2001 Oldsmobile Alero Repair Question
Instructions on replacing a rack & pinion in a 2001 alero?
I was wondering if you could give me step by step instuctions on replacing a rack & pinion on a 2001 alero? Or lead me to a website that could help us out. Thanks. :)
Fingerprints won't hold up to that much typing. Your rack and pinion assembly is much easier to replace than most GM units but it's still very involved. It can be done in a few hours if the car is on a hoist. If you're doing it on the ground, expect to take all day. Be sure the car is safely supported on jack stands under the frame rails on the sides of the car.
As for the procedure, your best bet is to follow the factory service manual. Aftermarket manuals might get you by too but I find them to always be a little lacking in information. The guys at the Chrysler dealership I used to work for were always happy to photocopy numerous pages out of service manuals for customers as long as they weren't busy with other things. Due to the age of the car and book, they might even borrow it to you for a few days.
Another route is to buy a few days' access to a web site like AllData or Mitchel-On-Demand. My community college has it on five computers. Four are in the Auto Shop and one is in the library for use by anyone in the community for free. You can print off the entire procedure which is often a copy from right out of the manufacturer's service manual.
If you have to lower the engine cradle to get the rack assembly out, spray paint "witness marks" around the nuts first so you can put it back in exactly the same way. If that cradle is shifted sideways a little it will affect the front wheel alignment. An alignment can correct the "camber" readings but it will overlook the underlying CAUSE of those readings changing. You'll still have severe handling problems even though the alignment appears to be correct. That only affects GM cars.
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