Steering rack centering bushing

Discussion in 'Workshop Forum' started by jovani, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. jovani

    jovani True Classic

    Location:
    scottsdale
    Many X1/9s loose their rack centering bushings on the passenger side (illustration, 5). The three tabs break and the bushing slides outwards off the steering housing. In almost all cases you can find it at the end of the rack inside the rubber boot intact (less the tabs). Pictured is my permanent solution. On the quick hand drawing in RED is shown a spring-wire clip which I bent in this specific shape and it clicks in the three slots originally meant for the tabs. So, pull boot's inner end outwards until you find the bushing, slide bushing back in place and install the wire clip. Boot slides easy over the clip. YES!!! 20180903_171943.jpg 20180903_170330.jpg
     
    ianlawson, Rodger, Ulix and 1 other person like this.
  2. ArtBasement

    ArtBasement Erwin Timmers

    Location:
    DC
    I like this idea, thanks!! I'm going to see if mine is still intact in the boot. A lot easier to slide it back in and clip it than removing rack and tie rods. I've already bought a replacement so if it doesn't work... I see the clip stops the bushing from moving outward; any chance it might bind between the rack and the housing when the rack is sliding in? From the drawing it looks like the inside of the housing tapers
     
  3. jovani

    jovani True Classic

    Location:
    scottsdale
    Good question, I hope the taper only stops bushing to slide inwards, but will not bind, so far so good on my car. The other option is to mimic the housing slots in the middle of the bushing with fine Dremell bit, so the clip holds it from movement in both directions, I did this repair in a hurry, found the problem when installing my new shock mounts and I had to come up with solution in the remaining 1 hour I had access to a borrowed shop space.
     
  4. fiatfactory

    fiatfactory Steve Cecchele

    Location:
    Western Australia
    The reason the three little tabs break off is due to the method of installation. To fit bush properly the rack shaft needs to be removed from the housing, or at least drawn back into the housing far enough so the bush can be inserted and the three tabs locked into place, then the rack shaft gets slid thru the bushing... with the pinion engaged into the rack teeth, the shaft won't go across far enough... trying to install the bush while the rack shaft is still there, will involve deforming the bush and tabs enough that they will break, as they deformation weakens and fractures the nylon.

    I've overhauled many dozens of racks in my 35 years as a mechanic, and never had one break the tabs and end up in the rack gaiter/boot...

    SteveC
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.
  5. jovani

    jovani True Classic

    Location:
    scottsdale
    "...I've overhauled many dozens of racks in my 35 years as a mechanic, and never had one break the tabs and end up in the rack gaiter/boot..." Well, except on my FOUR x1/9s and hundreds more, which are assembled by the correctly described above procedure back in the factory, but here we are talking about on-spot repair, long lasting, cheap and easy.
     
  6. ArtBasement

    ArtBasement Erwin Timmers

    Location:
    DC
    Thanks Steve, for this insight. It makes inserting the bushing more involved than I thought it would be :-(
     
  7. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    I assume this is the same bushing that is available in aluminum from some vendors? Wonder how the installation of those compares?
     
    Brayden_connolly likes this.
  8. Fiataccompli

    Fiataccompli Chris Granju

    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    I have two of those in the queue to do. I will fully give the POs of these two Xs credit if anything were done wrong (on one of them, it would only be fitting considering what I’ve had to do so far, the other not so much). I believe I have one of the metal replacement bushings to install. My plan was to remove and at least partially disassemble the steering rack. There are usually a few possible approaches, so this is interesting to read.
     
  9. Dr.Jeff

    Dr.Jeff True Classic

    Location:
    Sin City
    Chris, when that time comes it would be great if you can document it for the rest of us to learn from.
     
  10. Fiataccompli

    Fiataccompli Chris Granju

    Location:
    Knoxville, TN
    Ill document it. Whether it will be instructional for future travelers to follow or a cautionary tale of what not to do remains to be seen.
     
    Dr.Jeff likes this.

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