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Old 04-17-2013, 06:09 PM
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Rack and pinion?

I recently replaced both driver and passengers side axle as well as both outer tie rods. Before doing anything to the car the steering was stiff and had good turn in response. After putting these items in it now feels very lazy and loose with delayed turn in. I haven't aligned it yet. I just literally but back together an hour ago. I did notice the boots on the inner tie rods are cracked and rack and pinion appears to be leaking. The power steering level isn't that low however. I've double checked and everything appears to be tight. Would most of you agree the rack and pinion is to blame? It's just odd how the steering was tight before adding the axles and tie rod ends but is now sloppy and loose.
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:47 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Possibly rack and pinion seals for what sounds like a slow leak. The lazy steering is probably just the tie rods that you replaced. They are new unlike the old ones you took out which were probably stiffer compared to the new ones. Were they OEM or aftermarket?
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Old 04-17-2013, 06:49 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

They are OEM. I also just put in New front sway bar end links a few days ago as well.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:28 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Just give them time to break in. The rack on the other hand is expensive to replace, even if you do it yourself. I have heard that there is a power steering stop leak made by Lucas that works wonders.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:42 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Yea lowest I've found is 250ish. And I don't have the convenience of a lift. I'd hate to see what it would cost to have one put in. I could probably do it. But it would take a little while. Luckily its not my only vehicle. The other is a gas guzzler however. I'm going to align it. Double check all torque specs again. Check power steering fluid and see if anything improves. Just boggles me that it would be looser with fresh tie rods. And stiffer with older dry tie rods. I may have been just too use to the way it did handle. But it definitely doesn't feel very swift to me.
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Old 04-18-2013, 12:41 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Replaced with stock front sway bar or bigger ?
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You could get the seal kits from honda for about 100 bucks, little bit more, I'm in the middle of doing it but converting to grease... Cant imagine the rack going bad, just the piston seal. It's quite a bit of work, but SO doable... It's actually kind of a fun job.
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Old 04-18-2013, 01:32 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

around here ive found the rack and pinion. for about 180 tax included .... ive looked around scz i too need my rack done i have acces to a lift i will be doin mine soon
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:09 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

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Replaced with stock front sway bar or bigger ?
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You could get the seal kits from honda for about 100 bucks, little bit more, I'm in the middle of doing it but converting to grease... Cant imagine the rack going bad, just the piston seal. It's quite a bit of work, but SO doable... It's actually kind of a fun job.
Only replaced the end links with oem parts, still the stock sway bar. I'm thinking I might have to try to find a deal on ebay for one and have it shipped. If I'm removing the whole steering rack and putting it back in, which was the thing I'm not looking forward to, I might as well put a whole new rack in and be done with it rather than trying to rebuild the old one that may have other internal parts that are no good as well. The car has 250,000 + miles. So, I'm basically doing a supension tune up and steering and other things now that the weather is nice. Finding more things left and right that need replaced, but it will be worth it in the end.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:57 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

If u get the rack apart then u will see if there is damage. The rack shouldn't be marred up at all. I can only imagine the bearings on the pinion might be sloppy, because the rack and pinion hug rather tight and there's always the oL rack guide screw in case the teeth aren't having good contact. The pinion cage could be sloppy too, but its all just small bearings thata can be pulled or pushed out and replaced.. Its an easy rebuild, i just needed to get a big wrench for the inner tie rods and snap ring pliers... I'm doing a big write up soon when I'm done, for now the parts are scattered around the house and i just need seals... I could show u my rack and the things to look out for... The rack has a piston seal that can be replaced along with many other seals for less than 180 dollaz.. The rack is a hunk of metal, but shouldnt have any deep gouges along it, or chips missing from the piston seal.
http://www.hondaautomotiveparts.com/...BOX+COMPONENTS rack is # 22
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:38 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

I'll have to try and disassemble over the weekend and see what I find.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:13 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Good stuff ! This is a 3/10 on the difficulty scale, just gotta remember all your seals and that one inner washer in the gearbox. It's worse if u don't mark the spot u removed it at the steering linkage joint like me :( (when the time comes I'll see)...

I used this write-up and the 4th gen manual to get used to all the parts before attempting it, Write-up: 4g prelude manual rack conversion - Honda-Tech but now I can find em in the dark Its for a manual conversion, but you can still use it as a reference guide till I get my own thread up, be careful when removing things and dont shock them. Especially all the parts that come out of the gearbox, if you have a vise it's best, the cylinder comes out after you put alot of force into it.. You can give it a bit of a twist.

Here's a pic 13ss001_b3320.jpg of the things that you need to watch out for when removing parts, u have to be forceful but at the same time gentle so as not to score the part..

Parts marked in red are parts u should be careful with when removing and to also check for scoring.

Parts marked in green are parts that are easy to slide out but should be checked for damage..

Unless that thing went through some crazy abuse and lack of fluid the rack itself should be just fine, as you remove items that lock and interlock, check for play, any questions just shoot..
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Old 04-18-2013, 06:18 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Alright will do. Thanks for all the tips and pointers!
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:50 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Just an update, I decided to buy a new rack after all found one for $110.00. Also picked up the lower ball joints, and some Neuspeed Lowering springs and KYB struts (1.75" drop in front / 1.5" drop in rear). Plan to button it all up this weekend, then get an alignment.
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Old 04-30-2013, 12:39 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Sounds like fun stuff, enjoy your setup.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:04 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Okay so I was taking things apart last night and don't have the rack all the way out yet, but I see that there is an air transfer hose. # 4 in the diagram. Well, my new rack that I have doesn't have holes in the boots on either side for this air hose to plug into. I'm assuming its for when you are steering far left or far right that when one boot on one side is contracting, that the air in there being compressed is forced through the tube into the other side that is retracted to prevent the boots from blowing out from pressure. Would it be fine to just poke some holes in these boots for the air hose fitting to go into? Or should I get boots that already have these holes in them?
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Old 05-07-2013, 12:39 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

No sir, don't puncture that boot !
Your inner tie rod will then be exposed to the elements. Especially under the car where the firewall ends and continues under the car, There is alot of turbulence down there on rainy days and highway speeds, as well as just general moisture. For example, if you lived in AZ instead of PA, then the problem would be dust.. I'd want to keep it fully sealed up, it may cost an extra couple bucks, but it's better than your inner tie rods giving out. Or worse yet, water making it past your end seal and into the rack cylinder, but that's a stretch of the imagination.

EDIT: Did u buy a whole new rack ? If it came like that, it might be fine.. Pics ?
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:01 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Okay so you suggest buying the boots that already have the nipple on them to put the air transfer hose into? I thought if I made a small enough hole in the current boots on the rack that I could get by and have enough grip around the hose that it wouldn't come out or let the elements in.
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Old 05-07-2013, 01:37 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Moisture will go everywhere man... Just as when the boot compresses it blows, when it contracts it sucks stuff in... Did the rack come like that? Is it new?
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:01 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

It's a remanufacturered one that I bought off from ebay (yup I'm cheap) and it came like that everything else looks good and solid and right, except for it's missing those nipples on the boots that surround the inner tie rods. Say I didn't replace them with the boots that have the nipples, and don't run that air transfer hose. What would happen theoretically? Vacuum lock?
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:21 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

At this point I'm going to need someone else to chime in with some experience. It should be okay, maybe the rubber the y use might stretch more than stock, the transfer tube most likely just prolongs the life of the boots.
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Old 05-07-2013, 02:23 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

That's what I'm thinking, is that the tube just transfers the compressed air from the one side that is currently compressed to the side that isn't compressed to keep a balance of air rather than having a constant amount of air in one side that has no where to escape to.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:38 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Yezzir, if u still have the tube, you can get new boots from Honda pretty cheap, just for peace of mind
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:39 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

That's what I'm thinking, unless someone else chimes in. Rather not delay the project any longer, but if I have to. I'd rather do it once right.
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Old 05-07-2013, 05:08 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

In the meantime, you could quickly do a search for similar prelude racks and compare to yours.. and use keywords to search for any problems other people may have encountered...
This make me has a sad that i haven't finished my rack rebuild yet. iirc the boots are cheap as shi...
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Old 05-07-2013, 06:27 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

I've never had an issue with that tube being off. Btw If the wrack you bought feels loose, there is a 44mm nut on it, honda sells a tool to loosen it ( Its a big lock nut ) so take it loose, the the 14mm nut ( I think thats the size ) needs to screwed all the way in then backed out a 1/4 turn. Do that and try and tighten the 44mm nut back down ( it may take a few tries ) and boom nice tight steering again.

I randomly found this info out after a little google search about my steering being sloppy as **** in the highway.
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Old 05-07-2013, 07:34 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

The Miz has spoken !
You should be fine without the tube.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:46 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Fair enough. Thanks for all the input guys! I did read about that steering rack adjustment nut. I'll have to get that tool if after installing it doesn't feel right. I found them pretty cheap online. Back to gettiing this rack put it and all my other parts!
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:05 AM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

Just thought I'd update this, so no one thinks I'm a newb who only wanted a few questions answered. What a hassle. Not with the car, but acquiring parts. I thought I'd save some $ by ordering through eBay the rack. Never again! It wasn't the right rack at all, don't even know what kind of car it goes to. The sale item picture was correct, as well as all the description. But what I was sent, wasn't even close. And my experience with this seller hasn't been good. Pay pal declined my refund, and he isn't giving me much other than what seems to be auto response replys. So I'm basically $110.00 down the drain. I'd like to at least find out what car it does go to, then I can sell someone a brand new rack for their car! So after being in the hole on cash, I had to wait a while to order a new one from AutoZone, $230.00 with $105 core. But, you get what you pay for. So after getting the Rack from autozone, I'm sitting there looking at it with the parts guy. See it didn't come with the new tie rod nuts, or the busings to mount the thing to the car! So I took my nuts off, put them on the new one and then he tried to get the bushing out with a gear puller (Really!?). So I said, nevermind you'll just destroy them. Do you see new ones? They check, they are $6.00 a piece. Okay, I'll do that, they'll be in tomorrow I can get this show on the road. So, I come back the next day to get those bushings. The dude ordered the bushing that wraps around the rack, not the ones that go in the two holes to slip the bolts through.. So I say, hey you still have that old rack? They still had it. Suggesting using a socket or extension and a hammmer to pound it out, after walking this parts guy through it since I wasn't allowed to use their tools... Pop out they come. Took em with me, and headed to the garage to get to work. Started with the Front Struts and lowering springs I got, since I figured hey without the tie rod in here, I have tons of room. Those went in no problem, piece of cake. On to the rack, got the rack all mounted, splines in the steering joint no problem. Then, a minor hang up. Steering joint bolt doesn't want to thread, pull it out. Threads are messed up. So, I'll have to thread chase that after work today and get an alignment tool in the hole to make sure everything is kosher before I stick the bolt back in. But, I did get the movement of the rack centered, and the tie rods on. Still have the llines to reconnect, header to reconnect at the 4-2 area, rear struts and springs to put in. Then to string it up for a close enough alignment as to not eat up the tires too much while I wait to go to the alignment shop. Now I do have the Helms manual, but don't know off the top of my head what it said for the Caster/Camber/Toe. But, my question is would my new lowering of the car require me to alter those suggested specs at all? They are 1.75" drop in the front, 1.5" drop in the rear. Would really liked to have had all of this done sooner, but with all the setbacks, not really making a whole lot at my current job, and paying for gas in my truck it took awhile to recoup and get back at it. Just wanted to let you guys know I was still working on it, and didn't give up! Can't wait to have it back on the road and see how the new handling is, have a nice curvy paved road right next to our garage that's great for testing cars on
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- 1994 BB1 Prelude VTEC H22A1 & M2F4 5 speed
Mods: AEM Cold Air/No name muffler.
- 1992 Chevrolet C1500 350 TBI & NV3500 5 speed
Mods: 2.5 " H-Pipe True Duals w/ Single Chamber Flows
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:36 PM
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Re: Rack and pinion?

What an ordeal... Glad you're on your way, I'll get mine going within a month or so..
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:20 AM
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NinetyFourBB1 is on a distinguished road
Re: Rack and pinion?

Made some more progress. Power steering lines connected. All brackets connected. Exhaust reconnected. Had a minor hang up from a dumb mistake. Put the tie rods on the wrong side.. oops. When to start bleeding the system and was wondering why I could only turn so far. Looked under there, sure enough had them on the wrong side! Flip flopped them and all good now. No leaks to speak of yet. One thing of concern, I have a check engine light which I never had before. Only connector I had to disconnect was the o2 sensor. It is securely back in now. And did take negative terminal and left off and put back on. Still shows up. Maybe it needs to be driven? It's been sitting for about a month now. After work hope to get more work done. Such as: Bleed the system the rest of the way, put the rear struts and lowering springs in (which it looks like a raked out muscle car right now with the front low and the rear jacked up haha), then align the car and take it for a spin. Not sure if I'll get it all done tonight, but if not so be it.
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- 1994 BB1 Prelude VTEC H22A1 & M2F4 5 speed
Mods: AEM Cold Air/No name muffler.
- 1992 Chevrolet C1500 350 TBI & NV3500 5 speed
Mods: 2.5 " H-Pipe True Duals w/ Single Chamber Flows
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