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-   -   Replacing Steering Gear/Rack & Pinion (http://www.ramforumz.com/showthread.php?t=131508)

chaccof 01-21-2013 09:21 PM

Replacing Steering Gear/Rack & Pinion
 
My '05 1500 4x4 with 110k needs a new rack and pinion. I plan to install this coming weekend. Have purchased Moog Problem Solver tie rods - figured I might as well do those while I'm in there.

I have not changed out a R&P before and everything I read tells me I need to flush the PS fluid - makes perfect sense. Here's where I'm confused and where my ignorance might show - I'm assuming I do the flush before I install the new unit, right? Wouldn't make sense to me to flush old fluid through the new rack...

Thanks in advance for any thoughts here. Also, if there are any hidden gotcha's that I should know about please share!

Archaea 01-21-2013 09:53 PM

Mine is 2wd so none of this may apply to you, but I had to file down a couple of the bolt housing shoulders on my replacement rack because they were rubbing a frame cross-member.

I also had to buy some large washers to act as spacers where the rack bolted to the frame. I think these problems were the result of me buying the cheapest aftermarket rack I could find. Lesson learned.

As far as flushing, I just emptied as much of the fluid as I could from the pump and hoses while the rack was off the truck. I'm not sure an actual flush would be needed but I could be wrong.

Good luck with it!

440Magnum 01-22-2013 07:51 PM

Remove the old rack, and drain as much fluid from the pump as you can. Raise the return (low pressure) hose above the level of the pump, then pour in some fresh fluid, let that drain through the pump and out the high pressure hose. Should be good to go at that point. If you want extra insurance, crank it up for a few seconds and let the fluid spray all over the place from the high pressure hose. ;-)

chaccof 02-02-2013 05:29 PM

Update - started the work this morning. Went well until attempting to connect the steering column to the new steering gear. Messed around with it for 90 minutes or so, then decided to stop for the day and relook at it tomorrow. Any tips/tricks? I feel like I aligned the male end of the steering gear pretty well to the female end of the column but no luck. I notice that the column has an additional screw at the top that seperates the middle piece from the piece of column that goes into the firewall. I wonder why I can't pull that off then fit the steering gear to the bottom of the middle piece, then fit the top of the middle piece to the column? Seems like it might be easier to line up those two pieces v. the steering gear stub and column piece....

chaccof 02-03-2013 07:58 PM

Final update - friend who's a heavy machinery mechanic for CAT came over - I had the stud from the gear about 5 degrees off from center so the steering column wouldn't quite go...he got it aligned and a light tap from a hammer onto a piece of wood drove the column down. I finished it all up and am generally happy. Steering wheel is about 10 degrees off center but I'll be getting an alignment and that should take care of that.

One slight possible issue I noticed after the initial test drive is that it appears that the steering column coupler is resting against a metal frame plate and it seems to have taken the paint off - but no noticable groove. I'll keep an eye on that. If it does appear to be cutting into the metal I think I can grind off a little of the plate.

As a very basic shade tree mechanic this was by far the most difficult job I've ever done - tougher than replacing a water pump on a 2001 Saab which was the toughest job up until this one...

TankGod78 02-05-2013 12:14 PM

I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 QuadCab and will doing the same job to my truck this upcoming weekend as well. Man, this is gonna suck big time. As you said you were, I too am a very basic type of mechanic. I hope it goes well. I will have a friend over as well to help.

RamTech 02-05-2013 12:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TankGod78 (Post 1003879)
I have a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 QuadCab and will doing the same job to my truck this upcoming weekend as well. Man, this is gonna suck big time. As you said you were, I too am a very basic type of mechanic. I hope it goes well. I will have a friend over as well to help.

Don't sweat it. It's an easy repair. Don't foget to have an alignment done afterward.

TankGod78 02-05-2013 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RamTech (Post 1003891)
Don't sweat it. It's an easy repair. Don't foget to have an alignment done afterward.


I didnt know to do that aferwards. Thanks I will get it done.

chaccof 03-25-2013 09:38 PM

2 month Update
 
Well, had the truck aligned - didn't tell the shop I did the work myself and asked them to check to make sure it was done right - they said it look good, were even impressed with the clamps I used....last Monday night while coming home from work I had what I'd call a catastrophic failure of the new (reconditioned) part - right seal gave out completely - lost all fluid and of course lost steering....had to get towed to a local shop. $700 bucks later it's fixed again. I didn't have the time to do it myself this time....The guys at Advanced Auto where I bought the part were pretty good but refused to reimburse me for the labor. Boy am I p*ssed off....

TankGod78 03-29-2013 10:38 PM

I did mine about 1 month ago and it seems to be doing ok so far. No leaks of anykind. I look at it everyday when I get home from work. I bought my R&P from Orielly's. Used my buddies empolyee discount and got it for $129.00 (after the core charged was returned). Pretty happy so far.


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