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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I noticed ( a few months ago :confused: ) that one of the rack boots was split, badly. Unfortunately since the steering was fine at the time, it never made it up the to-do list. The rack is of dubious vintage, having come from a scrapyard, but was only fitted last september.

All of a sudden, seemingly coinciding with the first cold weather
, the steering has gotten stiff. Its stiffer turning to the left, but stiffer than it should be in both directions. Its not morning sickness, its just as bad cold or warm. Its still somewhat intermittent, but is getting towards constant.
I've read lots of threads about the universal joints being a possible problem. I've tried wd40 and grease on the UJ's. It doesn't seem that its stiff at a particular angle of the wheel.
However, there are creaking noises coming from the steering column. Are these pretty good pointers towards the UJ's being the problem, or is it that the stiff rack is putting more stress on the uj's and the column, causing them to creak?

So.. I'll keep adding oil/grease/wd40 to the uj's - but I have my doubts whether thats the problem.
I could change the steering rack boot, but at this stage, what will that achieve? Is the boot protecting the inner ball joint, or the whole rack? I've read threads about replacing the boot, and they mentioned adding lithium grease into the inner balljoint. But it also mentioned the rack was exposed. What sort of lubricant are you supposed to put in there? Is the boot supposed to be full of grease? Is there a fair chance the rack has been ruined by the split boot? Bentley doesn't seem to have much on this.
Thanks for any help - looking to confirm diagnosis here, would like to avoid replacing rack right now if possible.
<edit> Have done more reading. Steering column bearings are a possibility also </edit> Ugh.. will pull as much from my parts car tomorrow as possible.
 

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philb said:
Thanks for the reply. I thought as much, just wanted to be sure.
Sorry I don't have a better diagnosis for you.


I've had steering rack (massive) leaks & squeaky steering column u-joint, but not steering symptoms you describe. I did drive my car for a couple weeks after re-doing front end (drive stafts/ball joints/bearings/steering rack/tie rod ends) and steering was damn uncertain, not unlike what you describe. An alignment fixed all that.

Other then than that... :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, I removed the shaft with the 2 uj's. Nothing wrong with it, both joints perfectly free. Points towards the rack really.
 

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philb said:
Well, I removed the shaft with the 2 uj's. Nothing wrong with it, both joints perfectly free. Points towards the rack really.
Makes me wonder about "creaking noises coming from the steering column.", as you described them. Do you have a stethascope?

Could it be pwr steering pump/belt?
 
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