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Steering Rack Removal/Refit Guide
Axle stands x 2 (more are useful)
17mm Socket/Deep Socket + Spanner
13mm Socket + Spanner
10mm Allen Key
Large/Strong Flat Headed Screwdriver
It would be a good idea to have multiple tubs or sandwich bags to put the nuts/bolts into if you are not confident in remembering what bolts go where; label as you go.
There are two options; you can either just lower the subframe, or remove it. Both options are covered here.
With the subframe off you could even tackle the hub bearings if they need doing; it’s only a matter of removing the strut and then following Lemons guide. Note – you would have to loosen off the hub nuts whilst the car is on the ground, it’d be the first thing you do. Trying to undo the hub nut whilst the wheels are off is damn near impossible IMO!
Anyway…back to the matter at hand:
1. Jack up the car and secure it on axle stands; the higher the better (as long as it’s safe). Make sure you do not obstruct any of the 6 rear sub-frame bolts.
2. Ensure the steering is centred. From inside the car, peel back the carpet from around the steering column base. This should expose the rack/column joint. Completely remove the 13mm bolt and push the brass tab into the recess. Be careful not to change the position of the steering wheel.
3. Remove the front wheels.
4. If you plan to keep your inner/outer track rods then it’d be a good idea to photograph the thread positions so you can roughly set the correct tracking on refit.
5. If your TRE’s have not been off in a good while, then loosen off the locking nuts now, it’ll save you struggling with it later (picured above).
6. Undo the outer tie rod nuts from the n/s and o/s hubs using a 16/17mm socket (dependant on make of outer tie rod). Tap the hub/tie rod to make it drop away.
7. Undo the top bolt (as it is easier to access) on the n/s and o/s drop links using the 17mm spanner and 10mm allen key. Push the ball joint out of the strut; ensure it is clear.
8. ONLY DO STEPS 8&9 IF REMOVING THE SUBFRAME – Undo the three 13mm bolts that secure the hub to the bracket on the lower arm (these bolts will come off, the ball joint nut will probably not…so just undo the 13mm nuts!). The bolts are fiddly and there is a knack to it; you have to use a jack on the lower arm to raise/lower the suspension, each nut requires a different level of suspension elevation in order to easily access/remove them. Persevere. Be careful not to raise the arm too much or you will lift the car off the axle stands!
9. Using a flat-headed screwdriver and a hammer, gently tap and prise at the bracket/hub join. The two should separate; note the positioning lug on the bottom of the hub.
10. Remove the 5 x 10mm nuts retaining the plastic tray under the engine and remove the tray.
11. Remove the sub-frame brace by undoing the four 16mm nuts.
12. Remove the dog bone rear engine mount. This is done by removing the 21mm bolt closest to the engine, and the 18mm bolt farthest from the engine. Then remove the retaining bracket using the 15mm socket on the 2 bolts retaining bolts.
13. Remove the rack heat shield by undoing the two 10mm bolts securing it.
14. Use the jack (with a piece of hardwood, this is important as it protects the sub-frame from damage and provides grip as the subframe’s angle/weight shifts) to take the weight of the subframe, position it in the middle.
15. Remove the 4 x 16mm bolts from the subframe rear brace.
16. Loosen off all four 18mm subframe bolts, do not remove them yet.
17. Loosen off the 13mm nut directly under the front subframe bolts attached to the car body.
18. Ensuring the subframe is supported; remove the two18mm subframe bolts closest to the front of the car. You should now be able to pull back the lower bracket towards the hub (it pivots on the 13mm bolt you’ve just loosened).
19. Double-checking the subframe is still supported; slowly remove the remaining 2 x 18mm rear subframe bolts.
20. The jack should now hold the weight of the frame. Slowly lower the jack, dropping the subframe by a few inches, then secure the jack.
21. From underneath the car, remove the two 18mm bolts securing the rack to the frame. Wiggle the rack so it moves freely.
22. ONLY DO THIS STEP IF YOU AR REMOVING THE SUBFRAME – Unclip the ABS/ESP sensor cables from their guide clips on the lower arms or you may damage them.
Now slowly lower the subframe down, you will need to manoeuvre the frame around 1” back as there are positioning pins that come out of the front frame and locate in the subframe. The subframe should come clear of the car. Go to step 25...
23. You may now encounter a problem if you have not lowered the frame enough, the pinion shaft will not come clear of the bulkhead. If this is the case, slowly lower the frame bit by bit, until the pinion shaft will clear (or as much as you are happy lowering the subframe).
24. Pull the rack out of the engine bay from the n/s wheel space; it may take a little fettling, but it will come.
25. With the rack free you can remove the outer TRE’s. If you have the tool and want to keep the inner track rods, remove them now. If not, the rack can be sent with them attached, just ensure the company refits YOUR innerTRs prior to returning the rack back to you.
The refit is basically just the reverse of the removal.
All I would say is don’t be tempted to bolt the rack on when the subframe is off or when lowered significantly. The reason being that the pinion shaft will be impossible to locate back in the bulkhead, the pinion shaft has to be fettled back into its hole, this can only be done if the rack is free to be twisted front to back. Once located, then you can secure the rack to the subframe and replace the heat shield.
If you have only lowered the subframe, then the outer TREs can be put on virtually last (but before the wheels of course!), using the photos you took of the threads earlier; it will be easier to feed the rack back into the bay without them on.
Best of luck!
Let me know your thoughts, if i've missed anything etc..it's very early in the morning!!
This is fantastic- i'm going to be changing mine at the weekend so the timing is perfect.
What sort of time should I (enthusiastic amateur) allow for this job? 1 hour for removal then the same for refitting?
I have the torque settings here which will be useful to anyone doing this job:
Axial ball joint: 80 Nm
Track rod end nut: 37 Nm
Universal joint bolt: 30Nm
Steering box mounting bolts on the sub-frame: 105 Nm
Rear cross member bolt on the sub-frame: 62 Nm
Lower ball joint bolts: 62 Nm
Sub-frame tie-rod bolts: 105 Nm
Engine tie-bar bolts on the engine mountings: 180 Nm
Engine tie-bar bolts on the sub-frame: 105 Nm
Anti-roll bar tie-rod ball joint nuts: 44 Nm
Radiator cross member front mountings: 105 Nm
Side reinforcement bolts: 21 Nm
Last edited by shaun442k; 20-03-2013 at 14:55:04.
That's great Shaun, I'd say about that yes pal.
hello guys sorry about resurrecting this topic but is there any way to replace photos? i updated my account but still can not see them
UPDATE : and if it is not impossible can you mark where is the screws you are talking about in steps? i have the right tools but just little bit confused
thank you for that valuable work
Last edited by Rtncyp; 02-02-2018 at 21:41:38.
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