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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've posted in another forum but would like to post this here in hopes to acquire advice. I have another thread which diagnosed the bad rack and pinion (the old one)

I've just followed a how-to thread for replacing the rack and pinion after the driver side inner tie rod boot started to fill up and pour out PS fluid. All seemed well after working most of the air out of the system but the first sharp turn during the test ride didn't go so well. I heard a pop and felt it in the wheel and my alignment went off and lost power steering. I got back to my friend's place, lifted the car and moved the wheel around. My alignment seemed okay again :confused:. I did some 3 point turns and heard that pop a few times again (yes my arms are sore). The steering seems to be a bit easier when I raise the RPM even at idle. There hasn't been a drop of fluid dripping from anywhere. An after thought was I read it takes a little over 2 quarts to fill the system and I'm pretty darn sure I didn't/couldn't put that much in. I'm really not sure what happened but I have a few thoughts.

Could air be stuck in the system?
The pressure or return line may not be running through the rack properly?
The lower steering intermediate shaft is slipping? I had over torqued this but fixed it before installing the rack.
Power steering pump went bad?
The reman rack & pinion is busted?
All of the above?

I'm heading back to my friend's garage later to try to flush this system. This will hopefully rule out the pump and lines. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-KML
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Could the reman rack and pinion be bad? Maybe the popping was the pinion sliding over the groves on the rack/jumping teeth? I mean that would explain why the alignment went off. The popping only happens when the wheel is turned almost completely in either direction. I'm looking into how rack and pinions work and this kind of makes sense to me. Maybe it's normal for this to happen when you don't have the lines pressurizing the assembly and the tension is too much?

-KML
 

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2008 gmc envoy_sle
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when you put the new rack in, did you verify it was centered?

left and right arms sticking out are the same on both sides, measure with a tape measure.

the popping sound is when wheel is turned to full left or full right?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
At first they weren't centered but I did fix it. I didn't measure them but if they weren't centered it would have been obvious as my tires wouldn't look be in the forward position plus the wheel shaft wouldn't have inserted into the steering shaft.

It certainly happened when turning most of the way to the right but I can't recall if it happened turning to the left. Also it only happens when the car is on the ground.

Another thought - when I inserted the new lines I put the cup seals on the lines first since this was after I installed the rack. I'm wondering if they didn't seat properly into the rack even though it's not leaking. Will check tonight.

It's confusing because I had power steering until that sharp turn and pop :hopeless
 

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2004 chevy trailblazer_lt
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Discussion Starter #6
Endurance Remanufactured Rack & Pinion 64242
 

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2008 gmc envoy_sle
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ok, at least its not a cardone. that complete junk.

fluid level is good, lines are not leaking?

tie rods tight?

wheel turning all the way left and then all the way right.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I took off the return hose going from the rack to the cooler to make sure fluid was cycling and it seems to be. After that I took the belt of the ps pump to check the gear which felt solid.

Was going to call it a day and pull my car up a little and heard the pump whining. And wouldn’t you believe it I have power steering. I think I somehow got rid of an air pocket blocking up the system.

Now for the bad news. My driver side wheel is messed up. It’s not following the steering wheel as the other one does.

I’m returning the rack and pinion tomorrow for another. The tie rod has no play so I’m guessing it’s not the inner tie rod popping out but rather a broken rack.

Popping and misalignment is a bad/busted remanufactured rack and the loss of power steering was from air not getting through the return line until I ran the system with the return line open - kind of like a flush but before the cooler. That’s my guess at this moment.
 

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2005 chevy trailblazer_ls_ext
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Just replaced rack and pinion and tie rod ends on my 2005 trailblazer. For some reason when i was done and went to test drive it my front wheels are pointing in opposite directions. Any idea as to why or how to correct this?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Oh no not you too... I’m trying to figure out my issue still lol. I’m not a mechanic but I’m learning and trying to make sense of things along the way.

How’s your steering? Power steering good? Wheels move together as they should?

When I did my outer tie rods last year I lined up the bolts as close as I could with the old ones. The alignment was good enough to safely get it to an alignment shop.

During the rack job I used whiteout to mark the threading before taking them off.

Did you get the jam nuts on good? Torqued the caste nut to spec - assuming yours had castle nuts as mine did. Tires looked okay before the test drive? Mine did but all hell broke lose on the first sharp turn but I’m convinced the rack itself is busted as one side isn’t working properly and had much trouble purging the air out.

What brand rack and pinion did you go with?
 

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power steering is good can turn the wheel with ease. while car is on jack wheels turn as should but once its on the ground and moving its like one tire is hitting finder and turning opposite as the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
What are the chances that we may be having the same problem here?

Are you sure it’s not a suspension problem?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well I’m with that guy now. I had to adjust the alignment with the new rack and when I put it to ground and work the wheel both of them went toe out. Jacked it up, turned the wheel now they’re okay again.....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It would help if I put the cross member back on ?

All is good! Bringing it in for an alignment tomorrow.
 

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2008 gmc envoy_sle
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doubt if the cross member had anything to with it.

pocket of air in the lines maybe.

but glad its good now.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
doubt if the cross member had anything to with it.
It was definitely the cross member as it stabilizes the front end. I thought it was just a skid plate and kept if off this time in case I had to get at the rack again. Bad idea lol.

In fact I could have put in on too tight or loose as the wheels are now dipping - the top of the wheels pull in more than the bottom. Tried to torque it as close as possible to spec.
 
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