How to Replace Rack & Pinion Unit for Ford Taurusby Shannon Johnson
On a Ford Taurus, the power steering is controlled by a rack and pinion set, which is the most common power steering system. After several years of wear or improper maintenance, a rack and pinion system can fail and needs to be replaced. Rack and pinion systems can become contaminated if the hoses are deteriorating or if the power steering fluid is contaminated by outside fluids or moisture. Replacing a rack and pinion system can be done with the right tools and some basic automotive knowledge.
Drive your car onto ramps since you will need to work comfortably underneath it. Center the steering wheel once the wheels are completely on the ramps. Place the car into park and then to prevent rolling, put wheel clocks behind the rear tires.
Empty the power steering fluid reservoir into a pan. Use you rag to wipe away any grime and dirt that may have accumulated on the power steering hoses. Using the impact wrench, remove the tie rod ends.
Undo the flexible coupling that connects the stub shaft on the rack to the steering column. The coupling will be housed in a protective plastic boot. You should be able to bend the plastic back to get at the coupling, or you can unscrew it using a Phillips head screwdriver.
Remove the hydraulic pipes from the rack using your impact wrench. Be careful not to turn the steering wheel once the pipes are removed or power steering fluid can leak out. Next remove the two clamps that hold the rack and pinion to the firewall. You will need to use a socket extension for this.
Pull the rack and pinion unit through the access hole on the left side. Remove the tie rods from the old unit because you will be using them on the new one. Put the old unit aside.
Slide the new rack and pinion set into the access hole and make sure it is sitting properly in the mounting position. With help, get the flexible coupling back onto the rack and pinion's stub shaft located under the hood. Take your time lining up the coupling and the shaft.
Replace the hydraulic lines while observing their torque values. Mount the lower stud and replace the left and right clamps. Put the tie rods from the previous unit onto the new one.
Fill up the power steering fluid reservoir. Slowly back the car off of the ramps and test out the power steering at a slow speed.
Things You'll Need
- Car ramps
- Wheel clocks
- Phillips screwdriver
- Replacement rack and pinion set
- Impact wrench
- Socket wrench with extensions
Shannon Johnson has been a freelance writer since 2008, specializing in health and organic and green-living topics. She practiced law for five years before moving on to work in higher education. She writes about what she lives on a daily basis.