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Author Topic: Steering Rack Boots  (Read 3457 times)

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june2014

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Steering Rack Boots
« on: June 26, 2014, 09:53:35 PM »
I am a new member to the AMGBA #14-15938, purchased a 1966 MGB and I love it.  While checking out underneath I noticed that the steering rack boots needed changing. Are they very difficult to change? Reading the Haynes manual didnít give me a clear step by step on how to do it also am I suppose to use oil or lithium grease in the boot again.  It is not too clear and are their any bushings I should replace?

The car was not taken care of over the years and it needs some TLC (fix horn, tach gauge not working and new paint job) but I am looking forward to it.

Any advice you could give would be very helpful.

Thanks for your time.
J. J. Sikora

Art

  • chfwrench
  • AMGBA Club Tech Staff
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  • Posts: 246
  • Memberhsip Number (if known):: 91-10014
  • MG information: '73 red B roadster
Re: Steering Rack Boots
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2014, 09:56:07 PM »
Welcome to the club. LBCs (Little British Cars) are addictive and tremendous fun, but they do need care. Changing the boots on the rack is not that hard, but it does invole some work and at least an alignment when done, so, especially if as you say the car has not been cared for.  I would plan some other work as well.
The seal kit is relatively cheap (p/n 263-380 from Moss for both with clamps; $15), but first, being a new owner unfamiliar with the carís maintenance history, I would make sure the rack unit itself was in good shape. If thereís play, binding or other indications of wear, best to replace the unit, which would come with the seals. If this is a daily use car seeing foul weather, dirt and puddles, Iíd suggest you replace the unit. As a collector/driver car, if it looks and works OK, a good cleaning, greasing, new seals and tie rods might be OK. A new aftermarket unit (item 5-187 from Victoria British) is about $200 with shipping.
If your rack is good, you need to take off the tie rod ends to get to the boots. This is why I say you will need an alignment later. Also why I say plan some more cost/work because if you are taking the time to remove these and need to do an alignment after rinstalling, it is best just to replace them. They run about $60 each from Moss (Victoria British has a set for much less, but the Moss units are sealed and do not require greasing). Measure the threads to get the ends into the tie rods back into a relative position to where they were originally, at least well enough to get it to the alignment shop without doing damage.
With the tie rod ends off, the boots should come off fairly easily once the retainers are loosened or cut. You may have to loosen the bolts holding the rack to the crossmember to get them out and/or better clean the area, but that is fairly easy. With the old boots having been cut or cracked, Iíd throughly clean the exposed portion of the rack before adding any grease or installing new boots. Spraying with WD40 should do the trick.

Now, before you put the boots back on there is a decision to make. The book says to fill the rack with EP90, a hypoid gear oil used in gearboxes, commercial gear reducers and differentials. It goes in after the boots are in place and requires a pump of some sort to get into the rack. A pump type oil can with a piece of tubing (like air line from a fish tank) on it should do it, but this stuff is thick and slow to move, especially when cold. It is fluid, so it can stll leak out if the seals fail again, so many are now going with litho grease in place of the oil. It stays put and is less susceptable to contamination or washing out if the boots crack or leak, but is not as fluid and can leave voids in the lubrication of the rack. The rack and the boots have to packed before the boots are installed. Your choice, they both work. And whatís a British car if itís not leaking oil? (answer: Empty). Someone posted offering a concoction of STP motor Honey with the EP 90 to create a near grease-like fluid that is less prone to leakage. No opinion on it myself, but he says it works. He probably lives in a warm weather climate as that Motor Honey can be pretty stiff in cold weather.

I hope that helps you. Keep me posted on what you find and do. Iíll help where I can.

Safety Fast!

Art Isaacs
Art Isaacs
AMGBA Tech Staff
chfwrench@aol.com


 

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