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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.