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3rd Gen 1500 Steering rack R&R

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I just replaced the steering rack in my friend's 2002 1500 4WD.

It was actually quite and easy swap. It took me about 2hrs to get the old one out, due to just figuring out how/what all comes apart, and the power steering lines with their odd sizes :shakehead:

The new one went in like buttah.. About 20 minutes and I had the new one in, all connected, and refilling the reservoir.

I did the swap using jack-stands, a floor jack, and hand tools. If I had to do it again, I could probably knock it out in less than an hour, start to finish.

I can't remember all the socket sizes, but, it basically went like this:

[*] ***SAFETY FIRST!***

[*]Chock rear wheels, set e-brake

[*]Jack up and support entire front end.

[*]Remove tires/wheels

[*]19 or 21mm socket loosened the Ny-lock retaining nuts on both OTREs

[*]Using a small hammer, tap upward on the bottom of the OTREs to release them from the knuckles (came out easy!)

[*]Center steering wheel

[*]Remove 13mm bolt, separating the steering column from the rack's stub input shaft

[*]Tap the collar up and off the stub axle

[*]Remove the pressure and return lines from the rack.

[*]These must be metric, as I didn't have all my tools with me, nor line-wrenches... Top one (Return) is largest, being bigger than 19mm, but smaller than 13/16".. Cresent wrench worked just fine, but take time and care not to destroy the fitting by not having the wrench tight enough.

[*]I just got it loose with the crescent wrench, then used the 13/16" to finish backing it out.

[*]Bottom one (pressure side) I also used the crescent to loosen, then a 19mm to finish backing it out.

[*]Remove two 23mm bolts from cross-member through the rack mounts (these are about 6-8" long, btw)

[*]may need a large (like 2" or so) wrench, or I used a 12" pipe wrench to hold the threaded rack bushings from spinning.

[*]Support the rack, as these are the only two bolts supporting it

[*]With everything disconnected, slide the rack assembly to the driver's side, enough to allow the right OTRE to clear the pass. side knuckle, and lower it down. Slide the rack assembly to the right, now, to clear the driver's side, and lower out of the truck.

[*]Take two large flat-tipped screwdrivers, and work the steel-sleeved bushings and rubber isolators out of the old rack.

[*]Insert bushings and sleeved into new rack, ensuring you have them oriented correctly.

[*]I cleaned them well, and tapped them into place with a rubber mallet

[*]install new OTREs, or if your old ones are still in great shape, remove them from the old rack and install them onto the new one.

[*]It may be wise to count the treads to where they currently reside, so you can install them onto the new rack in roughly the same location.

[*]Don't forget the lock/jam nuts!

[*]Reverse order to re-install.

[*]Refill the PS reservoir with appropriate fluid. I think it holds 2.7 pints, so just about 1.5 QT.

Start the truck, SLOWLY work the steering from lock to lock a few times, and take your time. Check fluid level, top off as needed.

[*] Get a front-end alignment asap. And check your fluid after a day or so, top off as needed.

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