'01 Prelude Base
I think I know the symptom and even the solution to my problem but I'm trying to see if it has happened to anyone else.
I was getting a pretty noticeable clunk coming from the driver's left over bumps.
Checked the following thoroughly with a prybar multiple times:
-Lower Ball Joints
-Upper Ball Joints
-Upper Control Arms (Mounting Bushings)
-Lower Control Arms
-Sway Bar Bushings
-Sway Bar End Links
-Upper and Lower Shock Mounts
-Outer Tie Rod Ends
-Inner Tie Rods
-Steering Rack Mounting Bushings
Alllll of these things checked out
I also did a Dry Park Test (shaking the steering wheel side to side, wheels on ground, engine off)
This pretty much made me instantly identify the problem, the steering rack...
With your hand over the rack boot, (around the rack rod and the body/housing of the rack), you can feel play and can hear the noise coming right from there.
You wouldn't think a steering rack would make noise over bumps seeing as it only moves left and right, horizontally with the ground but Oh it does....
Heres the thing, the inner and outer tie rods checked out, the problem is the steering rack itself.
The "Rack Rod" or the geared rod that runs inside the body of the rack and actually moves side to side has end play.
Its as if the internal bushing that guides the rack rod has failed, but why? There are very little forces applied on the rod in that direction but I suppose it could happen.
This was 100% the cause for the play in the steering and clunking sound over bumps.
I bought a new re-manufactured power steering rack from PartsGeek made by a re-man company called MAVAL. Of all the places I looked for a rack, MAVAL had the best warranty AND was the most expensive (I figured it safe to assume this meant the best product) PartsGeek required that I send in my old rack for a core but the MAVAL rack came with a lifetime warranty.
I got the new rack in the mail, put the new re-man rack in and get this...it has the EXACT same problem, end play on the rack rod. Still no leaks but end play. I called MAVAL and spoke with a guy who said that it was not likely the rack that had play and that I should check out my ball joints, I explained everything I had checked and that I was positive it was the rack. He explained to me that if there was ANY play at all in the rack rod that it would cause the internal power steering seals to rupture and leak. I have no leaks but I do have play.
My only option is to take out the rack yet again, send it back and HOPE I get one back that is functional.
I'm thinking the company who does the re-man fixes all the seals, replaces the inner tie rods, paints the thing and ships it. I'm thinking their testing overlooks rack rod play.
- Is this true that having ANY rack rod end play will cause leaks? I'm not familiar with the internal seals on p/s racks.
- Has anyone else had this problem?
- Am I just missing something? Is there supposed to be rod end play?