I'd wait a couple of weeks before you replace the rack;
The ball joints/rod ends, all require some wear to loosen up a bit.
It will be really stiff for the first week, less the second, and so on.
The symptom of the rack being bad is no assist suddenly while turning, or play in the steering wheel.
Mine wore out with tons of play... and it really sux to change out.
It suddenly being stiff after replacing all the stuff in the front end is totally normal.
I've done that to both cars so far.
Red '96 Cougar XR-7 240k mi. '02 4R70W, PST DS : '03 PI engine, 04 maf, 24lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, '02 4r70w + Jmod, DirtyD0g TC + cooler + 3/8" lines, 255 walbro fp. Alpine system.
Black '96 Cougar XR-7 (Lazarus) 210k mi PI Intake, '02 4R70W, Jmod, PST DS, GrogTune, Konis, Mark LCA+Poly, racecougar Custom Engine Chain, and JL and racecougar Bracing.
Black '97 Tbird Limited Edition, '02 4R70W, 255 walbro, PST DS, PBR Brakes&SS lines, Toicko Blues & Springs, GrogTune.
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