My Cadillac CTS-V sprang a really bad power steering leak the other day. Big leak. Giant puddle on the floor. Turns out it was the pinion seal on the rack and pinion assembly. Changing in the car would be a bit insane, so I had to pull the rack.
Now, there’s no procedure for removing the rack and pinion in the factory service manual, and I haven’t been able to find one on the internetz. So I’m writing one. Now. Step by step. No pictures, because you really don’t need them.
- Raise the front of the car as far as you can, set it down on jackstands positioned under the lift points on the subframe (there are little arrows on the skirt showing you where).
- Remove the front wheels
- Remove the brake calipers and hang them off the upper control arms using wire or zip ties.
- Remove the brake rotors. Don’t beat them off with a hammer, they’re held on with a little torx head screw.
- Separate the tie rod ends from the spindle. I did it by running the nut almost all the way off, then whacking them with a ball peen hammer.
- Now is where it gets fun. Set a jack under the engine cradle, then remove the two driver side engine cradle bolts (21mm heads). Gently lower the driver side of the engine cradle onto a jack stand.
- Loosen the motor mounts from the engine cradle. The rear motor mount nuts are 21mm. The fronts are an 18mm nut welded to the frame and you’ll need to get a wrench on top of the bolt, that’s 13mm. Loosen them as far as you can without taking the nuts off.
- Raise the engine with a jack, being careful not to crush anything up top.
- Remove the bolt holding the steering shaft to the pinion.
- Trace the wires coming out of the black cylinder that’s screwed into the rack gearbox portion to a connector right in the front of the car next to the ABS module. Disconnect and pull the wires out.
- Unscrew the black cylinder, being careful not to twist the wires. They’ll break if you twist them, and if they break, you’ll have to buy a whole new whatever that thing is.
- Disconnect the two power steering lines from the rack gearbox.
- Remove the anti sway bar.
- Unbolt the two bolts on either side that hold the rack down.
- Wiggle the rack out by moving it forward into the space vacated by the swaybar and pulling it out through the driver side wheelwell.
It’s not difficult, but it is time consuming. Take your time. Reinstall is reverse of removal.