Steering gear removal diy

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airlinepilot
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2011 8:25 am

Steering gear removal diy

Post by airlinepilot » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:17 pm

My '08 Trex was leaking from the steering gear for a long time but i was postponing the replacement. The fluid level in the power steering reservoir was not depleting very fast so i was keeping it like that. It just started to be really out of alignement and possibly dangerous lately.the car was pulling to the left when accelerating and pulling to the right when deccelerating... I decided to tackle the job myself. I bought a Cardone rebuild steering gear from my local parts store here in Quebec. (234$ can).

For the installation, i jacked up the front of the car and put a set of jackstands under the front end. Both front wheels are removed, you remove both tie-rod ends, i removed both end-link to strut nuts. Of course i tightened the steering wheel in the straight ahead position with the seat belt so the clock spring inside the steering wheel doesnt move. The rest is relatively easy. You unbolt the bracket that holds the power steering hoses to the steering gear (10mm), you remove the single bolt that holds both hoses in-out of the steering gear (10mm). Have a catch pan under the car ready for that!

I removed after that the bolt that holds the steering shaft from your steering wheel to your steering gear (10mm). You need a small pry bar to pop out the steering shaft from the steering gear. The rest is quite simple, you remove from under the car the 2x 18mm nuts that hold the long bolt through the steering gear. Just take caution not to loose the 2 washers on each of these bolts. After that, just rotate the sway bar clockwise when seen from the left wheel well. You rotate it without removing the sway bar brackets, (ford recommends to remove the sway bar bracket, not necessary in my case).

Now just remove the whole steering gear from the left wheel well. I didnt need to lift the engine or do anything fancy, there is enough room to remove it from the left wheel well.

The rest is to transfer the tie rods from your old steering gear. Make sure you do take a bunch of measurments on your old steering gear. From each tie rod ends center to a fix point, note the number of turns when you remove them from the inner tie-rods. Note also the position of the key way on the steering gear where it contact the steering shaft.

The re-assembly is the reverse of this description, new o-rings are included in the kit. After the re assembly, i just needed to fill the power steering reservoir and start the engine. You then rotate wheels from full left to full right a couple of times. Stop the engine and refill the power steering reservoir. Do this a couple of time to remove as much as possible any trapped air bubbles in your system. I used around 1.5 quarts of Mercon V atf fluid. Just keep in mind that you will need an alignment afterwords.

I hope this description helps someone out there. I did the job in my driveway with hand tools for the most part of the job. Figure around 3 hours of work.


pwschuh
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Location: Mid-Atlantic

Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by pwschuh » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:56 pm

Great write-up. Thanks
2008 TX Limited
Silver Birch Metallic/Black leather
WeatherTech floormats all rows
Bought used on 17 Nov 10 with 20,000 miles

Kwakman
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by Kwakman » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:10 pm

Great, I should of looked at your post to order my parts. I paid $400 for a refurbished power steering unit (not the pump) for my 08. I'm hopping the refurbished unit lasts longer then the OEM part that had been replaced under warranty only 18 months ago. Well if it doesn't I'll know where to get my next unit from. What parts store you go through? Not many parts available here in Sherbrooke, so if I can source a more reliable place I'll make the trips.

Merci Airlinepilot.

Stefan

airlinepilot
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by airlinepilot » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:51 pm

Kwakman wrote:Great, I should of looked at your post to order my parts. I paid $400 for a refurbished power steering unit (not the pump) for my 08. I'm hopping the refurbished unit lasts longer then the OEM part that had been replaced under warranty only 18 months ago. Well if it doesn't I'll know where to get my next unit from. What parts store you go through? Not many parts available here in Sherbrooke, so if I can source a more reliable place I'll make the trips.

Merci Airlinepilot.

Stefan
I did get my steering gear at Pieces d auto Super, at the corner of Boul Cousineau and highway 30 in St-Hubert. I do have a discount there most of the time. Give it a try!

musicman
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by musicman » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:31 am

Airlinepilot, I'm curious how the Cardone rack is holding up 2 years on. I have an 09 that needs a new rack. This will be #3. First one Ford did under warranty, this time I'll do it myself using your excellent walk-through.

airlinepilot
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by airlinepilot » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:26 pm

After 2 years of driving the new steering gear, it is still plenty solid. I haven't seen any visible leaks or need to had more power steering fluid in the reservoir. This last spring, i noticed that the effort to turn the wheels was somehow heavier then usual occasionnaly. I know my power steering pump has been leaking very, very slowly for years. Since it is not making any noises and it is very hard to access, i decided not to change it. This might be the culprit for the heavier effort to turn the wheels. I have not experience this trouble since the warmer weather is back. I would definitely give Cardone a good grade. If i remember right, the price was less then half of a Motorcraft one. This car worth probably 4000$ on the used car market, so in my opinion it is worthless to put a 1000$ steering gear if a 250$ rebuild unit can do the work until the car is too old to drive. Dont hesitate if you have any questions, i will be happy to help in any ways i can!

airlinepilot
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by airlinepilot » Fri Aug 18, 2017 7:25 pm

I am back from our annual trip to PEI. My car was fully loaded with bicycles, roof box full of kids stuff, 4 people on board; You get the picture! The steering gear is now shot! It started to leak fluid just days before we started the 3500km trip. I kept 3 bottles of Valvoline DEX/MERC V with me. I had to add 1.5 quarts over the whole trip. I complained to my local part store about the short life of the Cardone steering gear. (Barely 2 years). They agreed that it should last longer. They offered a "lifetime" rebuild unit from a new local rebuilder. The price is 192$ can. which is good.

For your info, the steering gear was leaking from the top gasket, where the shaft connects from the steering wheel to the steering rack itself. Once again, it is an easy job to do on this car. It took me 2.5 hours this time. I did use some air tools however to speed up the job. The power steering hoses are connected to the steering gear with 10mm bolts. The unit itself is held on the crossmember with 2 long 15mm bolts with 18mm nuts on the bottom. You need 1.5 quart of Mercon V after to refill the unit. An alignment is not a luxury afterwords!

Please feel free to ask me more questions about the job itself!

ToddL
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by ToddL » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:51 am

My wife's 08 Taurus X was getting harder to steer. The steering was cutting in and out. I had searched and found TSB 09-5-7 which seemed to describe the problem. I order a remanufactured rack, installed it, and I'm still having the same problem. Do you think I got a bad replacement or should I try replacing the pump? The pump isn't making any noise, so I'm not sure what to do. Is there any way to diagnose the cause of the problem?

Mapleridge450
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by Mapleridge450 » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:25 am

Check the universal joint on the steering shaft assembly (visible wth the drivers wheel removed). They are probed to rust and stacking bearings. Mine had symptoms of sticking steering wheel at 11 and 1 clock positions, dealer changed the rack... and it happened again 2 years later... rusted steering joint, hit with spray lubricant once per year, then began to get loose, slack in the joint. For mine the steering u-joint Needed replacing.

ToddL
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by ToddL » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:38 am

Thanks for the reply. That's exactly what it was. I had disconnected the lines to the steering gear and disconnected the tie rods from the steering knuckles and I was still feeling the hard spots, so I assumed I had gotten a bad rebuild. When I removed it from the car I used some pliers to turn the steering gear and it turned very easily. I then looked at the universal and realized one of the two pivot points was frozen. Unfortunately, I had replaced the rack for nothing.

airlinepilot
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Re: Steering gear removal diy

Post by airlinepilot » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:44 am

Just as an update; this past spring i had a very load clunking noise coming from the front end. The noise would occur when the car was parked and the wheels turned. (Car not moving back or forth at all). The noise reminded me like a ball joint poping out of his socket or two metal pieces releasing tension when banging together.

I did suspect the usual ball joint, upper strut mount, intermediate steering shaft, link kit, broken coil spring, leaking strut, etc etc.

I couldnt pin point the noise so i went to an alignment shop and as soon as they put the car on the lift, they show me the cause: the steering gear two main bolts were not tightened enough... This was my fault, i didnt take the time to tighten them up with a torque wrench last time. I was in a rush to finish the job.

I took the time to lubricate the intermediate steering shaft while doing my investigation on that noise. It is very rusty but it turns smoothly in both directions. For your information, the car has 214000km and drives really good still!

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