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Steering rack adjustment
Topic Started: Mar 12 2013, 11:09 AM (1,497 Views)
shaft
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When I was pulling out of the garage yesterday morning, and turned the steering wheel, I could feel a little "dead spot" or a very minor slop on the steering. No vibration while driving.

Googled the issue and I found the link below that my help my problem.

http://teamswift.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=48570&p=363677&hilit=clunky+steering#p363677

Anybody has a pic of this plastic plug with a large '+' on it they talked about adjusting to tighten up the rack?

Any other input is greatly appreciated.

By the way my tie rods and ball joints are good -- new control arms, struts and alignment done.


Edited by shaft, Mar 12 2013, 11:24 AM.
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Geo Glenn
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What's in your engine?

Steering rack service is in the Factory Service Manual. If it doesn't bother you too much, skip it. The FSM calls for removal of the unit for repair. You may not need to get your front end aligned again if you don't change any of the rod lengths.

Your alignment shop would have probably said something if your steering rack needed to be repaired.

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shaft
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Geo Glenn
Mar 12 2013, 12:18 PM
Your alignment shop would have probably said something if your steering rack needed to be repaired.

Thanks GG. I just noticed the steering slop yesterday and the aligment was done about 3 - 4 weeks ago.

I will check my FSM.
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Big Rhino
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Funny you brought this up. I was thinking of going to the junkyard and buying a steering rack to go thru to put on mine. I recall seeing it in the fsm myself as well. I was going to take some pictures and explain it if I did get one. Thanks for posting that link. I am going to look into mine. I just put struts on mine this past weekend hoping it would take some of the bumping sound away. Put new controls arms on several months ago. Both the control arms and the struts were wore out and did make a differance but still have this noise when hitting the driveway or bumps. I checked the tie rods and cv shafts this past weekend and they were good. Just a tiny, very tiny bit of play on the inner tie rods. I am going to look into this adjustment that you referenced.
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rjsdotorg
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shaft
Mar 12 2013, 11:09 AM

Anybody has a pic of this plastic plug with a large '+' on it they talked about adjusting to tighten up the rack?

It is on the back side of the rack where the shaft goes in.
Right side of this pic, behind
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Edited by rjsdotorg, Mar 12 2013, 01:53 PM.
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Big Rhino
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Fixing to go take a look at mine in a short bit. There is actually a special socket for this. Maybe something could easily be made other than driving it around with a punch or something.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Kent-Moore-J-34871-A-Pinion-Torque-Socket-/170811023965
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Bad Bent
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Facetious Educated Donkey

blue rhino
Mar 12 2013, 01:59 PM
That was a funny eBay ad. It has 3 pictures of a cylinder; side, end and side. :lol

Thanks GG. I just noticed the steering slop yesterday and the alignment was done about 3 - 4 weeks ago. There is an adjustment for turning resistance, IIRC, which is under a rubber cap on the box in that picture above, on the right. At least there was one on my '91. I turned it in and steering got harder. Mark the original position before screwing with it.

It might be best to duplicate the "bump," stop and check for loose steering parts. We have had a rash of wheels falling off lately. :scared Mostly lower knuckle joints?
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Big Rhino
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Well, as always complications. I dont know if other year models are accessible without lowering the rack but a 95 model is not. Plastic plug has to be removed first but it can only go so far and will not come out. If they had put a plug there to access it, no problem. Even if you could get the plug out, doing the adjustment would be impossible likely. I suppose a properly placed hole saw hole could make you a access hole. We shall see.

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rjsdotorg
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The square plug IS the adjustment. It is an interference fit and only needed about 1/4 turn to firm up the slop. If adjusted on an old rack to minimize center slop, it will get tight at 180 degrees and the wheel won't return automagically.
# 10 in this image
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Edited by rjsdotorg, Mar 12 2013, 03:59 PM.
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shaft
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Thx for the pics blue rhino. I will check the rack on my '93 tonight..........
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Big Rhino
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If the square plug is the adjuster then the cap was missing off of it. My diagram shows a cap before the adjuster. I will give the plug a whirl and see what happens.
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Big Rhino
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Well, I could tell no differance. I could adjust it down where it would lock the steering, backed it off till it was smooth. Did not help the bump noise. I suppose the tiny bit of slack in the inner tierods is my source of noise. Theres nothing left, I have replaced everything else. Now I have nitemares of my steering wheel locking up going 70 down the interstate! :scared Steering and brakes are my least favorite systems to work on! If I do not see you on the forum, you will know he is dead. His steering rack come apart and he run off in the Mississippi river and drowned. Look for news article, geo metro floating down Mississipi river towards the gulf.
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dayle1960
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Fastest Hampster EVER

I'd bet part #2 is wearing out. After 1million twists of the steering wheel, something has to wear out.

BR, come on, man. Do the right thing and pull the steering rack and strip it down to core components and then clean them. Then once you find some broken splines, you can begin the rebuild.

Do it right the first time, and you won't have to do it a second time.

Good luck.
Edited by dayle1960, Mar 12 2013, 06:25 PM.
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Big Rhino
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dayle1960
Mar 12 2013, 06:24 PM
I'd bet part #2 is wearing out. After 1million twists of the steering wheel, something has to wear out.

BR, come on, man. Do the right thing and pull the steering rack and strip it down to core components and then clean them. Then once you find some broken splines, you can begin the rebuild.

Do it right the first time, and you won't have to do it a second time.

Good luck.
Send me the pictures of when you did yours. I would like to see it. ;)
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rjsdotorg
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blue rhino
Mar 12 2013, 04:47 PM
Well, I could tell no differance. I could adjust it down where it would lock the steering, backed it off till it was smooth. Did not help the bump noise. I suppose the tiny bit of slack in the inner tierods is my source of noise.
I have a slight noise from the lower column bearing on bumps. If I push the wheel hard it will not rattle, or, if I wiggle up/down it will. There is a warning in FSM about damaging the lower bearing if the upper 2 bolts are loosened and the column hangs on the lowers.
How are the U-joints and bolts?
Any L-R wiggle in the wheel when off the ground is tie rods; my right made noise.
The square nut should have a soft rubber cap.
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