Can Rack & Pinion Be R&R Without Dropping subframe?
Question for the group. I have a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 (need to update my car status) that has an internal leak and fluid is running along tierod and collecting on inside tire rim. My book states to drop the sub-frame, but after 12 years of CT winters, the sub-frame mount bolts are pretty much fuse-rusted on and will not budge with ½ break bar. Question, can the R&P be replaced by pulling it out the side, maybe undo the passenger motor mount and lift up the engine a bit on the oil pan? Any feedback would be most appreciated.
09-18-2012 01:20 AM
When I did the rack in my 03, I didn't completely drop the subframe but I did lower it down in the back about 3" for access. Once unbolted, I did slide it out the side through a wheelwell.
I think you will need to at least get the subframe lowered down some to do the job.
09-18-2012 01:30 AM
^ Yup, the bolts holding the sub frame in are super long. You can loosen the bolts and drop the rear of the sub frame. This should give you just enough room to unbolt it and replace it like said in the post above mine. This is also how you can replace the front sway bar or front sway bar bushings.
09-18-2012 01:56 AM
I think his problem are the bolts are seized up with rust, so he was hoping to do it without removing the subframe bolts. I don't think that will be possible, but it very well may be possible and nobody tries it.
09-18-2012 02:03 AM
Doubtful he'll be able to do it with out dropping the sub frame. If they are rusted get a bigger bar. Also soak them in PBblaster for a few hours before trying again. It will help penetrate the rust.
09-18-2012 04:44 AM
I was hoping to not mess with the bolts, they are rusted up and look almost like they are fused to the subframe. I can try with a cheater bar, but don't want to snap the bolt heads. What a PITA, will know more this weekend after I go junkyarding for replacement R&P
09-18-2012 04:52 AM
Spray them down every day with PB blaster before you work on them. Also they are the biggest bolts on the whole car. If you snap one off I will be very surprised.
09-18-2012 05:56 AM
Wire brush and PB Blaster. You might also want to try some SAE sockets to see if you can find one that fits tightly if metric sizes are loose fitting.
09-18-2012 06:11 AM
I will make sure to report back this weekend on how this goes. I'll try to only loosen up the rear large bolts and get that gearbox out. First thing is finding a decent R&P/Gearbox at a junkyard. Those are much easier, most of the time engine is gone!
09-18-2012 12:22 PM
I bought a remanufactured unit for $125, no core charge, and came with new inner and outer tie rods.