Rack & Pinion Time - TCCoA Forums
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-12-2016, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Rack & Pinion Time

Hey gang..

I'm gearing up to replace the Rack & Pinion in my car this week..

I've tried to compile a list of things to do while the rack is out, and I'm sure I missed something..

My plan is to completely remove the K-Member, and clean that up from years of oil/fluids leaking on it..

Then I'll just install the new rack to the K-Member, once that's cleaned up..


Could you guys offer some advice on things to look at/fix while the rack is out??

Are there any oddball nuts or bolts, that will require any special sockets or wrenches??

Also, any tips,tricks to make this rack changing experience as painless as possible..lol

Lastly, are there any mods I should do with the rack out??(Easier to do with the rack not in the way)..

Thanks for all your help, ahead of time..






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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 05:51 AM
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I am going to follow this also. I've ordered the parts to do mine this way. I changed the rack on my 96 without dropping the k member and swore I'd never do it again (never say never). While it's down I figure on the motor mounts, p/s hoses, oil pan gasket and as suggested here, battery cable ground. If it were my Tbird again I would also consider the oil filter adapter gasket.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 06:58 AM
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There isn't anything that is particularly easier with the rack out, except the AN power steering line conversion. If you are going to be dropping the whole subframe though, now would be the time to upgrade the front sway bar, but if all you are doing now is the rack, I wouldn't drop the subframe, since that is a lot of unnecessary work.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 10:06 AM
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Well damn that takes all the fun out of it! But seriously when I changed my rack six years ago I don't think there were as many good write ups on this site as there is now. I did not even try to get at the lines from the fender well and that would have helped a lot. I also can see where a crows foot can help with this. Lots of good help here.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 12:27 PM
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I don't have many ideas to offer above what's been posted but it might be good to clarify if you are using jack stands and will be working on your back or if you have a lift in play and access is even easier. I know I have tried to minimize the time I am working on my back from under the car and usually employ the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ideology to avoid being under the car.

The oil pan gasket sounded good to me since I did it myself without much parts removal and it took me two days to get it done. About all I did was put some upward pressure on the motor with a jack to get the pan out and that was probably incorrect process.

I think you have your smog pump out already but mine looks like it would be easier to get to with the lower frame out. Maybe clean any electrical contacts that are easy to get to. and look for more trouble/leaks.

I'm sorry the good advice tends to go one direction between us.

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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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I'll be using my buddy's lift on this project..He'll be there to supervise..

I'm on the fence about changing the oil pan gasket or not..
Maybe once the K-Member is down, and I can get a good luck under there to check everything out..

I will be installing a bigger sway bar while the K-Member is down..

Thanks for the advice guys, keep it coming..






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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 02:22 PM
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You're on the fence about doing the oil pan gasket despite rationalizing the otherwise unnecessary removal of the K member to, I quote, "clean that up from years of oil/fluids leaking on it.."???
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I'm not dropping the K-Member just so I can clean it..lol
It's pretty nasty though..

The PS return hose that attaches to the back of the PS Pump reservoir has been leaking onto the K-Member for awhile now..

There was also an oil leak at one point that was leaking all over it..

So far, I'm changing the motor mounts, the rack, and installing a bigger sway bar..
I'm sure I'm missing something else I could do "while I'm in there"..

I'm going to have to take a look at a couple of diagrams I have, of the underside of the (5.0) MN12..

Thanks guys..






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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 03:56 PM
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I'd the AN conversion, Oil Pan gasket, and Motor Mounts.

If all else fails get a bigger hammer!

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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayo View Post
Well, I'm not dropping the K-Member just so I can clean it..lol
It's pretty nasty though..

The PS return hose that attaches to the back of the PS Pump reservoir has been leaking onto the K-Member for awhile now..

There was also an oil leak at one point that was leaking all over it..

So far, I'm changing the motor mounts, the rack, and installing a bigger sway bar..
I'm sure I'm missing something else I could do "while I'm in there"..

I'm going to have to take a look at a couple of diagrams I have, of the underside of the (5.0) MN12..

Thanks guys..






Rayo..
Oil pan gasket is the ONLY maintenance item that truly requires full K member or engine removal to access, not any of the stuff you're firm on doing, including cleaning it(I got mine spotless just getting my hands all up in there with cleaners and rags) does.

The gasket is what, $20, $30 bucks? It's a 5.0 I can't imagine it can cost more than that. I just don't understand the hesitation for that particular task?

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-13-2016, 08:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6 View Post
Oil pan gasket is the ONLY maintenance item that truly requires full K member or engine removal to access, not any of the stuff you're firm on doing, including cleaning it(I got mine spotless just getting my hands all up in there with cleaners and rags) does.

The gasket is what, $20, $30 bucks? It's a 5.0 I can't imagine it can cost more than that. I just don't understand the hesitation for that particular task?
It feels like you get a nice oil pan gasket when you buy a Canton Racing 7qt pan. You'll just need to clearance the K member. Hey, it looks like you'll have that out so you can do that too.

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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XR7-4.6
Oil pan gasket is the ONLY maintenance item that truly requires full K member or engine removal to access
Oh, I'm sure there's something else that requires it too..

Guess that means I'm going to have to buy some oil, and an oil filter too..

I'll stop at the dealership tomorrow, and see if they have the Oil Pan gasket in stock..
I'd prefer to use a Motorcraft gasket, if I'm going through the trouble of changing it..
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaddMartigan
Hey, it looks like you'll have that out so you can do that too.
Maybe next time..

Here's my list so far:

New Rack & Pinion
Bigger Front Sway Bar
New Motor Mounts
Oil Pan Gasket & Oil Change

What else? What else?






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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-14-2016, 07:37 AM
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If you have to go outside of Ford for the oil pan gasket, I highly recommend that you get a one piece rubber gasket with the metal supports molded into the sides. This is WAY better then the conventional 4 piece cork kits.

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-15-2016, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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I'm just about done with this project..

All that's left to do is:

Fill the Power Steering System with Type F
Reattach the Serpentine Belt
Adjust the Tie Rod Ends
Check for leaks..
Get an alignment

After I finish up tomorrow..I'll report back with all my "fun" findings, and any surprises I encountered during this process..

Thanks to everyone that has participated in this thread with positive feedback..





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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 10:29 AM Thread Starter
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That K-Member was nassssty!

Nothing some Engine Degreaser,scrub brushes, and putty knife couldn't handle though..

After removing the K-Member, I noticed the bushings and ball joints in the lower control arms are bad..
Strut Rod Bushings are also deteriorated from years of fluids dripping on them..
The Motor Mounts were fully compressed..
The Tie Rod Ends were shot with ripped boots on both sides..
There was a broken Inner Tie Rod on the Passenger Side..
The Sway Bar End Links were both ripped..
I didn't notice any unusual wear on the Rag Joint..

With the K-Member out of the way, I noticed the Harmonic Balancer has failed..
It's pushed all the way against the Crank Pulley with the rubber protruding out of it..
While I was down there, I removed the Oil Pan to change the gasket..
Someone replaced the Oil Pan Gasket with cork at some point..
I replaced that with the Ford steel reinforced reusable rubber gasket..
Also noticed the Timing Cover has been off at some point as well..

Another thing I noticed with the K-Member out of the way was..
The bolts holding the Motor Mount (top hat) on were very loose, on the Driver Side..
I removed the bolts on both sides, and added some Blue Loctite to them

I replaced all of the components in the Power Steering System with new..

Which included:

Return Line Elbow
High Pressure Elbow
Return line
High Pressure Line
Power Steering Pump
Rack & Pinion
Aluminum Rack & Pinion Bushings

I received a Rack & Pinion from Rack Doctor about a month ago..
After inspecting it a little closer I realized he put used Inner Tie Rods on it..
So, just don't assume you're getting new Inner Tie Rods when you order a Rack & Pinion from Rack Doctor..
I removed the used Inner Tie Rods..Then I picked up some brand new ones from the Ford dealership, and installed those myself..
The old used Inner Tie Rods were very stiff and rusty..The new Inner Tie Rods are, well new and articulate well..

I had the chance to do a couple extra mods while I had the K-Member out:

I replaced the stock Rag Joint with a Stainless Steel U-Joint set-up
I replaced the worn Motor Mounts with some custom Motor Mounts I made (more on them later)
I replaced the front Brake Pads & Balanced the Front Wheels
I replaced my factory front Sway Bar with the Addco 1-1/4" piece, along with Energy Suspension Mounts

I want to replace the Lower Control Arms, and Strut Rod Bushings..
The harmonic balancer is more urgent though, so that will be getting replaced almost immediately..
I planned on doing some upgrades to the Front Suspension & Braking System anyways..
So, I'll replace the Lower Control Arms, and Strut Rod Bushings at the same time..

My "to do" list on the car is getting shorter!!








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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 10:36 AM
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Man what a neglected POS

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 01:06 PM
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Sounds like quite an ordeal. I'm gearing up to do all this myself, bought all the front end suspension stuff, re-man'd rack new pads and rotors all the way round and some rear end-links. Glad it was mentioned about the oil pan gasket, I'll prolly have to pick that up as well. There's a bunch of stuff I'd rather only do once...and now is likely the best time to do it while everything is accessible.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 02:34 PM
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The strut rods and all you should have seen; the ball joints you should have felt.

But HTF do you drive a car with a BROKEN Inner tie rod??!!

Damn, dude! I gave you more credit than that.

I definitely wouldn't have told anyone.


I can apparently feel a 0.1mm wear in a tie rod, according to my old suspension guy; y'all must have some really shitty roads...

Sorry to unload, but damn.


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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like quite an ordeal. I'm gearing up to do all this myself, bought all the front end suspension stuff, re-man'd rack new pads and rotors all the way round and some rear end-links. Glad it was mentioned about the oil pan gasket, I'll prolly have to pick that up as well. There's a bunch of stuff I'd rather only do once...and now is likely the best time to do it while everything is accessible.
Even for certain things that are accessible without removing the K-Member..
Removing the K-Member really gave me a chance to get a good look at everything down there..

It made installing the Rack & Pinion a lot easier..
All of the lines, and fittings were tightened up prior to raising the K-Member back into the car..
So I didn't have to fight with any of that..That was nice..

Same for the Motor Mounts..
Replacing those with the K-Member out of the car was much easier than trying to remove them with everything in place..

Honestly, for as worn out as some of the parts were..The car drove pretty straight..

I wasn't kidding myself getting into this either..I knew there was parts of the suspension that were wore out..

I'm at an advantage, since I don't rely on my Sport for daily transportation..
If I did, a lot of things would have been fixed ASAP..

Now that I know everything that needs fixed, it's just a matter of time, $$$ and locating parts..







Rayo..
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-20-2016, 03:21 PM
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Fixed Or Repaired Daily...

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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-13-2016, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rayo View Post
Even for certain things that are accessible without removing the K-Member..
Removing the K-Member really gave me a chance to get a good look at everything down there..

It made installing the Rack & Pinion a lot easier..
All of the lines, and fittings were tightened up prior to raising the K-Member back into the car..
So I didn't have to fight with any of that..That was nice..

Same for the Motor Mounts..
Replacing those with the K-Member out of the car was much easier than trying to remove them with everything in place..

Honestly, for as worn out as some of the parts were..The car drove pretty straight..

I wasn't kidding myself getting into this either..I knew there was parts of the suspension that were wore out..

I'm at an advantage, since I don't rely on my Sport for daily transportation..
If I did, a lot of things would have been fixed ASAP..

Now that I know everything that needs fixed, it's just a matter of time, $$$ and locating parts..







Rayo..
I hear ya, the 'bird is my project car and I have a nice, reliable, new 2015 Fiesta for the daily duties. Much like you said, I am finding there are more and more things I "should" do while I'm doing something else, but money, time, and parts availability are killing me...

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