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How to replace steering gearbox, (the hard way)

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by lonestar, August 12, 2003.

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    1. lonestar

      lonestar Well-Known Member

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      After twisting my sector shaft on my gearbox it needed replacing. After a struggle I decided to post this thread to alleviate my 2-day frustration, this job sucked. SO here it is, how to replace a gear box, with added humor.

      Where to start. Disconnect fluid lines and catch power steering fluid in a coffe can. Disconnnect input shaft. Remove pitman arm. Go to harbor freight to get large socket set to remove pitman arm. Realize sockets are 3/4" drive which I don't have, use adjustable wrench anyway, good thing it wasn't tight. TRy to get puller in between pitman arm and diff, decide to remove gearbox to better position. Break two cheap 3 jaw gear pullers. Knock out all steering linkage balljoints to get gearbox out from underneath truck. Knock over coffe can of power steering fluid so now that I'm laying in a pool of oil Sit pitman arm on 2x4 and hit shaft with BFH to knock shaft out of pitman arm. Decide to disassemble gearbox to remove sector shaft, realize pitman arm has to be removed to remove sector shaft. Decide to get right tool from AutoZone, Remove pitman arm in about 5 min with pitman arm puller. Return to Autozone to get gearbox.

      Installing gearbox. Try to center gearbox by turning input shaft from lock to lock with fingers. Have some kind of muscle spasm in hand and forearm from grabbing and twisting input shaft that causes me to not be able to open index finger. Pull open index finger with other hand. Flex index finger awhile. Try to mount gearbox. Slide it up on input shaft and realize mounting hole don;t line up. Try to figure out why it won't line up. Pull gearbox out and mount it with out input shaft in. try to figure out why input shaft looks to long. Push in and out on steering linkage with all my might. Take gearbox down again and about drop it on my head because arms tired from wrestling with 30lb chunk of steel above head. Reread Haynes manual. Take it back to Autozone to see if there is a diff with input shaft. Everything measures fine, return home. Decide maybe I was angling flex joint the wrong way, try to install again, still to long. Decide to remove input linkage at firewall. Remove bolt, and get chisel to sepearte split coupling on shaft. Remove linkage. Stand up and hit with BFH, Linkage telescopes in, Hallaluhia. Put linkage back in, Push and pull on it and find out its stuck. Remove linkage again, spray down with WD40 and work in and out. reinstall linkage. Install and bolt up gearbox no prob. Realize power steering lines my be leaking at pump fitting. Take shower and laugh about what Iam going to write as I wash my hair 4 times to get out all the oil.

      Next day, inspect all tie rods and tie rod ends, I mean I twisted the sector shaft? Need new castle nut because I smashed it banging them out, Go to NAPA to get fluid lines, look for castle nut, go to PepBoys for nut, hardware store for nut, Autozone for nut, another autoplace for nut, go home without nut. Install fluid lines, reassemble steering linkages and tie rodes. Temporarly use reguler hex nut on tie rod until I can find castle nut. Dealer doesn;t have nut either.

      Refill steering pump, try start, battery went dead from leavine hood and hatch open for 2 days, jump. Add more fluid in pump. Work steering back and forth. Done..

      Start to inpsect wheel bearings. Bearings loose, balljoints look fine. Turn steering without starting, spray PSF all over through hole in cap. Clean that up. And start on wheel bearings. Thats another story I'm working on right now.
       
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    3. TheRookie

      TheRookie Traveling SAS guru

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      I remember how tough and frusterating not having the propper tools for a job can be. as a professional mechanic now I have all the required tools waiting to be used. Last week I did one and it took about 15 mins. Moral of the story, If you can just buy the right stuff to begin with.
       
    4. JoshC

      JoshC Only rolled it once honey Elite Explorer

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      That sounds like everyone of my jobs....lol. The good thing about a job like that, i get a new tool! I've got a TON of specialty tools that i've used maybe twice!
       
    5. lonestar

      lonestar Well-Known Member

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      Yep, now I'm looking for a 33mm socket to torque the pitman arm.
       
    6. AlaskanJack

      AlaskanJack Elite Cabin-Fever Captain Elite Explorer

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      Ah thank god I am not alone in my frustration. I feel ya. I had hot tranny fluid run down my arm into my armpit over the weekend. Then I laid my head down in a puddle of tranny fluid. Well I actually held my head up but my pony tail was longer than I realized and it just soaked up the puddle of fluid. Nasty!!
       
    7. Howard

      Howard Moderator Elite Explorer Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I think we all suffer from that one. It's just like following the book and it says 're-assembly is just a reversal of removal' or 'place the gearbox back on the engine and bolt up'. 5 hours later after lying on your back with the gearbox on your chest and determined that your not going to give up. You complete step 4.
       

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