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How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Chevy Impala

by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Jack and jack stands

  • Torque wrench

How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Chevy Impala. Chevrolet introduced the Impala in 1958 as their flagship full-sized car. They reintroduced the model in 2000 with front-wheel drive. If your Impala begins to pull in one direction or if the steering wheel becomes hard to turn, you may need to replace the steering rack. The following procedure takes you through the process for the production line introduced in 2000.

Make sure the problem is with the steering rack. Your steering difficulties might also be caused by leaking or contaminated power steering fluid, uneven or unbalanced tires, wheel alignment or even the power steering pump.

Set the block tooth on the upper steering shaft to 12 o'clock and straighten the wheels. Make sure the ignition key lock is in lock position.

Disconnect the negative battery cable and remove the front wheels. Then, disconnect the intermediate steering shaft lower pinch bolt, the intermediate steering shaft and both tie rod ends.

Support the center rear frame and disconnect the bolts from its rear. Lower the frame only as much as needed to disconnect the power steering pressure line, return hose, Variable Assist electrical connector and mounting bolts. Disconnect the rack and slide it through the left wheel opening.

Reconnect the lines, hoses and Variable Assist after you've replaced the rack unit. Make sure to replace the o-rings in the power steering lines to the gear and torque the fasteners to 20 foot pounds (27 Nm) of torque.

Raise the frame to its original position and align the frame with the alignment pins. Mount with new frame bolts and torque the front bolts to 118 foot pounds and the rear bolts to 122 foot pounds of torque.

Connect the tie rod ends to the steering knuckles with a torque of 22 foot pounds. Reconnect the intermediate steering shaft and steering gear stub shaft with the lower pinch bolt torqued to 35 foot pounds.

Replace the wheels and battery cable. Fill and bleed the power steering fluid, making sure there aren't any leaks. You should have the front end realigned.

Tips

Not all Chevy Impalas have Variable Assist.

Warnings

Disconnect the intermediate shaft from the rack and pinion stub shaft to avoid steering gear damage. Avoid lowering the frame any more than necessary to avoid damage from the firewall scraping against engine components.

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