How to Remove a Steering Gearbox

by Robert Bayly

Your steering gearbox transmits your steering wheel movement to the wheels through various types of steering linkages that connect the two front wheels to each other. There is usually a tie rod that connects the two wheels to each other with tie rod ends, and a drag link that connects to the tie rod at one end and the pitman arm on the steering gearbox at the other. No matter what type of steering linkage you have, steering gearbox removal is similar because you will not be taking apart anything in the linkage.

Park the vehicle with the wheels positioned straight ahead.

Locate where the steering column attaches to the input shaft on the steering gearbox. There is a round pinch clamp that has a bolt through it. Loosen the bolt and spread the clamp open by placing a flat-head screwdriver in the gap where the bolt is. Slide the pinch clamp up and off the input shaft.

Move under the vehicle and note where the steering linkage attaches to the pitman arm on the steering gearbox. It has a tie rod type of tapered fitting that looks like the tie rod ends that attach the steering linkage to each wheel. This linkage end is held on with a castle nut and cotter pin. Remove the cotter pin with needle-nose pliers. Remove the castle nut.

Insert the pickle fork between the linkage end and the pitman arm. Wearing safety goggles, strike the end of the pickle fork with a hammer. It may take a few hits. The pickle fork will pop the fitting out of the pitman arm. If the vehicle has power steering, remove the power steering lines and put rubber or plastic end caps on them to prevent fluid leakage.

Remove the bolts that hold the gearbox to the frame. Lower the gearbox. Be careful. The gearbox is heavy.

Items you will need

About the Author

Robert Bayly, based in Apple Valley, California, began writing in 2010, his "how to" articles can be found on eHow. With more than 15 years in the auto industry, Bayly has been an auto and diesel mechanic, service writer and parts manager. He received certificates from Pontiac (parts system), Cat Diesel (engine service), Saab and Fiat (parts- warranty system).

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera steering wheel image by Jeff Clarke from Fotolia.com