[xj40] 3.2s steering rack question

I’m new to this forum, so hello to all!
I have a question regarding the steering rack on a 1994 3.2s.
(The car actually belongs to my mum, so I’ve been duly lumbered
with the search for info, having had a bit more spanner turning
experience than her!)

It’s just come back from its MOT with the Jag main dealer that has
looked after it from new. They tell me the steering rack bushes are
coming away from the rack itself, naturally resulting in excessive
movement. However, this apparently warrants a completely new rack,
as the bushes ‘‘cannot be replaced’’. A recon Jag unit will run to
around �600 +VAT. I don’t want to contradict what seems to be a
trustworthy establishment, but I have to admit I find it a little
hard to believe…
Can anyone advise me? Perhaps someone has actually replaced their
rack bushes and can throw some light on this?

Cheers!
Theo–
Theo Law
Nottingham, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Theo Law sent Mon 14 Jun 2004:

Theo,

Your dealer tells the truth. There are no ‘bushes’ as such on the
steering rack. The attachment brackets which bolt to the subframe
are in fact ‘rubber’ bonded to the rack body so that the rack is
flexibly mounted.
They all show a fair degree of side-to-side movement when the
steering is turned with the car stationary and the wheels on the
ground - mine flexes about half an inch I guess if the wheel is
yanked around violently. In motion, the flexing is not noticeable
and in no way affects the directness of the steering. Having said
that, a number of people have tried to limit that side-to-side
movement when they consider it excessive (don’t know how you would
define that!) and I believe there was a Jag kit of some sort which
introduced some sort of spacer to limit the amount of movement but
I can’t find any details on that.

There are DIY stories in the archives on this - go to advance
search in the modern and XJ40 archives and enter ‘steering rack
mounts’ or similar wording to read up on it. Here is one example:-

I do believe that if the rack mount bonding has deteriorated that
much, a replacement REMANUFACTURED rack is the only solution -
providing it has newly fitted bonded mountings!–
The original message included these comments:

I have a question regarding the steering rack on a 1994 3.2s.
It’s just come back from its MOT with the Jag main dealer that has
looked after it from new. They tell me the steering rack bushes are
coming away from the rack itself, naturally resulting in excessive
movement. However, this apparently warrants a completely new rack,
as the bushes ‘‘cannot be replaced’’. A recon Jag unit will run to
around �600 +VAT. I don’t want to contradict what seems to be a
trustworthy establishment, but I have to admit I find it a little
hard to believe…


Bryan N ('91 Sovereign 4.0 L)
Cambridge, United Kingdom
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In reply to a message from Theo Law sent Mon 14 Jun 2004:

Theo
I had my rack overhauled at western power steering. Web site at—

I am in no way affiliated to them, but found them to be very
helpful with a quick turnround time. They also use a courier
service for a small extra charge.
Total cost a fraction of main dealer prices!!!–
The original message included these comments:

movement. However, this apparently warrants a completely new rack,
as the bushes ‘‘cannot be replaced’’. A recon Jag unit will run to
around �600 +VAT. I don’t want to contradict what seems to be a
trustworthy establishment, but I have to admit I find it a little
hard to believe…


dave needham
–Posted using Jag-lovers JagFORUM [forums.jag-lovers.org]–

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In reply to a message from dave needham sent Mon 14 Jun 2004:

Six hundred quid seems an awful lot for a reconditioned
rack.
I put a reconditioned one on about 6 months ago at a cost
of about $130 about 72 pounds. I cannot for the life of me
understand the differences in prices between the UK and the
US.

By the way installateion on the XJ40 is a piece of
cake …mike–
The original message included these comments:

Total cost a fraction of main dealer prices!!!


benton
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In reply to a message from benton sent Tue 15 Jun 2004:

Hi and thanks to all for the responses…

yes, the UK/US price differences annoy the hell out of me. As I
mentioned, the XJ is actually my mother’s - I run a 1980 corvette
(probably shouldn’t have mentioned that on a Jag forum!) and if I
could buy my vette parts at US prices I could probably afford to
run two or three of them! Naturally, being a 1980 vette, there’s
always something ready to drop off, which makes the problem worse
still.

As far as the rack goes, I can order one from SNG Barratt for
around 160 quid. This is far better than the 600 odd that the
dealer wants. Of course the dealer won’t agree to fit the rack from
Barratts, but I have a local friendly garage that will be happy to.

I’m still a bit perplexed about not being able to just re-bond new
rubber mountings to the rack - surely this is what the rebuilders
do anyway?
But at least things are looking a little more encouraging…
Thanks again for the wise words.
Theo–
Theo Law
Nottingham, United Kingdom
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