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steering rack install issue

Ran into a problem changing my power steering rack. I counted the turns on the ball joints off the old tie rod ends onto the new. Now that they are on the new rack the front wheels both point in toward the radiator. All the tie rods appear to be the right size. What did I do wrong in this process?
Old 11-29-2017, 10:59 AM
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What year is your car? What year are the inner tie rods from? The >86 are shorter than the <87 inner tie rods. Sounds like you may have early ones on a late car?
Old 11-29-2017, 11:40 AM
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There are several videos on the internet how to do a driveway alignment. I did it on my dodge van yesterday after a steering rack replacement. It gets it close enough to get to the alignment shop. Counting the turns did not work for me either. It was over 1/4 inch off.
Old 11-29-2017, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drkshdw View Post
What year is your car? What year are the inner tie rods from? The >86 are shorter than the <87 inner tie rods. Sounds like you may have early ones on a late car?
89

How different? With the new and old racks right next to each other they appear to be identical.

Are they "inches" different?

Thanks
Old 11-29-2017, 12:14 PM
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Old 11-29-2017, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Kings911 View Post
89

How different? With the new and old racks right next to each other they appear to be identical.

Are they "inches" different?

Thanks
Early and late steering racks are identical. The difference is in the inner tie rods. Late inner tie rods are just over an inch longer on each side than the early inner tie rods (to account for the late offset wheels needed for ABS in later years). If you're using early inner tie rods on a late offset car, that would pull the wheels inward about an inch on either side which would account for them being pointed towards the radiator now.
Old 11-29-2017, 01:03 PM
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So its the inner not the outer rods that are the issue? Can I swap the inners from the old unit onto the new easily?
Old 11-29-2017, 05:01 PM
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Yes and yes. You can use either an inner tie rod removal tool (a long tube with inserts that fit several different types of inner tie rods that make removal easy) or a 30mm wrench will do.

They're on there tight so you'll have to mount the rack somewhere to take them off. Clamp the rack in a vice or if you don't have a vice, bolt the rack back up to the crossmember and take them off that way.
Old 11-29-2017, 06:25 PM
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I had the exact same thing happen when I swapped out my rack; the inner tie rods are too short. Just swap the ones from your old rack out with those from the new one, and you'll be set.
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Old 11-29-2017, 06:50 PM
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Getting ready to swap over the tie rods and I noticed one thing about something unrelated.

I have a question about the wire that comes off the cross member and bolts to the front of the rack.

On the factory rack there is a plate with 3 both holes. 2 that bolt it to the rack and one for that wire. On the new rack there is no 3rd hole.

Recommendations?
Old 12-05-2017, 12:32 PM
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That wire is to ground the horn. You can either switch plates from the original rack to the new one or you can attach the ground to the bottom bolt of that plate. Either will work. Unless you have a manual rack in which case there is a separate attachment to the left of the bushing that wire secures to.
Old 12-05-2017, 02:38 PM
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Really? That little brown wire from the cross member to steering rack grounds the horn?

Dang there is do much I don't know.

Thanks for all the help. Hopefully it's back on the road leak free tomorrow.
Old 12-05-2017, 05:55 PM
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Oops...car goes straight though errrrr.

Old 12-06-2017, 02:34 PM
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Ah - details. Heh. I assume you're going to bring it in for an alignment and they'll deal with the steering wheel as well. In the past when I've tried to line up my own steering wheels, its best to put it on loosely (not stupid loose) and go for a drive to see which way it needs to be adjusted and how far. Pull over and mark the rim with a tape mark on your best judgement. Then either bring the wrench with you to make the adjustment and double check it on the drive back home to perhaps move a single spline. Then properly torque the steering wheel fastener at home.

Doug
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Old 12-06-2017, 09:31 PM
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So that's all I really have to do huh? Just pull it and straighten it? Times like this I wish I didn't have an airbag. That's a 5 minute job on an early car haha.
Old 12-07-2017, 03:02 AM
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Yep, just pull the wheel and install at the correct position. Park your car with the wheels pointing exactly straight, pull the airbag and steering wheel, put the steering wheel back on straight and reinstall the airbag. Don't start the car during the process or you may have airbag light issues (don't know how the airbags work on these cars so don't quote me on that). It's a 10 minute job on airbag cars, 30 seconds on non-airbag ones.
Old 12-07-2017, 06:51 AM
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