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Steering rack

Hi folks, just wondering if anyone could help. Ive just had my car at the garage today to have new track rods and track rod ends fitted because I had a bit of play in the steering wheel. Now the thing is Ive still got play. Has anyone any ideas as to what it could be ????

what ??..

either yor track rod ends were knackered AND the rack is knackered.. or.. they knackered the rack doing the track rods ..

one would presume that any competent garage could diagnose where the wear is ???..

WHERE exactly is the play.. and how do you define it ?


Had a problem with my old 1.4RT - the bottom balljoint (i.e. joining the lower arm to the upright) was very worn, leading to some, errr, interesting handling characteristics. Went from OK to scary in about 100 miles.

The play is in the steering wheel. When you hold the steering wheel theres about an inch play either way before the wheels start to turn.
When I took it for an mot a couple of months ago the guy noticed the steering felt a bit loose, and he thought it might be the trackrods, so I bought all the gear so he could do the work (he also fitted front and rear calipers, pads, rear discs and bearings, new flexy hoses and front shocks all for £60). Top bloke.

Can anyone shed some light on the matter for me, cos I dont want to have to change the steering rack as well.


ok, its simple.

jack the front of the car up and place on secure stands.. on a flat surface..

have someone lay underneath and firmly hold the roadwheel.

whilst someone turns the steering wheel rapidly from side to side look for play in the track rod end balljoint (shouldnt be any in your case now)..

now get someone to move the road wheel left and right (more of a rocking motion (pretty fast) hold it at 9oclock and 3oclock.

if the track rod seems to klunk slightly in and out of the rack, the rack is possibly shagged. the only other thing can be the steering rack bolts (the ones that hold it to the car..) or the steering column coupling.

slight movement of the rack indicates loose bolts.

to test the steering column coupling, lay in the car with a torch and move the carpets etc to see where the steering column goes through the bulkhead to the rack..
any difference in movement at the steering wheel to the coupling means its knackerd - or.. your steering wheel is loose

There ya go..

do the same test on the other side too.

you will probably feel a slight knocking through the whole track rod
  172 sport,

me sister had a 19 16v and hers had play in the rack it was the arm that the t/r end screws onto you could move it in & out easily whith the other side on the floor worth a check