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Thread: Steering rack bushings

  1. #1
    Registered User kjphilippona's Avatar
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    Default Steering rack bushings

    The weather finally warmed up enough for me to crawl under the Z and replace the steering rack bushings and steering coupler. Steering coupler was not to bad but have a question with the rack bushings, passenger side is smaller so i installed the thick bushing on that side and the thinner one on the drivers side. My problem is after i tightened everything down (upper and btm brackets are touching at clamp ends) there is a 1/2 inch gap in the bushing where it is split. Is this common or have i done something wrong ?
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    Last edited by kjphilippona; 12-27-2010 at 03:36 PM.
    4/77 280Z
    HLS30-387956
    KJP

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    kjphilipona,

    Have you driven the car yet? I replaced mine about a year ago, I had the same gap, as you describe. I drove the car, and I think I felt a shimmy in the front wheels. I put the old ones back in and there was no gap, at the time I did not realize one was smaller than the other. I now have the motor out of the car, if I can find the bushings I installed first, I am going to put them back in to see if they fit right.

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    Registered User cozye's Avatar
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    There is an orientation to them, they do have a top and a bottom. That said, I couldn't get the gap to close all the way on mine. They are still tight and the steering is tight with no issues so far.
    1978 280z 4sp

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    Just another "Old Guy"
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    When i put the poly bushings in mine i tried them in all kinds of different ways, ended up with a gap but after driving it a while and retighteneing it it has closed up to about 3/16" just had to get them settled in and compressed.Just make sure to clean everything real good and lubricate..IF they are poly bushings that is......

    William E. &
    William D. &
    William C. Cunningham
    High Velocity Motorsports
    Grand Prairie, TX 75050

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    Registered User cozye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slyhog22056 View Post
    When i put the poly bushings in mine i tried them in all kinds of different ways, ended up with a gap but after driving it a while and retighteneing it it has closed up to about 3/16" just had to get them settled in and compressed.Just make sure to clean everything real good and lubricate..IF they are poly bushings that is......
    That was my plan as well. I put grease on them and figured I would go back and check on them. Pretty sure my clamps were tightened down as far as they would go, and I figured the bushings would settle in a bit after some use. I've only put a few miles on the car and haven't checked yet.
    1978 280z 4sp

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    okay, sorry guys went to out to the garage and checked the bushings, there is a gap, there seems to be a larger gap on one side of the rack. It will be much easier to put the bushings in with the motor out, I will try to find the bushings, install them and let you know how it comes out. Its been a while, but I do remember something not looking right when I installed them last year.

  7. #7
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    Mine went in fine with no gap, this was after heating them up in boiling water. They become much more compliant when warm, and don't feel too hot to the touch despite being near 200F by then. The polyurethane is just a poor thermal conductor I guess, so it doesn't burn you. Wear some working gloves for good measure.

    Make sure to dry them off when you take them out of the hot water then lube 'em up with some chassis grease. Should go in a lot easier, and it may solve your gap problem.
    Last edited by Inf; 12-28-2010 at 12:09 AM.
    -Andrew

    03/72 240Z HLS30-70xxx - R.I.P. 2011/01/04

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    Drove the car this morning and the front end seems to wander around a little, as if following and grooves or ruts in the road, not so bad on new smooth freeway. I checked again last night and there is no way to get the bushings on the wrong side. I also looked at the picture closely and it looks like i might have broken some of the lip off while installing them, my eyes are not so good any more and bifocals are a bitch lying under the car, i did not try that trick of boiling them and they were a pain to install. like cozye said they have a top and btm front and back, because i had them in and out many times. Sorry, yes they are polyurethane.
    Last edited by kjphilippona; 12-28-2010 at 07:18 AM.
    4/77 280Z
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    Registered User cozye's Avatar
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    do you have new tie rod ends and ball joints and is your alignment good? The wandering could be many things

    Can you have someone sit in the car and move the steering wheel back and forth while you watch the rack for movement ?
    1978 280z 4sp

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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    I used heat like Andrew but I used a heat gun and there was no gap.
    2004 Ford Ranger EDGE Supercab
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    Registered User kjphilippona's Avatar
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    Yes i have new tie rod ends, ball joints, sway bars bushings, sway bar end link bushings and strut inserts I had the front end aligned at the local tire shop after replacing everything.
    4/77 280Z
    HLS30-387956
    KJP

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