Steering Rack replacement 2002 LS V8, base model (non-sport)

Lincoln LS

  1. jmeecer

    jmeecer Active LVC Member

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    I had 4 new tires put on my 2002 LS V8 this past Saturday and was going to have them do an alignment, but the mechanic told me they did not do the alignment because my steering rack was leaking. My question is this would it be wise to have the local Ford garage replace the rack or should I do it myself. I would have to do this in my driveway on jackstands. I already looked in the shop manual and it mentioned something about be careful when disconnecting the steering gear from the steering column, if the steering wheel moves it could damage the clockspring. So my question is just pay the $1000 and have the local Ford garage replace the steering gear or do it myself? It has been 25 years since I had to replace a steering rack and that was on my sister's escort. I searched this forum and did not find much on DIY style replacement of the rack and pinion steering gear, so any advice would be appreciated.
     
  2. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Where is it leaking?

    As far as the steering wheel turning when disconnecting the rack... you can rig up something to wedge the steering wheel to keep it from turning.

    Its just a matter of removing the hoses from the rack and draining the system... popping the tie rods loose at the knuckles... removing the bolts on the rack and supporting the rack while disconnecting the steering column.

    That being said... have you priced a new rack from Ford???:eek: Then you will have labor on top of that.

    If you plan on buying an aftermarket rack... they don't hold up very well... and I don't think you will have any kind of warranty because Ford doesn't like to install non dealer parts.

    That might even include a new Motorcraft rack from Rock Auto if they are still available. Last known price on them was $600+.

    The only PITA is the new o-rings where the hoses connect. They are nylon... have to be soaked in hot water and use a special tool to install... and are very easy to FUBAR... especially if the lines are over tightened.
     
  3. jmeecer

    jmeecer Active LVC Member

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    I was told it was leaking from the inter tie-rod bust boots. It would be a re-manufactured Ford rack.
     
  4. joegr

    joegr Dedicated LVC Member

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    Apparently, the remanufactured racks are hit and miss, but your only other real option would be to replace the seals on the one you have.
    As far as the clock spring goes, that's nothing to worry about. Just put tape the wheel to the column with some masking tape. It can turn some with no problem, you just don't want it to turn a full revolution or more.
     
  5. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Well like I said... the rack is pretty easy to get out. However the nylon o-rings can be a PiTA.

    As far as holding the steering wheel so it doesn't turn... you could slide the seat all the way forward and stack some books on the seat. Then tilt the steering wheel down onto the books.

    The issue with the clockspring is that the steering wheel isn't balanced. So when you disconnect it from the rack it will spin.

    If it spins far enough... it will break the connections on the "daisy chain" cable inside the clockspring
     
  6. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    And Joe had an easier method.
     
  7. milehighmikey

    milehighmikey Dedicated LVC Member

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    I just loop my seat belt through the wheel. I replaced my rack with aftermarket rebuilt around 6 years ago. Absolutely no issues. You may need a 17 or 18mm crow foot wrench to get one of the fittings or bolts free, I can't recall, but it was something that was a no go on the normal tool kit complement. An independent shop may be your best bet compared to on jack stands, depending on how tall your stands are. I'd look at making the whole car level at the elevated height for better ease of access from behind the rack and under the transmission. (I normally use my lift so I am extra picky about how I work on the ground when not at home)
     
  8. jmeecer

    jmeecer Active LVC Member

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    Wonderful, that is a little disheartening.
     
  9. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Seems there was a design change in November 2002... so you might want to double check the part with the dealer using your VIN number, (if that hasn't been done already).

    There are still new racks available for pre 11/02 vehicles. They are around $600.
     
  10. jmeecer

    jmeecer Active LVC Member

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    All I can find on-line is re-manufactured units, cannot find any new ones. Car was built in Sept 2001.
     
  11. 04_Sport_LS

    04_Sport_LS Dedicated LVC Member

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    Sent you a PM
     
  12. azjason412

    azjason412 New LVC Member

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    I just did this about a month ago. It's not very difficult honestly. Goes faster with 2 people. Took about 2 hours. Cost me around $200 with $100 core. Make sure old rack isn't all shot out or the auto parts store won't accept it.
     

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