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Repair Questions and Answers.

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 #322265  by born2pdl
 
I found (dodgeintrepid.net) that many disconnect it under dash so they can slide the other u-joint out of the boot to remove the pin.

I'm still a bit unclear on alignment of shafts as I install the replacement rack. Initial guess is to start with steering wheel centered/ front wheels straight, connect inner tie rod ends to rack first, then the spline shaft and pin, and last the under dash connection. Maybe there's a detailed procedure out there.
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 #322269  by Bill Putney
 
born2pdl wrote:...I'm still a bit unclear on alignment of shafts as I install the replacement rack. Initial guess is to start with steering wheel centered/ front wheels straight, connect inner tie rod ends to rack first, then the spline shaft and pin, and last the under dash connection. Maybe there's a detailed procedure out there.
I think each connection is keyed so there won't be any misalignment.

Make sure you don't put the key in the ignition (and unlock the column) while the column is not connected to the rack, becuase if the steering wheel spins unrestrained, you just bought yourself a new clock spring.
 #324393  by born2pdl
 
I'm about to order the roll pin tool shown above. Thought I'd first check to see if anybody has one they want to get sell or rent first. If so, let me know. Thanks.
 #395489  by JohnnyP
 
I took my M to the dealer and paid them to diagnose a low speed clunking noise and a shimmy when applying the brakes. Among other things, they recommended replacing the rack, saying there is internal gear noise. It's an '03 with 93k miles. I bought the rack, strut assemblies, and a suspension kit from rockauto. It's a lot of work so I don't want to replace the rack unless it's necessary. I would install new inner tie rods but leave the outer ones disconnected while I check the rack for gear noise, etc.
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 #395494  by FIREM
 
Leaving the inner tie rods off and rotating the wheel/moving the rack is a VERY BAD IDEA!
There is a "spacer" that needs to stay in place on the rack when replacing the inner tie rod bushings.
Read this in its entirety:
viewtopic.php?t=22467
Then change the inner bushings.
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 #395499  by LUNAT1C
 
I would check for gear noise with everything connected, so there's a load on the rack. Not to mention ensuring your alignment stays in check, and that spacer Bob mentioned doesn't disappear. Make sure you only do one side of the inner bushings at a time, for that reason.
 #395510  by Rtmmn87
 
So I’m changing my inner tie rod bushings as we speak, just took a break to kind of breathe, and my rack boot tore. I’m sure I’m going to end up needing to replace the whole rack and luckily there’s a salvage yard with one here in town… it looks like a pain though. I’m trying to see if some super glue will hold the boot together for now until I can get some money together for a new rack. Just seems like so much fricken work. Any other redneck/ quick solutions for the torn boot?
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 #395512  by FIREM
 
If I recall the boot is ribbed. Maybe some zip ties and RTV could help.Ties lightly wrapped in the grooves maybe…….
Rack replacement is a royal PITA in these cars.
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 #395516  by LUNAT1C
 
I've heard of some glue kits designed for repairing torn CV boots. I would probably use one of those to get me back on the road and plan to replace the rack with a new one. At this age, I *Would not* bother with the hassle of removing a used unknown rack from a yard car, then repeat the process on mine to install. Better to buy a new one and only remove one rack instead of two, and hopefully prevent needing to do it again anytime soon.