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Rack and Pinion...

Dylansav

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City, State
Twin Cities,Minnesota
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 XLT
We just replaced the engine on my 98' 4.0 SOHC and now we notice a LEAK. The power stearing fluid is pretty much pouring out of the rack and pinion seal at about a bottle a day.

For my truck, I need to replace the whole entire rack and pinion instead of just the seal that is leaking. Has anyone done that and how hard is it?
 
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Turdle

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It is a pretty tough job actually-could take a couple of days depending on your speed-
you'll need to remove the torsion bars--for instance. The front end comes apart and the rack slides out the passenger side, IIRC

I have changed one on a 97 eddie bauer. It took 2 of us all day.
 
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Dylansav

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'98 XLT
It's my only option :D

The mechanic gave me a $800 estimate to do the job. $200 for parts..I could get what i need at my favorite auto salvage yard for $50 and i have most of the tools.

I think i'm going to follow what AllData online says and some from the Chilton manual for the procedures since i have never thought about attempting to replace the rack and pinion..But do you have any tips or tricks?

Any advice on this project would be much appreciated
 
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MountaineerGreen

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It can be done- lots and lots of patience and a few tools. I'd change one out for $600 though :)

Make sure you pay attention to where your lines go- if they are crossed, it doesn't work well.

Don't round off the fittings on the lines that connect to the rack. If they won't budge, go buy flare nut wrenches.

Save the boots off your old rack- most aftermarket boots suck.

When you get your new rack, remove both tie rod assemblies right out of the box, it helps get the rack on top of the crossmember, you can install the tie rods after the rack itself is in place.

The connection from the steering wheel to the rack is important and a PITA. Its a pinch bolt, remove it entierly, but it's difficult to get to. Make sure you don't turn your wheel with the rack disconnected or else is bye bye steering wheel clock spring.
 
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Dylansav

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'98 XLT
sorry for the late reply on this one! This problem has kind of slipped my mind when the local dollar store has started to supply me with $1 bottles of ps fluid.

i really appreciate your guys' advice. i just have a few more questions...

Do you guys know of any sites that have a step by step process on how to do this?

if you are planning on getting bigger tires, would I have to change out the rack and pinion to meet the tires demands?

Thanks for the help
 
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dmac0923

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2002 ranger xlt
ive done the rack on my nissan sentra and it wasnt that bad to tackle.......i looked under my fords a little closer to see what its like on a 4x4. MAN! it defenetly looks alot more complicated....

how do you remove the torsion bars???
 
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Dylansav

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'98 XLT
How do you remove the Torsion Bars...I was wondering the same thing haha!

Any tricks??

Thanks!
 
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Newbie Explorer

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Topsham, Maine
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 Sport
i have a 98 ex. and i needed to swap out the rack and pinion, and i'm halfway through. i have a replacement part from the local junkyard but i've run into a bit of a problem. I've disconnected all of the hose fittings, the tires are off, the whole front end is on jack stands, and i cannot find a way to pull the old rack and pinion out through the passenger side. I've twisted and turned in just about every way i can imagine, and i'm halfway through removing the lower control arm in the hopes that that can give me the few extra inches of clearance i need. Any tips, photos, or general advice would be a great help, as i'd like to get it back on the road so i don't have to bum rides to work throughout the winter. Thanks for any help.
 
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Newbie Explorer

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that would have been a way easier approach from the get go. thanks for the tip, i'll have to keep that in mind should i ever need to change one again. Somehow, Someway, that rack and pinion got changed and everything seems to work thus far.
 
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kronick

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City, State
San Diego, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Ranger XLT
I found this thread while looking for info on changing out the rack in my 98 Ranger. Just wanted to add some details from my experience for the next guy.

My Ranger is 2WD, 2.5L, Regular cab. That means I have a wimpy truck, but the rack and pinion came out with no issues. 2WD models don't have torsion bars, and there was no need to lift the engine like some posts I found.

I was able to remove the rack with the PS high pressure lines attached and the outer tie rod ends still attached. Getting those off was easy once the whole assembly was out of the truck.

To detach the pinch bolt on the steering shaft I used an 18" socket extension. It wasn't particularly difficult, though if I had an air conditioner in there it may have been a bit more tight.

I had a Pitman arm puller to get the outer tie rod ends off. Some people seem to have success hitting the steering knuckle, but the arm puller worked like a charm. Borrow one if you don't want to spend the $15 for your own.

Hope this helps someone out there. Good luck.
 
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