Steering Rack Replacement - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
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Steering Rack Replacement

I ended up having to replace my steering rack. Wasn't leaking just had a good bit of play in it, most likely a result of 35" tires and lots of offroading. I bought a brand new rack from carsteering.com for $285 (no core) and decided to put it in myself (much cheaper than dealer who wanted $1600 installed). It has a 3yr warranty so we'll see if it holds up.

While I changed the rack, I decided to change a few other things.


Additional New Parts:
cv axles
whiteline swaybar endlinks
energy suspension swaybar bushings
swaybar lock collar
whiteline front differential mount bushings
spindle seals
diff output shaft seals


The FSM says to remove the trans/tcase and lift/tilt the engine to remove the steering rack. I thought, this can't be right, 10hrs for a steering rack. I did it in 5hrs, including the time it took for me to figure out how to do it without touching the engine/trans. Keep in mind, I'm not a professional mechanic.


So here's a basic breakdown of how to remove the rack.


1. Remove the front differential assembly (this sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't, just make sure to have a 2nd set of hands to help with the weight, I wish I would have)

2. Remove outer tierod ends from rack

3. Drain the power steering (I just disconnected the return line in front of the rack)


4. Secure the steering wheel so it's centered and can't turn


5. Mark the steering shaft at the coupler with paint pen


6. Remove the 2 pinch bolts from the coupler and slide it up the column (mine was seized and required hitting it from under the vehicle with a long pry bar)

7. Remove the pinch bolt from the steering shaft at the rack and remove the steering shaft.


8. Remove the feed/return lines from the rack (including the clamp brackets that hold them to crossmember). The return line is held on with a hose clamp. The feed line will require a 17mm flared crows foot socket and 6" extension (like the picture) in order to remove the flared fitting (if you've never removed the feed line, there may be corrosion and/or dirt preventing it from loosening easily).





After you've loosened the feed line with the flared crows foot socket, you can use a regular wrench from the side to remove it faster


Lines removed from rack


After you've disconnected the lines, you can let them hang and finish draining



Now this is where the fsm would tell you to remove the trans/tcase and tilt the engine. The reason why is because you can't remove the 2 bolts holding the rack to the crossmember. The bolts hit the transmission lines and the A/C compressor. Can you guess what you do next?

9. Remove the 2 bolts on the passenger side of the engine block that hold the 2 clamp brackets for the transmission cooler lines. Now you have enough wiggle in the lines to remove the steering rack bolt on that side.

10. Remove the serpentine belt

11. Unplug the electrical connector at the A/C compressor and remove the 4 bolts holding it to the engine block, (easiest access through the drivers wheel well). You should now have enough wiggle room with the a/c lines still attached to lift the compressor up to remove the steering rack bolt on that side.

12. Push the tierod all the way to the passenger side and slide the rack to the passenger side until you can get the driver side inner tierod through the crossmember. Then pull the rack out.

13. With the rack removed, you can remove the low pressure return line fitting from the rack (hose barb fitting) with a 17mm deep socket. This part is not included with a replacement rack, so be sure to swap it to the new rack before install.

Installation is the reverse of removal, except you connect the steering shaft to the coupler (lining it up with the marks you made earlier) before the rack, but be sure to center the rack (L to R) in its travel before you connect the steering shaft

Torque specs for this job:

steering rack mounting bolts (2): 74 ft/lbs
steering rack high pressure feed line (1): 31-33 ft/lbs
steering rack low pressure return hose fitting (1): 31-33 ft/lbs
steering shaft/coupler pinch bolts (3): 27 ft/lbs
outer tie rod end castle nut (2): 67 ft/lbs
power steering lines in front of rack (2): 21 ft/lbs
transmission line clamp brackets (2): 10 ft/lbs
a/c compressor bolts (4): 18 ft/lbs

Sorry I didn't take more pictures, but it should help
istambull, Bar3K, FJtest and 3 others like this.



Eric

2008 Sandstorm FJ
-Offroad pkg, trail gear sliders, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler on 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro, Icon 2.5 Ext. Travel Coilovers, Light Racing UCA, MetalTech Long Travel Rear w/ Icon 2.5 remote res , EM rear UCA, MetalTech rear LCA, Icon panhard bar, 1/2" Bandi lift, Man-a-fre skids, TC A-arm skids, FJToyman shock skids, CB w/ Bandi mount, AFE HT exhaust, Demello front bumper, Warn M8000 w/ synthetic, 4.56 Gears, ARB locker, Safari Snorkel

Last edited by epm131; 11-28-2015 at 02:02 PM.
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-07-2015, 08:54 PM
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Nice write up.

Go ahead, skin it! Skin that smoke wagon and see what happens...

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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 08:39 AM
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Nice to have this available.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 04-08-2015, 09:28 AM
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Good tech
Thanks

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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-13-2015, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Update on the Aftermarket Steering Rack from carsteering.com:

It's shot.

5 months and about 1500mi and it's worse than the oem was when I replaced it.

Thought it was just a bad inner tie rod so I checked it,

and found this, (watch video)

https://youtu.be/2Vurbkquc2A

https://youtu.be/QjkeOv3ZAaw


turns out both inner and outer tie rods are fine, but the rack is no good. Let's see if they cover it under warranty



Eric

2008 Sandstorm FJ
-Offroad pkg, trail gear sliders, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler on 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro, Icon 2.5 Ext. Travel Coilovers, Light Racing UCA, MetalTech Long Travel Rear w/ Icon 2.5 remote res , EM rear UCA, MetalTech rear LCA, Icon panhard bar, 1/2" Bandi lift, Man-a-fre skids, TC A-arm skids, FJToyman shock skids, CB w/ Bandi mount, AFE HT exhaust, Demello front bumper, Warn M8000 w/ synthetic, 4.56 Gears, ARB locker, Safari Snorkel

Last edited by epm131; 09-13-2015 at 12:13 PM.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 01:50 AM
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Any updates?

-B

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 07:46 AM
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Nice write up, but there is no need to remove the front dif assembly to do this.

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Quote:
Cholerabob previously said: View Post
Nice write up, but there is no need to remove the front dif assembly to do this.
Please elaborate. How can you remove the rack without removing the diff?



Eric

2008 Sandstorm FJ
-Offroad pkg, trail gear sliders, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler on 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro, Icon 2.5 Ext. Travel Coilovers, Light Racing UCA, MetalTech Long Travel Rear w/ Icon 2.5 remote res , EM rear UCA, MetalTech rear LCA, Icon panhard bar, 1/2" Bandi lift, Man-a-fre skids, TC A-arm skids, FJToyman shock skids, CB w/ Bandi mount, AFE HT exhaust, Demello front bumper, Warn M8000 w/ synthetic, 4.56 Gears, ARB locker, Safari Snorkel
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-21-2015, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

Update: The rack was covered under warranty. They covered all shipping costs. I put the new rack in, but discovered one half of a whiteline poly bushing for the front diff mount had chunks missing (pinion support bushing). The bushing was covered under warranty by whiteline, just waiting for it to arrive.



Eric

2008 Sandstorm FJ
-Offroad pkg, trail gear sliders, 35x12.5x17 Nitto Trail Grappler on 17x9 Level 8 Bully Pro, Icon 2.5 Ext. Travel Coilovers, Light Racing UCA, MetalTech Long Travel Rear w/ Icon 2.5 remote res , EM rear UCA, MetalTech rear LCA, Icon panhard bar, 1/2" Bandi lift, Man-a-fre skids, TC A-arm skids, FJToyman shock skids, CB w/ Bandi mount, AFE HT exhaust, Demello front bumper, Warn M8000 w/ synthetic, 4.56 Gears, ARB locker, Safari Snorkel
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-18-2015, 07:22 PM
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Re: Steering Rack Replacement

I've got shot steering rack bushings in my '07. Rack is shifting side to side with steering input. Have new poly ones in hand (from Summit racing), and am trying to decide if I can get them in without removing the rack. Either way, the big problem bolts are an issue... they need to come out to replace the bushings.

What's dumb is: if the bolts went in from the bottom, rather from the top, then this wouldn't be a problem at all.

I am very close to sliding them up - cutting them (cutting the heads off), dropping the severed bolt-shafts out the bottom, hopefully replacing my bushing in-place, and then replacing them - with OEM bolts (part #9011912367 I think) inserted from underneath with lock-tite and nuts up on top.

Thoughts?
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