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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
DIY Rack and Pinion replacement 2012 LS

Hey all,

I have seen several threads on her about defective/leaking rack and pinion units on these Impala's. I too am currently experiencing this with my 2012 LS. There have been a few people ask questions about doing this yourself as opposed to paying a mechanic over $1k to do it, but no one ever followed up and commented on whether or not they did it and/or how it went.

I fancy myself pretty handy and a decent shade tree mechanic, but by no means an expert. I am looking for anyone with experience with replacing these units. Whether you are just a DYI'er like me or a mechanic with experience, I would like to know a couple things about completing this job.

1) Do you have to lower the subframe to be able to remove the R&P.
2) If yes, is this something that can be done at home without causing even more damage to the car?

I feel confident that I can do everything else required to get it disconnected, my only concern is actually getting the thing out of the car. I saw one video on YouTube by EricTheCarGuy, for a Caviler, and made it seem like lowering the subframe was no big deal as the motor was mounter directly to the frame up on top. Now that was a 2002 Caviler and I am working on a 2012 Impala so I realize that there are differences. I just need to know what I am looking at if I need to lower the subframe.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
 

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Hey all,

I have seen several threads on her about defective/leaking rack and pinion units on these Impala's. I too am currently experiencing this with my 2012 LS. There have been a few people ask questions about doing this yourself as opposed to paying a mechanic over $1k to do it, but no one ever followed up and commented on whether or not they did it and/or how it went.

I fancy myself pretty handy and a decent shade tree mechanic, but by no means an expert. I am looking for anyone with experience with replacing these units. Whether you are just a DYI'er like me or a mechanic with experience, I would like to know a couple things about completing this job.

1) Do you have to lower the subframe to be able to remove the R&P.
2) If yes, is this something that can be done at home without causing even more damage to the car?

I feel confident that I can do everything else required to get it disconnected, my only concern is actually getting the thing out of the car. I saw one video on YouTube by EricTheCarGuy, for a Caviler, and made it seem like lowering the subframe was no big deal as the motor was mounter directly to the frame up on top. Now that was a 2002 Caviler and I am working on a 2012 Impala so I realize that there are differences. I just need to know what I am looking at if I need to lower the subframe.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
You need to put the front end up on jack stands, but they need to be positioned aft of the subframe. But not too far aft - you don't want the car tipping forward
Then you put a jack stand under the rear cross member on the subframe, but a few inches lower. Next, put your floor jack on the rear cross member, then remove the 2 rear bolts from the subframe. You don't need to remove or loosen the 2 front bolts.

Ease the floor jack down to allow the back end of the subframe to settle on the jack stand. Now you should have clearance to get the rack out.

That said, I'd get everything else ready before dropping the subframe. That is, remove the front wheels, disconnect the outer tie rods, etc, before removing the 2 subframe bolts.

[Edit]To be clear, the rack comes out the driver's side wheel well.

Doug

.
 

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^+1. On Fords, I've lowered the drivers side subframe and pulled the rack out the lf wheelwell. Be wary of vacuum/electrical lines when lowering, esp. o2 sensor wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys...Yes that it is my intention to pull it out thru the driver side wheel well. After looking it over yesterday, I thought perhaps I might be able to work it out without lowering the subframe, but after some research I don't really think that is an option, and thus my questions above.

I do have another question. The leak appears to be coming from a bolt at the bottom, right below where it connects to the steering. I thought it might be a plug, but talked to the dealer shop manager and he had a name for it, can't remember exactly what he called it...some type of coil maybe??? Anyway, it is not a serious leak, my car sat in my garage for a couple hours last night with no drip on the floor, granted...engine off=no pressure in the lines. I checked the fluid and it had only dropped to the "ADD" line on the stick, and this was the first time ever checking it. I know this is a really subjective question, but how long does it take for something like this to cause an issue with driving? Is it a safety thing, where if I allow it to get worse it can lock up the steering while driving, or will I gradually begin to notice issues with steering? Just wanting to know how long I can push this off...why do today what can be put off until tomorrow? ;)

Thanks again
 

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It'll definitely get worse before it gets better, lol. If you run the pump low/dry, you'll be replacing it too.
 

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Oh yeah, that reminds me, I saw someone say that if you replace the R&P you should also replace the power steering pump and in line filter (if there is one). Is this accurate?
 

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DIY Rack and Pinion replacement 2012 LS

Hey all,

I have seen several threads on her about defective/leaking rack and pinion units on these Impala's. I too am currently experiencing this with my 2012 LS. There have been a few people ask questions about doing this yourself as opposed to paying a mechanic over $1k to do it, but no one ever followed up and commented on whether or not they did it and/or how it went.

I fancy myself pretty handy and a decent shade tree mechanic, but by no means an expert. I am looking for anyone with experience with replacing these units. Whether you are just a DYI'er like me or a mechanic with experience, I would like to know a couple things about completing this job.

1) Do you have to lower the subframe to be able to remove the R&P.
2) If yes, is this something that can be done at home without causing even more damage to the car?

I feel confident that I can do everything else required to get it disconnected, my only concern is actually getting the thing out of the car. I saw one video on YouTube by EricTheCarGuy, for a Caviler, and made it seem like lowering the subframe was no big deal as the motor was mounter directly to the frame up on top. Now that was a 2002 Caviler and I am working on a 2012 Impala so I realize that there are differences. I just need to know what I am looking at if I need to lower the subframe.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
 
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