Rack+Pinion Woes - Honda Civic Forum



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Old 01-10-2016   #1
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Exclamation Rack+Pinion Woes

Hi everyone. I'm trying to help my little brother (he's 16, I'm 29 ) fix his 2000 civic ex.

He called me to tell me that he was having trouble with play in the steering wheel. I went to look at his car and there is more than one full turn of free play before the rack and pinion start moving the tires to turn. It's totally unsafe to drive so we trailered it over to my aunt's house because she has a garage I can work in (there is over a foot of snow on the ground for the last couple weeks here).

I was using this video for reference on how to R+R his rack and pinion.

Well, we jacked the car up and put it on jackstands and climbed under to inspect. I was pretty much horrified by what we found.
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Following is the video to better illustrate the issue.




Those are the bolt holes that are supposed to bolt the rack to the frame The bolts are just sitting in the rack but not bolting anything down. There was no rubber in the round bracket that holds the rack in place on the driver side. Also the plate that you are supposed to remove before getting to the rack (I don't know if that helps secure it or just protects it??), was missing entirely... So basically the tie rods and the steering column are the only thing holding the rack and pinion in on this car. The rack can move left and right at least 4 inches before it ever starts operating to move the tires.

I don't feel safe letting my lil brother drive this car anymore. I could try to jerry rig it by welding nuts over the holes where the bolts are supposed to secure the rack, but I wouldn't trust it. It would basically be a band-aid to try and sell it but then again, I feel that is sort of shady. Basically I want to know if this is repairable and how to do so properly, or if we should just try and part the car out or what.

My dad bought this car for him without ever even driving it...

I'm not a mechanic or a fabricator. My mechanical experience is pretty much working on my own 1990 c1500. If there is anyone here that has experience with this please can you tell me what can be done? I'm not sure what the plate is called or of interchangeability from other years. I'm just a big brother trying to help his little brother fix his first car. Our dad is not mechanically inclined what-so-ever and bought this car in this condition and he never even drove it... He blames my little brother for "breaking it"...He actually just bought an unsafe vehicle and let my little brother drive it around...
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Old 01-10-2016   #2
Where's that music coming from?

 
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Re: Rack+Pinion Woes

Quote:
He actually just bought an unsafe vehicle and let my little brother drive it around
(Repeat that line to the parent every time you speak of the car.)

This is something that should have been caught during the pre-purchase inspection.

There WAS a pre-purchase inspection done before purchasing the car, yes?

(Repeat that line to the parent every time you speak of the car.)
LOL


------

You could price the rack, the big support beam (or subframe, whatever you want to call it) and all that out of a recycle yard, add in a ton of labor to change it out, and a wheel alignment after it's all bolted in.....


This situation looks unusual to me...... Are you in the rust belt or are you in the desert?
I've seen the big beams rusted out on a few of the older cars (rust/salt belt here) but yours appears to have wasted the rubber bushings (desert, high heat?), which leads to severe stress on attachment points (ripped fasteners out of the steel), yet you say you have a foot of snow on the ground. Where are you?



If you are not in the rust belt, that might be DIY fixable somewhat reasonably, but you need to inspect everything else to find what else needs attention to keep it safe. IMO in the rust belt the car would probably be scrap.
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Old 01-10-2016   #3
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Re: Rack+Pinion Woes

No rust thankfully. We live in the high desert, New Mexico.

No, there was absolutely no inspection pre purchase. My dad let my little brother drive it (inexperienced 16yo in his first car) and then he bought the car because (of course) my little brother wanted it... It was the only car they even looked at and he paid $3500 for it. My dad never even drove the car much less looked it over (he wouldn't know what he was looking at or for anyways)...

I told my dad next time he goes to buy a car that isn't from a name brand dealership to bring an adult with him (me) LOL...

I don't know if the metal that the rack actually bolts into is replaceable (where the bolts ripped out of) or if I need to weld some nuts up there or what. Then I'll still have to go find the other metal crossmember or w/e it's called.

I honestly want to just offer my pops $200 for the car as is and then part it out or offer to haul it down to the scrap yard and charge him $50 for that. I wouldn't trust even after I band-aid it.
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Old 01-10-2016   #4
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Re: Rack+Pinion Woes

Quote:
I don't know if the metal that the rack actually bolts into is replaceable (where the bolts ripped out of) or if I need to weld some nuts up there or what. Then I'll still have to go find the other metal crossmember or w/e it's called.
I was thinking the steering rack bolts to the 'beam' like this

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