How ToLand Rover Defender

How to change the power steering box on a Land Rover

My power steering box has been leaking for quite a while now, but recently it started to go through a litre of fluid a week – so something had to be done.

Having done some research on the internet, it was recommended not to just fix it with a new seal kit, but to buy a full reconditioned steering box – so that’s what I did.

Its a fairly straight forward job to change the box. It took a morning to complete the work and this is how I did it.

Reconditioned boxes are the way to go really – I got my from Paddocks for about £250 – but they refund you just over £100 when you send your old steering box back to them.

Handy tip: Buy a steering box with the drop arm already attached – it only costs an extra tenner or so, but it saves so much hassle trying to get your old drop arm off the steering box.

For this job you will need

  • Axle stands
  • Jack
  • Socket set
  • Breaker bar
  • Ball joint splitter or hammer
  • WD40
  • Copper grease
  • Power steering fluid

Its best to have a helper, as the steering box is heavy, so a second pair of hands for undoing bolts is very useful!

1: Jacking and removing the offside front wheel

As usual, chock the rear wheels, handbrake on, and leave it in gear.

Jack the front of the vehicle up and place axle stands under the axle. Remove offside front wheel as it gives better access to the bolts holding the steering box on.

Jack up the car, remove the drivers side wheel and support on axle stands

2: Steering column link rod removal

The steering column link rod has two small U/J’s at either end – each of them have a 13mm bolt that has to be removed so you can pull the link rod off the power steering box. (see pic below)

Once removed, knock the rod towards the bulkhead until it comes off the steering box.

3: Power steering fluid supply removal

Disconnect the fluid supply pipe from the reservoir with a 17mm spanner, and the pressure supply from the PAS pump with a 14mm spanner. They are different sizes so you can’t mix them up when you refit them!

Fluid will drain out all over the chassis rail, drop arm and front axle, so use a container to catch it.

4: Disconnecting the drop arm

The nut on the end of the drop arm is 19mm. It will either be a nyloc or a castle nut and split pin. Mine was the split pin type, so I removed it and undid the nut.

You will need a ball joint splitter – or use a hammer to knock the drop arm joint away from the steering bar. Once removed pull the steering damper down and towards the front so that it is out of the way.
Undo the drop arm castle nut

5: Removing the steering box

Now for the heavy work. You need to undo the 4 bolts and 1 nut securing the power steering box onto the chassis. Get your helper to support the weight of the steering box as you undo the bolts.

When you have undone them all, the steering box will just pull away from the chassis.

Once you have to box on the floor – you need to remove the stabiliser bar which will be re-fitted when you put in your new steering box.

6: Fitting the new steering box

Get your helper to hold the new steering box in place while you align the bolts and tighten them up.

The stabiliser bar then needs to be fitted and tightened up too.

7: The last few jobs

You now need to reconnect the steering link rod you took off in number 2 above. Add some copper grease to the splines when you refit it – helps them go on a bit easier and if you ever have to remove them again they won’t be seized.

Make sure the drop arm is facing straight ahead and reconnect the ball joint onto the steering drag arm. If you have a castle nut – make sure you replace the split pin, and once its through, bend it right back over the top of the nut.

Then carefully connect the two fluid pipes – they are different sizes so you can’t get it wrong. Then refill the reservoir with fresh ATF.

8: Bleeding the system

To bleed the power steering system, start the engine and turn it lock to lock a few times – topping up the reservoir as necessary.

There is also a bleed nipple on the top of the steering box cover. Slacken it and bleed off any air left in the system.

Note: The steering wheel may not be central, so you may have to remove it and put it in the right position!

Then take the car out for a drive, and make sure it feels ok. You may need to top up the reservoir again when you get back.


Its another job well done – the steering has been transformed and there is hardly any play in the steering now. The Landy now reacts to small steering inputs, and I don’t have to keep “sawing” at the wheel to keep it going in a straight line.

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