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Old 05-02-2020   #1
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Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

Hello to all,

After years of reading and learning from here, I decided to become a member of the forum. I have been doing easy repair and manteinance tasks for my fiat seicento, with the help of some of the forum posts, but now i have a bigger mechanical problem, and maybe it's time to give a step forward.


As the title says, it's a problem in the steering rack, one of the shafts have a lot of play (and i mean a lot, it makes a lot of noise when i drive in bumpy roads), and i didn't found any adjusting bolts, so i finally bought a new one. But there's the problem, when i went under the car, i found that even there are only two big bolts fixing the rack, one of them is barely accesible, and it's because some sort of support block and the gearbox is in the way. So, because it seems that there isn't room to remove the rack, I didn't continue...

I'm not sure about removing the gearbox, because i don't have proper tools (and not enough experience), so, it's possible to remove the rack without removing the gearbox? Maybe it's enough (and somewhat easy) to remove the support block to make room? And then, if possible, removing it from one side, after disconnecting the shafts...

Thanks in advance and sorry for the bad english
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Old 05-02-2020   #2
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Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

The manual rack on a cinquecento sporting can be swapped over fairly easily. I have done it a few times.

I wouldn't have though a seicento would be much different?
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Old 06-02-2020   #3
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Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

Quote Originally Posted by dac69er View Post
The manual rack on a cinquecento sporting can be swapped over fairly easily. I have done it a few times.

I wouldn't have though a seicento would be much different?
Maybe the cinquecento sporting has enough room to change it without removing the gearbox... The space in the seice is really tight, 2 o 3 cm. more and it should be enough to remove the rack... Not sure if removing the gearbox supporting block would be enough
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Old 07-02-2020   #4
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Exclamation Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

If it's any use I've had a look in a Haynes & Porters & neither mention removing or doing anything with the gearbox. It looks as though it can depend a bit on what model you have...for OHV Cinq it mentions disconnect exhaust front downpipe. If yours has power steering then clearance maybe more limited & other fittings may need removing. I wonder if loosening the gearbox mount would give you enough engine movement to get a bit of clearance with a bit of judicious jacking...when I did mountings on my Panda I was surprised how much engine movement there was when one mounting was removed. Best of luck.
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Old 14-02-2020   #5
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Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

My cinq had a lot of play in the steering when I bought it and the steering was shaking at high speeds. Track rod ends were good so I looked at the steering rack, I don't remember having to remove anything else apart from the wheels in order to take the rack out, took a bit of wiggling about but it came out without loosening or taking off anything else. There is one adjusting bolt on the rack as well, tightened that and the steering wheel stopped shaking at high speeds. I cant imagine the sei being much different to a cinq
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Old 28-02-2020   #6
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Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

I changed the rack on a sei with pas.
Jacked up front, drivers side wheel off only.
It was tight but easy enough to do, took me about 1 hr once cae was on the air
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Old 02-03-2020   #7
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Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

Well, after buying proper tools, i finally did it! Thanks to everybody for the replys! The problem is that there isn't enough gap between the bolt next to the gearbox, so is a bit hard to use a dynamometric, it will not fit. Anyway, removing the support was enough to have room for the dynamometric (i had to use it, because the bolt was somewhat damaged and it was very hard to remove).

After that, the next problem was to remove the tie rod endings from the wheels... it was impossible, after 1 hour of hammering they were so hard that i had to leave them in their place and unbolt the inner rods slowly to remove the rack completely.

After installing the new rack, the only problem left is to center the steering wheel, but i can't put it right., there is some small difference in a side or another, no matter how i adjust it...
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Old 03-03-2020   #8
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Re: Steering rack removal with gearbox mounted

Set the rack to centre then adjust the wheel to suit.

D
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