1991 Honda Accord • 4 cylinder Automatic • 271,000 miles


I have a 1991 Honda Accord LX 4-door sedan. My question is how do I remove the rack and pinion steering rack/gearbox from the vehicle?

I have precisely followed the instructions in the service manual, which are as follows:
1. Drain the power steering fluid. See: Power Steering Fluid\Service and Repair
2. Raise the front of car and support on safety stands in the proper locations.
3. Remove the front wheels.
4. Remove the steering joint cover.
5. Remove the steering joint bolts, and move the joint toward the column.
6. NOTE: Lock the steering shaft with ignition key to keep the steering shaft in position.
7. Remove the cotter pin from the castle nut and remove the nut.
8. Install the 12 mm hex nut on the ball joint. Be sure that the 12 mm hex nut is flush with the ball joint pin end, or the threaded section of the ball joint pin might be damaged by the ball joint remover.

NOTE: Remove the ball joint using the Ball Joint Remover, 28 mm (07MAC-SL00200l or equivalent.

9. Separate the tie-rod ball joint and knuckle using the special tool.
10. Remove the gearbox shield.
11. Using solvent and a brush, wash any oil and dirt off the valve body unit, its lines, and that end of the gearbox, blow them dry with compressed air.
12. Using flare nut wrenches, disconnect the four lines from the control unit.

A: From pump: 14 mm wrench
B: To oil cooler: 12 mm wrench
C: To reservoir: 17 mm wrench
D: To power steering speed sensor: 12 mm wrench

13. Disconnect the 4P connector from the heated oxygen sensor. (EX, SE only)
14. Remove the exhaust pipe A bracket nuts.
15. Remove the self-locking nuts that connect the exhaust pipe A to the three way catalytic converter, and the exhaust pipe A to the exhaust manifold.
16. Remove the exhaust pipe A.

CAUTION: Replace the exhaust gasket and self-locking nuts when you reinstall the pipe.

17. Remove the steering gearbox mounting bolts and holder.
18. Remove the left tie-rod end, then slide the tie rod all the way to the right side.
19. Slide the gearbox right so that the left tie rod clears the bottom of the rear beam, then remove the gearbox assembly.

CAUTION: Be careful not to bend or damage the four power steering lines when removing the gearbox assembly.

My problem is at the very end of the procedure, with steps 18 and 19. I have removed the outer tie rods on both sides and the entire rack is loose and ready to be removed; however, I do not have clearance of the shaft that goes from the gearbox up through the floor to the steering wheel. It is disconnected but the rack can't lower enough for it to clear the hole in the floorboard. There are some braces that are welded onto the undercarriage (through which the inner tie rods go) which is preventing the entire rack from lowering enough to get the clearance I need for that steering shaft to drop through the floorboard.

How do I gain the clearance? Please HELP?

February 28, 2011.

The cross member should be bolted on. Loosen the front bolts and remove the rear bolts so you can lower it a few inches. You might want to use spray paint around the bolts so you can see where to reinstall the bolts, otherwise the cross member could be shifted sideways. That will affect the alignment and make the car dart around on bumpy roads.

Feb 28, 2011.
Ensure the steering rack is turned fully to right and if you bend the tierod upwards while pulling the gearbox downwards, you should be able to clear the hole.

If you had not removed the transmission gear shift cable, I would recommend doing it. If you force yourself onto the cable, it is going to bend and result in stiff shifting in and out of Park.

Feb 28, 2011.
Thanks KHLow2008, your answer solved my problem. After I re-attached the steering wheel and turned it all the way to the left, then I was able to gain clearance to remove the left (driver's side) inner tie rod from the welded brace that it went trhrough and then I was able to lower the rack enough so that the steering shaft cleared the hole in the floorboard. Also, I had not yet removed the transmission gear shift cable, but did so on your recommendation. I think it would have been possible to do the job without removing it as long as you are careful, but I thought it was better to be safe than sorry, especially since this was my first time doing it. Also, I found the task of rethreading the 4 lines that go into the gearbox a real PITA, they were quite difficult to get started, but once started were easy. Not sure if there is a trick to make that part of the job easier or not. Thanks again, John

Mar 1, 2011.
You're welcome.

For reconnecting the pipes, the trick is to therad them before tightening the steering rack holdng bolts and loosen the clips holding the pipes onto the subframe.

Removing the sway bar links would give you more space to move the pipes whiloe removing and reinstalling.

It is possible to remove the rack without removing the gear cable but when removing the rack you tend to brush against it and any sudden movement would have you regretting.

Glad to know you have fixed the problem.

Have a nice day.

Mar 1, 2011.