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TR6 TR6 Steering Rack Mounts

GOYN

Freshman Member
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Hello again, I'm a new '76 TR6 owner and had a general question about the rack and pinion steering rack mounts on my car. The steering is rather wooly and I can turn the steering wheel at least a couple of inches in either direction with no movement of the wheels. I have read a lot that leads me to think this may be a worn steering rack mount issue. Can anyone tell me how much play in the steering is normal? Most of the rest of the R&P system seems to be new, so I'd be surprised if these mounts weren't already replaced by the prior owner. However, I read that the rubber mounts need to be replaced every 10k.

Also, any thoughts on the poly mounts if/when I replace? I'm willing to suffer a little increased road feel for tighter steering and understand that these will improve the responsiveness.

Thanks!
 

Darrell_Walker

Jedi Knight
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It should be pretty easy to see if it is the rack mounts, turn the wheel (or have someone else do it), and see if the rack moves side-to-side.

I think there is a trick/tool to installing the stock rubber mounts, so it could be they are new, but not properly installed.

I have the solid aluminum mounts on my TR4A (and a quick rack, and two of the TR6 u-joints to replace the two rubber u-joints), and I'm very happy with the feel.
 

TexasKnucklehead

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GOYN said:
The steering is rather wooly and I can turn the steering wheel at least a couple of inches in either direction with no movement of the wheels.

A couple inches seems excessive. To clarify, are you driving the car while turning the wheel with no movement, or sitting still and looking for movement? When I first got my TR6 it handled poorly with much slop in the wheel. It was really bad on uneven roads or rough curves. Tie rod ends and bushings fixed mine, not to mention the broken rubber coupler in the steering shaft, new tires springs and shocks. I think the parts I replaced are much less expensive than messing with the rack, so if I were in your shoes, you know where I'd start.

The bushings looked OK, until I actually removed them.
 

RomanH

Jedi Knight
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Don't bother with the polyurethane mounts, they are too hard and slippery. They don't grip the rack well so it moves under steering loads. I just replaced poly mounts with the solid aluminum ones and what an incredible difference in the steering response and they don't squeak like the poly mounts.
 
D

DougF

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I agree, go aluminum, you should never have to worry about them again.
 
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GOYN

Freshman Member
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Thank you all for your advice. I believe that the rubber coupler is new and I don't see any play there. Likewise with the tie rod ends. While the steering wheel does have a lot of play while I'm driving, the couple of inches was more when I had the car in the garage.

Darrell, when I have someone move the steering wheel for me, I can see the rack moving side to side, but there is about 1/8-1/4" play before it compresses the rubber mounts enough to prompt resistance and eventually wheel movement. It was this finding that led me to conclude that the issue was likely the mounts, but I wasn't sure how much, if any, play at the mounts is normal.

Regarding the recommendation for aluminum mounts, I read that the harsh road feel is the downside. I'm spending more time doing spirited driving in the bends than on the highway and can deal with a bit of harshness in exchange for increased responsiveness. It sounds like you all do not find this harshness to be a significant issue?

Sounds like some new aluminum mounts are the way to go.

Thanks!
 

Darrell_Walker

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I've not found any extra harshness with the aluminum mounts (and I've made other change that would make it even worse).

Do you have any side to side or up and down movement in the steering wheel/column? That could be the bushing in the column, or weak mounting, and might contribute to the feeling of sloppiness.
 

poolboy

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You will be able to tell the difference as far as vibrations,but you'll get used to it.
I imagine you've tried to see if the clamps were tight ?
And you can adjust the backlash between the pinion and the rack, which will take a lot of slop, if present, out of the internal movement.
 
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GOYN

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Darrell, I have checked out the steering column movement and, while present, it is minimal and this doesn't seem to be the issue. When I turn the steering wheel I can watch the whole linkage down as far as the rack and everything seems tight until that point.

Poolboy, I did check the clamps and they seemed tight to me. Can you elaborate at all on "adjusting the backlash between the pinion and rack"? That sounds like it may help a lot.

Regarding the aluminum mounts, it sounds like the vibration should be a non-issue for me. The car came fitted with +1 Panasports and 205 tires, so hopefully they will diminish vibration a bit.
 

DNK

Great Pumpkin
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There is a bump in the rubber that fits into the stock bracket or is it the rack.
Think it is the rack.
If that is gone there might be some play
 

poolboy

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Adjusting the back lash is accomplished by having the proper number and thickness of shims under the cap. The cap is that large hex head fitting where the black ground wire is attached to with a smaller hex head screw.
There should be a stack of shim spacers under the cap already and you may have to remove one at a time to see the effect OR follow the insturctions in the Haynes Manual in the "Suspension and Steering" Chapter under "rack and pinion backlash-adjustment'
OR in the Bentley "STEERING" Chapter under "steering rack damper--remove and refit"
Me, I just remove a shim and test drive. Remove too many and the steering wheel will not return to center on it's own after taking a sharp turn..put one shim back if you even notice that tendancy.
 
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GOYN

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Just to update anyone whose interested on this thread, I installed the Goodparts alloy steering rack mounts this past week and took the car on a 5 hour drive through the Shenandoah National Forest this weekend. The handling is much improved and essentially all play has been removed from the steering. I might add that the rubber mounts I removed appeared to be relatively new and were not worn much at all. The handling with the alloy mounts is like night and day in comparison.

I did notice a bit of road vibration in the steering wheel at 80 mph on concrete slab highway, but otherwise whatever additional road vibration was transmitted due to the alloy mounts was negligible and well worth the improved handling.

While I attempted to adjust the backlash prior to installing the new mounts, I found myself unable to accomplish the task due to poor access and lack of the proper tools to get in the space. As the mounts seem to have corrected the problem, I expect I will leave good enough alone at this stage.

Thank you all for your help.

George
 

TR3driver

Great Pumpkin - R.I.P
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I'm just curious : What do folks do to compress the rubber rack mounts when installing the rack? Does anyone actually have a copy of tool S341?

It's been some time ago, but when I helped a friend with his TR6 steering, it appeared that the mounts had not been compressed at all. The result was that the rack was sliding back and forth within the mounts. I jury-rigged a tool (from an old carpenters wood clamp) to compress the rubber bushings and he said it made a huge difference in the steering. We didn't even bother to replace the rubber as it appeared to still be in good condition.
 

Opa

Jedi Trainee
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looking through some older posts I missed your post on rack mount rubber compression. I made a tool that's a bit fiddely but does the job.Before I remove the old rubbers I mark the rack for centre,remove the old rubbers,insert new rubbers or poly mounts,install u bolts and snug one side down making sure the rack is on centre line. Then slide tool on top of rack and squeeze the loose clamp side to desired clearence. (I use a 1/16 drill bit as a gauge)tighten the loose side down. Then loosen the other side and repeat process.
I have RG solid mounts installed ever since Richard came out with them and actually find very little difference between solid mount and poly mount.Rubber yes, although squeezed hard enough they don't feel a whole lot different either
 

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