How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Chrysler Town & Countryby Contributor
Chrysler used the Town & Country badge to introduce its luxury minivan in 1990. It remains the bestselling U.S. minivan. If your Town & Country pulls to one side or you experience difficulty steering, the problem may be with the rack and pinion steering gear. You can install a new rack using the following procedure.
Lock the steering wheel with the wheels pointing straight. Drain the power steering fluid and unhook the negative battery cable. Finally, remove the front wheels to access the steering system.
Access the steering rack by disconnecting the steering column shaft coupler and the power steering cooler hose. Remove the outer tie rod ends from the knuckles, the lower control arm rear bushing bolts and the crossmember reinforcement. You will also need to disconnect the pressure and return lines, rack mounting fasteners and the intermediate shaft coupler. Replace the rack and pinion gear with the new unit.
Reconnect the intermediate shaft coupler (be careful because this gets tricky). Before installing the coupler, start the roll pin into the coupler and tap it into the coupler with a hammer. Mount the coupler onto the gear shaft and use the knurled nut to secure the removal/installer tool (part 6831A) into the center of the roll pin. Secure the pin by adjusting the nut with one hand and holding the threaded rod in place with the other hand.
Replace and reconnect the remaining components in the order you removed them. You will need to torque the different components to the following foot pound specs: crossmember M14 bolts to 113, M12 bolts to 70, lower control arm bushing bolts to 45, tie rod to 55 and steering column pinch bolt to 21.
Mount your front wheels making sure the wheel nuts are secure and reconnect the battery cable. Now you can refill the power steering reservoir and bleed any air from the system.
Double-check the hoses to make sure nothing leaks. You should also realign your front end.
- If your minivan is equipped with a front emissions vapor canister, and an AWD power transfer unit you will need to disconnect those components as well. Depending on your minivan options you may also have to the bolts for your power steering cooler cradle and leak detection pump cradle.
- When you disconnect the power steering cooler hose, drain the fluid into a clean, suitable container.
- Make sure to note what bolts connect to the different cradle attachments. Chrysler uses a number of different bolt sizes.
- Secure open lines and hoses to avoid contamination.