Replacing Steering Rack Advice?

Discussion in '2011+ Ford Mustang V6 3.7L Tech' started by Aaron65, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Junior Member

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    My wife has a 2012 3.7 coupe with a clunk in the steering rack. It's not the inner tie rod (I replaced it), and I had a mechanic verify that the noise was coming from the rack.

    I bought a used rack from a 2014 GT (online salvage), and plan to swap it in myself, but I've read a few things about programming the rack, and now I'm a bit spooked. What pitfalls am I in for if I do this at home? I work on cars as a hobby all the time, but they're usually my old ones (I have 7). So I have the tools, but I don't do much with modern computerized stuff.

    That's why I'm here...Thanks for any help you can give me!
     
  2. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Junior Member

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    Well, in case anyone reads this in the future, I did the swap yesterday, and the computer recognized the rack without any reprogramming. Your mileage, of course, may vary, but I was pleasantly surprised. My local dealer told me that they could reprogram the rack for $100 once I got the work done, so I was ready to have the car towed there, but in my case it wasn't necessary. I drove the car about 20 miles yesterday to make sure everything worked as it should.

    The three bolts that hold the rack in can be reached from the wheelwells with the tires off, but you'll have to use a 1/2 inch ratchet or similar tool and a lot of strength. Follow the manual's steps, because you'll have to disassemble things to make room to get at those bolts. It took me most of the day to do the work and reset the toe, but I wasn't in any particular hurry and it was my first time doing it.
     
  3. Mackitude

    Mackitude Junior Member

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    I have the same annoying clunk in my 2010 GT rack. What were the prices you were looking at, then what did you end up spending at the yard? Any other install tips are appreciated
     
  4. Aaron65

    Aaron65 Junior Member

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    Make sure it's the rack and not the inner tie rod first. I bought the rack from a salvage yard (on eBay) for $215 shipped. A new rack would have been over $800. I followed the service manual online; here is the link: http://iihs.net/fsm/?d=499

    I bought a steering wheel holder to keep the wheel in line (it doesn't seem to lock in the right spot), and I found that unbolting the steering column swivel at the top clamp bolt worked out better for me. Be careful with the electrical plugs; they're plastic and weak. I would only take on the job if you're a pretty good amateur mechanic. It's not super hard, but there are a few things that you can screw up if you're not paying attention (lining up the wheel and the electrical plugs especially). I bought new rack bolts from Tasca Ford online, simply because the manual recommended it. Getting to the three rack bolts kind of sucks, but they're doable. I don't know how anyone uses a torque wrench in there, so I just tightened them as tight as I possibly could. The new bolts have a form of Loctite on them from the factory.

    EDIT: I think your rack is hydraulic, not electronic, isn't it? That should be less worrisome, but you'll probably end up having to bleed the system carefully when you're done. I think a Haynes manual would be good enough for that one. I just looked online, and new/rebuilt racks are under $200. If it's truly your rack, I'd just get a new one.