Steering rack replacement

Discussion in 'Prius c Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by ilya980, Nov 7, 2020.

  1. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    16
    4
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One


    I have 2013 Toyota Prius C One. It looks like I need a steering rack replacement (OEM part # 45510-52351). Is there a good video or tutorial for this car? The same part, I think is used in 2012-2014 Yaris and several other years of Prius C.

    Thanks.
     
  2. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    16
    4
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    Also, should there be a bush on the passenger side of the steering rack on this car? Like the part 45522-12040 (can't post the link to the diagram).
    Does anyone have a picture of how the right end of the steering rack end should look like? Is there a rebuild kit that fits?
    The problem I have is a free play in the right front wheel. After removing the inner tie rod boot I see that free play causes the rod inside the rack to move, as if this bush was worn.
    Thanks.
     
  3. bonanzoo

    bonanzoo Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    49
    23
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    If you don't mind me asking, what is the cause/reason for you to change the steering rack?
    My Prius C has been making strange noises when making full turns.
     
  4. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    16
    4
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    I replaced the steering rack because the car failed the state inspection. It is 2013 with about 185k miles. The inspector said that I have free play in the right front wheel and offered to diagnose the issue for a fee. I refused, took it home, lifted up and saw free play 3-to-9 o'clock. Rotating the wheel I confirmed that free play stays at 3-to-9. The bearing was good, the lower ball joint was tight, but the tie end rod was moving. The tie end rod connection to the hub was tight. So, I opened the inner boot and saw 3-to-9 o'clock play in the rack inside the housing. The inner tie rod ball joint was warn, but not loose. So, I just finished replacing the rack. No more free play. I'll post about my experience.

    The way that worn steering rack was showing is that if I hit a pothole with the right front wheel I would hear a metal thud sound. Once the rack is out I can shake it by hands and hear it clunk inside. My 4 years old son thinks it's a big rattle toy and plays with it.
     
    bonanzoo likes this.
  5. bonanzoo

    bonanzoo Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    49
    23
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    Thanks for the update! This has helped me rule out any issues with the steering rack. It doesn't make any metal hud sounds/clunks but more of a whining sound. Like a car that needs power steering fluid or squeaking noise. I guess it's just an old car with regular wear and tear.
     
  6. ilya980

    ilya980 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2020
    16
    4
    0
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius c
    Model:
    One
    Here is my experience with replacing the steering rack on a 2013 Prius C One with 185k miles. Hopefully, it will be useful for someone.


    I was doing this alone and on a gravel-filled driveway, which presents some additional challenges.


    Tools: Metric combination wrenches, mostly used are 17mm and 19mm, ball joint separator (I used Harbor Freight for $20, or rent from Autozone), vise grips, needle nose pliers, PB Blaster or Liquid wrench, hammer, an impact wrench (I used pneumatic Campbell Hausfeld TL1402 with an air compressor), 6 mm allen wrench. I used 3 jacks: one large 4 ton Craftsman to raise the car and later support the engine, a transmission jack from Harbor Freight to lower the cross-member, and a smaller 2 ton jack for other things around. You will need 17 mm and 19 mm impact sockets and 12 mm regular socket for sliding yoke. A small or medium pipe wrench is also helpful. Screwdrivers. I also used an oscillating multitool with carbide tipped blade. Large breaker bar, torque wrench, wire brush, vise. I also had a yoga mat and knee pads.


    0) Get the service manual from techinfo.toyota.com. It is very helpful and has all the pictures and steps.


    1) Put the steering wheel into the center position and lock it with the seat belt.


    2) Remove front wheel covers, loosen lug nuts.


    3) Raise the car. You need to go pretty high up, about 2/3 or 3/4 of the working distance of jack stands. I was able to crawl under the front rotors after removing the wheels. Make sure the car is level.


    4) Remove front wheels. If the wheels are stuck on the hub, I usually lay on the ground on my back and gently but firmly tap on the tire at 3 and 9 o'clock with my feet, then rotate the wheel and continue until the wheel falls off the hub.


    5) Disconnect outer tie rod from the hub. Spray with liquid wrench. Unbend the clip and gently tap it out with the hammer. I found a nail finisher is very useful to prevent clips from bulging up near the nut crown. If the clip starts to bulge up near the nut crown, straighten it back with the nail finisher. I used an impact to unscrew the nut. Same procedure right and left side.


    6) Disconnect lower ball joint with the ball joint separator. Spray with liquid wrench. First, remove the clip on the nut. A small screwdriver helps to pull the front of the clip to the side while you push on its end to remove from the hole. A few firm taps with a hammer on the combination wrench loosened the nut. I found it helpful to jack the lower control arm from below a little to properly install the ball joint separator. Use a nut on top to protect the threads. I did not, and then had problems later. Separate the ball joint.


    7) Disassemble the lower nut on a sway bar link. The instructions suggest doing this before separating tie rods and ball joints. If you do it after, however, you will be able to move the steering knuckle aside and have more room to access the 17 mm lower sway bar link nut. You need a 17mm wrench and 6 mm allen (or T25 torx) to do this. Spray A LOT of lubricant before you try. Let it soak for a while. Clean ALL the rust and dirt on the nut and bolt before you try to separate them. My driver side was relatively easy, but the passenger side was awful. I tried PB blaster, liquid wrench, CRC freeze off, propane torch, hitting 17 mm with a hammer, an impact. Nothing worked. Eventually, I cut the nut using oscillating multitool in 2 places along the bolt and was able to take it off. This little step took several hours.


    8) Once tie rods, sway bar links and lower control arms are separated, you need to separate the steering column. Bend the carpet under the accelerator pedal, unscrew 2 plastic nuts and remove the union cover. There are two 12 mm bolts that attach union to the steering rack shaft and steering column shaft. MARK EVERYTHING with a marker. From shaft to union, to another part of the union, to another shaft. Then remove the lower bolt (holding steering rack shaft) and loosen, but do not remove the upper bolt.


    9) Slide the union upwards. Some upward taps with a side of the hammer might be helpful to disengage the teeth.


    10) The steering rack shaft boot is held by 2 metal clips. Disengage both clips and push the boot downward. Make sure you don't forget about these clips before you drop the subframe.


    11) Now the fun part. Support the engine and transmission using a jack and a wooden block. Make sure that transmission sits on the block, but don’t push too much on it, because you will not be able to remove the large horizontal engine moving control rod bolt. Remove the center bolt. It is tight, but you can use your weight to undo it. Once you remove it there is no going back if you change your mind on the repair. It will be difficult to re-install it.


    12) I used a transmission jack to support the subframe.


    13) Undo 6 large bolts, 3 on each side. This took some time, but was easy and uneventful.


    14) SLOWLY start dropping the subframe on a jack. Walk around several times making sure nothing is in the way. Shake the subframe lightly to disengage.


    15) This is where a helper would be handy. Since I did not have one, I used 16 bricks to support the subframe at 4 corners, then removed the jack from under it, and then lowered the subframe to the ground removing bricks one by one. Then I was able to drag it through the passenger side from under the car.


    16) Now replacing the rack is easy. Remove the protective boot. Then it is just 2 bolts. This car does not have power fluid.


    17) To reuse the tie rod ends I used vise. Lock the metal part of the end in vise (make sure not to damage the rubber boot), undo the toe-in adjustment nut and unscrew the outer tie rods. Count the number of turns. I had 12.5 on one side and 12.75 on another. This way you will not be completely out of alignment once done.


    18) The installation is in reverse order, will go simpler and quicker. Here are some hints, things to pay attention to.


    19) When raising the subframe make sure you don’t break the clips on the protective boot of the drive shaft. Constantly check through the opening under the brake pedal and see how those clips are going through the opening. Make sure that subframe is level all the time. Make sure that the union is out of the way.


    20) When tightening the subframe bolts make sure to always check the two “align” holes (one on each side, next to the two holding bolts), that the subframe is not installed skewed. Do not fully tighten the largest bolts until you actually set the car on the ground and bounce it a few times. Those need to be tightened to the spec only after the suspension is properly seated.


    21) It might be difficult to engage the large center horizontal bolt. I used a 3 jack to slightly push up on the engine bracket right next to it. I also did it when I almost completed all 6 bolts of the subframe, but have not tightened them yet. At this stage I was able to grab the subframe by hands at the center and “shake” it back and forth to finally engage the center bolt.


    22) Once the subframe is up, the rest is relatively easy. I cut a line in the right lower sway bar link bolt for a flat screw driver to hold the bolt and put a new nut.


    23) Unfortunately, while disengaging the lower control arm on the driver side I bent the 2 top threads on the bolt. So the nut would not go on. I rotated the bolt with vise grips, found where the threads were bent and carefully filed them. Then I used a lot of oil and the crown nut, and made sure I can screw the nut by hand all the way down. Sometimes I had to hold the bolt with vise grips and work the nut back and forth with a wrench.


    24) I centered the new rack before mounting on the subframe (all the way to the left stop, mark, all the way to the right stop, mark, and split the total angle in half). But this was not very useful. I tried engaging the union “as is” and ended up with my wheels looking to the right. So, I disengaged the steering, straightened the wheels (by eye), re-engaged the union (making sure that the steering wheel is straight) and then rotated the steering wheel stop to stop. After that adjusted one-by-one tooth until the total angle of turn to the left was the same as angle to the right. In my case both angles are slightly more than 1.5 turns (550 degrees or so). The steering wheel is not perfectly straight, but it is exactly the same as it was.


    25) Will take the car for an alignment.
     
    bonanzoo likes this.
Loading...