92 Corolla 4AFE Rack & Pinion Steering Gear Remove Replace - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
6th Generation (1988-1992) Specific discussion of the AE92

 
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#1 Old 03-19-2012, 10:33 PM
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USA 92 Corolla 4AFE Rack & Pinion Steering Gear Remove Replace

Hello all. I just finished replacing my rack/pinion (aka "steering gear" according to the Hayne's Manual) in my back yard today. It wasn't much fun, as I don't have a lift, but I am living proof it can be done.

I searched extensively here at TN forums and other places across the web, as well as the HM and instructions with the new rack before I ever got started. However, I am posting here because my experience might help someone else down the road -- because none of what I found (online or in the manual/instructions) was exact to my li'l 230K mile buddy. Here's how it went for me:

DISCLAIMER!!! I am NOT a professional mechanic... I do this on my own time in my back yard, and what follows is strictly informative. It should not be considered reliable instructive material.

IMPORTANT: These steps are for a 4AFE motor, fuel injected, automatic transmission, power steering Corolla.

Like to hear it? Here it go...

1. If you have access to a lift, USE IT! Otherwise, put the car securely on jack stands at least 18" high, at the front "lift points."

2. Remove the air cleaner housing, including the intermediate vacuum assembly, all the way to the throttle body (phillips screwdriver and 12mm socket).

3. Place a drain pan under the steering gear where the steering wheel attaches to the rack.

4. Approaching from above the motor, detach both lines (pressure and return) from the steering gear (19mm box wrench), let them drain into the pan, then prop them up away from the firewall and toward the transmission, taking care to keep them clean (I covered them with a clean shop rag).

5. From above, remove the five (5) 10mm bolts from the steering wheel U-joint cover, and remove the cover from the firewall.

6. From above, Remove the pinch-bolt (12mm) from the bottom of the U-joint (at the top of the pinion [steering gear] shaft).

7. Approaching from below the motor, remove the plastic splash guards on each side (a pile of 10mm bolts).

8. From below, place a jack and secure it (jack it up firmly) under the main cross-member.

9. From below, disconnect the ball-joint from the control arm (both sides) -- (19mm and/or 17mm -- 2 nuts and 1 bolt).

10. From below, remove the 3 main crossmember-to-frame bolts (19mm) and 1 posterior control arm bolt (14mm) -- (both sides).

11. From below, carefully lower and remove the main cross-member with control arms attached.

12. From below, remove center cross-member (spans from the radiator to the middle of the main cross-member) -- (3 14mm bolts at the radiator, 2 14mm bolts at the front transmission mount, 2 14mm nuts at the center transmission mount, 2 17mm nuts at the main cross-member/rear transmission mount, 1 17 mm bolt at the main cross-member, 1 14mm thru-bolt for the transmission mount).

13. From below, remove the rear transmission mount bracket (2 14mm bolts).

13. From below, remove the steering rack bracket bolt and nut (17mm) (both sides).

14. Lower the rack and detach the steering wheel U-joint from the rack (easier said than done... when I did it, the whole U-joint assembly came off the end of the steering wheel, and I had to reverse the process to get it back in line with the new rack).

15. Slide the rack out on the right (passenger) side.

16. Installation is essentially the reverse of the previous 15 steps.

I know this is a long-winded post, and I apologize to the moderators for that. However, I ran into a long-winded problem following the advice here, the HM, and the instructions with the rack, and I am only hoping to help others by offering my experience with this on this particular model.

Please feel free to offer suggestions or advice about how to update this set of steps for replacing the rack and pinion (steering gear) on a 4AFE, fuel injected, automagic transmission, 1992 Toyota Corolla.

PS - I am always amazed at the level of participation on this site, and I just hope this layman's account can contribute something for all the help I've received over the years from Toyota Nation!!!!

92 Corolla DX 4AFE 1.6 (~230k mi)
96 Tacoma 4x2 2RZFE 2.4 (~330k mi)
Backyard Shadetree Toyota DIY'er since 1995
"Don't forget to check the nut behind the wheel."

Last edited by timjamz; 03-20-2012 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Updated order of steps - remove main crossmember first, then center crossmember.
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#2 Old 03-20-2012, 01:19 AM
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Dealership labor: ~$600. Local shop labor: ~$400. Doing it yourself... priceless.


92 Corolla DX 4AFE 1.6 (~230k mi)
96 Tacoma 4x2 2RZFE 2.4 (~330k mi)
Backyard Shadetree Toyota DIY'er since 1995
"Don't forget to check the nut behind the wheel."
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#3 Old 03-20-2012, 03:17 AM
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this is good to know since i might have to endure this in the very near future. my steering is doing funny things like slightly over turning during turns or jerking to either side with out turning the wheel. hard to explain, feels like the rack or gears are loose or worn out. yey.....

anyway thanks for the write up!!!

04 rx8 6spd, totaled
89 sr-5.....sold
06-elantra, wifes car
88-mr2...rip
88-corolla gts...sold
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#4 Old 03-20-2012, 10:26 AM
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I was getting similar symptoms, and I discovered that all these components were shot: both outer tie rod ends, both ball joints, and both inner tie rod ends. While it's possible (at least on my car) to replace just the inner tie rod ends, my rack was leaking (and it's the original rack) so I just replaced the whole rack (which comes with inners and new rods) along with the outers and ball joints. Now my car only drifts when I want it to

It's possible that you just have a bad alignment, but more importantly, you want to be absolutely sure the ball joints and inner/outer tie rod ends are sound... when those things fail, you can't steer the vehicle -- deadly dangerous! Stay safe!!!

92 Corolla DX 4AFE 1.6 (~230k mi)
96 Tacoma 4x2 2RZFE 2.4 (~330k mi)
Backyard Shadetree Toyota DIY'er since 1995
"Don't forget to check the nut behind the wheel."
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#5 Old 03-20-2012, 01:24 PM
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interesting. it has new inner and outer tie rods on both sides with new struts and strut mounts and an alignment that is but a week old. i didnt do the balljoints since i did the wheel shake and well they didnt lol. i'll have to look at the ball joints. is there a possibility that the rack could be loose or worn out and give me those symptoms or is it more ball joints?

04 rx8 6spd, totaled
89 sr-5.....sold
06-elantra, wifes car
88-mr2...rip
88-corolla gts...sold
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#6 Old 03-20-2012, 04:48 PM
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Well, I guess it could be the rack loose at the brackets on the firewall if those grommets are toast. There's no camber adjustment on the 6th gen Corolla (that I'm aware of)... from my experience, a bad ball joint can cause a little slop in the wheel, and so can the bearings. So, if you've got a good alignment, new inners/outers & struts/mounts... it pretty much could only be a loose rack, or the seals in the rack might have gone bad, or the ball joints and/or bearings. At least, that's all I can think of!

And you want to be sure to have the alignment redone after any time you do anything with the tie rod ends.

92 Corolla DX 4AFE 1.6 (~230k mi)
96 Tacoma 4x2 2RZFE 2.4 (~330k mi)
Backyard Shadetree Toyota DIY'er since 1995
"Don't forget to check the nut behind the wheel."

Last edited by timjamz; 03-20-2012 at 04:54 PM.
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#7 Old 03-20-2012, 09:11 PM
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I have done this before without pulling the sub frame down, but after having pulled a sub frame once, I will be doing it with the sub frame down from now on.
Makes life much simpler. Just make sure you have a big-ass 1/2" breaker bar and a good torque wrench for those sub frame bolts.

'88 Corolla, AE92 SR-5, 7A-FE swap/GT-S suspension
'87 Corolla, AE82 FX-16, 4A-GZE swap (autocrosser)
'97 T-100, V6
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#8 Old 03-20-2012, 09:21 PM
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Donald: no doubt, a breaker bar is essential to everyone's DIY kit! Unless you invest in a compressor and air tools, which I have not yet but am now seriously considering

I couldn't imagine trying to do this without dropping the cross-members.

92 Corolla DX 4AFE 1.6 (~230k mi)
96 Tacoma 4x2 2RZFE 2.4 (~330k mi)
Backyard Shadetree Toyota DIY'er since 1995
"Don't forget to check the nut behind the wheel."
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#9 Old 03-22-2012, 12:22 AM
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the alignment was done after everything was mounted so i know its not an alignment issue. everything is with in spec there. tomorrow im gonna check the rack mounts and the ball joints, dont think the bearing are at fault but cant hurt to try. good thing is that the subframe has come down 2 times already and i have an electric impact and a 3 foot breaker bar :LOL: damn i also have to adjust the carb its running rich, specially on idle ( not stock its a weber 32/36) but thats for another thread...

04 rx8 6spd, totaled
89 sr-5.....sold
06-elantra, wifes car
88-mr2...rip
88-corolla gts...sold
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#10 Old 03-24-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timjamz View Post
Donald: no doubt, a breaker bar is essential to everyone's DIY kit! Unless you invest in a compressor and air tools, which I have not yet but am now seriously considering

I couldn't imagine trying to do this without dropping the cross-members.
I am not talking about a regular breaker bar.
I have a compressor and a 1/2" air impact, but the thing that did the job is my "Big-Ass" breaker bar (No-name brand from Harbour Freight). It is about 6" longer than my Craftsman 1/2" breaker bar.

Retorqueing those bolts was scary. I went up with the torque in steps, but a couple of them went up to just short the required torque, and just kept turning and turning. I thought they were stripped!!
Just when I was about to give up, the torque wrench clicked.

'88 Corolla, AE92 SR-5, 7A-FE swap/GT-S suspension
'87 Corolla, AE82 FX-16, 4A-GZE swap (autocrosser)
'97 T-100, V6
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  Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums > Toyota Passenger and Sports Car Forums > Corolla and Matrix Forum > 6th Generation (1988-1992)

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