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Discussion Starter #1
All,

Has anyone replaced their PS rack? I've got mine nearly out but can't seem to figure out how to get the steering shaft to clear the opening.

Do you have to drop the sub frame? please tell me I'm missing something simple.

Its a 99 with 230k miles and this is my first major repair.

Thanks!
 

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Surprisingly, it looks like there are no specific instructions on how to replace the rack in the service manual.
 

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I read the manual section page by page and found it.

It tells you to pull the exhaust pipe, cat, shield.

USE A CHAIN HOIST TO HOLD UP THE ENGINE is explicitly commanded by the service manual!

Remove the rear engine mount....

Do a whole pile more things to raise the engine and simultaneously lower the subframe. NOTE: they explicitly state NOT to completely remove the four big bolts holding the subrame up, just loosen them until they show threads(heads are 1.18 inches below the subframe)

They also want you to remove the bolts from the stiffener plates connected to the subframe.
 

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Dad, it took some looking, and I found it too, purely by accident. Honda doesn't even call it a steering rack. They call it a steering gearbox. THAT was the last nomenclature I would have referred to it as.

It's on page 17-30 of my manual. Looks like the subframe has to move. Oh man.

OF
 

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Yes, it looks pretty hard, especially without a hoist.

It MIGHT be possible to do without a hoist, if you could put a jack under the engine to push it up gently, then put some wood posts under it to hold it, without touching the subframe. Not clear I'd try it, but I'm sure I'd be VERY careful not to put ANYTHING I wanted to keep between the engine and anything below it.

Its very clear they don't want you to simply lower the subframe with the engine still attached. I doubt there's enough play in the other engine mounts to allow that to happen, and I bet those other mounts won't take the full weight of the engine without damage.

The good news, for the wood post technique, is that the engine is still fully attached to the other mounts, so you wouldn't need to worry about it rolling off your post.
 

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I have not wrenched much on the Oddy but on my other cars you can remove the rear cradle bolts and let it hang to access things like spark plugs and such w/o issues. Service manuals tend to be pretty conservative, but if its BOLD or CAPS I'd pay attention. Good luck. :eek:
 

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I added the CAPS myself, so it wouldn't be missed.
 

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I'm with above, the other mounts should be able to hold the engine especially if there is a side mount and a front mount. Though, you will likely need a jack to push it back up into place again. If you want to support it up I recommend using a cargo strap attached around the engine to the bumper or around the bumper and to the front lower frame. It should be more than strong enough.

BTW 230k is amazing.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That's it, I gIve up. Looks like you have to drop the whole sub frame to get the part that connects steering wheel on the steering rack past the frame. I put it back together enough to get it out of the garage and I'll be calling a tow truck on Monday.

Oh, and I also broke the glass out of the hatch when I went too high on the lift with it. This may be it for the Ody. I bought it brand new in February of '99 and had the pleasure of paying $500 over sticker which was pretty resonable back then. Put 230,000 absolutley trouble free miles on it since then. It doesn't owe me a dime, I guess I just want to keep it one the road for sentimental reasons.

Good times......
 

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I guess I should ask why you need to replace the steering rack.

Could you do an in-place repair on the rack?
 

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I just replaced mine today. I also did the rear motor mount and the smaller transmission mount. The whole job was 7 hours. It is imperative that you lower the sub frame the required distance otherwise the spline for the rack won't clear the hole. Also, it is probably a good idea to order the steering hose that connects to the nipple on the rack and goes to the passenger side. When I had it apart it felt that it was hard but I went ahead and use the same one. It leaked but I cranked on the hose clamps and I will add another one. Next time I am down there I will replace it.
 

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02honda02....is that how much thread was required to show on the subframe bolts to make this whole procedure work for you?

OF
 

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Yes. I had to unscrew the 4 bolts a few different times to get it out. That picture is from the rear driver side. A couple of other details: I used 1 1/2 bottles of power steering fluid from walmart. I made sure I pulled the container and cleaned it out before I refilled. One example I refilled it, I cram led the wheel left and right a few times and that was the extent of bleeding it. There wasn't any whine when it started up. I would suggest replacing the rear mount because it is super easy with the frame lowered. Replace the rubber hose.
 

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02honda02 or other guys who have done this job, a couple of questions:
- Do you really need to remove the rear engine mount to drop the sub-frame? I had that mount replaced last year, so it's good, and at the time, I remember thinking it looked a pain to get out. Wondering if I can omit that step if I'm supporting the engine with a jack
- For the return line hose: did you get the pre-shaped OEM part, or just use a length of bulk hose? Wondering if I can save a few buck with bulk stuff.
- Assuming you didn't have a hoist, is the whole job manageable when you're lying on your back?
Thanks in advance!
 
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