steering rack cradle bolt top of bushing worn

dchadjohnson

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I was looking through the engine bay before an upcoming road trip on Monday and noticed that on the drivers side bolt that holds the steering rack to the cradle , the top of the rubber bushing is worn and sticking out.

My understanding is that it's usually the top piece that wears out and not the entire through bushing. I just replaced the entire steering rack 9 months ago and don't really want to/can't afford to do it again so soon.

Soo.. how irresponsible/dangerous is it to drive like it is currently? can I do a band-aid fix with some permatex gasket? can I pull out that bolt and put a rubber washer on top? what do you all suggest? I don't have time to drop the rack this weekend and have to travel on Monday.


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tommudd

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I did not tell you to do this ;)
BUT
remove bolt, install a large washer , with center hole the same size as the bolt, crank it down and go on your trip

Not the best way to repair it but should hold up well for ya
Others may say different but it'll work for a while
 

dchadjohnson

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I did not tell you to do this ;)
BUT
remove bolt, install a large washer , with center hole the same size as the bolt, crank it down and go on your trip

Not the best way to repair it but should hold up well for ya
Others may say different but it'll work for a while

Thanks @tommudd - I understand it may not be the "best" fix or even the "right" fix, but sometimes we just need to make things work until we can get it done
 

dchadjohnson

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May need 2 washers on top ?

There is now a company that has finally produced Poly bushings for the steering rack!
https://creative-steel.com/shop/jee...berty-kj-polyurethane-steering-rack-bushings/

Thanks @LibertyTC - I found your post from a while back on this same issue and I am seriously thinking about buying those poly bushings. Did you end up installing them without dropping the whole rack? I don't have time for a big repair job right now - in the middle of closing on a house and moving ugh
 

LibertyTC

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The poly bushings are the way to go. For now I still have the Napa bushings installed, & they are still tight, w/ no real movement.
I let the shop deal with it on the hoist. 45 minutes later job was done. They have done this job before.
Once those 2 bolts are out, they may have removed a tie rod end, pried it forward, & instilled the new bushings that way.
Never had to drop rack or touch the power steering lines.
I went for lunch, but they said it wasn't a big deal.
Here are the full listing re rack bushings worth looking at: https://www.google.com/search?q=jee...bushings&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1
https://www.google.com/search?q=jee...bushings&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1
 

jeeptorino68

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Thanks @LibertyTC - I found your post from a while back on this same issue and I am seriously thinking about buying those poly bushings. Did you end up installing them without dropping the whole rack? I don't have time for a big repair job right now - in the middle of closing on a house and moving ugh

I have those bushings. They are well worth it. They were tricky to install in the garage but I didnt fully take the rack out.
 

65Corvair

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As long as your bolted joint stays tight there is no significant issue. Even if all the rubber on the top of the steering rack is gone, the worse you will have is a rattle/knock from the rack moving slightly.
If you can remove the bolt, and put some sort of “rubber washer” item in there, it would be fine for a long term fix. You just need to ensure the bolt tightens against the steel piece inside the bushing.
 

Offroad Bob

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I have an ‘02 Sport and both of my rack & pinion bushings are shot and the whole thing rocks back and forth and up and down. I have a set of new Moog bushings to install. What are some tricks to install them on both ends without removing the rack from the vehicle ?
 

tommudd

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I have an ‘02 Sport and both of my rack & pinion bushings are shot and the whole thing rocks back and forth and up and down. I have a set of new Moog bushings to install. What are some tricks to install them on both ends without removing the rack from the vehicle ?
Remove one side tie rod end, then bolts out and you should have enough room to R&R the bushings, not totally an easy job but not too bad , just takes a little time
 

Offroad Bob

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Thank you tommudd. I just sprayed the whole area with degreaser and sprayed off so it will be dry in the am. Will advise outcome and also if I happen to find a new trick
 

Offroad Bob

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Well we got the bushings installed today ! I did like tommudd said. I dropped the skid plate, removed the sway bar, disconnected both tie rod ends at the knuckles. Removed the rack bolts. Using a large, about 18” long pair of channel locks, I could grab the rack from below and I was able to roll the top of the rack toward the front of the vehicle where both bushings cleared the frame rail. I had replaced the entire rack about 3 or 4 years ago and both the bushing were inserted from the bottom and had some type of adhesive on them. We put 2 or 3 long socket extensions together and drove them out from the top. Then cleaned up the holes with a small brass parts brush. I gave each bushing a small shot of WD40 and was able to push them but it did require quite a bit of effort. Then remounted the rack, hooked the tie rod ends, put the sway bar back in, put the skid plate back on and went for a drive. Drove great !! All slop was gone and it felt new again. Took us 5 hours but we had a couple of beer breaks in there. Thanks for all the tips in previous posts.
 

Offroad Bob

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Well here is what was left of one of the steering rack bushings. Was completely shot !
 

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WheelNut

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Does anyone know how polyurethane compares to "rubber" in it's oil resistance? Looking at some engineering websites it appears that PU is NOT listed as being resistant to motor oil or petroleum products. (source: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/polyurethane-chemical-resistance-d_1878.html) Does anyone have long term experience with the PU rack bushings being exposed to oil?

Ascertaining the actual composition of "rubber" bushings is not something I've been able to do just yet, but I guess that doesn't matter as we know from years of evidence that our rubber steering rack bushings are susceptible to damage from oil.

Perhaps I will come up with a 3d model of a cover for this steering rack bushing that I could make available for 3d printing. It might be better to just cover this bushing rather than worrying about changing the material of the bushing.
 

tommudd

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I never get oil on my bushings, if you cover them and be careful no need to worry
The 04 with over 233,000 miles and oil changed every 3-3500 miles is still tight ( not brand new tight but still good.
Of course I am the only one to ever change oil in it since new
 

RenKJ

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Thanks @tommudd - I understand it may not be the "best" fix or even the "right" fix, but sometimes we just need to make things work until we can get it done
May need 2 washers on top ?

There is now a company that has finally produced Poly bushings for the steering rack!
https://creative-steel.com/shop/jee...berty-kj-polyurethane-steering-rack-bushings/
im looking at about $100cad for the poly bushings vs about $30 for rubber bushings off rock auto? is it worth it? not sure

also what size washer was used for that temp fix?
 

LibertyTC

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IMHO the Poly are worth it. I've done 3 sets of OEM rubber over the years, and considering the hassle, get the poly bushings.
Temp fix, don't remember the size, but I did remove one of the steering rack bolts washer, then found correct washers by downsizing them until it fit nicely together.
Once the bolt was out up top, you could also try cutting away the excess rubber. Then fill up top with a good urethane level, allow to fully cure, & 1 washer, that may work too.
 
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duderz7

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Does anyone know how polyurethane compares to "rubber" in it's oil resistance? Looking at some engineering websites it appears that PU is NOT listed as being resistant to motor oil or petroleum products. (source: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/polyurethane-chemical-resistance-d_1878.html) Does anyone have long term experience with the PU rack bushings being exposed to oil?

Ascertaining the actual composition of "rubber" bushings is not something I've been able to do just yet, but I guess that doesn't matter as we know from years of evidence that our rubber steering rack bushings are susceptible to damage from oil.

Perhaps I will come up with a 3d model of a cover for this steering rack bushing that I could make available for 3d printing. It might be better to just cover this bushing rather than worrying about changing the material of the bushing.
Some vehicles are setup in such a way that getting oil where you don't want is near impossible, when doing an oil change. I'll just build a quick sheild from aluminum foil to cover things and direct the oil where i want. On one of my vehicles (maybe the jeep) there's a cross pipe for the exhaust directly in the splash zone. For this one I have an old license plate that is bent to hook over pipe so oil hits it and goes down into catch pan. I haven't had any problems with oil getting on rack though . Isn't there a little drip gutter already on there?
 

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