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Old 08-02-2010, 08:28 PM   #1
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Red face Steering rack replacement! Can I do it myself?

Hi,
My steering rack just started leaking power steering fluid out the passenger side boot on my 2003 ZTS (2.0). I removed the boot and oil is running out around the shaft pretty good when I turn to the right. I need to add PS fluid everyday. What I'm wondering is if I should attempt replacing this myself or pay the outrageous labor for a mechanic to do? I'm pretty hands on, having replaced my strut mounts, half shafts, etc. with no problem. I'm just worried about dropping the subframe and getting to all the lines to loosen and tighten and the steering wheel/dash disassembly! Any suggestions!! Thanks! I think I should change my power steering pump as well, as it has squealed several times while my wife has been driving it. (It's her car!)


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Old 08-02-2010, 11:42 PM   #2
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Hi,
My steering rack just started leaking power steering fluid out the passenger side boot on my 2003 ZTS (2.0). I removed the boot and oil is running out around the shaft pretty good when I turn to the right. I need to add PS fluid everyday. What I'm wondering is if I should attempt replacing this myself or pay the outrageous labor for a mechanic to do? I'm pretty hands on, having replaced my strut mounts, half shafts, etc. with no problem. I'm just worried about dropping the subframe and getting to all the lines to loosen and tighten and the steering wheel/dash disassembly! Any suggestions!! Thanks! I think I should change my power steering pump as well, as it has squealed several times while my wife has been driving it. (It's her car!)
Nothing about it is difficult-- it's just a lot of fairly easy tasks. The subframe is only held on by 6 bolts, plus the two that hold the rack onto the subframe from the top. The lines are held in place by a single bracket that is tightened by a bolt. When you re-install, make CERTAIN that you don't over-tighten that steel bolt in the soft metal (aluminum, I think) of the rack, or you will have a bad day.

As luck would have it, I will be doing this swap in a car I'm about to sell. I'll try to snap some pics if my hands aren't too dirty.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:54 PM   #3
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I would do it if it was me. I've lowered the subframe before and its not hard at all. Just make sure you can get the car a good 1.5-2 feet in the air.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:17 AM   #4
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have done it 4 or 5 times without dropping the subframe.

you can even do your own alignment when youre done
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:12 PM   #5
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You need to prop the motor up a bit to drop the subframe, correct? Thanks for the info. I think I'll end up doing it myself I guess then. Save quite a bit of labor costs!!
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
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Pics would be great! Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:15 PM   #7
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what im saying is, you dont even need to drop the subframe.

one or two of the bolts are a little tough that way, but it sure beats trying to remove 4 rusty subframe bolts.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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You need to prop the motor up a bit to drop the subframe, correct? Thanks for the info. I think I'll end up doing it myself I guess then. Save quite a bit of labor costs!!
No. The rear mount does attach to the subframe, but it's not load-bearing. Whether or not it's better to do this without dropping the subframe is a question I can't answer. With the cars I work on I've never had to replace the rack without having a damaged subframe to deal with. But I do now, so I'll give it a go.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:53 AM   #9
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No. The rear mount does attach to the subframe, but it's not load-bearing. Whether or not it's better to do this without dropping the subframe is a question I can't answer. With the cars I work on I've never had to replace the rack without having a damaged subframe to deal with. But I do now, so I'll give it a go.
OK, I started on it this afternoon, and I think dropping the subframe makes it much easier, totally worth the little bit of extra effort. I only removed the six bolts holding it to the body, and the lower engine mount, without disconnecting the lower control arms or the steering knuckles. In other words, it's just hanging there, and all I have to do after I install the new rack is raise the subframe up and bolt it in place. I took photos too, if anyone is interested.
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Old 08-06-2010, 01:58 AM   #10
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