Just wanted to update everyone with my progress (and MFE).
I received the Prothane urethane bushing from 50resto last week and also received my Flaming River manual rack kit from Thunderbolt Motorsports. I finally had a chance to do the install tonight.
Here is what I did:
1) grease up the Prothanes inner hole and the exterior of each urethane bushing with Marine Grease. Marine Grease is better than regular grease, because it can and will withstand the elements, especially water. The grease will also prevent any minute sqeaks if you are anal about NVH... LOL...
2) Once you have all (4) Prothanes greased up, start at the back of the rack (the part that will go upagainst the K-member). Install one bushing at a time. Set the bushing right over the bushing hole on the steering rack. With a RUBBER mallet and holding the bushing at the bottom with your other hand, try to hit the Prothane square so that it will start to go into the steering rack bushing hole evenly. It make take some persuasion, because they are a little slippery due to the grease. Trust me though, they WILL go in, even if it seems too tight of a fit.
3) Once you have both REAR rack bushings seated into the steering rack, lift the rack back up into place. Here comes the TRICKY PART and will be ALOT EASIER with TWO PEOPLE (I did this buy myself tonight and it was a real PIA)... Once you have the rack into position, resting on the rack bolt sleevs, start at one end and carefully hit the front of the bushing hole with the RUBBER MALLET so that the rack will start to go over and onto the metal sleeve. THIS WILL TAKE SOME EFFORT TO DO and it WILL start to slowly receed back onto the K-member once the rear bushing starts to seat itself over the metal sleeve. Repeat the same process for the other side of the rack.
4) Once you have the rack mounted back onto the K-member and it is seated as far back as it can go, now it is time to do the (2) front bushings... The process is similar to installing the rear bushing, but a little easier IMO. Line up the bushing over the front hole and hit it a couple of times. It shoudl start to go into the rack. Once it starts to go in, even if it is slightly crooked that's good.
5) Now - slide the long rack bolt in from the rear of the K-member so it protrudes through the front of the steering rack and the bushing you were just working with. Get the large metal rack retainer washer that goes over the front bushing. Slide this large washer over the end of the bolt and seat it up against the front of the bushing. If you do not have enough thread coming through the front of the bushing, you will have to hit the urethane bushing into the rack more. Once you have enough thread from the bolt coming thorugh the front of the bushing & washer, put the nut on the steering rack bolt.
6) Begin to tighten the steering rack bolt and what will happen is as the bolt tightens up, it is also pulling the front urethane bushing INTO and OVER the metal sleeve in the rack. If you try to do this any other way, you will be fighting yourself, because since the Prothanes are very thick, the diameter of the center inner hole is a tad smaller than the metal sleeve... So, with the method I have just outlined for installing the FRONT Prothanes into the rack - it will work the BEST, rather than trying to hit the bushing all the way into the rack... Now that you have one in, go to the other side and proceed to do the same exact thing.
TA DA! Now you have installed Prothane steering rack bushings...
There were NO modifications needed at all to the steering rack or the metal inner rack sleeves that the bushings slide over.