How to Install a New Steering Rack in an Oldsmobile Alero

by Contributor

The Oldsmobile Alero compact brought Oldsmobile's history to a close as the last Oldsmobile model on the market. Oldsmobile reduced the engine size every other year after launching the model in 1998. The Alero sported a power rack and pinion system. If yours needs replacement, you can install a new rack following these steps.

Remove the battery cables and front wheels. Separate the stabilizer shaft links and control arms then separate the tie rod ends and knuckles. Locate and remove the lower pinch bolt from the intermediate shaft and rear transaxle mount through-bolt. Finally, remove the crossmember steering line bracket and stabilizer bar.

Use floor jacks to support the rear sub-frame. Loosen the front sub-frame mounting bolts and remove the rear bolts entirely. Lower the jack heights to bring the sub-frame down by 3 inches.

Uncouple the steering lines at the gear. Remove the gear by way of the left wheel opening. Tighten the bolts on the replacement assembly to 81 foot pounds. Reconnect the steering hoses and reattach the sub-frame bolts starting with the left rear and proceeding to the right rear then left and right front (71 foot pounds of torque).

Tighten the stabilizer bar bracket bolts to 49 foot pounds and then reattach the steering line bracket to the crossmember. Tighten the rear transaxle mount bolt to 89 foot pounds, the intermediate shaft pinch bolt and tie rod nuts to 15 foot pounds and the stabilizer bar nuts to 13 foot pounds. Check the hose fittings and reconnect the battery. When the steering system is complete, mount the front wheels.

Fill the steering reservoir. Attach the vacuum pump with the adaptor cap to check for leaks. Apply 20 inches of vacuum, and then wait at least 5 minutes. If the vacuum drops more than 3 inches, the lines are pulling air into the system.

Replace the adapter with the reservoir cap and idle the engine. Check the fluid level with the engine off then idle again until the level becomes stable. Turn the steering wheel five times in both directions (180 degrees to full rotation) and turn off the ignition to recheck the level.

Reattach the vacuum pump and vacuum and apply another 20 inches. Wait for 5 minutes and check the levels. If the levels are stable, replace the reservoir cap.

Items you will need

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