steering rack

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by trips52, Dec 28, 2003.


  1. trips52

    trips52 New Member

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    ok put new tires and rims on went from 195/70 15's up front to 245/50 16 's.... any how now that i got new rims and tires i noticed that car pulls to one side or the other.... brakes are fine and stops stright with out pulling.... so i figuered tie rod ends..... jacked up car toady to check tie rod ends... and they are fine.... but here is what i noticed on the passanger side the steering rod were i goes into the rack and pinion.... i loose it moves about 1/4 of an inch....


    any help please..... do i have to replace the whole rack i hope not...
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  2. needforspeed440

    needforspeed440 New Member

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    i would take it to get aligned.
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  3. jrichker

    jrichker StangNet's favorite TOOL SN Certified Technician Founding Member

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    The two inner tie rod ends are usually what wears out, and at $45 each, it's better to get a replacement rack assembly. The rack is about $100 + a $40 refundable core charge, which you get back when you return the old rack. Be sure to ask for the GT or high performance rack, it has fewer turns lock to lock than the standard rack.

    The flex coupling for the steering shaft needs to be disconnected before you can get the rack out. You should disassemble the coupling by undoing the 2 bolts that hold it together. The lower part of the coupling will then come out with the rack, and can easily be removed.

    The tie rod ends can be removed with a tool that looks like a giant "pickle fork", it's less than $8, or some stores will rent/loan one. Remove the cotter pin & nut on the tie end, stick the tool between the rod end and the arm it connects and hammer away. The bigger the hammer, the easier it comes apart.

    Remove the two bolts that bolt the rack assembly to the frame and then pull the rack down. Get a catch pan to dump the fluid in when you disconnect the hydraulic lines.

    To change the tie rod ends, do them one at a time. Loosen the jam nut 1/4 turn, then unscrew the tie rod end from the rack. Turn the jam nut back 1/4 turn to return it to its original position. With the tie rod end removed, use a machinist square to measure the distance between the end of the threaded rod and the jam nut. Sit the bottom of the square against the end of the threaded rod, and the end of the blade of the square against the jam nut. Duplicate the measurement on the new rack and then install the tie rod end and tighten the jam nut. Then do the other side: the front end will need aligning , but the toe in will be close enough to the setting of the original rack to drive.

    Buy several extra quarts of fluid to run through the system to flush it when you change the rack. Fill the pump up, start the car, and turn the wheels lock to lock to bleed the air out. Then stop the engine, disconnect the low pressure hose (the one that is secured with a hose clamp) and drain the pump. Re-connect, refill and do it several more times or until the fluid looks clear and not burnt or black.
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  4. trips52

    trips52 New Member

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    thank jrichker.... thats what i fig... so i looked agian and sure enough passenger side inner tie rod.....had to do that on my 89 lx too... went to autozone 23 bucks a piece... not bad
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