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Steering & Wheel work

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11 Aug 2013, 03:02 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Default Steering & Wheel work

Hello,

Just wanted to get some thoughts on a major job that I am about to get into.
I am not a mechanic but I believe I have sufficient knowledge on how to do most job since I have done it in a different car. I am looking for tips or advices on those trouble maker procedures that sometimes show up as per the design of the components or the car itself. Anything that I should be aware of...

Car: 2003 Pt Cruiser GT.

I have to do the following:
(in [ ] I have answer the question...Have you done this job before?)

-Front left wheel bearing replacement. [never done it]
-Replace lower control arms. (will buy the ones with ball joint to save some work) [never done it]
-replace steering rack [done it]
-suspension track bar link [never done it]
-sway bar links and bushings. [done it]

I have looked into some threads that are related to some of these topics. Please let me know if you know of a must read thread in this forum that relates to my job.

Thanks in advance!!!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12 Aug 2013, 12:07 am
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

can someone please move this thread to the appropriate forum?

While looking for information I found out that there is a suspension and steering forum where this thread should be...

sorry for the inconvenience...
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 04:46 am
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Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 27,744
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by zodiac_col View Post
can someone please move this thread to the appropriate forum?

While looking for information I found out that there is a suspension and steering forum where this thread should be...

sorry for the inconvenience...
Done.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 12 Aug 2013, 11:07 am
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 38
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

I've done the lower control arm and they can be a pain. I was able to get the driver's side in just fine but not the passengers. I had to take it to the shop to get them to finish it. Get some good pry bars to place them in. Also when doing the passenger side one, make sure to inspect the lower motor mount. Mine needed replacing. I went ahead and replaced it since i had it off to begin with. Also make sure your ball joints are all facing the right direction so the bolt can slide through.

If you are doing the wheel bearing too, I would suggest you do them at the same time to save you some time and labor. Once you take the wheel hub off you can either press the bearing in and out yourself or take it to a shop to do it for you. The price should be a lot lower because they arent doing the labor removing it and installing it.
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 03:03 pm
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: darien il
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Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

i would recommend doing both wheel bearings at the same time. mine failed within a couple months of each other. easiest way to do them is to take the knuckles to a shop and have them press the old bearings off and the new ones on, unless you have a press or really enjoy cutting and pounding. make sure you get the 39mm bearings, not the 33.

someone mentioned drilling a hole and spraying penetrating oil on the vertical rear control arm bolts the day before, i think that is a great idea. i ended up cutting a control arm off in order to heat the bolt.
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 04:52 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by CruisenAround View Post
I've done the lower control arm and they can be a pain. I was able to get the driver's side in just fine but not the passengers. I had to take it to the shop to get them to finish it. Get some good pry bars to place them in. Also when doing the passenger side one, make sure to inspect the lower motor mount. Mine needed replacing. I went ahead and replaced it since i had it off to begin with. Also make sure your ball joints are all facing the right direction so the bolt can slide through.

If you are doing the wheel bearing too, I would suggest you do them at the same time to save you some time and labor. Once you take the wheel hub off you can either press the bearing in and out yourself or take it to a shop to do it for you. The price should be a lot lower because they arent doing the labor removing it and installing it.
Lots of info that really helps me a lot...much appreciated....
If you still remember, why was it so hard to install lower control arm on passengers side?
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 04:57 pm
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Posts: 22
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by rob342 View Post
i would recommend doing both wheel bearings at the same time. mine failed within a couple months of each other. easiest way to do them is to take the knuckles to a shop and have them press the old bearings off and the new ones on, unless you have a press or really enjoy cutting and pounding. make sure you get the 39mm bearings, not the 33.

someone mentioned drilling a hole and spraying penetrating oil on the vertical rear control arm bolts the day before, i think that is a great idea. i ended up cutting a control arm off in order to heat the bolt.
Thanks for the advice...will surely get the 39 mm bearing...
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 06:04 pm
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 22
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

Now it appears that lower engine mounts should be changed as well...

since I will be changing engine mounts...would it be recommended to change timing belt as well? haven't change it yet...

also, does anybody know what steering rack should I get for this model in particular?
there are actually 2 different models on autozone....

standard steering - SBA
firm feel steering - SBB
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 06:35 pm
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Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 38
Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by zodiac_col View Post
Lots of info that really helps me a lot...much appreciated....
If you still remember, why was it so hard to install lower control arm on passengers side?
I couldnt get enough leverage on the control arm to swing the side bushing in. It was being very stubborn and I was only using jack stands so I was low to the ground. The passenger side only takes a bit longer removing because you have to remove a small strut bar and the lower motor mount to get to the control arms side bushing bolt. Removing it was easy, used a pickle fork to get the ball joint out.

Oh.....not sure if this is on all PT's but the sway bar links that were installed were weird. The last washer was actually threaded inside so it acted like a nut. Had to grip those with vise grips or a channel lock to hold it in place while I used a ratchet on the bolt.
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Old 12 Aug 2013, 06:37 pm
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Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Steering & Wheel work

Quote:
Originally Posted by zodiac_col View Post
Now it appears that lower engine mounts should be changed as well...

since I will be changing engine mounts...would it be recommended to change timing belt as well? haven't change it yet...

also, does anybody know what steering rack should I get for this model in particular?
there are actually 2 different models on autozone....

standard steering - SBA
firm feel steering - SBB
How many miles are on your PT? Doesnt hurt to take a peak at the timing belt when you are down there. From what I've read, replacing the timing belt is a very extensive project.
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