How to Rebuild a Power Steering Gear Box

Learning how to rebuild a power steering gearbox is a complicated procedure and requires some special tools. Everything must be installed perfectly, in the right order and with the proper adjustments, or the unit will ultimately fail to operate, be extremely hard to steer or leak. Tools required for this procedure:

  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Drip pan
  • Rags
  • ½-inch drive air gun
  • Set of ½-inch drive sockets
  • Pitman arm remover
  • Spanner wrench
  • Snap ring pliers
  • Bucket of grease
  • Power steering fluid
  • Hammer
  • Drift
  • Awl or Pick
  • Common screwdriver
  • Set of wrenches

Raise and support the vehicle on jack stands. Center the steering wheel. Remove the cotter pin from the end of the pitman arm stud where it is attached to the drag link. Remove the nut from the shaft. Insert the tie rod remover tool between the drag link and the pitman arm. Hit the tool with the hammer until the drag link separated from the pitman arm. Remove the pitman arm using the puller.

Remove the tensioning bolt from the rag joint connector at the input shaft extension. Tap the joint up and off the input stud. Remove both hydraulic lines from the gear box.

Remove the three bolts securing the gearbox to the frame. Be careful, the gearbox is surprisingly heavy. Remove the gearbox and lay it in a large drip pan. It is going to be a mess as it is taken apart. A large amount of fluid will drain from the unit. It is recommended laying all the parts, of which there are many, on a clean cloth to keep them in order.

Remove the snap ring from the pitman arm side of the sector shaft. Remove the four bolts from the top cap over the sector shaft. Lift the sector shaft out of the case.

Remove the snap ring from the large cover on the opposite side of the worm gear or steering input stub. Use the pick to push in on the snap ring using the holes provided. Pull the cover off and pull the rack piston out of the bore. Be careful not to lose any of the ball bearings.

Remove the snap ring from the steering input stub. Remove the large nut, using a drift and a hammer. Remove the steering adjuster plug using the spanner wrench. Remove the rotary valve assembly and worm gear.

Pry the two seals out of the pitman side where the sector shaft exits. Remove the roller bearing. Clean all the parts and replace all the o-rings and seals.

Install the worm gear and o-ring to the rotary valve body and steering adjuster by aligning the two prongs with the recesses in the valve body. Pour a little power steering fluid on the seals and insert the whole unit back into the box. Tighten with the spanner wrench. Install the snap ring and the large outside nut.

Install the roller bearing into the top hole for the sector shaft and tap it down until it rests against the flange. Install the two seals and washers in the pitman side of the box, followed by the snap ring. Install the ball bearings to the rack piston, using grease to hold them in place for installation.

Install the rack piston into the worm bore, being careful not to loose any of the bearings. It helps to turn the input shaft to wind it in. Replace the large cover and o-ring followed by the snap ring. Install the worm gear by turning the input stub to move the rack piston into the middle of the bore and then inserting the worm gear. Install the four bolts and tighten.

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