Replacing Rack Bushings

Tiny
DAVEK24
  • MEMBER
  • 2001 INFINITI I30
  • 175,000 MILES
Just finished replacing all front suspension parts. Well not all, now need to replace rack and pinion bushings. Steering is tight but when I turn hard right, steering pulls right, hard left then pulls left. Also when it rains and everything is wet it's all over the place. Do I need to take out the rack or can I just do one bushing at a time? I'm doing this in my garage so. Anything I might need to know. Thank you again. Dave
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Sunday, May 19th, 2013 AT 9:26 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Worn rack bushings will cause steering wander and clunking. What you're describing is called "memory steer". It can be caused by a tight ball joint, on some cars it can be caused by improper torque on the ball joint stud nut, but it is most often caused by binding upper strut mounts. In very rare cases it can be caused by a binding universal joint in the steering column but you'll typically feel it bind and release twice per steering wheel revolution.

A car that's hard to control on wet surfaces is out of alignment. The wheels are steering in different directions. You didn't say which parts you replaced but I'd have to guess the car needs to be aligned. That is standard procedure when steering and suspension parts are replaced.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Sunday, May 19th, 2013 AT 10:02 PM
Tiny
DAVEK24
  • MEMBER
Replaced struts, springs, strut mounts, control arms including all the bushings, ball joints, inner and outer tie rods, wheel hubs and bearings. Even camber adjustment bolts. Everything was torqued to specs. Had it aligned and the alignment was almost dead on perfect. Have a friend that manages a local tire store. New Nitto Extreme ZRs'. He made sure the tech did a great job. I also replaced the rear struts, springs and strut mounts. Drives and steers straight, does not bind after steering hard or at anytime. It does clunk on the passenger side. My question is Do I need to take out the rack or can I just do one bushing at a time? I'm doing this in my garage so. Anything I might need to know. Thank you again. Dave
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Monday, May 20th, 2013 AT 7:37 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Sorry to leave you hanging so long. Been out of town helping a friend rebuild smashed cars in his body shop.

I looked up the parts and the bushings shown for your rack are identical to what used to be used on Chrysler minivans in the '90s. Those are real easy to replace by removing two bolts holding a metal strap for each one. It would take about a half hour to do both if you're crawling on the ground to do it, but I can't imagine how that would cure tight steering. It could cure a clunk or thumping type of rattle.

The rack shown for your car doesn't match the bushings they show. I see a place for one bushing but it looks like there's two large bolt holes near where the steering shaft connects, and there's no place there for the second bushing. Do you see two straps holding the rack in place?
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 AT 12:38 AM
Tiny
DAVEK24
  • MEMBER
Thanks again for the response, I appreciate the help, this is how I learn. Will be replacing the rack bushings this morning. Just recieved the bushings from rockauto. By the way, so do their prices! Anyway the problem is not tight steering, I meant that the steering is 'tight', meaning like new. There is a clunk, but also the car wanders, and also pulls to the direction that the car was last steered into. So did more investigating. Had my son start the car and I had him turn the wheel all the way to the right, well to find out that the rack also moved in that direction, and also had him steer to the left. Same thing happened, the rack moved to the left. Not much. About.5 inches. But enough to make it "out of alignment" since it was aligned when the rack was in the "center". So I will be replacing them and will let you and everyone who reads this how it went. I will also post how to do the replacement. With your permission. If you would like, if anyone else has the same problem that I have. Thank you. Dave
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 AT 1:08 AM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides