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Steering rack u-joint splines re-install advice

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#1
Alberto

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I'm finally getting around to fixing the front end of my car after a tire wall incident last year.  Need some help re-installing the steering rack.  Never done this before.  It is a manual NA rack on a 1990 1.6.

 

I replaced the front subframe and removed my steering rack to check for straightness.  I wasn't able to get the u-joint to slide off the intermediate shaft so I first tried to pry it open with screw drivers and such and eventually resorted to hitting the u-joint with a hammer.  Seems like rust is fusing the u-joint to the shaft and rack (it was an east coast car).  The hammer worked but instead of the u-joint sliding out of the intermediate shaft, the intermediate shaft slid out of the column at the area near the fire wall.  Unfortunately, the hammering bent the tab on the u-joint that the pinch bolt threads into and here is where I am today....

 

49566198652_cd1c91089b.jpgUntitled by alberto_mg, on Flickr

 

Some questions:

1. Is there a way to remove the u-joint from the shaft going into the rack?  My u-jointed is foobar'ed from the hammering so I need to replace it...

2. I noticed the intermediate shaft has a couple of flat spots but the area where it inserts into the column near the firewall does not have any sort of index that I could find.  Does the intermediate shaft need to slide into the column in any sort of orientation based on the flat spots?

3. Is the intermediate shaft from a power steering car the same as a manual steering car?  I think I have a spare.

 

Any advice or answers to questions that I don't have the experience to ask?

 

Thanks fellas!

 

 

 


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#2
Brandon

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There are two of those "pinch clamps" at each end of the u-joint.

 

My best approach with the rack/column still in the car was to remove both bolts (I believe they are different) and use a large (18"?) pry bar to wedge them apart.

With your whole getup out of the car, your best bet is to use a cold chisel and wedge the pinching fingers apart to R&R the u-joint.

 

I don't know whether the spline counts are the same between manual or powered racks but I'd hazard a guess they should be.

One thing I did notice is there is a difference in the splines between the rack & column respectively (but I don't remember which one has it): one end has a wide/guide spline so there's no risk of installing it backwards.

 

One of the components (column I believe) has a groove/cupped area in the shaft which means it needs to be installed deep enough into the u-joint so the bolt will go through.

 

HTH!


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#3
Dave D.

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If you know someone with an air hammer use one with a blunt attachment and gently use the vibrations to help "walk" the U joint off the splines. Then use a wire wheel to clean the rust off the splines and coat with never seize or wheel bearing grease.


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#4
Alberto

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Thanks fellas.  The chisel worked.  I tapped and pried at it and eventually it gave up.  It had been soaking in PB Blaster for a couple of days as well.  


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