steering rack cradle bolt top of bushing worn

LibertyTC

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Yes there is an oil drip gutter/channel for when you slightly loosen the oil filter.
Once filter stops dripping, then I use a larger zip lock bag to drop the filter into.
I always cover the steering rack bushing before oil changes as well.
 

RenKJ

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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.
im tempted to try this urethane thing and then cover it during oil changes going forward
 

Orville

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So I just did this on my '04 (3.7L 4WD Sport). Thanks a ton for the advice guys! This saved me a boatload of money and having to listen to more people I'm paying tell me it "just drives that way" (with 1/4" vertical play in the rack).

Anyway, a few things to add to what others have said:

- I managed it without even removing the tie rod ends (!) (mainly because I don't know how) or the intermediate shaft (ditto).

- I had to remove the diff breather and the funny chute thing under the oil filter to get more wiggle room. (I also removed the electric fan just because it's easier to get at stuff.)

- One thing that really helped: I turned the steering wheel 90 degrees from straight. It turns out that this means that when you try to "twist" or "rock" the rack away from you to get the bushings in and out (i.e., turn it like an axle), you are working with the u-joint on the intermediate shaft rather than against it. At least, on my car; individual results may vary.

- You can also pull on the wheels to move the rack left and right. If you pull them in opposite directions, it moves the rack up or down.

Anyway, it was a bit of a pain to maneuver but involved way less disassembly than I feared.
 
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