Overhauling a steering rack on an MGBGTV8
Jim Livingstone acquired his MGBGTV8 (Glacier White 1810) from Dr Chris Ward who had the car restored by a specialist in Northumberland. Here Jim provides a detailed note on his overhaul of the steering rack.

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Posted: 200527

Rack & pinion sectioned view

Jim Livingstone feels the steering rack is one of the most durable and reliable mechanical components fitted to the MGB and the rack on his MGBGTV8 bears testament to the design and manufacturing quality of the original Cam Gears product that it survived unserviced for over 45 years. Here he describes how he overhauled his steering rack and found no major rework was necessary so it gives added confidence that the steering system is fit for a further 45 years.

There was no obvious play or noises from his 46 year old rack but a small oil leak was evident from the offside gaiter and there was a split in the seal of the left track rod end. The appropriate parts together with a selection of UNF self-locking nuts were purchased in advance. At the time of writing (2020) oil seals and gaiters are available as are the rack bushing, pinion bearing and internal ball joint lock nut.

Aligning upper and lower shafts of the column

The internal ball joints and the pinion to rack clearances are adjustable so the effects of limited wear in these parts can be eliminated. No special tools are required but a large set of pipe gripping pliers would prove invaluable when adjusting the inner ball joints. Accurate alignment of the upper steering column and the rack input shaft is required to avoid excessive loading of the column and rack bearings. This is achieved by ensuring that the projected axes of both shafts intersect and this can be confirmed using a simple alignment tool. In essence, the components of the tool simulate the universal joint with alignment points at its centre of articulation. Moss at www.moss-europe.co.uk sell a suitable kit under part number 453-622.

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