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Steering Rack bushings . . .


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Hey guys, i just bought a set of MSA poly. bushings for my 73 steering rack. I had no trouble getting the old ones out, but now its almost impossible for me to get the new ones in!! they are cut just like the old ones, and when i put them on, they have this HUGE gap between the two ends that should meet!! I'm having a FIT trying to do this job. Does anyone have any ideas as to what i can do?

Do i have to have the LCA's off in order to do this? (I got the poly's on so i wouldn't think so.) I am honesly going to just throw these things out and put the old POS's back in! Has anyone tried using these?

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I've done some reading up on the boards, and it seems like the MSA haven't had too many problems. I'm going to put on some grease i had from my last poly upgrade on my 240sx and hopefully that will solve the problem. If not then I'll live with the stock ones until i swap out my engine.

Another question . . Can I replace the steering coupler by just unbolting the 4 bolts and then sliding the coupler out and the new coupler in?

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trieed that and it STILL doesn't go on correctly. I think when i pull the tie rods it should give me a little more play in setting it up. I'm hoping at least. :) I'm going to be tackling it in like 2 hours, will post results. Hopefully MSA will be helpful if this doesn't fit right.

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U going to be at the shop? I am getting off of work around 7pm and will be home at 7:30. If ur in the area, i'm only 10 min away from the shop. Maybe we can tackle this problem together. 2 minds together are better then 1 alone. haha

I'm hoping a little poly grease and some tweaking will set them in place and make it work.

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Well, after talking to a few guys and heading down to MSA, I found that boiling some water, letting it settle then dropping in the bushings for about 5 min make all the difference in the world!!!! From what i gather, because poly is made at such high temps it can handle the heat from the water and it makes it very pliable, and then after about 10 min it returns to it original state. So, that helped me squeeze them in there and get those lips over the tops.

Anyway, I was still wondering if i can just unbolt the steering coupler and swap them out with the poly? Or is it more indepth then just that?

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For what it's worth - When I replaced my steering wheel bushing (78-280z) with a poly one, I stripped the bottom steering wheel u-joint bolt by having the steering rack in tight and the steering coupler bolts tight before bolting on the u-joint. I had the groove in the splined shaft on the rack lined up properly, but it seemed like the tension pulling the steering shaft up away from the steering rack, pulled the bolt against the splined shaft. Reccomend you tighten u-joints first before rack or steering coupler.

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i did the steering coupler at the same time as the rack bushings. otherwise those bolts would have NEVER made it back in there.

and a side note, don't try to put the bolts in the other way (from the bottom) because they will hit the steering knuckle

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so your telling me i have to unbolt my steering rack AGAIN in order to put on the steering coupler? Please say it ain't so!! What if i put some soapy water on the old coupler and then some on the new coupler to squeez it out and back in? Only reason i ask is because it was a pain in the arse to put on the steering rack bushings. Splease, let me know what i should do. I'll be tackling this sunday night.

Did heating some water and putting the bushings in there help you with the steering rack? Or was i just making it to hard on myself? hgaha

(Also, did you notice a big difference in vibration with the poly coupler compared to the rubber?)

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oh heck yes the boiling was the ONLY way i could get those buggers in! my car won't be driveable for at least another 2 months, so i will let you know when i get to driver her

as for the steering coupler, it's not squeezing it in that's the problem, it's getting the bolts back through! aye aye aye!

the other thing we were going to do was unbolt from the spline that's attached to the rod on the rack and slide it down (if that makes any sense)

but now that your steering rack bushings have molded to the steering rack, it SHOULD just be a matter of unbolting them and rebolting them when you're done. the hardest part for me was getting the bushings on all the way, so now that that's accomplished you may be able to just unbolt them and go

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well, hopefully with some WD-40 and some elbow grease i can put the bolts back through the coupler with no trouble. If so i might just do what you were saying by unbolting the rod from the rack and pull it down to work with.

what r the Tq specs for the bolts on the coupler? and for the rod bolts by the rack?

Just incase, since i STILL don't ahve the FSM yet.

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You guys are going to make me dial up my therapist reading this thread....

I don't remember much as to my first Z, BUT I REMEMBER THAT COUPLER WAS A PIA!!!!

Holy crap, it was a sonofabitch. Thank God the Z I have now had it done before I got it.

I am interested in any feedback that is on the coupler, I didn't know the boiling water trick and will use that upon doing the rack bushings... (if they need it, I have not really checked...)

Have a safe Cinco De Mayo all, good luck to De la hoya, I can't wait for the fight.

~Brian

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When I did the rack I had more of a problem those bushing than the coupler. I thought I had the wrong ones and bought a different set only to find out I had the right set to being with...LOL

The coupler was done without to much of a hassel and with the rack bolted up. And don't think that even if there is eight holes in that thing that they all will work. I had the coupler in only to have to pull it out and move the sleves (sp) over one hole to get everything to bolt up.

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I'd love to hear your results in feel after you finish the steering coupler. I decided against changing it because I thought the damping of the rubber would be preferred. Please let me know your first thoughts. Much harsher?

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When I changed mine out I also changed the front springs and shocks. Added a ST swaybar. along with the bushings. the only thing I have not changed out is the lower control arm bushings and ball joints but thats coming.

The first run around the block was like a different car I like the feel. Yes I do feel more of the road but not so much that I mind.

My 76 is all stock and I can't wait to upgrade the bushing on it as well.

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Not a problem.

The poly bushing does bring a lot of the road feel to your hands, But I do like the overall feel the steering feels tight not as loose as it did.

All this work was done to my 75. And my 76 feels loose/ sloppy but then it is old..LOL and needs a list of things.

I would guess that the stock rubber bushing would give up to 1/2 in play at the steering wheel.

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I'll post results on sunday afternoon. I'm going out for cinco de mayo so i won't be very . . . . uhh . . . cohearant (sp) hahaha Thanx for all the feedback guys.

To whoever cares . .

When i changed out the steering rack (to poly), the tie rod ends (new stock), LCA bushing (poly), and ball joints (new stock of course), and sway bar end links and bushings (poly), and TC rods (poly); the road feel has improved GREATLY!!! I will say that i drive on some pretty bad roads and sometimes it pisses me off becuz of how much the steering wheels shakes. BUT, when i'm on that smooth road going 70 . . . . she's right where she belongs.

Next will be the spindle pin replacement, then the rear LCA bushings (to poly), Mustash bar ( to poly), and diff mount (all aluminum or stock; haven't made up my mind). All done at the same time since I'll have it all out. I will report back on the final product.

(PS i still have stock springs and just stock replacement shocks. So this will be a good way of reviewing the differance in poly to rubber bushings.)

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  • 4 months later...

I jus bought a set of the MSA Bushings and having the same issues,

how long do you boiling them and at what temperture?

I already got the old ones with no prob but the ends of the new ones don't touch each other when I slipped them on.

Is that a problem or can I just simply Torque / Squish them down to shape

by tightning the clamps down at 25lbs?

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