MM Sn95 Steering rack swap questions (issues too)
Thanks to Mustang5L5 who posted a low mileage SPR ZK rack the other day, I embarked on the SN rack swap in my car.
I installed a low mileage 50k SPR ZK rack, reused my also new Solid Rack bushings, and bought the Maximum Motorsports swap shaft.
Prior to this, I was on the stock 4 cyl rack, solid bushings, and stock rebuilt steering shaft. The old setup had some chatter, and I found both inner tie rods died shortly after I started driving the car. Plenty of reason to make the swap.
When it came time to install the SN rack, everything went well except the swap shaft was a good deal too long for me to compress and slide in to align the splines. I had to loosen the rack, slide the shaft/rotate it/clock it, and then slide the rack back in.
Here's where it gets interesting. The new rack feels wonderful, but I have a few telling symptoms:
1) I still have steering chatter. I verified that the rack isn't touching anywhere aside from the beveled washers.
2) The upper joint on the shaft is lightly touching what is already a dented Pypes header.
3) I get a pop from the column like it gets bound up.
4) The rack struggles to bolt on, like its being held out.
Now I read the MM instructions a few times, but despite my experience I'm unfamiliar with the ways of stock steering columns. Is my issue that the steering column is extended to far out of the firewall, effectively binding everything since the shaft hits the header, won't fit without total removal of the rack, and I hear a binding pop?
If that's the case, what's the best way to compress the column? Sorry for the long winded post. Just trying to lay out facts.