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Old 01-30-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
mixman98
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Rack and Pinion Replacement

How's it going everyone? I was wondering if anyone out there has replaced/removed the rack and pinion in their cars. Just looking for some hints and tips so that I don't run into any surprises. The car is my sons 02 Grand Am GT with the 3.4. Thanks
Larry
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:16 PM   #2
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i suggest dropping the whole subframe also replacing both power steering lines while you're at it
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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You can drop just the back of the sub frame to replace it. I've done it before Its a pain in the ass laying on your back to replace it. I also discovered why it failed last time the pressure line sprung a leak from heat and old age. Replacing the lines is much easier with the back of the sub frame dropped. Just make sure you follow the torque specs of everything on the suspension.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:46 PM   #4
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I put new lines on mine a while back and It looked to me that the whole subframe would need to be dropped to replace the rack. Either way a major pita. Im gonna wait.til I pull my engine and trans to replace my rack along with my swaybar. Mine is doing fine, but I want to go ahead and replace it as a preventive measure.
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Old 02-02-2012, 01:55 PM   #5
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I didn't have to drop the whole subframe to do it when I replaced the rack. I followed the directions from one of the shop repair guides I used to work at. It said you can replace it from dropping just the back of the subframe. The hardest part was getting the rack out through the wheel well and putting the new one back in.
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutlsp View Post
I didn't have to drop the whole subframe to do it when I replaced the rack. I followed the directions from one of the shop repair guides I used to work at. It said you can replace it from dropping just the back of the subframe. The hardest part was getting the rack out through the wheel well and putting the new one back in.
This

I recently replaced the rack on mine, there is a guide here on the forum I believe that made things a little easier.

my rack did not fail, but the mount to the subframe broke the rack started moving around when the wheel was turned.

One thing to note DO NOT TURN THE STEERING WHEEL AROUND WITH THE RACK DISCONNECTED.

There is a little wire for the airbag that will stretch and break causing the airbag light to come on and disabling the airbag.
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Old 02-08-2012, 05:19 PM   #7
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find out if you have the High pressure or regular type of steering i had a choice of two hoses and had to VIN them to make sure i had the right one
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:30 AM   #8
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find out if you have the High pressure or regular type of steering i had a choice of two hoses and had to VIN them to make sure i had the right one
Its not a High pressure line its a variable valve power steering system. The discontinued that feature in newer models but that grand am being a 02. I am not sure if its possible that it has a variable valve by the pump or not.
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Old 04-01-2016, 07:03 PM   #9
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bringing this thread back from the dead, because guess what, my rack is leaking from somewhere. I didn't see a how to on here, so I went over to GAOC and found the below write up

http://www.gaownersclub.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=109106

he calls it s r-r power steering gear, so I wanted to make sure it was the same part. if it was, I'm going to say F it and bring it to a shop. in everything I've read there a pain in the a*s to do, and if I'm honest I don't really trust myself to now screw something up. thanks for the help in advance.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Metallman56 View Post
bringing this thread back from the dead, because guess what, my rack is leaking from somewhere. I didn't see a how to on here, so I went over to GAOC and found the below write up

http://www.gaownersclub.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=109106

he calls it s r-r power steering gear, so I wanted to make sure it was the same part. if it was, I'm going to say F it and bring it to a shop. in everything I've read there a pain in the a*s to do, and if I'm honest I don't really trust myself to now screw something up. thanks for the help in advance.
That is a good write up, the only thing that would make it better is pictures .
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:29 AM   #11
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Just make sure the inner tie rod length is even on both sides before you put the intermediate shaft on... Or you will have fun with aligning it...
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Old 04-06-2016, 05:20 PM   #12
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Yeah i just took it to a shop. I dont have the time or know how to f#ck around with it
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Old 04-07-2016, 05:59 AM   #13
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Its really not that bad. But it does suck.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:58 PM   #14
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A leak? Well guess it's too late cause your car is in the shop already. My 02 rack seal began to leak fairly bad 2 years ago. I was NOT a believer......however the "Lucas" power steering stop leak fluid worked 100%. I could literally see the seal leaking when I crawled underneath. After running the Lucas fluid the leak sealed!! It was some thick stuff, Instructions were to remove fluid from pump and replace with Lucas. I just left it in there ever since. Going on 2 years.

It would have been worth the $8 to try. Don't get me wrong though.....your doing it right by replacing it.
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:59 AM   #15
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i got my car back last night, and its .... different. I just wanted to run a couple of things by you guys to see if its normal.

when I was driving the car to the shop, the power steering pulley came off the pump. the pulley was still under the hood, but it had a big hole in the middle of it. and the belt was chewed to hell. so they replaced the pump, and power steering lines as well. basically I have a completely new power steering system.

the first thing is that my steering feels a lot heavier. in other words, the wheel is a lot harder to move than it was before the leak. don't get me wrong its still very drivable, I just cant turn with a couple of fingers now, I have to have my whole hand on the wheel to get it to move. and that's at highway speeds. I'm guessing/hoping that its just air in the system that will work its way out, but I don't know.

the second thing is the new PS pump whines, but only under 1300ish rpms. it sounds like a supercharger, kind of. its really not a huge deal, its just odd, and annoying.

thoughts?
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:36 AM   #16
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Sounds like there may still be air in the system.


Either take it back for them to bleed it out some more.

Or do it yourself, jack up the front of the car so the wheels are off the ground. Pop the hood, pop the cap off the resivoir, and with the engine off, turn the wheel to the locks back and forth about 5 times or maybe a little more, then check your fluid. Too off as needed. Then turn the car on, crank the wheel back and forth a few times, shut car off. Check fluid and top off as needed.


Do you know the brand of pump they used? The napa ones are hit and miss ive come to notice... And sometimes need to swap it out because they just dont shut up.
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Old 04-13-2016, 09:26 AM   #17
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also if I am not mistaken we have speed sensitive steering, so the faster you drive the less power is applied to the steering. I had issues where something was not plugged in and it changed that whole dynamic so check the electronics
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:02 PM   #18
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As already posted, air remaining in the system can cause heavy steering and noise issues. Sleepy's bleed process should work. To expedite the process (or to purge very stubborn systems like some older Fords and GM's Enclave/Traverse) obtain a spare steering fluid cap. Drill a hole in the cap and fit nipple. Attach the hose from a hand vacuum pump (MityVac) and pull vacuum in the system while running the engine and steering the wheels back and forth.

As also already posted, the vehicle may have been originally equipped with variable effort steering (EVO); if the replacement components are not EVO (due to cost, availability or the shop not knowing/caring) the steering effort may feel different.

A third possibility lies with the condition of the replacement components. In all likelihood, the replacement rack and pump are A1Cardone products. Cardone products are very poor; the quality control process is lackadaisical. When power steering parts are 'remanufactured,' the existing hard parts are inspected and, if acceptable, are used again (new hard parts are generally not available). Cardone's definition of 'acceptable' leaves much to want. These parts are cleaned (often incompletely), fitted with new consumables (bushings, seals, some electrical parts) and then fogged -- still covered in assembly oil -- with black enamel.

Pumps are particularly trouble prone; if the hub, vanes or pump casting are worn (they are, after all, the guts of the last guy's broken part), they will never function to original level. If the installing technician failed to thoroughly clean out the steering system with new, clean steering oil these problems will be exacerbated.
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