Steering Rack Service

Created: 2/15/98

Last updated: 1/1/03

Author/source: DAS

Sent: 2/15/1998 12:05 AM

To: dmcnews submit,

As part of my reconstruction project, I removed the steering rack from the car. I had posted to the DML a while back concerning some stickiness that I had felt in the steering after it sits for more than a few minutes. I received some cautions about opening up the pinion retainer, but not much to go on. I went ahead and pulled off the rack boots, drained the rack, and carefully disassembled the pinion retainer and preload assembly. Don't be tempted to do this ON the car! Inside the pinion housing there are 28 LOOSE ball bearings that roll all over the place when you pull out the pinion. Noting no signs of wear, I just put everything back together, replaced the rack boots with new ones (one had a hole in it, one didn't) and put fresh gear lube in it. The friction that I had been feeling was in the sleeve bearings that support the rack itself, not in the pinion bearings or gearing. A general cleanup and oil change seems to have solved the stickiness problem.

At the same time, inspection of the tie rod ends revealed that, although in decent shape they could use re-lubing since the boots had long ago deteriorated. The original sealed design does not allow for this. I was able to drill (careful - not too deep) and tap the original tie rod ends for 1/4-28 grease zerks, found a nice rubber replacement (DMC Houston) for the crummy "plastic" boots originally used.

More information on the process HERE


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