How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Mazda6by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017
Items you will need
Jack and jack stands
How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Mazda6. Mazda introduced the mid-sized Mazda6 in 2002 as the first model to attempt at more stylish automotive design. First generation models used a power steering gear instead of a rack and pinion system. Each engine model, 2.3 Liter and 3.0 Liter, used a slightly different rack. The instructions below cover first generation models with 2.3 Liter engines. A new generation was introduced in 2008.
Disconnect the battery cables and remove the anti-lock brake speed sensor. Lift the front end for easier access and pull the front wheels, the under cover and the splash shield.
Uncouple the stabilizer bar link from the shock absorber and separate the rear ball joints and lower arm front from the steering knuckle. Unfasten the bolt to the lower side shock absorber. Mark the location of where the steering gear and intermediate shaft meet and remove the pinion shaft bolt.
Push the tie rod from the steering knuckle arm. Remove the heat shield bolts and unhook the steering lines from the gear.
Remove the engine mount center bolt (Number 1). Brace the crossmember with a jack. Make sure the jack is secure and remove the crossmember bracket. Unfasten the crossmember bolts.
Lower the entire cross member unit (the gear and linkage will still connect). Now you can remove the heat shield, return hose, gear and linkage. Replace the defective gear with the new one.
Reassemble the steering system and linkage. Use the following torque for the fittings: gear mounting bolts, 55 to 77 foot pounds; engine mount center bolt, 68 to 86 foot pounds; pressure pipe banjo bolt, 31 to 32 foot pounds; heat shield bolts, 79 inch pounds; tie rod nuts, 29 to 39 foot pounds; intermediate shaft-to-gear bolt, 13 to 19 foot pounds. Use new cotter pins with the tie rod ends.
Check the steering lines for leaks. Adjust the front-end alignment if necessary.
Mark the location of the steering gear and intermediate shaft connection to align properly during reassembly. The 3 Liter Mazda engine uses a slightly different steering rack. The gear mounting bold fittings use the same torque, but other connection use different settings. The step-by-step process will also differ slightly. The Mazda owner's manual provides a detailed sequence and list of setting tolerances for each individual retainer and connection. You can refer to the manual illustration to double check the sequence and torque for each fitting.
Make sure to attach the jack securely to the crossmember.