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 2
Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

This is my first steering rack, and personally I see nothing but trouble ahead after reading posts, but I can't afford the labor shops want to charge me. So my question is, will the above directions work for my 2001 with a manual transmission?
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Old 03 Jul 2017, 01:22 pm
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Gladewater, Texas
Posts: 1,855
Default Re: Anyone replace their rack and pinion themselves??

Welcome to the forum. Please go to the new member section and start a new post telling us about you and your Cruiser.

I haven't replaced the rack in a Cruiser. These instructions sound straight forward with no big issues or concerns. There is an active member that replaced his not long ago.
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