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Old 08-01-2003, 04:37 AM   #1
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Question rack and pinion bushings

How hard is it to change them,and any tips you minght have.


thank you very much........Curt
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:24 AM   #2
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very easy to do.

1) unbolt the steering shaft (connects to the rack & to the steering column, driver's side)

2) pop off the outer tie rods from the spindles (remove cotter pin and unbolt the castle nut)

3) unbolt the rack bolts. Bolt head at front of rack and there is a nut on the back side of that long bolt. You may also need a small hammer to push out the bolts from the metal sleeves (inside of the bushings), depending on how much grime/rust may be there. I think they come out towards the front when trying to remove them.

Once you have the steering shaft disconnected and the bolts out, you can pull the rack forward as much as you can without damaging the rack hoses.

When you have the rack pulled as far forward as you can, use a flat head screw driver to pry the bushings out of the rack sleeves.

install is the reverse of removal.

The best rack bushings to get, instead of the rubber units are the ones made by Prothane. You can get that at www.50resto.com - they are fairly inexpensive and will last way longer than any stock rubber part. They do not squeak or make noises either. I also smear Marine Grease over the actual bushings, the inner sleeves and install them that way. The Marine Grease is water resistant, since that part is under the car and gets hit with all the elements... Marine Grease can be found in any boating supply store, Home Depot/Lowes sells it also.

good luck
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Old 08-01-2003, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cobra Jet NJ
The best rack bushings to get, instead of the rubber units are the ones made by Prothane. You can get that at www.50resto.com - they are fairly inexpensive and will last way longer than any stock rubber part. They do not sqeak or make noises either.
Do you have these? If so, did you have to trim the rack mounting "pins"/sleeves, that the bolts go through, so that the bolts go directly through the bushings, or did they install over the sleeves like the stock bushings?
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Old 08-01-2003, 11:25 AM   #4
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Hey MFE -

I had them on my prior 96 Cobra and there were no mods necessary. I just ordered a set for the coupe from 50resto and they should be here any day. I had ordered a Flaming River manual rack a couple of days ago from Thunderbolt Motorsports, so I figured since I will be tinkering with that, I might as well get the Prothanes again for the coupe.

When I did the install on the Cobra, the Prothanes slipped right over the regular rack inner metal sleeves. I did however grease them up with some Marine Grease, which made it easier to install them over the sleevs and into the actual rack. A rubber mallet worked too, as I used it to hit them into place (secured them). There were no modifications necessary to the bushings, sleeves or bolts.

I'll let you know when I get the Prothanes for the coupe and how the install goes, I don't expect any issues. I'll be doing the "conversion" as soon as the parts arrive.
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Old 08-01-2003, 11:38 AM   #5
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Reason I asked is I had to cut the sleeves to use my MM solid aluminum bushings and I don't want to use those anymore and I was wondering if I need to source new sleeves if I change them.
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Old 08-01-2003, 01:32 PM   #6
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well, if you cut the original sleeves to use with the MM aluminum bushings, you *may* need to get another set of sleeves. My thinking is because now that the sleeves are cut back some, there may be some play once the bolt is inserted & tightened again with using Prothane bushings. It's just a thought, and your sleeves could still work properly even if cut, or they may not...

I *think* that if you have a set of old rear control arm bushings, or even front control arm bushings laying around, the metal sleeve inside of those MAY work in the rack... I cannot remember for sure, but I do recall the diameter and length being very close to the original rack sleeves. You may want to check on that, it may help you out too.
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Old 08-01-2003, 10:02 PM   #7
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MFE--curious as to why you dont wanna use the alum. MM bushings--just installed a set in my fox coupe
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Old 08-02-2003, 02:56 AM   #8
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Why not use the aluminum bushings? Also what do you all think of these Rack bushings
Would I want offset or no offset for stock height stang that will only be lowered slightly.
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Old 08-03-2003, 02:11 AM   #9
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Yea, MFE. . . why not aluminum??????????????????
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Old 08-05-2003, 03:58 AM   #10
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he was havin the same problem as me-----at low speeds or when stopped especially, when you turn the wheel the tires seem to bounce or shudder across the ground, sending a shake/shudder thru the car--i thought my ps pump was shot(it got louder/whinier too) but it seems this is an issue related to solid rack bushings...........anybody?

MFE---did you go back to a urethane bushing and if so does it still do the shudder?
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Old 08-09-2003, 02:28 AM   #11
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ttt interested it this. I ordered some MM aluminum bushings and was gonna try them out.
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Old 08-09-2003, 04:34 AM   #12
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let us know ---i think im gonna take em out and put poly ones in instead
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Old 08-09-2003, 10:09 AM   #13
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i got poly's from jegs: $11, and they were red to match my car (heh)

need to redo them with grease though, as they squeak here and there now
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Old 08-09-2003, 07:46 PM   #14
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I have the solid aluminium units from MM in my car. I also have the same shudder that you are talking about. Thought it was my rack or pump, I bled all the fluid and still had it. I am running 255/40/17's up front so I was thinking that the tires were just biting. But I also think it is because of the bushings. I have not tried anyother bushings, and I can live with that shudder. As long as I am not tearing anything up.

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Old 08-10-2003, 06:51 AM   #15
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im gonna go back to urethane and ill let you fellas know if for sure its the solid bushings that cause this.

MFE might already know though.
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Old 08-10-2003, 11:20 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 08-11-2003, 12:05 AM   #17
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Thank you all for the tips, Im sorry I didnt reply sooner but Thank you all.

Curt
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Old 08-12-2003, 11:22 PM   #18
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I just installed the aluminum ones and the are fine so far. Only pain was cutting the sleeves and get the rack back onto the k member, otherwise the steering feel is noticeably tighter and better.
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