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How to Check Your Rack and Pinion
Topic Started: Sep 12 2009, 01:13 AM (2,637 Views)
FlyingTortoise
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I noticed my right rear tire was suddenly worn out on the inside, prompting me to want to attempt an alignment. I checked the suspension on the front end and noticed that with the front end in the air when I grabbed the wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock and move it back and forth it does have significant movement. However, in trying to track down the play I opened the boots I didn’t see any play in the tie rods, rather the whole rack was moving and moving the wheel on the other end.

Is this normal or an indication that it’s worn out and needs changing?
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jmarksbery
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You mean the rack is moving on the body? NO it should not move, fix that thing right away!
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FlyingTortoise
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jmarksbery
Sep 12 2009, 05:55 AM
You mean the rack is moving on the body? NO it should not move, fix that thing right away!
No, the Steering Rack Housing and Gear Case is firmly stuck to the body, if that's what you mean. Rather the Steering Rack is moving back and forth within the Steering Rack Housing and Gear Case with the front end of the car lifted. It only moves a little before it thuds and stops, but also moves the opposite wheel and the steering wheel. Though I also seemed to get some movement with just one wheel lifted and the other on the ground. Not sure what the correct procedure for checking it is.
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

I just had mine re-manufactured by Garo Steering, an eBay seller out of Florida.

Check this topic: Rack & Pinion Repair Actually should be 'replace' but it was an interesting process. I's an easy repair but I'd think you usually have one Inner Tie Rod go bad but yours might be the connection between the (I'll assume) Worm Gear and Tie Rod.

I had what looked like inner wear on one tire and it sounded like the struts were still bouncing for 3-4 meters after a bump. :'(
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FlyingTortoise
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Actually on closer inspection and when I removed the boots, I found the play was in the inner tie rods ball joints.

If there is any play in that joint does that mean it must be replaced, or is there a tolerance?
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Johnny Mullet
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Kim John Mu

Should be no play.
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FlyingTortoise
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Thanks.

Those things don't seem to last to long looks like there bad on all 3 of my Geo's.

What's the average life span of those tie rods?

Is it better to look for some at pick n' pull or get some rebuilt ones?
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Woodie
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Not the sort of thing you want used or rebuilt, buy new. Advance Auto parts has them from $17 to $32 each. I've heard of people grinding down the mating surface to tighten them back up, but at that price, why bother?
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