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Steering Rack PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter   
Thursday, 31 January 2008
A straightforward replacement. 

I had hoped to not have to replace the steering rack, but after only two events and a couple thousand miles, it was leaking profusely. And so, the research began.

According to Merkur Encyclopedia, there are two racks, a TRW and a ZF.

85-Mid 86 XR's had the TRW.
Mid 86-up had the ZF

This much is true!

However it also said that the TRW had 2.75 Turns Lock to Lock, whereas the ZF had 3.2 Turns. THIS IS INCORRECT!

Through a lot of help from the guys at IMON, XR4-Extreme, and XRSport, we finally determined the correct answer. This answer was derived by many of us going to our cars, seeing which rack we had, and turning the wheel. And here's the result!

TRW: 2.75 Turns, lock to lock and some claim a 3.5 turn L2L version. 
ZF: 2.5 Turns L2L
European MAnual Rack: 3.75+ Turns L2L

As a racer, I wanted a quick rack, and thus why I went with the ZF.

It was a little difficult to ensure I received a ZF Rack. Here's how to make sure:

First, Advance Auto, although my preferred store, wanted $325 for a rack. Sheesh!
AutoZone, conversely, wanted $139.00. Ok, easy choice.

Next, I followed these instructions, as copied from the Merkur Encyclopedia:

"For example, the way to get the ZF rack from Autozone is to have the sales person phone ATSCO at the time you place the order. I had no problem getting them to do this. The Autozone sales person should tell ATSCO they want the Type 2 ZF rack. ATSCO will then link the order and the rack type to the PO# which Autozone also supplies.

ZF Rack: ATSCO p/n 6441 Type 2 $139.99 + $90 core
TRW Rack: ATSCO p/n 6441 Type 1 $139.99 + $90 core"

Autozone in my town seems to have some really incompetent folks working there. I had to try twice to get them to call ATSCO. Finally a manager helped me out, found that they (ATSCO) had one ZF rack and that if Autozone ordered "now" they would get it. We ordered, and two days later it was here!

The NEXT upgrade I decided to do was to replace the rubber bushings in the rack with Aluminum ones from MC2 Racing! That's Chris Grayson's site for those of you that don't know. He's an avid Autocrosser, and an accomplished one at that. He and Chris Anglin provide a lot of great info-from-experience on how to push your XR to the edge.

To make sure my steering was as tight as possible, I just "happen to have had" all new linkage sitting around from over a year ago that I just hadn't yet installed. For the lower control arms, I replaced the bushings with PowerFlex Poly Bushings. This baby's gonna be tight ;-)

Also, I replaced the silly tubes with an actual power steering cooler that I purchased from Summit Racing. (Item DER-13200)

 The Install was very straightforward. Thanks to me buddy Sean for the extra hands.





Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 June 2008 )
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