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Old 05-23-2006, 03:15 PM   #1
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For those who want to change their steering rack

I bet over 75% of 4th gen owners have a leaking steering rack and/or worn tie rods...

I bought this rack
Click

I bought the 99se rack because it is stiffer. It comes with new inner tie rods and new o-rings.

You should replace the outer tie rods and sway bar bushings at the same time.

As for the how to.
Loosen lugs
Jack up and put the car on jack stands.
Remove wheels
Remove outer tie rods(I did not and paid for it ) - You need to rent the outer tie rod removal tool from AutoZone to do this.
Remove the bolt on top of the sway bar end link and the 2 bolts on the bracket that holds the "inner" bushing in.
Move the sway bar up and wiggle it out from the passenger side.

Remove the ypipe(rent the o2 removal tool)
Click the image to open in full size.
As you can see, I forgot to rent the tool

Now the fun part. Crossmember. Remove the engine mount bolts, in the rear I used a long 10in extension to get to the bolt from the engine bay(intake removed). Front engine mount you need an open end wrench on one side and a socket on the other(or two sockets...) I supported the engine with a jack and a 2x4. If you have a tranny jack it would be better. Remove the 2 bolts in the front and rear(4total bolts) on the cross member and it will drop down. You can replace the mounts right now if you want too.

See a plate covering this mount on the rack. It is behind the rear header and is held on by three 10mm screws. Remove it.
Click the image to open in full size.

Now remove the fluid lines, have something to catch the fluid(I had a trash can lid). Remove these from the engine bay, it is much easier that way.
Click the image to open in full size.
Use a 14mm open end wrech to get the bottom one. On the top one, remove the hose and swap the nipple on the new rack once it is out of the car.

Click the image to open in full size.
Remove those nuts. Now you will see the spindle, there is a 12mm nut holding it on the spindle of the rack. Make sure the steering wheel is strait before you remove it.

Remove the bolts holding on the rack now. One mount is pictured above, other you will see when you are down there.
USE THIS ALONG WITH MY TIPS TO CHANGE THE RACK

FSM is basicly the same write up too.

As you can tell I didn't do everything they did.

You will remove the rack from the middle, it will NOT slide out from the sides(I found out the hard way). You will move it towards the pass side and then drop it down in the middle. You will install it the same way. I also installed new bushing on the rack, I got MOOG bushings from rockauto.com

You will soon find out the spindle does not want to go into the joint. You will have to bang on top of the joint to get it on the spindle. I used my tq wrech and breaker bar to bang it in. I didnt have a rubber mallet(I did this with the rack mounts partially in, only the lower nuts were in). Rest is the reversal.
Next you get it aligned... I still have to do this, my wheel is cocked to the right.

This will take all day and would be much easier with air tools. But I saved about 800-1200bucks labor by doing myself and I now have a stiffer and better feeling steering system.
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:47 PM   #2
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I assume that you also have to bleed the PS system once you are done, correct?
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Old 05-23-2006, 03:52 PM   #3
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It's a self bleeding system. Just turn the wheel left to right about 100x times(less ) and keep filling to the COLD FULL level.

BTW I used Mobil1 ATF full synthetic. 1qt will be enough.
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:08 PM   #4
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Dude, you ROCK. I have a low mileage 97 rack in my loft that needs to be installed, and I've been whimpering about it for weeks and putting it off. Maybe I should trade it for a '99. Knowing exactly what you did is very helpful.

Sadly, the thing I'm most concerned about is my y-pipe, which was removed once about 20k ago and it's now at 150k. I have new studs and nuts but I fear that my rack replacement will become an exhaust rust and stud extraction nightmare.

BTW, I fiddled with my front struts recently to change out axles, and my alignment was off as a result. I got it pretty darn close by lifting the front end and adjusting it manually. Start by setting the steering wheel to dead center and lifting the front end. Look down the face of each front wheel - mine pointed just near the center of the rear wheel since the suspension toes outward when it's not compressed by the weight of the car. I tweaked until they were pointing on nearly the same line, and lo and behold they came out to nearly zero toe angle when I put the front end back down. My steering wheel is very close to centered. It's not an alignment, but in 10min it's not too bad.

Oh, and nice tires. I have them on my RX-7 and man are they good for being street tires.

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Old 05-23-2006, 04:16 PM   #5
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Thanks Kevlo I am planning on doing this after Maxus.
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPiG
Thanks Kevlo I am planning on doing this after Maxus.

I still need to replace the control arm bushings and the ball joints. If I go to Maxus I will let you drive it and feel the new steering. Dunno if I will have the bushings and balljoints done but I might have a secret power adder
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Old 05-23-2006, 04:27 PM   #7
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Top notch write up as usual Kevlo!
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:41 PM   #8
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Nice, is it worth it? Can you feel the difference? I am thinking of doing this mod also.
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:51 PM   #9
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Definately a good read and write up. Subscribing like whoa
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Old 05-23-2006, 05:51 PM   #10
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That would be great Kevlo. Did you put a controller for the pressure like i30Krab? I assume it the electronically controlled one.
http://f.maxima.org/showthread.php?t=364766

I have all of the bushings already in ES or custom polyurethane, but I am going to do the ball joints and tie rods when I do the rack.

I wanted all of this done before Maxus, but I am waiting for parts and I don't want to go to Maxus broke or without my car if I couldn't get it back together. So my mystery mods will have to come later.
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Old 05-23-2006, 06:30 PM   #11
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sweet write up kevlo. i'm subscribing. for someone who only wants to do this when they have to, how do you know when you need a new steering rack?
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:03 PM   #12
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zack you already have a 99 steering rack

Kevlo great job as always, so you like the 99 steering rack too?
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:08 PM   #13
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Could I do this in flip flops?
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:26 PM   #14
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So any feedback on the Feeling ???? You have to tell us how it feels !!!

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Old 05-23-2006, 07:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vipervadim
zack you already have a 99 steering rack

Kevlo great job as always, so you like the 99 steering rack too?

I know i was messing with them but no one noticed > nice work on your car by the way. Must be hot, i am going to suggest for your next mod 5speed conversion
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Old 05-23-2006, 07:55 PM   #16
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next mod is already in progress - HID projectors, wait till you hear my hybrid projector setup..
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:22 PM   #17
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Feels 100x better. It is MUCH stiffer. Steering response is better too.

How do you know if you need a new one? Look to see if yours is leaking(Im positive most are) and is the wheel very loose? Mine was. This is much better. I just need to get alignment so I am all set.
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:26 PM   #18
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I am in for this. I know for a fact I have a leak somewhere in the PS assembly. So how much of a difference did you experience before/after this change?
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Old 05-23-2006, 08:51 PM   #19
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Mine used to be very loose and had about an inch play in the steering wheels left and right. In that "play" it would do nothing. That should not be there at all.
I used to be able to steer the car with my pinky haha.
Now it is stiff with no play. Has a more sporty feel to it, like most newer cars. It is not as stiff as our Madza6s but it is very close to our G35.
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Old 05-23-2006, 09:08 PM   #20
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Good writeup & pics.

Just to clarify the "stiffer" only applies to '95/96 (all) and '97-99 GLE/GXE's right? The '97 and later SE's all got the same smaller pinion's as the '99. That same part# you posted cross ref's against the 97/98 SE's too. I'm assuming the pinion comes with the rack just like the inner rods.
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Old 05-23-2006, 09:11 PM   #21
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How much did this run you in total? I know of a '97 SE parts car with about 60k miles on it that may be a doner for me.
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Old 05-23-2006, 09:25 PM   #22
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265+10bucks for new bushings.
20 for outer tie rods?
5 bucks for one qt of ATF.
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Old 05-23-2006, 09:40 PM   #23
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This is on my list when i put my 96 back together. It shouldn't be a problem though since it has no motor.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:03 AM   #24
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Maybe you see my post too ,

i am planning on doing that for a little while .

Now every place i call and ask , they said 96 ans 99SE and not the same
i notice you have a 97 .

I really dont know if it the same ??

Also mine is not leaking just loose as hell , make the car impredictible

anyhow thnaks for witing this , i plan doing mine while a 3.5 swap
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:24 AM   #25
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Kevlo is just me or is it a typo when you say 800-1200 in labor???

Also my steering rack blew and whereever I parked I left a good deal of fluid on the ground. I got another rack off a the same car, a 99. The labor cost me $240 to replace the steering rack. The used rack itself was $100 from the junkyard. After they replaced it my steering felt heavy for like a week. After a week it went back to the same feeling as the old rack. Also after the rack was put in and my brake pads replaced, discs resurfaced my steering wheel doesn't vibrate when I have to do some hard braking at high speeds.
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Old 05-24-2006, 06:59 AM   #26
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I was quote 1100 can

Also he used a rebuild ..

nice post , is 95-96 compatible whit 99SE ??
thats my question
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:36 AM   #27
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Naa i've read about these high quotes and I got some like that too.
$240 labor for all this work is amazing.
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Old 05-24-2006, 07:48 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingrukus
How much did this run you in total? I know of a '97 SE parts car with about 60k miles on it that may be a doner for me.
To go thru this process, it might be better just to get a brand new remanufactured unit. Just to ensure longevity.

Ordered mine today. Figure I should get this out the way since I'm swapping engines out. I heard its easier than changing a tire when the engine is out.
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Old 05-24-2006, 09:58 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevlo911
Naa i've read about these high quotes and I got some like that too.
$240 labor for all this work is amazing.
The dealer wanted $560. $240 is amazing but not when they bend some parts. They just bent something I wasn't using anyway so I got some weight reduction after this. They also didn't clean off the engine bay. I had to go to a gas station and spray some compressed air.

They put the old one(steering rack) in the trunk of my car. Any parts I should take off before I throw it away?
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:25 AM   #30
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Nope......
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Old 05-24-2006, 11:44 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevlo911
Mine used to be very loose and had about an inch play in the steering wheels left and right. In that "play" it would do nothing. That should not be there at all.
I used to be able to steer the car with my pinky haha.
Now it is stiff with no play. Has a more sporty feel to it, like most newer cars. It is not as stiff as our Madza6s but it is very close to our G35.
i don't have any play in my steering yet, thankfully. i have 90k on my car.
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Old 05-24-2006, 10:17 PM   #32
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Anyone can confirm 99SE fit 96 GXE , that what i want to know ???
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Old 05-25-2006, 03:22 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevlo911
Nope......
not even the tie rods?? or the dust covers?
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Old 05-25-2006, 05:37 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brushedpewter
not even the tie rods?? or the dust covers?
maybe you can try to sell it as core for a rebuilder
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:10 AM   #35
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Take the adjustment nuts off the tie rods. They will fit on the strut bolts or the LCA balljoints as well. Never a bad thing to have extra fasteners around...
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Old 05-25-2006, 07:22 AM   #36
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Quote:
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maybe you can try to sell it as core for a rebuilder
Do you know who rebuilds them and where I can send this one to get rebuilt? The only thing broken on it is the seal. The one I got on the car might eventually blow a seal like the original one so it's good to have an extra rack& pinion.
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Old 05-27-2006, 07:21 PM   #37
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Well I got started with this job today and Kevlo's instructions are spot-on.

However, I did slide the rack out the drivers' side by removing the entire universal joint from the rack - just remove the lower 12mm bolt just like you did on the upper one.

I'd also warn anyone who has ABS that this is significantly tighter with ABS lines blocking access from the top. Basically it's a b*tch, and if it weren't for the 10mm and 12mm wobble sockets and extensions I have (aka the knock sensor tools), it would have been a terrible experience.

Since my y-pipe is at 150k and rusting to pieces, I wanted to remove it and replace it with a low-mileage stock y-pipe I picked up cheap. Unfortunately, the bolts and nuts were virtually welded together - you couldn't even see the flats on the nuts - they were just a wad of rust. I spent 2 hours screwing with that before I just quit. Moral of the exhaust story - just pay a shop to change exhaust components.

Dave
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Old 05-28-2006, 06:25 AM   #38
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nice write up
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Old 05-30-2006, 09:22 AM   #39
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Well I wrapped up the job yesterday without any major issues.
I removed the front sway bar after dropping the crossmember and y-pipe, but on reinstallation I forgot to sneak it in there until later. So don't forget that or else you'll have to remove the y-pipe, crossmember, and rack mount heat shield again.

The steering is much smoother and a little tighter now, although I haven't had much driving with it yet to really feel confident that it's 'all gone'.

Dave
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:13 PM   #40
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Is it worth the money and trouble dgeesaman?
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Old 05-31-2006, 04:13 PM
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