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!!!!