Steering Rack Rebuild
June 14, 2003 - Naperville, IL
brought to you by: Barney Gaylord
For another new learning experience, several curious souls turned up in Naperville on the 14th of June to disect an MGA steering rack. With a few hours of hands on work we had all learned what makes a steering rack tick, what wears out and what doesn’t, what the dampers are for and how they work, where to put the shims and how many, how to install pesky felt seals and easier rubber boots, how much oil and grease goes where, and in what sequence to assemble the Chinese puzzle. For such a simple device it sure has a lot of finnicky little bits.
Perhaps the best lesson of the day was all about how difficul it can be to disassemble the inner ball joints. Since the ball housing is tightly screwed together, and likes to stay that way, one of the factory specified special wrenches with two small driver pins would never be tough enough to get the job done without breaking. But where there’s a will, there’s a way. So we burned up a few dollars worth of acetylene and oxygen heating the parts, and still nearly destroyed one of the ball sockets before it finally gave up the fight and let loose. But in the end the deed was done and the thing was properly reassembled.
In perfect conformance with tradition there were a few other projects going on during and after the rack rebuid. One MGB needed a couple new bolts to keep a brake caliper from falling off. Another MGB was wanting for a tune up and some minor fixes around the engine, as well as figuring out why why it would lean to one side. And one MG Midget was in dire need of brake bleeding and some carburetor repairs. All in all, just a perfectly successful tech day.
More pictures and notes at: