Note: A balljoint separator tool will be required for this operation.

Removal

1 Turn the Fiat Punto steering wheel to its centre position, so that the road wheels are pointing straight-a head.
2 Remove the battery and battery tray.
3 Working in the driver's footwell, unscrew the clamp bolt retaining nut on the intermediate shaft lower universal joint. Remove the clamp bolt from the retaining clip on the universal joint. Make suitable alignment marks on the steering gear pinion and universal joint to ensure correct orientation when refitting.
4 On manual transmission models, disconnect the selector cable end fittings from their attachments at the transmission selector levers. Extract the retaining clip securing each selector cable to the transmission support bracket, then withdraw both cables from the bracket.
5 Firmly apply the handbrake, then jack up the front of the car and support it securely on axle stands. Remove the front road wheels.
6 Unscrew the nut securing the track rod end to the swivel hub. Release the track rod end tapered shank using a balljoint separator tool.
7 Unscrew the nuts and disconnect the exhaust front pipe flange from the manifold downpipe of Fiat Punto. Recover the gasket.
8 Undo the bolt securing the exhaust system front mounting bracket to the subframe. Lower the system and suitably support it.
9 Undo the bolt securing the rear engine/ transmission mounting to the subframe.
10 Slacken and remove the two steering gear-to-subframe bolts.
11 Rotate the steering gear downwards to release it from the bulkhead, then withdraw the steering gear through the wheel arch.

Refitting

12 Refitting is a reversal of removal, bearing in mind the following points.
a) Centralise the steering gear by turning the pinion so that the rack moves to full left lock. Now move the rack to full right lock, counting the number of turns of the pinion. Turn the pinion back by half the number of turns counted.
b) Ensure that the roadwheels are in the straight-ahead position then engage steering gear pinion with the universal joint, aligning the marks made on removal.
c) Refit the Fiat Punto exhaust system front pipe flange using a new gasket and tighten the nuts to the specified torque.
d) Tighten all retaining nuts and bolts to the specified torque.
e) Tighten the rear engine/transmission mounting bolt to the specified torque.
f) Have the front wheel toe setting checked at the earliest opportunity.