Subframe bushing bolts broke loose on both sides

Tiny
MVANN74
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 CHEVROLET IMPALA
  • 3.8L
  • 6 CYL
  • 2WD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 244,370 MILES
Engine hanging. Then I had no steering. I jacked the engine back into proper position and installed new bushings and bolts. But now I have no steering. The rubber boot in top of the rack and pinion is out of shape and looks like something is broken. See attached pics.
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Monday, January 18th, 2021 AT 12:27 AM

6 Replies

Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
From the image it looks like the steering shaft may have pulled apart inside the boot. The piece between the two U-Joints is designed as a sliding shaft and it collapses in the event of a collision. In this case it likely pulled apart when the sub-frame dropped as it only goes together about an inch and a half. To check and repair it you will first want to center the steering wheel. Then go under the car and remove the rubber bellows from the rack end and reach in to see if the shaft is loose and flopping around. If it is there are a couple of ways to repair it, however as you already have had the bolts and cradle loose, lowering it again and putting the shaft together at that end may be easier. The other option is to remove the pieces around it and then remove the steering column, then with the column out you would remove the lower boot and disconnect the lower piece of the shaft and then re-couple them. Then re-install the column.
To do it from underneath you would unbolt the steering rack, then go inside the car and disconnect the boot that goes between the column and the firewall. With it out of the way you can mark (very important) and remove the upper bolt that goes through the intermediate shaft and upper steering shaft. Then with the rack down a bit you can mark and disconnect the lower coupler from the rack. Have the rack centered as well.
Now you should be able to put the shaft back together as it should have come out the bottom of the boot. With it together slide it back into the boot and onto the stub shaft on the rack in the same spot you removed it. Next put the rack back into place and secure it. Now go inside the car and put the upper coupler back on the upper steering shaft and slide the bolt in. Now you have an issue to determine the position of the clockspring. If you didn't turn the steering wheel more than a 1/2 turn or less when the steering stopped it may be okay, however it should be checked first. It isn't designed to go much farther than the steering stops to either side so if the wheel is off a turn it could easily break if turned.
For that you need to remove the steering wheel then the clock-spring which is under the wheel and covers.
Then re-center the clock spring. To do that will depend on which one you have but in general you start with the following already set up.
The wheels on the vehicle are straight ahead.
The block tooth (1) of the steering shaft assembly is in the 12 o'clock position.
The ignition switch is in the lock position.
Next you rotate the coil center clockwise until it stops, then rotate it counterclockwise 2 turns. That will center it. Some have a centering window, some have a lock and some have a mix of those or none. But two turns from the stop will get it close.
Then it slides back onto the steering shaft. If the front wheels are straight ahead the spring should now be centered, and you can replace all the pieces you removed and tighten it all back together.
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Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 AT 1:52 AM
Tiny
MVANN74
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Thank you for responding. I will give it a shot. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 AT 8:00 AM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
Have you had a chance to look it over yet?
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Sunday, January 24th, 2021 AT 6:46 PM
Tiny
MVANN74
  • MEMBER
Not as of yet. I plan to do it on Tuesday.
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Sunday, January 24th, 2021 AT 9:10 PM
Tiny
MVANN74
  • MEMBER
Okay. Finally got to remove shaft today. It came out of sleeve and it has some kind of plastic coating on it which was broken in spots. Going to get new shaft in couple days. I will let you know how putting it all back together goes.
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Friday, January 29th, 2021 AT 4:05 PM
Tiny
STEVE W.
  • EXPERT
That is the anti rattle and slip coating. Supposed to keep it tight but not allow rust to form. In the event of a collision it is supposed to slide together, in the rust belt it would last maybe a year without the protection.
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Friday, January 29th, 2021 AT 6:31 PM

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