2005 Dodge Caravan rack and pinion

Tiny
FABIANP83
  • MEMBER
  • 2005 DODGE CARAVAN
I noticed that there is a little play in my inner tie rod so I am going to replace it, but when I went to loosen the inner tie rod by holding the rack and pinion gear I noticed a slight bit of play in the rack itself when I put some pressure back and forth. Is a little play normal between the teeth of the rack and pinion gear or is it suppose to be really tight with no play at all.
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Sunday, October 6th, 2013 AT 12:51 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
I've replaced a lot of inner tie rod ends but never paid any attention to that play. There has to be a little free play so the rack won't bind when the pressure on it increases when you hit bumps in the road. If you didn't feel any light clunking in the steering wheel, there is likely nothing wrong with the rack assembly.
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Sunday, October 6th, 2013 AT 1:08 AM
Tiny
FABIANP83
  • MEMBER
That is what made me replace the inner tie rod because I heard and felt a light clunk on the drivers side when driving over deep pot holes going slow. When I checked it out I noticed in and out play in the inner tie rod, when I went to loosen the tie rod I noticed a little play back and forth between the gears that could sound like it could give a light clunk, I thought that there should be a little play like you said but I don't know how much. I just might go ahead and replace the tie rod and see how the van rides after, if it is still there I will know that the rack is worn and will need to be replaced.
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Sunday, October 6th, 2013 AT 1:49 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's a preload adjustment on the rack right under where the steering shaft goes in. I never tried to reset those because normally if there's excessive play there, it's because something is coming apart, but if you're going to replace the assembly anyway, you might consider removing that cap to see what you can do. There's usually a nut that's staked in the middle to lock it in place, but there may also be a threaded collar around it that can be turned.
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Sunday, October 6th, 2013 AT 3:20 AM

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