Steering Gear Swap Out?
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Cadillac Catera and Cimarron Forum Discussion, Steering Gear Swap Out? in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Hello All: I think I need to swap out my steering gear and I'm amazed at what the shop manual ...
  1. #1
    libbysman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1997 catera/03 CTS
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    Question Steering Gear Swap Out?

    Hello All: I think I need to swap out my steering gear and I'm amazed at what the shop manual describes as the proper procedure. I'd feel better if they said I had to pull the engine out and put it on the floor.lol Does anyone know of any shortcut that can be used to take off less than what the book calls for? When I brake I can feel one wheel go right and the other quivers. Everything else is tight. Also I noticed that if I brake while on painted road lines and manhole covers the brakes lock. I'm going to guess that this is a case of two separate problems. Any insite would be appreciated. Cheers, Brian

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  3. #2
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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    Re: Steering Gear Swap Out?

    The shakes under braking sounds like the control arm bushings. Pull the front wheels, inspect the bushings, and you'll probably find them shredded. The rear/vertical bushing is fill with silicon fluid and will show signs of leaking. The front/horizontal bushing will show signs of tearing. I had the same problem about 3 years ago and replaced the front ones with polyurethane bushings. They resist tearing, last longer, and improve handling. There's no poly substitute for the rear bushings so you'll have to buy OEM replacements. There is an Omega owner working on a poly rear/vertical bushing but he's still refining the design. Read my suspension thread for more info.

    http://cateraowners.forumotion.com/t...pgrades-part-1

  4. #3
    libbysman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1997 catera/03 CTS
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    Re: Steering Gear Swap Out?

    Hi Elvin: I replaced both the control arms about a year and a half ago and have put less than 10K on the car since. When I move the steering wheel from one side to the other I don't feel any slack, but I guess the front end should be off the ground for that (?) I'll take a look at the bushings and hope they aren't shot again. I'm wondering if it might be a spindle bearing cause I feel and hear a low rumbling sound when the car is moving. My tires are Michelin snows which might contribute to that effect. Regards, Brian

  5. #4
    elvin315's Avatar
    elvin315 is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
    Automobile(s): Platinum 2001 Cadillac Catera Sport
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    Re: Steering Gear Swap Out?

    The bushings are worth a look see but if they're that new they're probably OK. I agree about the wheel bearings, but don't forget the ball joints. The tie-rod ends are also a possibility as are the pitman and/or idler arms. Thumping over bumps can also be caused by the sway-bar drop-links. Basically, check all the joints and pivots in the suspension. You didn't mention your mileage but after 14 years your '97 probably has racked up a bunch. Good hunting.

  6. #5
    libbysman is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
    Automobile(s): 1997 catera/03 CTS
    Join Date
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    Vancouver, Canada
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    Re: Steering Gear Swap Out?

    Hi Elvin: Thanks for your reply. Yes the old boat has a lot of mileage, about 225KM. The ball joints were changed with the control arms as were the sway bar drop links, While under the car the other day working on the fog lights I noticed my front left tire is wearing on the inside. I ordered a pair of wheel hubs with bearings. I figure they aren't difficult or that expensive to replace that I'd start there. I really hope thats the problem as I don't want to think about the cost of changing say the steering gear. Anyhow my parts are due by UPS by monday, so we'll see. Happy Thanksgiving!!! Regards, Brian

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