Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

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Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby peteoddcar » Sun 23.05.2010, 22:30

Been looking at the car trying to find the cause of a slight knocking in the steering, theres some play in the inner track rod joints, noticable when the steering is rocked side to side by about 10-15 at the steering wheel. Has anyone replaced these, the workshop manual implies they are serviceable but only with the rack removed, or is it a replacment steering rack to fix? According the the service history the car has had a replacement rack £ 350plus labour (ouch!)just about 25K ago, so that was one item I was expecting not to have fix, theres no sign of any leaks
Any advice welcome.

Thanks
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Help Please Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby peteoddcar » Sat 04.09.2010, 07:20

Hi All,
This a new issue for me - the lower shaft clamp was loose - I fixed that and my knock is greatly reduced but as I have described above theres still slight knock from the RHS track rod inner ball joint. So as above post any suggestions?

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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Specky » Sat 04.09.2010, 09:09

Knowing how hard it is to obtain new track rod ends you could transpose with the other side and see if the fault goes or moves?

don't forget to take a measurement of the locknuts, it'll save you alignment checks.

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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby peteoddcar » Tue 02.11.2010, 22:04

Well I have now aquired a good S/H rack - I want to service the ball joints ( inner ones under the gaiters). I have read somewhere that the rack is a Landrover part so I should be able to get the joint service kits and gaiters from a LR specialist.
Anyone have any ideas / info on doing a recon?

Thanks
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Specky » Tue 02.11.2010, 22:29

How's this for outside the box...( just thinking out loud)

Obtain a new steering rack from Lotus aftersales, (even if it's fed or L/H drive) Just transpose the required parts accross.

The steering racks were made by Adwest who also made the landrover rack.

Adwest do offer overhaul I believe.

Someone will have the Adwest contact details...

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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Brit-Car-Nut » Tue 02.11.2010, 22:53

I just tried to get an aftersales FED rack through Aidan and the price is up to £404.26 + VAT. Finding another source of components might be helpful.
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Specky » Wed 03.11.2010, 08:04

Still good value, new Fed racks are about £1200 + the VAT ( which will soon be 20%).

IMHO Lotus will soon be having another clear out...

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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby chris.t » Mon 06.02.2017, 12:11

I have just got an advisory from the MOT test saying there is play to the offside track rod inner joint. I suppose it would be prudent to replace both sides. Has anyone got part numbers for the joints and does the rack need to be removed?

Thx for your help, Chris
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby chris.t » Tue 07.02.2017, 15:06

So do I take it these are as rare as rocking horse poo? If so is there a land rover equivalent or something and is it possible to do the job without removing the rack?
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby dapinky » Tue 07.02.2017, 15:32

Chris,

as there is no reply I'll say something just so you know that you're not talking to yourself :lol:

A few years ago I had the same advisory notice, so i did what we all do, and sought a new rack for a cheap price....

.... I was lucky enough to grab one from the original aftersales clearance for £125 (even though it was a few years after I'd originally bought it for Dico - he was just keeping it warm in his shed until he sold the car :D )

I never got round to fitting it, and the matter wasn't mentioned at the next MOT (or any year since).

I still intend to fit the S2 rack when i get round to it, so I'm not offering it to you (or anyone else for that matter!). However, the original MOT guy stated that the ends are purely a ball & socket joint with a peined-over flange, so it may well be possible to slide the gaiter away from the rack and tighten up the housing - either mechanically with a hammer and punch, or if it's screwed in, maybe a spacer washer....

I don't know how much fluid/grease may escape, or if it is easy to do in situ - but it's got to be worth a look as removal of the rack, whilst straightforward, is quite fiddly and time consuming.

If they need replacing, I would suggest that any steering rack refurb place will be able to match them - after all, it's only a bit of threaded bar with a ball on the end - probably not from a part number, but if they can see one on the counter, it shouldn't be difficult.
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Fredjohn » Tue 07.02.2017, 15:38

Chris
Looking at the parts catalogue Page 32.03A there appears to be no separate inner ball joint as such. The joint is hidden by the rubber bellows and I can only assume it is an integral part of the rack. Which would mean the rack will have to be replaced or refurbished, unless Adwest as mentioned above are still active, although now known as Magal Engineering: http://www.magal.co.uk

Please note I have never actually removed my rack (so far so good, if it ain't broke etc), so am making my comments based on what I can see in the parts catalogue. There are however many on here who have done this work. This may start a useful discussion for you!!!!

Good luck.

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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Simon_P » Wed 08.02.2017, 02:00

The old fashioned track rods were adjustable with shims.

I'd guess that they are not adjustable and the shims have been engineered out, so that you have to replace the track rod.

If you want to do it yourself, which ever way you look at it you have 3 questions to ask a specialist rack rebuilder
1 is it adjustable
2 if not can they supply a replacement track rod
3 can the job be done on the car

It is a job that any competent local garage can do, and the tracking will need doing after - That is where I would start. If the parts are available they will be able to get them. They'll have the job done before you have the wheel off. For reference I had the same job done on an Alfa 75 quid all in - not worth getting your hands dirty.
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby chris.t » Wed 08.02.2017, 07:31

Thanks for your replies. It's not desperate at the moment and it's not as though the Elan is my everyday car. My local mechanic thinks as other parts have been used from a Landy, it's quite possible that this would be one too. Has anyone explored this avenue? Otherwise I think Mr Pinks suggestion is the first route to follow. The manual does say that removal of the track rod is a rack off job though. The other thing is that the gaiters are the original ones and I'm not sure if they will survive being removed so are these still available? Thanks again for your replies, Chris
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Dave Eds » Wed 08.02.2017, 08:07

I can post up pictures of a rack or two later Chris!
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby chris.t » Wed 08.02.2017, 09:19

Dave Eds wrote:I can post up pictures of a rack or two later Chris!

Thx Dave
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Dave Eds » Wed 08.02.2017, 16:47

Here they are mate
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby lotusflasherman » Wed 08.02.2017, 17:49

Dave Eds wrote:Here they are mate


Think that's the OUTER ball joint Dave.
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby Dave Eds » Wed 08.02.2017, 17:59

Yeah and when I've wrapped it back up, taken it back to my garage and cut the old rack about you'll see the other end. Fooked if I'm buggering up a boot on a brand new rack, even for Chris.
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby par » Wed 08.02.2017, 22:29

I have my old rack lying about which has the gaiter removed so took a few photos which I hope are of some use:-

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Steering Rack Track Rod Inner Ball Joints

Postby dapinky » Wed 08.02.2017, 23:50

Well, you 2 have prevented me from stripping a boot of my brand new rack (which I WAS prepared to do to assist Chris :D ).....

....it appears that the outer balljoint is held in place with a screwed on collar - maybe it'll tighten up a bit, or can be easily replaced if worn - if it can't be shimmed out.

I would expect it to be accesible without removal of the rack, but don't know how much space there will be to get a spanner on the flats whilst it's in situ.
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