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2002 Rack and Pinion Removal

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by NavyTwidget, January 26, 2016.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. NavyTwidget

    NavyTwidget New Member

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    City, State:
    Chesapeake, VA
    Year, Model & Trim Level:
    2002 Ford Explorer
    Currently I am in the middle of replacing my rack on a 2002 XLT 4.6 4WD. The job also consists of replacing upper control arms and lower ball joints so those items have been removed along with the spindle leaving the tie rods flapping in the wind.

    I've found lots of discussion for other model years but not the 2002-2005.

    My problem is separating the steering shaft from the rack and separating the hoses from the rack. This whole process has been somewhat of a pain but it is still better than the ridiculous amount that I was quoted for labor to do all of this work.

    With the rack still held in by the mounting bolts I can get a socket on the 13mm bolt but not the ratchet to put on the socket. When I unmount the rack I can slide it over enough to get a socket and ratchet on there but the rack wants to move when I put pressure on the bolt...

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
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  3. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    2002 mercury mountaineer
    When I did mine the rack and pinion tie rod ends should be attached to the knuckle so that it will not move while you're trying to loosen if from intermediate shaft. The steering wheel should also be tied to prevent it from rotating otherwise the clockspring will be toast. I used an 18" ratchet (1/4" and 3/8" socket on both ends) from Harbor Freight to loosen the bolt and accessed it from the front. They no longer sell that kind of ratchet anymore but you could try maybe with a pipe if using a standard 1/4" ratchet. Have to remove the lines before loosening the bolt and in my case I have to remove the front bolt of the lower control arm to fish out the rack and pinion. I have to call my buddy to help me out reinstalling it back to the intermediate shaft back because it's hard doing it alone.

    [​IMG]

    https://www.facebook.com/diyfordexp...0.1453864830./705788116156009/?type=3&theater
     
  4. NavyTwidget

    NavyTwidget New Member

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    Thanks for the photos and the prompt response. This is exactly what I needed!
     
  5. NavyTwidget

    NavyTwidget New Member

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    Removing the power steering cooler was a tremendous help. Thanks to a cut-off wheel I was able to cut the high pressure line where it goes into the pump and the rack. I also cut the outer tie rods off because they were welded to the inner tie roads thanks to corrosion. Removing the drivers side bolt for the actual rack mount gave me enough room to maneuver the rack out from underneath the Explorer.

    The rack that Autozone shipped has a bent tie rod so I am waiting on the replacement which according to them will be here today by 3pm. While I wait for that I will finish the lower ball joints and investigate the fuel filler neck leak. I am out $140 in stall rental but that is still a fraction of what I was quoted for labor only on this job.
     
  6. JoshMcMadMac

    JoshMcMadMac Well-Known Member

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    I did this last week and really did not have much of an issue. You should definitely get the cooler out of the way, and have replacement hose clamps for when you reinstall it. The steering shaft bolt is 13mm I think; it is a little tough to reach, but I know I did it just fine with a standard 3/8" socket and ratchet. The nut on the hoses was done with a deep socket on a 1/4" ratchet. Pull the oil filter spout off to get to it from the front. You do not need to tie the steering wheel as long as you do not spin it with the rack removed.
     
  7. rocco123

    rocco123 Active Member

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    Stall rental? Never heard of it.
     
  8. lincolnshibuya

    lincolnshibuya Active Member

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    accidents happen and if it does it's going to cost you a new clockspring.. not that cheap.
     
  9. NavyTwidget

    NavyTwidget New Member

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    The job was completed. After removing the cooler I decided to get the oil filter out of the way too. That extra room made all the difference. Unbolting the front bolt on the drivers side lower control arm and using a pry bar helped with getting the rack in and out.

    Sunday I had the alignment done but even though the numbers are within tolerance, I feel that something is still off. The steering wheel is about 5 degrees clockwise off center and this rack has a little play in it while the old one was tight. The reason for replacement was a leak due to corrosion. This week I may take it to another store in the same chain for another look at the alignment.

    The most Navy bases have an auto hobby shop that provides stall rental for around $6/hour with a lift. This includes tool and tech assistance if you need it.
     
  10. rocco123

    rocco123 Active Member

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    When I did the rack on my 02 there was slop in the steering wheel shaft. I had to to lighten the bolt dowm more at the coupling. Have someone move steering wheel back and forth the feel for play there.
     

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