Chrysler Rack & Pinion Removalby Richard Rowe
This article discusses removal of the current-generation-chassis Chrysler 300's rack and pinion steering system. This chassis and its steering components are used in many Chrysler vehicles, including the Dodge Magnum, Charger and Challenger. The basics of rack and pinion removal vary by car or year for the passenger vehicles in the Chrysler lineup.
Disconnect the negative battery terminal to prevent accidental shorts and sparks. Siphon all fluid from the power steering reservoir on top of the engine with a small tube; the more you remove now, the less you'll be wearing later. Remember, the hydraulic fluid used in both transmission and power steering fluid is toxic and hallucinogenic; so staying out of it would be a very good idea.
Unbolting the Ancillaries
Locate the power steering tie rod on the wheel spindle, and remove the jam nut from the top. Use a screw-type ball joint separator (AutoZone tool No. 9630) to remove the tie rod from the spindle. You can use a pry bar and hammer, but the wise mechanic would avoid doing so, so as not to damage the reusable bushings.
Disconnect the steering shaft from the rack and pinion by removing the steering coupling pinch bolt where it meets the rack. Remove both the high- and low-pressure lines from the rack---again, being very careful not to spill too much fluid on yourself or the ground.
Removing the Assembly
Unbolt the steering rack from the chassis. The connectors are two large through-bolts that connect to the frame rails just above the steering rack. Placing a floor jack beneath the steering rack is a good idea: The internal gears and components can be damaged by the shock of landing on concrete, and the rack itself is heavy enough to take a chunk out of your driveway.
Many people who remove rack and pinion systems choose to replace the slow factory box with something more performance-oriented. If you have a standard 300C or Magnum, consider ordering a direct bolt-in box designed for the 300 SRT8 or Dodge Challenger.
Richard Rowe has been writing professionally since 2007, specializing in automotive topics. He has worked as a tractor-trailer driver and mechanic, a rigger at a fire engine factory and as a race-car driver and builder. Rowe studied engineering, philosophy and American literature at Central Florida Community College.