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Do I have to lower the sub frame when replacing the steering knuckle

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  • Ford Master
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Ihi i gather you are talking about the track rod end, the ball joint connected to the steering rack...no you do not, all you have to do is undo the locking nut from behind the track rod end, do not move it allot just enough for you to unscrew the track rod end, and count the turns as you undo it, as this is the amount of turns that the new one will go onto so you will not need to get the tracking re-set, then just tighten up the lock nut, and you are done....hope this helps

Posted on Sep 12, 2010

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  • jeanian Sep 12, 2010

    No I was not talking about the track rod end, the Knuckle is the part that holds the lower end of the Mcpherson Strut together.

  • Anonymous Sep 21, 2010

    No you don't

  • steve morris
    steve morris Sep 22, 2010

    oh you mean the lower ball joint, the one that connects the hub to the strut.........in that case no you dont.

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How can I replace rack and pinion?


The part your referring to is more commonly purchased as a steering gear assembly. Raise the front end of the vehicle. Disconnect the outer tie rod ends from the steering knuckles, be sure to loosen the jam nut on the inner tie rod first as it will be more difficult once removed. disconnect the high and low pressure lines from the steering gear. if necessary lower the vehicles sub-frame. disconnect the steering intermediate shaft from where it couples with the input shaft on the steering gear. Unbolt and remove the steering rack. Installation is the reverse of removal. If you need more details, or help bleeding the power steering system afterwards contact me directly through my webpage, its free, http://autoabsolute.ca
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Bar that should be connected to front driver side wheel, it is broken off .approx.4-6 inches from the wheel, and I need to know for sure what the bar is


2002 Chevy Monte Carlo; connected to wheel (or steering knuckle) is:
-lower control arm, connects from frame to bottom of knuckle
-tie rod end, connects from steering gear to knuckle
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How tough is it to replace the rack and pinion on a pontiac montana


It's a bit of a pain, but doable with simple tools.

Loosen the front lug nuts. Jack up the van and support it on the rails just behind the front tires (not the sub frame as you need to lower that a few inches). Remove the front tires. Disconnect the sway bar link pins, and the sway bar mounting bolts. Disconnect the tie rod ends from the knuckles. Support the rear ends of the sub frame, and remove the bolts mounting it to the van. Once the sub frame bolts are out, lower the rear end of the frame. I did this by using a jack, and placing the jack stands a couple of inches below the frame. Remove the sway bar from the van. You may need to drop the rack a bit more, but be careful as the steering shaft is still connected. You should be able to get at the bolt that attaches the rack stub to the steering rod by pushing up on the boot. Remove the sub shaft bolt. Disconnect the power steering lines from the rack (at the rack). Un-bolt the rack from the sub frame, there are two bolts. The rack should be able to be removed from the drivers side of the van. I replaced the tie rod ends and the sway bar bushings when I replaced mine (new link pins are easy at this time too). The installation is reverse of removal. I measured the tie rod distances when I put the new ends on. The only change I made was that I tied the steering shaft boot down onto the rack so I could install the bolt. I couldn't push the boot up high enough to get the bolt back in. Be sure to install the new power steering line seals that should come with the rack (buy new ones if it doesn't) - the lines are different sizes so you can't mix them up. Torque everything to spec when reinstalling (the cheap Hanes manuals have what you need along with these directions!). It's easiest to install the sway bar brackets when the sub frame is hanging down. Once it's together and running, check the power steering fluid. Get an alignment immediately (I set mine up before I changed the rack).
One last bit of advice, buy the rack with the longer warranty, you don't want to do this twice.

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1 Answer

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Typically these are replaced with a complete lower control arm. What happens is the ball joint is reseeding the lower control arm and rusts. When the old ones pressed out it distorts the opening in the lower control arm. When the new one is pressed in they never fit tight. Anew lower control arm is very easy to replace. 1. Jack up the vehicle on the sub frame or pinch weld. 2. Remove the pinch bolt that holds the ball joint to the knuckle. 3. Separate the ball joint from the knuckle. 4. Remove the two bolts that secure the horizontal bushing to the sub frame. 5. Remove the single bolt that secures the vertical bushing from the subframe. 6. Remove the lower control arm. If you have any questions I'll be happy to answer them.

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How to fix a ball joint in a ford tempo


REMOVAL & INSTALLATION The lower ball joint is integral to the lower control assembly and cannot be serviced individually. Any movement of the lower ball joint detected as a result of inspection requires replacement of the lower control arm assembly.
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle.
  2. Remove the wheel and tire assembly.
  3. Remove the nut and bolt securing the ball joint to the steering knuckle.
  4. Remove the nut and bolt securing the control arm to the vehicle sub frame. To install:
  5. Install the control arm assembly to the vehicle sub-frame using the nut and bolt. Tighten the nut to 69-86 ft. lbs. (93-117 Nm).
  6. Install the lower ball joint into the steering knuckle and secure it with the nut and bolt. Tighten the nut to 32-43 ft. lbs. (43-59 Nm).
  7. Install the wheel and tire assembly and lower the vehicle.
  8. Road test the vehicle.
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Removing the rack and pinion assembly from a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am Se To get the old rack and pinion off of the car for replacement involves lowering the sub-frame, removing the stabilizer bar, and pulling the rack out from the driver side of the vehicle.
  • Start by lifting or jacking up the car and removing the front wheels. Once the car is safely supported, disconnect both tie rods from the steering knuckles.
  • The rear motor mount sits on top of the cross-member part of the sub-frame, and must be disconnected to allow the sub-frame to drop a few inches. Remove the three bolts attaching it to the center of the sub-frame - one in the back and two in the front near the back of the transmission.
  • Loosen the two bolts holding the front of the sub-frame. Place a scissor jack or bottle jack under the rear of the sub-frame where the bolt for the motor mount was. Remove the two smaller bolts from each side of the rear of the sub-frame (total 4 bolts) and then loosen the two remaining larger bolts holding the rear of the sub-frame (these bolts go through the rear control arm bushings and are very long) until the bolts are only going through the control arm bushing, and not into the chassis. You do not need to remove these completely.
  • Remove the stabilizer links from both sides.
  • Next you must disconnect the steering linkage. This is done easily by lifting up the rubber boot to expose the small bolt holding the linkage. Remove the bolt and pry the linkage upward using a pry tool or screw driver.
  • Near the passenger side of the crossmember, remove the bolt holding the power steering line bracket to the chassis. You may now begin to lower the sub-frame using the jack. The front bolts should have lowered the sub-frame about a half-inch or so, allowing you to lower the back of the sub-frame 3 or 4 inches.
  • With the sub-frame lowered, you can now access the bolts holding the stabilizer bar in place. The right side has a nut screwed onto the top of it holding the power steering lines, remove this first, then remove both bolts. Pry or pull the stabilizer brackets up and out. Remove the stabilizer bar.
  • Now you can get to both of the bolts holding the rack in place. Remove both of these, then begin to slide the rack toward the driver side wheel well until there is no more slack in the power steering lines. At this point you should be able to get to the nuts securing the lines on the rack. Loosen both nuts and be ready with something to cap the ends with. I used part of a plastic bag and a wire to tie it. You can now pull the rack out through the driver side.
  • Be sure to replace the rubber o-rings on the ends of the lines when putting the new rack in. Replace everything in the reverse order. Put your tie rods on the new rack, making sure to count the turns or make a mark or measure to be sure your tie rods end up close to the same length as before.
  • Bleed the power steering system.

Important: Get an alignment! Not only is it dangerous to drive with your steering out of align but it will also grate the tread off your tires in a matter of weeks or even days.

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