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Old 08-01-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
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Default Clunk in steering system

So, I have a ''clunk" noise when I wiggle the steering left and right, when the car is not rolling. I check every components, and every thing is tight (alignment bolt were checked, ball joints, 949 endlinks, etc). I run a depowered rack, and the pinion was NOT welded. Could it be coming from that? Any idea?

Thanks for your help,

Ben
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:12 PM   #2
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I'm dealing with this as well.
I've noticed that if I wiggle my steering shaft right at the intersection of the telescoping parts of the shaft that I have a decent amount of play and clunking noise.

How does that part look? I haven't swapped mine out yet so I cant say if it was the culprit.

Part 32-090B:
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Old 08-01-2014, 04:15 PM   #3
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Didn't check that part of the column, I'll have a look
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Old 08-06-2014, 04:10 PM   #4
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There's a big 40? mm lock nut attached to the 14? mm bolt screwed into the front of the rack near where the intermediate shaft attaches. You loosen that huge lock nut and SLOWLY tighten down the 14mm nut until you steer and there's no noise. This is easier with a helping hand, but not required. Do NOT over-tighten this or you run the risk of steering sticking (IE: wheel doesnt reset to level) while driving. I only had to turn mine a quarter turn before the noise was completely gone.

You can remove the lockwasher and nut assembly completely if you need to, I had to because it was corroded and seized together, but some PB Blaster and a quick tap of the impact and it broke free (use at your own risk), then I put it back on and tightened it back down.

All this does is adjust the steering lash between the intermediate shaft and the rack, the 'clunk' is the super small amount of play it likely has. In the below picture, the adjustable wrench is over the 40mm nut, the circle with the nut inside is iirc one-piece and is what you tighten, then lock down the lock nut. Both parts can be fully removed (I advise together to keep base adjustment) exposing a high strength spring underneath to set lash (it will not go shooting out unless you're careless).

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Old 08-06-2014, 04:45 PM   #5
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Also check the two bolts under the dash to make sure they're tight, as well as the 4 bolts (2 on each side) for the steering rack clamps.
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:01 PM   #6
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Thanks for the input guys, didn't think about that preload nut on the steering rack.. Pretty sure it is coming from that.

Ben
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:03 PM   #7
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did you check that the rack mounting bolts were tight, i had my rack slopping back and forth cause i had a loose bolt on the rack strap
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:26 PM   #8
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Bigben: I've had 2/3 of the clunks on here. Left-right 'clunk' at a stop is the preload adjuster. Hitting bumps where the column moves is the two bolts under the dash (even with mine CRANKED, I still get some rattles out of the column). No issues with rack mount bolts at least on my cars though.
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Old 08-07-2014, 01:13 AM   #9
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Props for excellent info, Der_Idiot. I've noticed this same clunk for a while now, and when I didn't find play in the tie rods, decided it wasn't major enough to worry about yet, and went on with life. Now I know to give this a look.

If anyone would be so kind: I'm 40 miles from my tools and jack, so could you tell me how hard it is to access this bolt while the rack is on the car? Can I just get the car in the air, pull the undertray and go?
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:07 AM   #10
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I drove up on a pile of 2x4's for both fronts. You really want the wheels on the ground to make sure you can hear the noise go away as folks turn left/rigth rapidly (knock knock knock knock knock clink clink *...* *...*)
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Old 09-06-2014, 12:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curly View Post
Also check the two bolts under the dash to make sure they're tight, as well as the 4 bolts (2 on each side) for the steering rack clamps.
Are these 2 bolts accessible with the dash still in the car? I too have this little right to left clunk, probably not pinion gear since mine is press pinned, similar to welding.
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Old 09-06-2014, 09:27 AM   #12
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Yes. Under that metal knee plate.
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