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Old 01-31-2020, 04:06 PM #1
Rwm514 Rwm514 is offline
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Help with steering rack install

I'm stuck getting my new steering rack installed. I pulled the old one off and removed the splined pinch top end of the rag joint with the rack. I dissembled the rag joint and cannot get the top end to slide back up the splined rod that comes down from the steering column. I'm assuming i must have damaged the end of the splined rod which is causing me difficulty getting the pinch to slide back up the rod. I can't really see any damage but I did bang it a few times trying to get the rack out. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:13 PM #2
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Here of some pics of the area I'm talking about.
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Help with steering rack install-img_20200131_125547-jpg  Help with steering rack install-img_20200131_125612-jpg  Help with steering rack install-img_20200131_130848-jpg 
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:31 PM #3
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try prying open the pinch joint on the rack end and apply some lube to the splines, you gotta try and line up the splines as well as the angle to get them to mate up. In the second pic the one spot looks slightly deformed, try and clean that up.
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Old 01-31-2020, 04:38 PM #4
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I'm stuck getting my new steering rack installed. I pulled the old one off and removed the splined pinch top end of the rag joint with the rack. I dissembled the rag joint and cannot get the top end to slide back up the splined rod that comes down from the steering column. I'm assuming i must have damaged the end of the splined rod which is causing me difficulty getting the pinch to slide back up the rod. I can't really see any damage but I did bang it a few times trying to get the rack out. Any tips would be greatly appreciated.
#1 do not spin your steering wheel around and around. it has a clock spring in it. that clock spring will get messed up if you do this. if you have already done that... too late maybe. I think it can go around like 2.5 times before it's hosed up.

#2 cleanup the steering column splines, wire brush on a drill works great but just make sure they are clean. once clean give them some lube, WD or just some all purpose grease works great.

#3 it's a pinch type of connection so the gap you see in the top of the rag joint connection can be pried apart a bit. you might have to use a big screw driver or a chisel and tap it into that gap. spread it open is the name of the game. if you can get something to stick in there while you guide the steering column spline back into place that is idea.

it will have some memory of being pinched for 20 years so forcing it apart a bit is probably going to be needed.

I think it's easier to have the top/bottom of the rag joint separated. you can then take the top to the bench and do some pounding to wedge something into that gap and open it up. you should be able to easily slide the top of the rag joint up onto the spline.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:50 PM #5
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could you be hitting the "missing spline"? - in this photo, its at the 9 o'clock position. it needs to line up perfectly to slide up.

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Old 01-31-2020, 06:12 PM #6
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Thank you for the replies! I was wondering about that blank spline but I thought the whole idea is that it can rotate to align the steering wheel. I will try to clean the rod up with a wire brush and lubricate. I tried already to pry the female end open and it is surprisingly resistant to that.
If all else fails, does any know how that rod can be removed to try to file it? Or possibly replace it if I damaged it too badly?
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Old 01-31-2020, 06:34 PM #7
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That thick spline is a key. It only goes together 1 way in one position.

You adjust the tie rod ends to adjust the steering wheel. The shop should take care of that when they do the alignment.
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Old 01-31-2020, 10:19 PM #8
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Originally Posted by Rwm514 View Post
Thank you for the replies! I was wondering about that blank spline but I thought the whole idea is that it can rotate to align the steering wheel. I will try to clean the rod up with a wire brush and lubricate. I tried already to pry the female end open and it is surprisingly resistant to that.
If all else fails, does any know how that rod can be removed to try to file it? Or possibly replace it if I damaged it too badly?
4586034020 SHAFT ASSY, STEERING INTERMEDIATE, NO.2

you can get them here for $48 + shipping

I replaced mine because it was so rusted, I can attest the brand new ones also need to be pried apart to fit. you have to be pretty forceful to pry them apart enough. I think I bent a little pry bar on my first try. once I took it off the truck and put it on my vice I was able to pound a metal wedge into it and that worked. sometimes you have to open up that can of whoopass on things. this is one of those things.

STEERING COLUMN & SHAFT | 4RUNNER VZN185L-GKPGKA RZN18#,VZN18# | JT3HN86ROVO128999 | Toyota | Genuine Parts Catalogs | PartSouq Auto Parts Around the World
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:01 PM #9
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So I cleaned it up and lubricated it and lined it up. It definitely seems keyed. I was able to adjust the position of the wheel with the lower slide rod coming from the rack. Just loosened the lower pinch nut and slid the whole thing up which allowed me to match the steering wheel position with the wheels themselves. Thank you so much for the help!

One other question...
Should the sway bar end links be tightened with the truck on the ground or is it ok to tighten them while still on the stands? Thx
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