How to Install a New Steering Rack in a Ford Focus

Written by ehow cars editor
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Ford introduced the Focus with the 2000 model year and the first generation lasted for 7 years before the second generation was introduced for the 2008 model year. The original shipped as a sedan, hatchback and wagon, but the hatchback and wagon failed in favor of a coupe with the 2008 production line. If you do your own repairs and need to install a new steering rack for the 2000 to 2007 model years, follow these instructions.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Jacks to support both front end and frame crossmember
  • Ball joint press
  • Hose fitting tool
  • Clean fluid container
  • O-ring seals
  • Floor seal
  • Alignment pins
  • Tie rod end retaining nuts
  • Clamp bolt
  • Jack and jack stand
  • Torque wrench

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Disconnect the negative battery cable and center the steering wheel. Pull off the lower instrument panel and uncouple the steering column shaft and steering gear pinion.

  2. 2

    Lift and support the front end before removing the wheels. Unscrew the tie rod end nuts and use a ball joint press to detach the tie rod ends. Separate the stabilizer bar links and strut and spring assemblies.

  3. 3

    Unhook the fluid cooler hose and drain the fluid into a clean container. Remove the heat shield, hose support clamp and power steering hoses from the gear. Jack the crossmember for support and remove the bolts before lowering it from the frame. Once you remove the floor seal and steering column coupling shaft, you call pull out the rack and pinion assembly.

  4. 4

    Replace the pressure and return hose O-ring seals before you install the new gear. Tighten the gear fastening bolts to 59 foot pounds. Reattach the steering column coupler shaft and replace the original floor seal. Use pins to align the crossmember to chassis alignment holes and secure the crossmember with outer bolts tightened to 85 foot pounds and four inner bolts tightened to 148 foot pounds.

  5. 5

    Remove the transmission jack and subframe alignment pins to reconnect the power steering hoses. Tighten the hose support clamp and replace the heat shield. Secure the support insulator to the transaxle center bolt with a torque of 37 foot pounds.

  6. 6

    Connect the cooler hose and relink the stabilizer bars to the struts and springs (37 foot pound torque). Tighten the new tie rod end nuts to 35 foot-pounds and replace the wheels. You can lower the front end at this point.

  7. 7

    Reattach the steering column coupling shaft and steering gear pinion with w new clamp bolt (21 foot pounds). Replace the instrument panel, refill the fluid and reconnect the battery. If you don't do a complete front-end alignment, you should at least make sure you properly adjust the toe.

Tips and warnings

  • You can replace the original foam seal as long as it is clean, holds its original shape and the foam measures 20 to 25mm.
  • Wrap the ball joint seals in cloth to protect them from contamination once you separate the tie rod ends and knuckles.

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