Steering Rack Gaitor

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myoldjalopy
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Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Sat Feb 27, 2021 5:55 pm

Oh dear, one of my steering rack gaitors has developed a very small hole and needs to be replaced. Having heard of a number of people who suffered early deterioration of these rubber components, I wonder if anyone has had recent experience - good or bad? I see ESM offer two types, a 'rubber' one at £3.95 and a 'nitrol rubber' one, which is £3 dearer. Can I assume the nitrol one is better quality?

les
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby les » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:07 pm

Rubber components nowadays seem to give limited service, so maybe try the other ones.


paul 300358
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby paul 300358 » Sat Feb 27, 2021 7:33 pm

I've had the nitrol rubber ones fitted for over 2 years and they don't leak yet.

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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby kennatt » Sun Feb 28, 2021 7:43 am

If it's a VERY SMALL HOLE as stated and you don't want to have to remove the track rod end,Iv'e bodged a few larger splits by washing off with thinners and applying a dab of black sealant as a temporary fix .Come to think of it my motorhome has been a temp fix for the last 4 years :D o look at it every year for mot and still ok. But then I'm a Tight old git. :D :D

geoberni
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby geoberni » Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:19 am

Having replaced gaiters a couple of times in the past few years on modern cars, I can say that while the originals were quite soft rubbery material, the replacements have been a much firmer, though flexible, more 'plastic' type material.
A similar material as might be used for plastic convoluted electrical tubing; I don't believe they were 'nitrol rubber'.

In fact on cars where they have used different steering rack manufacturers on the production line, you have to make sure you get the right gaiter for the rack, as a few millimetres difference in the diameter of the rack can result in a whole load of grief in getting the gaiter to fit, as there is no stretch to it.

I wonder why there is not a version made for the Minor?
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les
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby les » Sun Feb 28, 2021 10:53 am

Further to the above ‘repair’ it has been known for complete new drive shaft rubber boots to be split, wrapped round the joint being attended to and superglued back together to save dismantling. ————- No I haven’t done it ! but superglue really works on rubber.


geoberni
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby geoberni » Sun Feb 28, 2021 11:48 am

There are also these kits that require the trackrod end to be released from the wheel, but not disturb the tracking.
https://www.bailcast.com/ProductCategory/index/3

if the rubber ones from 'Minor specialists' are so bad, I seem to recall someone recently complaining about theirs perishing very quickly, then these have a 2 year ‘No Quibble’ quality guarantee. :wink:
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myoldjalopy
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:05 pm

Thanks for all your replies.
Kennat - yes it is a very small hole and I did wonder about cleaning up the gaitor and wrapping some self amalgamating tape around it at that point. But it would be better to replace it. My thinking is that, rather than split the TRE from the steering arm, it would be easier to simply unscrew the track rod out, after loosening the lock nut. Anyone done it this way? Any other tips?

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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby geoberni » Sun Feb 28, 2021 1:07 pm

myoldjalopy wrote:
Sun Feb 28, 2021 12:05 pm
My thinking is that, rather than split the TRE from the steering arm, it would be easier to simply unscrew the track rod out, after loosening the lock nut. Anyone done it this way? Any other tips?
That's how it's usually done and in fact the only way to do it when the replacement gaiter is made from the harder material I spoke of up the page in my earlier post. Just depends how fussy you are about the accuracy of the tracking I guess.
I usually use a white paint pen (cost about £3) to indicate the position/alignment of the TRE to the Rod, and also mark the rod to specific depth from the back of the nut, e.g. a mark 25mm/1" up from the back of the nut before cracking it open.
On reassembly, if the TRE is in a position where the marks all align, it's got to be pretty darn close to where it was before it was disturbed.
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myoldjalopy
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:58 am

"That's how it's usually done and in fact the only way to do it when the replacement gaiter is made from the harder material I spoke of up the page in my earlier post."
Not sure I understand you here. It can't be 'the only way' - the alternative is to actually split the TRE from the steering arm with a ball joint splitter and then unscrew the TRE, which is often suggested as the correct way to go. However, I'm talking about leaving the TRE connected to the steering arm - so no ball joint splitter required - but winding the track rod itself out once the lock nut is loosened.

geoberni
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby geoberni » Tue Mar 02, 2021 10:43 am

myoldjalopy wrote:
Tue Mar 02, 2021 9:58 am
"That's how it's usually done and in fact the only way to do it when the replacement gaiter is made from the harder material I spoke of up the page in my earlier post."
Not sure I understand you here. It can't be 'the only way' - the alternative is to actually split the TRE from the steering arm with a ball joint splitter and then unscrew the TRE, which is often suggested as the correct way to go. However, I'm talking about leaving the TRE connected to the steering arm - so no ball joint splitter required - but winding the track rod itself out once the lock nut is loosened.
I said 'the only way' in so much as the harder material gaiters can never be fitted over the TRE.
Yes, the TRE can be romoved first.
I can't imagine anyone wanting to go to all the trouble of having to remove and then refit the TRE from/to the wheel. Pointless activity as far as I'm concerned. I've seen it done on youtube videos, but I've never understood why?
I know of no reason why a tie rod shouldn't be rotated several times, since that's what happens when the tracking is adjusted.

What you're saying is exactly what I've always done over the years. I guess the only problem would be if the rod were too long to screw out of the TRE before the wheel has reached it's turn stop point; not a problem I've ever experienced, although it's been a bit close on occasion.

The only thing to watch is that you release the clip from the gaiter end nearest you before turning the rod, and don't fit the clip to the new one until job complete, otherwise the gaiter is going to twist as you turn it.
Perhaps that's why they seem to always take the TTE off, they think it essential to stop the gaiter twisting?????

I've never tried it on a Moggie, perhaps someone else has? i.e. doing it without removing the TRE first. :wink:
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myoldjalopy
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:13 pm

Ok, so a bit of a search reveals this guy did it successfully. And apparently didn't even remove the locknut from the track rod!
viewtopic.php?t=60024

geoberni
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby geoberni » Tue Mar 02, 2021 1:25 pm

Seems fair enough except I would dispute the statement
No need to count the number of turns - since the nut is rusted onto the rod, when you screw it back it will return to exactly the same place, so no worries about tracking either. Told you on this occasion rust was good!
Earlier, it was said ...
Put the spanner on the the track-rod end lock nut and loosen it a bit. You might have to give it a couple of whacks with the hammer, making sure you are undoing it ie. clockwise. You will find that the nut will loosen off with just a few whacks (despite it being as rusty as hell on the outside, inside the track rod end where the threads are it will be quite rust-free). Undo it (clockwise) about half a turn or so.
Can't play it both ways, it's either rusted in the right place, or it's been undone half a turn or so.
Might was well remove it, having marked the correct place as I described earlier, and save some hassle getting the gaiter over the nut.
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myoldjalopy
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Mar 02, 2021 3:24 pm

I think what he's saying is that, in his case, the nut was rusted to the track rod and so 'loosening the nut' meant that the whole track rod swivelled with the nut away from the TRE. In fact he does say "You'll find that as you turn the nut the track rod also turns with it since the nut will be rust welded to the rod.." But, of course, there's no guarantee that anyone else's lock nut will be similarly 'rust-welded' to the track rod. You would only find out when you come to loosen the lock nut whether the rod turns with the nut - or not.......

myoldjalopy
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Tue Mar 09, 2021 8:49 pm

OK, reporting back, the job is done. I decided to try the 'nitrol' ones like 'paul300358' and confirm that splitting the TRE from the steering arm would be a complete waste of time. It is very easy to wind the track rod out of the TRE, once you have cracked the lock nut, which took a few scats of the hammer on the spanner to free it.
First I painted aligning marks on the TRE, the lock nut and the track rod and I'm glad I did, as my lock nut was not rust-welded on to the track rod, as was the case for 'davew1949'. Neither did I decide to try and force the small end of the gaiter over the lock nut. Having marked it all up, it took exactly 17 turns to remove the nut in order to slip on the gaiter.
The hardest bit by far was undoing the old inner gaiter clip - I spent absolutely ages, together with a lot of swearing, in releasing this intact. It is absurdly awkward to get at. In retrospect, I should have just broken it off, especially since, having already spent far too much time playing contortionist on a cold garage floor, I fitted the new gaiter with cable ties - much easier. It wasn't even that hard to get the big end of the gaiter over the rack housing - only five minutes of faffing about to get this on. But then I broke a wheel nut stud - though that was an easy fix, thankfully! 8)

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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby davew1949 » Mon May 03, 2021 1:51 pm

Hi myoldjalopy. Glad you found my "Definitive Guide" of some help. I'm also pleased to get your feedback, particularly on the rust-welded nut - I must say I had assumed that everyone's nuts would be rust welded, but clearly not. I have changed three gaiters on two different cars and the nuts were pretty stuck on all occasions for me. Although I wrote the guide some years ago I will see if I can modify it to take your experience into account as it might still help other people. Also amazed that getting the wide end of the gaiter on only took you a few minutes - well done. That's always the bit I hate. When it finally slips on I have no idea what I did to make it happen, but I do know that I normally need a nice cup of tea, a few plasters and a warm bath afterwards. Cheers.

myoldjalopy
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Re: Steering Rack Gaitor

Postby myoldjalopy » Mon May 03, 2021 8:17 pm

Hi Dave,
Yes, your guide was useful and a great help in prepping for the job. As for slipping the new gaiter on, it was surprisingly easy, as I said......sometimes these things go well when you expect them not to - and sometimes vice-versa! I didn't need any plasters but I do recall a hot shower and a few beers that evening :wink:
Cheers,
Pete


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