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  #1  
Old 02-03-2019, 01:14 AM
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Exclamation Play and banging in steering (possible rack/u-joint issue)

Hi,

I've got a banging/knocking sound in the steering rack. It is difficult to tell where exactly it is coming from. Jacking up the wheels and turning it freely in the air makes no noise - it only does it when the wheels are on the ground (i.e. the rack is under load).

I am 90% sure it all started when the subframe was dropped to replace the alternator bracket oil control gasket.

Do the racks in these cars go bad frequently?

I know there are two joints on the way to the rack from the steering, I suppose one of these going bad could cause the issue?

I can get a 2nd hand rack rather cheaply but I'd rather try to work out what's wrong rather than just throw parts at it.

Getting under the car to feel anything nothing feels abnormal to me.

I've done a ton of reading and it looks like the u-joint at the top can go bad causing these symptoms? Car is a 2005 4.8is with 130k miles on it so not exactly new.

Parts are at least a week away for me and I need the car back on the road ASAP - can anyone share tips and insights into what this could potentially be?

Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2019, 01:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FourPointEight-is View Post
Hi,

I've got a banging/knocking sound in the steering rack. It is difficult to tell where exactly it is coming from. Jacking up the wheels and turning it freely in the air makes no noise - it only does it when the wheels are on the ground (i.e. the rack is under load).

I am 90% sure it all started when the subframe was dropped to replace the alternator bracket oil control gasket.

Do the racks in these cars go bad frequently?

I know there are two joints on the way to the rack from the steering, I suppose one of these going bad could cause the issue?

I can get a 2nd hand rack rather cheaply but I'd rather try to work out what's wrong rather than just throw parts at it.

Getting under the car to feel anything nothing feels abnormal to me.

I've done a ton of reading and it looks like the u-joint at the top can go bad causing these symptoms? Car is a 2005 4.8is with 130k miles on it so not exactly new.

Parts are at least a week away for me and I need the car back on the road ASAP - can anyone share tips and insights into what this could potentially be?

Thanks.
All of the ones I ran into that went bad were binding not knocking. Basically they would catch when turning or not want to return to center. But that's just the ones I have run into. I guess it could go bad in several ways symptom wise.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:25 AM
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Thanks Crowz, do you mean the rack itself is likely to fail or some of the supporting hardware on the column?

Reason I am looking at this now is the front left lower ball joint bushing has gone causing some play so might as well sort out the whole lot.

Is there some way I can do testing in-situ to check what the problem is?

As you know removing/reinstalling the rack is no joke - would rather avoid that grief if possible.

Any in situ testing that you can recommend before I start throwing parts at it?

Edit: It recently failed inspection on the left ball joint having some play in it. I'm gonna replace both ball joints and all 4 control arms - well overdue on a 2005 car with 130k mi.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:42 AM
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What usually happens is the end of the rack gets bent and then binds returning to the housing.

Knocking sounds from my experience is the linkages that hold the wheel knuckle to the car.

These

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Old 02-03-2019, 01:46 AM
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All of those parts can cause knocking noises and effects.

Swaybar end links are the most common.

With the control arms next.

Tie rod ends next.

Ball joints after that and finally the struts.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:48 AM
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Also I have noticed that they seem to fail (noise and such) after working on the car.

Be it from changing the tires to doing the brakes. Pretty much anything involving jacking up the car. This is just what it sure seems like for me at any rate. Usually everything is fine and I go to do something else not related to the above parts and then they need replacing.
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Old 02-03-2019, 04:23 AM
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Crowz, really appreciate the advice. I’m just going to bite the bullet and replace the whole lot - everything in that picture minus the struts.

Inspection only cites play in the lower left joint but I’m gonna do the whole lot.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:17 AM
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That's one of the things I love about the E53. Other than the struts the rest of that is pretty cheap. Tons cheaper than other vehicles I own.
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2019, 07:37 AM
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Is that the tie rod end only, or the whole tie rod assembly?
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:07 AM
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If you had the u-joint disconnected to drop the subframe, make sure you got the pinch bolt screw back in the slot. I have seen the guys miss that slot and cause these play issues.
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