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Rack and Pinion Recommendations

This is a discussion on Rack and Pinion Recommendations within the Suspension and Handling forums, part of the General Help category; I'm installing a rack this weekend and want to get a heads up on getting one on order. Any recommendations ...

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Rack and Pinion Recommendations

    I'm installing a rack this weekend and want to get a heads up on getting one on order. Any recommendations on brand? I've run across Duralast and A-1 Cardone, to name a few. TIA

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    Senior Member justinmc978's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 79Firebird_99TA View Post
    I'm installing a rack this weekend and want to get a heads up on getting one on order. Any recommendations on brand? I've run across Duralast and A-1 Cardone, to name a few. TIA
    be careful when buying, there are two different kinds of racks, and it is very easy to get them confused, you can tell them apart by the angle at which the input shaft sits compared to the length of the rack, I believe the more angled unit is the V8 one (not sure though), when you go to buy, make sure you get the one that is for FE2 or FE4 suspension, because that is what you want. the V6 one is F41.
    Last edited by justinmc978; 08-04-2011 at 12:46 PM.

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info .... yeah I've got that covered ... just curious about brands; if there are any that should be avoided.

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    Senior Member justinmc978's Avatar
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    Honestly in the same boat as you, mine is leaking from the input shaft. Turnone is a great company that I will probably end up using, for $200 and shipping cost they will rebuild it to better than new. as far as replacing the unit totally I have no idea..

    another tip, unless yours has been changed before and the person who did it reversed it, one of the bolts holding the rack in has the motor sitting on top of it, so you'll either have to jack your motor up or cut it out with a sawzall and get a new one, fun stuff.

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    Member 79Firebird_99TA's Avatar
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    I can't do without the car for the time that it takes to get the rack back if I were to ship it out. I do have the sawzall ready. I had some tires put on the car last weekend and the shop wanted to put a R tie rod end on it.... for 179!! (including alignment). For under 300, I should be able to do rack, tie rod ends and alignment.

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    So you replace the R&P when it starts leaking. I think mine may or may not be bad, it only seems to leak on the driver's side but it's getting pretty bad this winter. Anyway, hopefully the power steering pump will take care of my issues - but just because I don't quite get it, shouldn't there be some other indicator that the R&P is bad besides just leakage?

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    Senior Member justinmc978's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by richard head View Post
    ..shouldn't there be some other indicator that the R&P is bad besides just leakage?
    typically leaking is just the result of a bad seal, which wouldnt really have much of an effect on anythng else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard head View Post
    So you replace the R&P when it starts leaking. I think mine may or may not be bad, it only seems to leak on the driver's side but it's getting pretty bad this winter. Anyway, hopefully the power steering pump will take care of my issues - but just because I don't quite get it, shouldn't there be some other indicator that the R&P is bad besides just leakage?
    To answer your question, yes.

    Looseness in the steering wheel, wandering from side to side while driving, harder to turn the car in one direction over the other, inside/outside tire wear, and clunking/thud/knocking from the R&P are all symptoms.

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    ʢ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮Ր Ց Ւ Փ Smittro's Avatar
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    Agree

    The inboard or inside tie rods are linked dirrectly to the rack gear.

    Many of the symptoms of a bad rack and pinion can also be attributed to other things as well.

    Bad inboard and out board ties, ball joints, hung calipar, can also cause odd tire wear.

    Broken or worn, swar bar, links, and sway bar saddles as well as, the things listed above can cause all sorts of odd noises, also.

    These things can also cause a feel in the steering wheel of vibrations, wondering, and a "sloppy feel",, as well as worn shocks.

    Leaks, crimped (kinked) PS lines, dirty fluid, and binding suspension componets, air in the system, can/will cause the PS pump to whine as well..

    .... And of course a bad R&P unit is'nt any fun either,, IIRC you ls1 guys have to lift your engine to change out the rack unit..

    If you're on stock stuff, I would exhaust checking/servicing other options/componets also,,, as these cars are ageing, newest model is 10 years old.

    Especially if it's a daily driver.
    Last edited by Smittro; 12-30-2011 at 06:00 AM.

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    Senior Member justinmc978's Avatar
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    sloppy steering, vibrations and noises may be present if the rack is leaking, but they arent necessarily indicative of a leak or vise versa; my rack has been slowly leaking from the input shaft for years, but you'd never know it, as there are no other signs the unit is bad.

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