How to Change the Rack & Pinion on a 92 Buick


The 1992 Buick Regal 3.1-liter uses power steering, and part of that system is the power steering rack and pinion. You might need to change the rack and pinion if the seals leak or the rack ports stick on the inside. Power steering fluid is fed from the pump reservoir to the rack and pinion via a high-pressure hose and returned to the reservoir via a low-pressure hose.

Things You'll Need

  • Lug wrench
  • Floor jack
  • Jack stands
  • Set of sockets
  • Tie rod puller tool J-35917
  • Set of flare nut wrenches
  • Torque wrench (foot-pounds)
  • Torque wrench (inch-pounds)
  • Break the lug bolts loose on both front tires, using the lug wrench, but do not remove them. Raise the vehicle with the floor jack and support it with jack stands. Remove the wheels, using the lug wrench.

  • Remove the intermediate shaft lower pinch bolt using the appropriate socket, at the steering gear, located at the end of the steering column shaft. Turn the steering wheel so the wheels are pointing straight ahead. Set the steering shaft so the block tooth on the upper shaft is at the 12 o'clock position.

  • Turn the ignition key to the "Lock" position. Remove the intermediate shaft. Ensure that you disconnect the intermediate shaft from the rank and pinion stub shaft, or you could damage the steering gear.

  • Remove both tie rod ends from the knuckle using the tie rod puller tool. Count the number of turns it takes to remove the tie rod ends. If you do not, you will have to have the vehicle aligned. Support the vehicle body with jack stands. Remove the rear frame bolts using the appropriate socket. Lower the rear of the frame 5 inches. If you lower it farther, you could damage engine components that are close to the firewall.

  • Remove the heat shield, pipe retaining clip and the fluid pipes from the rack using the appropriate sockets and flare nut wrenches. Remove the rack mounting bolts using the appropriate sockets, then remove the rack from the vehicle via the left wheel opening.

  • Install the new rack assembly through the left wheel opening. Tighten the bolts to 59 foot-pounds of torque. Reinstall the fluid pipes with new O-rings, using the flare nut wrenches. Tighten the fittings to 20 foot-pounds of torque.

  • Reinstall the pipe retaining clips and the heat shield. Tighten the heat shield screws to 54 inch-pounds of torque. Raise the frame, using the floor jack and install the rear bolts. Tighten them to 103 foot-pounds of torque. Reinstall the tie rod ends the same number of turns you turned them when you took them off. Reinstall the retaining nut. Tighten the nut to 40 foot-pounds of torque. Install a new cotter pin.

  • Reinstall the intermediate shaft-to-stub shaft. Make sure it is seated before you install the pinch bolt. Install the pinch bolt and tighten it to 40 foot-pounds of torque. Reinstall the front wheels, then lower the vehicle off the jack stands, using the floor jack.

  • Fill the power steering pump with GM steering fluid. Start the vehicle and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock several times. Check the power steering fluid and top it off as necessary. Repeat this step until the fluid level no longer goes down. Check for leaks. If you did not count the turns for the tie rod and did not put it back in the exact number of turns, take the vehicle to an alignment shop to have it aligned.

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