Steering Rack Gaitors

Replaces his 964 Steering Rack Gaiters

I recently changed my torn steering rack gaiters, and have devised/written up
a method for doing it that does not disturb the tracking settings – with no
special tools.  Here is the process.

  1. A week before starting the job, wire brush off all rust and debris from
    the threads at each end of the track rod. A 22mm plumber?s pipe cleaning brush
    is ideal. Tie strips of rag round the threads, soak with WD40 or similar and
    seal with self amalgamating tape. This contains the oil and maintains pressure
    on the rag to drive oil into the threads.
  2. Chock, jack and secure the car and remove the plastic cover panel over the
    rack, retaining the plastic nuts and two bolts.
  3. Mark the lower flats of the locking nuts by dot punch or scriber.
  4. Fit a small jubilee clip to each track rod end (see picture) ensuring the
    max. dimension of the inner one is smaller than the bore of the narrow end of
    the new gaiter.
     
  5. Measure and record the distance between the inner edges of the jubilee
    clips with a large vernier calliper. If you do not have one, make up a gauge
    using a length of studding, and two washers each trapped by a pair of nuts.
    (see picture: I also ground the washers with two points to get an exact
    reference.) This can be adjusted to exactly match the gap between the clips.
  6. Count the number of complete threads showing on the inner and outer track
    rod ends (used as a double check).
  7. Hold the track rod with Mole grips or similar, and loosen the lock nuts.
    Back the nuts off exactly two turns, using the marked flat on each nut as a
    reference.
  8. Unscrew the centre of the track rod until it comes free. Pull off the old
    gaiter, then apply a little silicon oil (Hellerine or similar) to the flange
    on the rack and the rubber bung on the rack end to aid assembly.
  9. Turn the flange on the large end of the new gaiter back on itself and ease
    the gaiter over the end of the rack. This is easier with the rack fully
    extended. With the small end of the gaiter seated in the rubber grommet at the
    outboard end, move the rack to its fully retracted position to compress the
    gaiter.
  10. Flip the flange of the gaiter over the locating rim on the rack, ensuring
    it is fully seated all round and the gaiter is not twisted (space more
    restricted on Drivers side RHD).
  11. Re-fit the track arm, ensuring the RH and LH threads at each end ?start?
    at the same time. Turn the arm until the calliper/gauge aligns with the
    jubilee clips.
  12. Bring the lock nuts back against the track arm, should come back exactly 2
    turns*. Ensure the outboard ball joint is positioned so it is free to swivel
    throughout the suspension travel, then lock the nuts whilst holding the track
    rod still.
  13. Verify the number of visible threads is the same as before.
  14. Re-fit the plastic cover over the rack.
  15. Spend the money saved on re-alignment on something more useful ? like a
    track day!


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