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Rack and Pinion Replacment - 2005 Camry

Old 11-12-2011, 01:01 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Default Rack and Pinion Replacment - 2005 Camry

While doing service on my wife's 2005 Camry with just over 100K I noticed the right side of the rack was leaking. The boot was also damaged and the PS fluid was just at the add mark.

After investigation I decided to have the rack rebuilt at a local shop for $130. However after looking at the unit closer I was a little intimidated by the job. I did quite a bit of research on the web and the project ended up much easier than anticipated and save a lot of cash. I called several shops and my Toyota dealer was inline with the others at around $900 for a Toyota rebuild installed.

This process would likely work on other models but I am not certain.

Instructions for removal:
1. Park vehicle on smooth surface with wheels straight.
2. Move seat adjustment as far back as possible.
3. tie off steering wheel to keep in straight position, I just tied mine to the gear shifter.
4. disconnect battery, both terminals.
5. remove air cleaner and disconnect duct from throttle body, set aside. Take photos if desired so that you and use for reference later.
6. on the back side of the engine on the drivers side you will see the intermediate shaft connecting to the Rack via a small universal joint.
7. Mark the position on the shaft in reference to the spline on the input shaft to the Rack.
8. use a 12mm wrench to loosen and remove the bolt from the universal joint. (note the bolt must be completely removed, put is aside)
9. From inside the car under the dash loosen and remove the boot where the shaft protrudes through the firewall.
10. Where the intermediate shaft connects to the steering column there is another universal. Mark the position of the shaft in respect to the spline on the shaft.
11. Loosen and remove the bolt from the universal. You can rotate the steering wheel for access to the bolt but make sure to put it bake in centered position and tie off. (note the bolt must be completely removed, put is aside)
12. The intermediate shaft is splined in the middle and will collapse with a little persuasion. from inside the car wiggle the u-joint back and forth while pulling it off the steering wheel shaft.
13. Important - Once the steering wheel is free do not rotate it around. It must stay in the centered position.
14. from under the hood also remove the intermediate shaft from the Rack by rocking and pulling. Maybe a little WD-40 will help.
15. Block the rear wheels and raise the front of the car to allow access from underneath. Place jack stands under the frame to secure the car.
16. Remove the front tires for access to the rack.
17. From under the car on the passenger side near the rack disconnect the return line from the steel line to the power steering reservoir and drain into container.
18. Tie rod Ends - Important - Measure from the start of the threads to the back of the nut that secure the shaft to the tie rods on both sides. Write these down, you will need this info.
19. Loosen the retaining nut, I think 17mm then unscrew the shafts from the tie rod ends on both sides.
20. With a tubing wrench disconnect both the supple and return hoses on the Rack unit. These are located on just below the input shaft on the gear head, one is a larger than the other. The small steel lines will not need to be removed. Most of the fluid should be drained but may have a little run out.
21. there are two hose clamps that will need to be removed. One is bolted to the rack, the other you will find attached to the hoses near the rack.
22. Remove nuts that secure the stabilizer bar to the struts and disconnect. One on each side.... DO NOT remove the stabilizer, it will pivot out of the way. You can use a Allen wrench for backup if needed.
22. Next remove the two large bolts that secure the rack tot he sub frame. The nuts have locking tabs so you MUST remove the bolt from the nut!
23. lift the rack out of position, passenger side first, then slide rack out through passenger side wheel well.
24. Take care not to damage the wiring to the O2 sensor or other items.
25. Remove the tie rod lock nuts and any other items needed for the new rack.

1. slide the rack through the wheel well an into place.
2. Install the two bolt that secure the rack to the sub frame. Torque to 100 ft lbs
3. Reconnect the stabilizer bar to each strut, torque the nuts to 22 Ft lbs. you can use a Allen wrench for backup if needed.
4. Reconnect the fluid lines to the rack, torque to around 10 ft lbs, "little past snug"
5. Reconnect the return line and replace the hose clamp.
6. Install the 2 hose clamps.
7. Re-assemble the tie-rod ends. Don't forget to install the lock nuts first :-) Adjust to original dimensions on both sides.
8. ** the wheels should be close to center at this point, install the tires on the car.
9. with a standard tape measure check the distance from tire to tire. Pick on the ribs on the tread on each side. Have someone hold the tape on one side and check to rib on the tread on the other side.
10. Do this at the front and back of the tire close the the bottom of the car. This measurement should be close to the same. If not... adjust the tie rod ends in small even amounts until it is. This will the the toe in on the alignment close.
10b. Just a note, mine was off by 1.5 inches with the rebuilt rack before adjusting.
11. When complete torque the lock nuts on the tiered end to 36 ft lbs.
11. Check all bolts again for proper torque, lower car.
12. Install the boot on the intermediate shaft.
13. from inside the car install the intermediate shaft to the steering column shaft in original position. The universal bolt will torque to 26 ft lbs. You can also install the firewall boot and tighten also.
14. Make certain the steering wheel and tires are in the straight position.
15. Install the universal onto the rack input shaft.
16. Not steering wheel and tire position adjust if needed.
17. Install bolt in universal and torque to 26 ft lbs.
18. Fill power steering with fresh power steering fluid, not ATF.
19. Reconnected breather hose and filter assembly.
20. Crank engine and turn steering wheel to extreme right slowly. Have someone watch fluid level and add when needed. turn off car, leave in right position a few minutes. Refill fluid.
21. Crank car and turn slowly to left most position, filling fluid as needed. (not the pump may make a little noise since it has air in the system. Turn off car and leave in left position a few minutes. (Check and fill fluid)
22. Crank car and turn several times in both directions, maintain fluid level.
23. Check for leaks, one over to make sure everything is tight and pickup tools.
24. Torque wheels to 110 ft lbs before road test.
25. Road test, alignment will not be perfect but make sure steering wheel is in center when going straight.
26. If not straight, disconnect one end of the intermediate shaft to correct position. Check fluids and road test again to make sure.
24. Take to alignment shop for full alignment. Mine drove fine after ward but was still 1/4" off on toe in which would cause tire wear.

Hope this helps and saves a few bucks.

Good Luck,
Old 11-12-2011, 08:17 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 7

I forgot one thing, before you install the replacment rack make sure to center it. These are 3 turn steering boxes,
1. Turn it all the way in one direction.
2. Mark the position
3. Turn it back 1 1/2 turns, the marks will be 180 degrees apart so you may want to count the splines. I just eye balled it and was very close, the steering wheel was about 5 degrees off so I did have to diconnect and move the intermediate shaft to get the steering wheel position correct, that is less than 10 minutes.

This was about a 5 hour job but I could do it much faster if I have to do one again.

Old 11-12-2011, 09:03 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 337

great writeup!
I am not asking, why you simply did not replace the leaking seal.
Old 11-12-2011, 09:14 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 337

what folks do for repairs of this type, they tie seatbelts around steering wheel real snug, using them as anchors to prevent any rotation during repairs.

also, as far as I know from intermediate shaft replacements, airbags should be disabled for the repair time. yes, i realize battery is disconnected, but that's what they say. you never know if there's not a capacitor or 2, waiting to trip and blow.
Old 11-12-2011, 06:42 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 7

I was concerned a little about the airbags and considered taking it to the dealer. Then I found the link below to T-SB-0296-08 which is the Toyota Instructions for removing the intermediate shaft. There is no concern mentioned about airbags and doesn't even really say disconnect battery. IMHO Since the airbags are not mentioned in the TSP I would not mess with them at all.

Old 03-20-2014, 05:11 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1
Unhappy johnnyray 93 camry

Need help reinstalling rack and pinion on 93 Camry nothing was marked or aligned when it was removed

Old 03-20-2014, 11:44 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: PTW
Posts: 11,745

Center up rack end lengths on both sides of housing to make them the same.

If not already attached, install the tie rod ends. Nominal distance between steering housing boot outer clamping band (outside edge of this band) and inside edge of tie rod jam nut is 197.5 mm +/- 1.

Don't rotate steering wheel! There is a spiral cable going from the air bag on the steering wheel to steering console. The design is like a clock spring allowing the steering wheel to be fully turned (about 3 times) in each direction with out damaging the wire.

If you are not sure the steering wheel is centered with the cable system (as in someone rotated the wheel one full turn after removing the rack), you need to determine what is center.

Disconnect battery and wait at least 90 seconds to disarm airbag.

Adjust steering wheel to its normal driving position. VERY SLOWLY and CAREFULLY!! rotate wheel one direction until some slight resistance is felt and STOP. This may be up to 3 full turns. Count the number of turns. Make sure you keep careful track of the number of turns in order to relocate steering wheel back to its original position.

Once resistance is felt. Rotate wheel back to original position then carefully repeat the process in opposite direction.

The number of steering wheel rotations should be the same each way from the original starting position. This is about 3 rotations each direction. If not to the same, as in 4 turns one way and 2 the the other, rotate the steering wheel one rotation accordingly to make them the same.

Don't apply too much force once resistance to rotation is met or you will damage the cable!!

Use the seat belt to pull and keep the steering column up as much as possible.

Install rack, checking if the steering rack tie rod ends will align properly with the cars suspension (once installed) to allow the wheels to track straight. Meaning is the rack centered. Before fully connecting pinion drive shaft to U-joint release seat belt to lower column.
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