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mrtosh 08-28-2011 11:52 PM

How to: Rack&Pinion removal/installation and PS bleed.
This is more of a write-up with some tips and tricks I found to help on my removal/installation of my R&P and helping to bleed the system. Which I found to be a real PITA to bleed w/out a starscan tool.

I read on the Commander forum that one guy w/a 3.7 was able to do the job w/out removing his front diff. Looking at the underside you can see that he was able to do so because of the extra room given by the smaller oil pan. On the 5.7 however it was a different story.

Removal of rack:

1. Set the wheels straight and lock the steering wheel(My wheel does not lock so I used a bungee and strapped the wheel and brake pedal together). If you don't do this step you run the risk of breaking your clock spring.

2. Raise the front off the ground and remove the front tires.

3. I went ahead and removed the grill and pulled the top PS cooler line and drained the resevoir into a jug(fluid was remanent of pond scum).

4. Loosen the Jam nuts on outer tie rod end(both sides) using a 15mm wrench to hold the tie rod and a 15/16" wrench to loosen the jam nuts.

5. Remove outer tie rod ends from the spindle. Keep the spindles straight as possible for future installation.

6. Remove both outer tie rod ends from the tie rod itself, counting the revolutions of turns when removing to help with installation on the new tie rods.

7. Remove the 13mm bolt holding the steering shaft to the rack. You will need to completely remove the bolt before you can pull the shaft off the rack.

8. From here you can go ahead and remove the pressure line first from the rack(which is the top line) and then remove the bottom return line from the rack. A 18mm crows foot(line wrench end is immensly helpful here) will save you lots of cussing in removal of the lines.

9. You can now remove the two bolts that hold the rack to the unibody. I believe both the nuts and bolt heads are 15/16" or the metric equivalent of 24mm.

10. You do need to on the 4.7 and 5.7 lower the front diff some to remove the rack. Go ahead and remove the upper pinion bushing bolt, the passenger side axle housing mount bolt and the front diff mount from the unibody and remove the front diff mount all together. The front driveshaft can stay connected to the differential.

11. Now you can lower the front diff down some to where the rack will clear it.

12. The tricky part is you now have to move the steering "rack" all the way to the passenger side. You can do this by pushing the drivers side tie rod into the rack itself(be careful as there's plenty of fluid left in the rack and will squirt).

13. Now move the whole rack assembly to the passenger side enough to clear the diff. Twist the entire rack backwards and upside down. You can now push the "rack" all the way to the drivers side, pull the rack down and to the drivers side and waalaa it's out!

mrtosh 08-28-2011 11:52 PM

1. You install the rack the same way you took it out, w/the "rack" all the way to the drivers side and upside down.

2. Worm the rack up into the unibody on the passenger side and now you should have clearance of the front diff.

3. Move the "rack" all the way to the passenger side, flip the rack assembly itself and then you can now move the assembly into place and bolt it in.

4. Connect the steering lines(replace the O-rings on the ends of the flared lines).

5. Raise and reinstall the front diff to the mounts.

6. This is where having the steering wheel and front spindles straight comes in handy. Go ahead and screw on the outer tie rods the correct amount of turns per side and loosely bolt them back into the spindles(make sure you put the jam nut on first). By doing this you have now centered the rack to where the steering shaft will go onto the rack at the correct position instead of 180* out or worse.

7. Install the steering shaft to the rack.

8. Tighten the rack assembly mount bolts to the unibody to 160 ft. lbs.

9. You can now tighten the outer tie rod ends in the spindle to 70 ft. lbs.

10. Tighten the jam nuts on the tie rod ends.

Now you're ready to flush the PS fluid or bleed it. The rack I purchased recommended flushing it first, so I removed the top line from the cooler that runs to the reservoir as the return line. Plugged that with a bolt and clamp so when I put fluid in the reservoir it didn't leak out the line. I then used some 3/8" line, mounted it to the PS cooler fitting and put the end into a empty jug. Filled the PS reservoir and had the gf turn the wheel back and forth about 20 times to manually push fluid through the rack. Filled the reservoir once more, started the engine for about 10 seconds and flushed out the last of the old fluid. From here I removed the bolt plugging the reservoir line, connected it back to the PS cooler and then went on to bleeding the PS system.

mrtosh 08-28-2011 11:53 PM

Bleeding the PS system
The procedure for bleeding the air out of the PS system on a '05 WK w/a 5.7 is to fill the reservoir, start the engine, shut off engine, and check fluid. You would do this until the level didn't go down anymore. From here you raise the vehicle, turn the wheels lock to lock 20 times, lower the vehicle and hook up a DRBIII or Starscan tool and manually make the hydraulic cooling fan kick on while briefly holding the throttle @ 3K RPM.

Not having a starscan or DRBIII tool to hook up to the OBDII, I went ahead and did all the steps up to the step where you hook up said equipment. From there I turned the A/C on, which sends more fluid to the Hydraulic fan and kicks it on higher, revved the engine on and off to 3K RPM(you will def. hear the fan kick up), turned the wheel lock to lock a couple times and there you have it. The PS system is now bled! Make sure to watch the fluid for the next couple days just to make sure there isn't any residual air that may bleed and lower the fluid level some.

Again this isn't word for word on install/removal/bleeding procedure but hopefully it helps some of you guys that would like to tackle the job yourself. Book time is 1.5 hours which I'm assuming is for a 2wd WK. All in all it took a little over 3 hours w/air tools and a girlfriend that doesn't mind getting dirty.

Fluid part number for the hydraulic fan setup is Mopar

Scottina06 08-28-2011 11:56 PM

Re: How to: Rack&Pinion removal/installation and PS bleed.

JeepCoop 08-29-2011 09:21 AM

Re: How to: Rack&Pinion removal/installation and PS bleed.
wow that was impressive good job tosh!! +rep

mrtosh 08-29-2011 10:38 AM

Re: How to: Rack&Pinion removal/installation and PS bleed.

Originally Posted by Scottina06 (Post 474768)


Originally Posted by JeepCoop (Post 474855)
wow that was impressive good job tosh!! +rep

Thanks fellas!

JeepCoop 08-29-2011 10:44 AM

Re: How to: Rack&Pinion removal/installation and PS bleed.
No no, thank YOU! :thumbsup:

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