Replacing the Steering Gear in My 2000 Jeep Grand Cherokee – Part 2

The New Steering Gear

The New Steer­ing Gear

Before return­ing to the steps for the repair, this bit could be effec­tive­ly sub­ti­tled, “Repair failed, Pause for Christ­mas.”  At the very last step of the re-assem­bly, we stripped a fit­ting, so we’ll be re-remov­ing the Steer­ing Gear and re-installing anoth­er Steer­ing Gear.  We can’t even get start­ed on that, how­ev­er, until we talk to the parts peo­ple tomor­row.  You can see the first part of the repair here.

  1. Waster Bottle in Wheel Well

    Waster Bot­tle in Wheel Well

    Remove the wind­shield wash­er bot­tle.  This bit cov­ers the four bolts that you need to remove to detach the steer­ing gear.  I couldn’t fig­ure out how to remove the 3rd con­nec­tor, so I had it hang­ing par­tial­ly in the way dur­ing the remain­der of the repair.  How­ev­er, this is doable.  I was even able to get the impact wrench in there.

  2. Remove the Pit­man Arm.  This one is tough.  We first tried my 3-arm puller and that cost us sev­er­al hours of pain.  Then we took advan­tage of the Cana­di­an Tire Rent-a-Tool pro­gram.  Giv­en the dif­fi­cul­ty remov­ing the Pit­man Arm, you’re going to want a ded­i­cat­ed puller whose jaws are not flex­i­ble.  The Pit­man Arm is attached to the bot­tom of the Steer­ing Gear and is eas­i­ly found from under­neath the vehi­cle.  First Remove the nut.  Our 750-ft-lb impact wrench made short work of it.  Then use the puller to pull the arm from the shaft.  We used the impact wrench, pound­ing with a ham­mer, heat and a 5-foot break­er bar (com­posed of a 2.5 foot break­er bar and the upper sec­tion of the lever from my scis­sor jack).  It didn’t remove eas­i­ly.
  3. Remove the four mount­ing bolts from behind the wash­er bot­tle.  These were also tough.  The impact wrench was able to remove two of them.  We need­ed to use the torch on the engine-side end of the oth­er two bolts.  Flecks of molten rust rained down — which was large­ly also indi­cat­ing that it was ready.  The bolts appear to have some fric­tion goo on them.
  4. Remove the Steer­ing Gear.  At this point we also dis­cov­ered that the steer­ing shaft retract­ed enough to remove the steer­ing shaft cou­pler.  With some rota­tion and mov­ing of hoses, the Steer­ing Gear can be removed “up” out of the vehi­cle.

Next, we’ll cov­er the instal­la­tion and some of the caveats to that instal­la­tion we’ve found.

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