Make a power rack into a manual one.

Here is an alternative to swapping in a manual rack and pinion. No need to change coupler or find a passenger side mount. I will show how to disassemble your power rack and pinion and remove/disable the parts that make it power assisted. If anyone has ever ran a power rack without lines hooked to it or without a pump belt, you will know that a power rack has a large dead zone in the center and seems to have a mind of it's own when experiencing torque steer. That dead zone is due to the spool valve torsion bar that directs the fluid to the correct side of the piston. This modification will disable that torsion bar and you will be left with a cheaper alternative to a manual rack swap that has a higher ratio as well.

I started with a fresh reman from the parts store but this could even be done with a leaky junkyard unit as you will no longer have any fluid inside, just axle grease.

First step is to remove the exterior plugs, the large one on the side has a jamb nut and a screw in cup. Once the jamb nut is removed the cup removes easily with pliers.

Under the cup is a plastic bushing/spring remove them and save.

The bottom one is plastic and can be a pain but a hammer/ chisel will get it out.

Next, remove the snap ring that holds the input seal/bearing in.

Then remove the nut on the bottom and use a punch to remove the input/pinion.

This leaves you with the pinion/spool valve assembly.

Remove the seal (it will slide over the splines fine) and the bearing under it, also the spiral clip under the bearing.

Next we need to remove the spool valve, it is no longer needed so I used a grinder to grind down the pin that holds it. The valve will then slide off.

This is where we are going to weld the pinion, the square notch and tab are the limiting lugs to prevent over torquing the torsion bar.

I used tack welds and alternated sides to prevent warping the pinion. I did this until it was welded all the way around.

The pinion is now complete, you can reassemble the spiral clip, bearing, and seal. Next we remove the piston seal so excessive resistance isn't felt while steering.

First we need to remove the left inner tie rod, and both boots.

The passenger side of the rack has a plate which is held in place with a special snap ring. This ring requires rotating the plate until the straight end of the snap ring is found. Once you find the end you rotate in the direction that allows the "tail" to exit the slot. Keep rotating until the snap ring falls out.

Now that the ring is out you can use a punch on the left side of the rack and push the rack plug/seal out.

Once you get to the piston, cut the seal and remove.

Assembly is reverse of disassembly, On the rack plug with the bushing/spring, I just tightened it until it stopped then backed off a quarter turn. This will adjust the tightness of the rack so you can make your own adjustments here. I will make a note that you need to mark or remember the position of the flat on the input shaft, otherwise your steering wheel will be crooked. I didn't do this so now I need to check my other rack and set the position. Also upon reassembly use axle grease to lube anywhere there used to be fluid. I should have got some assembly pictures but it was miserably hot and late so I rushed to get it done.

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