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Old 12-24-2014, 01:14 PM   #1
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Default Steering Clunk From Rack

So I have researched the hell out of this topic and it seems as though I am the first person to have this issue with a manual rack (I Think). Any way I have this terrible steering rack clunk that occurs when I turn the steering wheel from side to side by about an inch at a stop.

I jacked up the car and removed the passenger side boot and inspected further. This is what I found. I also found some chunks of plastic stuck to grease in the boot signifying that something destroyed itself.


This to me means that there is some seal that has destroyed that is allowing the rack to move in an un anticipated way.

My thinking was that this seal would be the part 32-201A from this exploded parts view list but alas I have no idea.



So i guess my question stems to has anyone here on this technical forum had anything even remotely similar to this issue and how did you address it? Thoughts?

I posted this on miata.net a few days ago and have had 0 response as I think that is probably not the best forum suited to a question such as this.

I am rather tempted to just buy a new rack directly from mazda but I would like to be able to fix what is already there.
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Steering Clunk From Rack-cn06821.jpg  
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:17 PM   #2
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The manual rack is really really simple. Looks like part 32-201a disintegrated, does that part exist at rosenthal? You can completely disassemble the manual rack in an hour or so with it starting on the car

I've got a picture of the rack taken apart in my build thread if you'd like to see things
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:21 PM   #3
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I will take a look at that then. Rosenthall does not have that part online, but I called my local mazda dealer and they said they could get 32201a as a special order.
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Old 01-14-2015, 02:51 PM   #4
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So I was able to replace that bushing and the issue has been fixed. I am working on a detailed walk through on how to fix the problem as I did.

Until then the part that needed to be replaced was 32-201A and in order to get access to it you need to remove the outer tie rod from the steering knuckle and you also need to remove the inner tie rod. I was able to get by without removing the outer tie rod from the inner tie rod.
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:15 AM   #5
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i just bought a manual rack, im going to save this for later lol. thanks
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Old 01-15-2015, 01:22 AM   #6
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Awesome! Good to hear you got it fixed.
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Old 04-07-2015, 09:42 PM   #7
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Here is a copy pasta of my walkthrough. I thought it might help some people out here.
My car developed a terrible clunk noise if you were at a stand still and moved the steering wheel about an inch in either direction. Here is a quick video showing what I am talking about.

I isolated the problem as being a worn out, or in my case destroyed and missing, steering rack bushing. Here is an exploded view of the factory steering rack diagram.
Steering Rack Diagram by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

Here is a photo showing that that piece is no longer present on my car.
Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

The particular part I needed was 32-201A (No.2). I did a google search for it and found that the Mazda part number for that exact part was HE0932201. I went to my local Mazda dealer and they had it to me the next day for a whopping total of $11.

Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

I also ordered a new steering rack washer because the tabs need to be bent out of the way and they were not reusable. The part number was (HA14-32-146). It looks like this.


The tools I used to tackle this project was a Milwaukee Impact wrench to do a lot of the grunt work and sockets ranging from 14mm to 21mm.
14mm is the size for the castle nut on the outer tie rod after removing the cotter pin.
21mm is to remove the lug nuts.
14mm is used again to remove the bolts holding the steering rack to the subframe to gain access to remove the bushing that holds the steering rack to the subframe.
Large 8in crescent wrench.
Needle nose pliers were useful in removing the metal clips holding on the factory steering rack boots.

So to start with the fixing of the destroyed / missing bushing you need to start with the following.
1. Jack up the front of the car on both sides.

2. Remove the passenger tire.

3. Remove the outer tie rod from the passenger side steering knuckle. (My method was to remove the castle nut and then partially thread it back on. With it partially back on I whacked it gently with a large hammer and then the tie rod popped out.
Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

4. With the outer tie rod removed you then need to undo the metal clasps on the factory steering rack boot and slide them to the side, then bend back the tabs on the inner tie rod washer. (From what I have read and done the metal clasps on the factory steering rack can be replaced with zipties).

5. With the tabs bent sufficiently I then used a crescent wrench spread as far wide as it could go (Conveniently the absolutely widest the wrench could go was an absolute perfect fit for the inner tie rod. I used an 8 inch crescent wrench) to unscrew the inner tie rod.
Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

This is what I was left with once I removed the inner tie rod.
Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

6. Now you need to actually remove the steering rack bushing that mounts the steering rack to the car. Once you remove that bushing you will expose 3 notches on the steering rack. These 3 notches sign up with the 3 notches on the replacement bushing that goes into the steering rack. Those notches hold the bushing place so that it will not slide around or slide out.

7. With the new bushing that goes into the steering via the inner tie rod you need to massage it into place because it is a very tight fit. You also need to be aware where the notches are so that you can properly align it into the steering rack. I had to use a soft face dead blow hammer to gently tap it further and further into the steering rack.

8. Here is the new bushing installed and happily in place. Untitled by xbeatles4x, on Flickr

Once it was inside the steering rack and properly aligned I started the reassembly process.
The reassembly is the same process as the disassembly.

Some Notes: Inspect your parts as you disassemble the car. If the boots are torn on your outer tie rods then you probably need new ones. Inspect the inner tie rods to make sure that they are still ok. Make marks when removing the inner tie rod so that you can line it all back up.

I would advise after doing all of this that you get a front end alignment done, while not absolutely necessary it would not be a bad idea either. I did not get an alignment but thankfully the car currently drives as it use to with no weird pulls.

If you have any questions drop me a message.
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Steering Clunk From Rack-16336060141_4dcd34e19a_o.jpg   Steering Clunk From Rack-d759e8ea40a927bdc8aefd2af7a586ae__76666_zoom.jpg  
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:33 PM   #8
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Nice tutorial. Bookmarked in case I ever need to repair my manual rack in this manner.
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