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Old 08-29-2010, 07:33 PM   #1
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Default steering rack play

I have a depowered rack in my 96. I just drained the fluid , greased the gears, and looped the lines because 96's are different than the ones in flyinmiatas instructions and I couldn't get it all apart to take the seals out.

The rack has been depowered for a few thousand miles and there is a lot of slop in the steering now. You can hear the clunk back and forth when you move the wheel. I have tightened the adjuster all the way and it still has a lot of play in it.

Any suggestions? should I be looking for a new rack?
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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It might be your quill has too much play and may need to be welded. I'm not sure about the clunking though. It could be the valve/seals in the rack.

http://forum.miata.net/vb/showthread...ck#post3922065

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Old 08-29-2010, 08:55 PM   #3
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good info. i had no idea. If that is the case id probably jsut get another rack
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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will a pre 96 rack fit on my car?
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:29 PM   #5
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I think a pre 96 will fit. Why not just pull yours apart?
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:37 PM   #6
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lazyness / i couldnt get it apart last time.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:32 PM   #7
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I guess you are sure its not end links or rack bushings.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:33 PM   #8
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yeah its not end links or bushings. The play is very consistant and feels like play between gears if you know what I mean.
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Old 08-29-2010, 10:54 PM   #9
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Yep, I know what you mean. Sucks man. Sounds like you might want to source a used one and call it a day. (car-part.com maybe) Good luck
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Old 08-30-2010, 04:19 AM   #10
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I have the same thing, and mine isn't welded. I think I might do it. Its not an obscene amount of play, but its slightly irritating. If I shake the steering wheel back and forth, I get a really obvious clunk.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cococarbine3 View Post
It might be your quill has too much play and may need to be welded.
I'd be concerned your pinion is broken, which can be a very serious problem because if it breaks through completely you'll have no steering at all. Completely loosing your steering in a corner would be very bad.

Tightening the adjuster "all the way" isn't a solution; it has to be adjusted correctly or you'll either damage the rack and pinion gears, or you'll add excessive friction and accelerate wear of the rack and pinion gears. There's a sweet spot and anything out of that spot isn't good. Besides, it didn't seem to help you so there's something else amiss and there aren't really that many moving parts. To me everything points to a failed pinion.

You either need to replace the rack or take it apart and have a good look at the internals. I definitely wouldn't drive it that way.
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Old 08-30-2010, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartinezA92 View Post
I have the same thing, and mine isn't welded. I think I might do it. Its not an obscene amount of play, but its slightly irritating. If I shake the steering wheel back and forth, I get a really obvious clunk.
Just how much play are we talking here?
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:16 PM   #13
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My bet it is the steering shaft. I’ve had 2 of them develop slop.

The shaft between the firewall and the rack is a splined slip shaft, you can see the step in it where its got outer tube connected to the firewall U-joint and an inner shaft connected to the rack U-joint. It is splined on the inside. To keep it from having slop in the splines it has plastic injected into it. A downpipe leak or just really hot exhaust like near a turbo can cause the plastic to melt and then you start feeling slop. Sort of a clunking feeling in the steering.

Get somebody to wiggle the steering wheel while you look down at the joint in the middle of the shaft in the engine bay. You can either see or feel the two parts of the shaft move relative to each other. when the plastic melts the thing can be slipped apart as well.

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Old 08-30-2010, 09:19 PM   #14
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Where do you get replacement steering shafts?
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:17 PM   #15
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I would say a replacement would be alot more expensive than just having the two welded. Even if you do replace that plastic is just going to melt again (if you're turboed and if that is what caused the problem in the first place).

I wonder if wrapping that joint with reflective heat wrap could extend it's lifetime. Just an idea.

Last edited by seraph; 08-31-2010 at 04:20 PM. Reason: ninja edit
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:32 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240_to_miata View Post
Where do you get replacement steering shafts?
Did you find the steering shaft to be the problem? It will be a relief to me if it is.

With three de-powered racks on my own cars I don't want to worry that the rack pinions will be self-destructing soon.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:14 PM   #17
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naw im just assuming. IM gunna check it soon.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:19 PM   #18
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Where do you get replacement steering shafts?
local pick and pull they were cheap like $10.

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Old 08-31-2010, 05:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seraph View Post
I would say a replacement would be alot more expensive than just having the two welded. Even if you do replace that plastic is just going to melt again (if you're turboed and if that is what caused the problem in the first place).

I wonder if wrapping that joint with reflective heat wrap could extend it's lifetime. Just an idea.
Might be able to slide them together with JB weld or something.

I would trust that more than a weld.

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Old 08-31-2010, 06:21 PM   #20
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looks like the play is after the U joint... most likely the quill. Time to throw my car on my buddies lift and whip out the tig.
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