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How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Pontiac Grand Am

by Contributor; Updated November 07, 2017

Items you will need

  • Floor jacks

  • Torque wrench

  • Vacuum pump (model j 35555)

  • Adapter cap (model J 43485)

How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Pontiac Grand Am. The Pontiac Grand Am had three separate production runs between the 1970s and its final year of production in 2005. It was discontinued twice in the 1970s before its final revival in 1985. The 1999 to 2005 models closed out the line, which had been reduced from mid-size to compact. You may want to install a new rack and pinion steering system yourself should you need repairs.

Remove the battery cables then pull the front wheels. Uncouple the stabilizer shaft links from the control and the tie rod ends from the wheel knuckles. Find the lower pinch bolt and remove it from the intermediate shaft then remove the rear transaxle mount through-bolt. Unfasten the crossmember steering line bracket and disconnect stabilizer bar.

Lift the rear sub-frame. Loosen the front mounting bolts and take out the rear bolts entirely. Lower the jack 3 inches.

Unhook the steering lines from the gear and slide the gear out the left wheel opening. Mount the new gearbox and torque the bolts to 81 foot pounds. Connect the steering hoses and reinstall the sub-frame bolts proceeding from left to right rear then left to front and tighten to 71 foot pounds.

Apply 49 foot pounds, torque the stabilizer bar bracket bolts and then reconnect the steering line bracket. Apply the following torque to the remaining connections: the transaxle mount bolt, 89 foot pounds; intermediate shaft pinch bolt and tie rod nuts, 15 foot pounds and the stabilizer bar nuts, 13 foot pounds. Inspect the hose fittings carefully before you reconnect the battery. Mount the front wheels when the installation is complete.

Fill the power-steering fluid. Use the adaptor cap to secure the vacuum pump to the reservoir opening to check for leaks. Add 20 inches of vacuum and wait for no less 5 minutes. Check the vacuum level; if you loose more than 3 inches, there is a leak in one of the hose connections.

Replace the reservoir cap and run the engine briefly. Stop the engine and measure the fluid level then run the engine again until the fluid levels off. Turn the steering wheel left to right five times and stop the car to check the fluid level yet again.

Use the vacuum pump to apply another 20 inches of vacuum. Wait for 5 minutes and check the levels one last time to make sure the levels are stable. If the system checks out, cap the reservoir.

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