DIY Rack and Pinion Removal/Install
From the past is a text version DIY by 73sport from 5 years ago!
Rack & pinion and 2 Axels Replaced!
I just wanted to add my 2 cents to the service manual just in case you decide to knock it out yourself. Car is a 1995 Camry V6 1MZ-FE with a A541E Auto transmission. I had to pull the rack because the inner tie-rod sockets went bad after I replaced the rack some 5 years ago for internal leaks. These are after market Inner Tie-Rod Ends. Theres a write up on installing those once the rack is out >>
DIY: Inner Tie Rod Replacement, Rack Removed Lots of PiX!
In this DIY I am not replacing the power pump or lines, however I had flushed them last week to get all the debris out of the system. If you're here to do a rack replacement, I highly recommend flushing the old system before installing a new rack to keep it free of contamination. Then I recommend flushing it again in a couple of weeks to remove everything that was missed the first time! You will be rewarded with a rack that performs for years to COME!
Lowering the back of the engine cradle ~3/4" / 20mm allows easy access to the sway bar bolts. I think it made the job much easier and highly recommend doing this! Below you will also find a quick method to dial in the new rack so the Toe-In is back the way it was (or pretty darn close and your steering wheel could be straight too) so you don't have to run immediately to the alignment shop. Follow the steps, it works!
Also, I recommend purging the system before you pull the racks pressure and return lines to reduce the mess factor!
1) Dump the Fluid!
Disconnect the hose as shown here and start the car. When the pump starts to whine turn the wheels left and right a tad and back to center. Turn off the engine. This car has Electric Cooling Fans, hence why you only see one return port on the reservoir.
2) Remove the PS hose support bracket at back of intake plenum.
3) Position the steering wheel straight and centered. Secure with seat belt.
4) With a 10" extension & a 12mm socket remove the pinch bolt at the steering column coupler. Turn the wheel to the 11:00 o'clock position if you don't have a wobble. I pulled that black box off the intake air hose to get access it a makes it much easier.
5) Pull the Bank 1 O2 sensor (V6) so the rack doesn't damage it on the way out!
6) Block the rear tire and break the front wheel nuts loose, set the E-brake ect.. .
7) Jack it up and support body (not engine cradle), pull wheels off.
8) With a 19mm wrench, break the tie-rod adjusting nuts loose. Seat them back on the tie-rod end gently.
9) Remove the cotter pin. V that is one dandy tool for removal!
10)Loosen the tie-rod end castle nuts (17mm).
11) If you don't have a puller, no worries IF YOU CAN HIT WHERE YOU AIM! With a 16oz hammer take 2-3 good whacks at the End Of the Steering Arm knuckle! I AM NOT SAYING "POUND on the THREADS!"
** Hiting the castings end will momentarily distort the tapered hole and drop the tie-rod end. ** Mine popped easy. 2 swings each -- one to aim, one to smack it. NEVER use a pickle fork unless you want to buy new joints!
12) Remove the splash guard cover by the transmission (2 10mm bolts)
13) Remove 2 10mm bolts holding the rear fender apron at the bottom (both sides).
14) Pull apron down and Remove the 14mm bolt & 14mm nut connecting the body to the cradle under the apron and loosen the 19mm bolts holding the cradle using a breaker bar. Do this on both sides.
*** NOTE *** Support the cradle in case you run the bolts out of threads and drop the cradle. There is approx 20mm of threads before it departs - BE CAREFUL -
15) Remove the 4 12mm bolts holding the anti-swaybar to the cradle. I also removed the 2 14mm bolts holding the anti-swaybar ends to the lower control arms. This makes getting the rack out much easier.
Impact makes quick work of bolts that want to spin freely!
16) Remove the 12mm bolt supporting the lines (right side) below the axle.
17) Remove the line set and plug the top line with a Golf "T" to keep the mess smaller. I bled the system and nothing came out so No T was used this time.
18) Remove the 19mm bolts holding the rack in. Yes, the factory tightened them REAL GOOD. W/sway bar loose you have lots of room to work.
19) Twist, pull, and slide the rack out. Watch the transmission shift cable as the input shaft WILL HANG Up on this cable! Push it up the little amount that it moves to get the rack out! Also, you need to rotate the rack right at the Axle boot area to clear the inner frame rail of the unibody. Have Fun!
That's it, its out!
Before the next step, bleed the fluid from the rack to prevent making an oil Slick! Hold the rack over a bucket and turn it from left to right a couple times! Us vise grips; firmly grip the input shaft but try not to mar it.
** Before removing the jamb nuts and tie rod ends, put the rack out on the ground and center it left to right by doing the following actions;
- with vise grips firmly grip the input shaft but try not to mar it.
- Turn input shaft to full left and stop.
- Turn right and count rotations tell it stops. Repeat to make certain and record #.
- Divide the full count in 1/2, record number (_________)
- Turn rack back left to full stop and then turn to the right the number turns recorded in the last step. Mine was 3 turns Lock to Lock so I turn it right 1.5 turns.
- Draw lines at these three areas using a square as a guide:
Left Jamb Nut:
Right Jamb Nut
** This represents the total toe and will be used to save you time setting the toe-in later. Having the RACK CENTERED IS A MUST! ** What you must understand is that if the rack gear was removed before at another point in time, someone MAY HAVE taken short cuts which COULD result in your steering wheel being crooked because they may not have centered the rack and pinion properly. Either way, This is the Correct thing to do and we'll fix a crooked steering wheel later!!
If its a replacement rack and you verified it looks like the one you took out, you have two options. If its a long rack and came with the tie-rod, you swap over the outer tie-rod ends. If its a short rack and came as the bare rack, read this. It'll show you how to install the inner and out tie-rod ends!
DIY: Inner Tie Rod Replacement, Rack Removed Lots of PiX!
Now that you're ready to install the rack, follow these steps to set it up for installation to get the Toe-In set pretty close.
- Center the steering rack as done above; turn full left and stop. Turn right counting rotations tell it stops. Divide that # in 1/2. Turn rack back to center that amount. Mine is 3 turn lock to lock and center at 1.5 turns from either direction.
Set Rack Gear back on marks and confirm body is correctly positioned on the mark!
- Adjust each jamb nut to the original position and snug down the outer tie rod end. Everything should align as it did the first time.
- try not to move the rack from center during installation into the car. Mark the shaft so you can tell if it moves!
- Rack is ready to install!
Reverse all the them steps and you'll be back in business.
* before you put the rack in, clean everything up like the fittings and plumbing to ensure debris doesn't get into the new rack.
- Use new O-rings on the pipes to the rack gear.
- Get the rack into position, the auto trans shift cable will fight you. Get under the car and lift it. If someone can help two people can have in the car pretty quick.
- as it get close to aligning with the mounting bolts, get the steering column coupler started on the shafts splines.
- Get the hydraulic lines onto the RACK BEFORE you secure the rack w/the mounting bolts!
- As you slide the rack over into place and tighten the cradle bolts up, tap on the steering joint to move the spline down onto the shaft (gentle, don't force it).
- After the input shaft is started onto the splines and hydraulic lines are started, tighten the main rack bolts securing the rack.
- ** DO NOT tighten the input shaft clamp until the sub-frame bolts have been run in!
-after you connect the lines to the reservoir take your time filling it so you don't get too much air in the system. WHEN you fire the engine off the reservoir will be sucked dry instantly! Turn the engine off NOW to prevent pushing air into the system. OR if you have a helper, have them fill the reservoir as the pump sucks it in. Never whip the wheel from side to side. Move it slow until the reservoir is full and not showing bubbles! Let it sit if you have to and the Air will rise to the top.
- don't forget to torque the wheel nuts after the car is on the ground!
1995 Carmy V6 1MZ-FE, Rack and Pinion, short rack, long rack, power steering, wheel alignment, toe-in, toe in, Gen 3, Gen3, Gen 3.5, Gen-3.5 (LCfKw)