Big project coming up, i could use some help


Founding Member
Sep 6, 2002
Napa, California
Alright, what i got goin is this. I'm replacing my steering rack, tie rods ( inner and outer) springs, shocks and struts. what i need from you guys is any write ups on installs of these things and any helpful advice, also tell me if im missing any parts. this is what i have Springs, Shocks, Struts, Spring isolators, Bump stops, strut bushings, sway bar bushings, tie rods and a new steering rack. thanks in advance. :SNSign:

  • Sponsors (?)

Youve got all the major parts, no doubt youll end up running tho the parts store several times. My best advice is to take a picture before you tear apart each side for reference. Also get a friend to help you, makes putting in the springs a bit easier. Good luck!
ive got few friends coming over to help and my dad will be here too so i got that covered. this is a dumb question but are there bushings in the back for the shocks? and i dont really need my old quad shocks any more do i?
Here is my checklist before diving into a big project like this;

1. All parts in the clean garage in order. some cans and marker to naming bloths/screws
2. Compressor tank ready to go with all tools and clean garage floor(creepers are a help keep small rocks out of your a$$) :)
3. Friends for entertainment value, usually worthless and make work slower.
4. Ample supply of beer, preferably cheap or your friend wont leave later.
5. dont get overly greased...again friends wont leave, cack blocking ensues.
a. getting too sloshed results in misplaced parts, sillyness, over emotional behavior, and poor worksmanship. :nonono:
6. Most importantly, another vehicle with a semi sober person (woman) to drive you and buddies to parts store repeatedly for forgotten pieces and to pizza place for beer munchies.

thats pretty much my checklist, but usually fail miserably on # 6. :nono:
jmd2914 said:
ive got few friends coming over to help and my dad will be here too so i got that covered. this is a dumb question but are there bushings in the back for the shocks? and i dont really need my old quad shocks any more do i?
If you got new rear shocks they come with new bushings. Dont remove your rear quads, they help keep the wheel hop under control.
-steering rack bushings (offset ones if you are lowering the car)
-tie rod end link bushings
-coil spring isolators
-caster/camber plates (if lowering)

-spring compressor

might as well do the brake pads while ur down there
Sounds alright to me. Dont forget to PB everything the day before you start and again as you begin (in Cali, it might not be as important as elsewhere).

A clam-shell compressor is easiest for your springs. None of us (sans Shaker) have one, so you can use an internal spring compressor with modification. Or use the MFE method (search the Corral). I used the former method.

Were rack bushings mentioned? Poly is my choice.

Too tired to think. Good luck.
The two inner tie rod ends are usually what wears out, and at $45 each, it's better to get a replacement rack assembly since they are part of the package. The rack is about $100 + a $40 refundable core charge, which you get back when you return the old rack. Be sure to ask for the GT or high performance rack, it has fewer turns lock to lock than the standard rack.

The flex coupling for the steering shaft needs to be disconnected before you can get the rack out. You should disassemble the coupling by undoing the 2 bolts that hold it together. The lower part of the coupling will then come out with the rack, and can easily be removed.

The tie rod ends can be removed with a tool that looks like a giant "pickle fork", it's less than $8, or some stores will rent/loan one. Remove the cotter pin & nut on the tie end, stick the tool between the rod end and the arm it connects and hammer away. The bigger the hammer, the easier it comes apart.

Remove the two bolts that bolt the rack assembly to the frame and then pull the rack down. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines. I replaced the rack mount bushings with some Energy Suspension urethane ones. When you re-install the rack assembly, put the rear bushings in the rack assembly and lift it into place. Then install the front bushings & washers and tighten down the nuts. Doing it this way makes room for the hydraulic lines without having them bind against the frame.

To change the tie rod ends, do them one at a time. Loosen the jam nut 1/4 turn, then unscrew the tie rod end from the rack. Turn the jam nut back 1/4 turn to return it to its original position. With the tie rod end removed, use a machinist square to measure the distance between the end of the threaded rod and the jam nut. Sit the bottom of the square against the end of the threaded rod, and the end of the blade of the square against the jam nut. Duplicate the measurement on the new rack and then install the tie rod end and tighten the jam nut. Then do the other side: the front end will need aligning, but the toe in will be close enough to the setting of the original rack to drive.

Buy several extra quarts of fluid to run through the system to flush it when you change the rack. The car needs to be up on jackstands for the next step. Fill the pump up, start the car, and turn the wheels lock to lock to bleed the air out. Then stop the engine, disconnect the low pressure hose (the one that is secured with a hose clamp) and drain the pump. Re-connect, refill and do it several more times or until the fluid looks clear and not burnt or black.