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Discussion Starter #1
So I noticed today on my Fronty my steering makes a clunk when rocking the steering back and forth, or turning sharp at low speed. Its definitely coming from the rack - but the rack moves a lot in its bushings - much more than my X does by comparison and it has 3.5X more miles. I am not totally convinced if its the rack itself of the bushings are binding / clunking?

I read around here and plenty of people have replaced there rack for leaking but mine isn't leaking, and has no slop. Is there any way to test the rack? It doesn't look like I can replace the bushings without removing the rack anyway but I thought I might ask?

If I replace the rack I have learned I need to remove the front diff - but has anyone done it that can be specific - ie do I need to pull the axles and fully remove the diff, or can I just pull the axle bolts on the wheel bearings and drop the diff down enough on a jack to get the rack out? How heavy is the front diff? Is this something 1 old guy can wrestle out on their own?

Any input from someone that has done this would be appreciated.
 

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I had to drop the diff, and remove the axles in order to get the rack out, without doing so there wasn't enough room to finagle the rack out. I think the factory R180 weights around 80ish lbs. Maybe try adding a large fender washer with the bushings to help take up any slack that is allowing side to side movement if any? Are your tie-rod outers in good condition?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had to drop the diff, and remove the axles in order to get the rack out, without doing so there wasn't enough room to finagle the rack out. I think the factory R180 weights around 80ish lbs. Maybe try adding a large fender washer with the bushings to help take up any slack that is allowing side to side movement if any? Are your tie-rod outers in good condition?
Quick look with the daughter moving the steering wheel I couldn't find any play anywhere - truck running or not. Tomorow I pull the front wheels and take a better look. Fender washer is a good idea. I will see if I can get it or some sort of shim in there temporarily - see if it stops the clunk or not.
 

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You don't have to remove the rack to replace the bushings. I swapped mine out for the SuperPro poly bushings about 30k ago.

1) Raise and support the front end. This can either be ramps, jack stands or 2/4 post lift.

2) Remove radiator and engine(if equipped) skids

3) Remove the sway bar.

4) Loosen the rack mounting bolts. The three that go through the cross member are 24mm heads and 22mm nuts. The one holding the the donut bushing is 17mm or 19mm, I don't remember right off.

5) Replace bushings. I started with the two bushings at the gear box. With the bolts loose remove one bolt. Then take a pry bar or large screwdriver between the cross member and bushing and pry towards the front diff. These pop out really easy. Put new bushing in then bolt and nut loosely. Repeat for the other one at the gear box. Now remove the strap around the donut and replace that bushing.

6) Snug everything up

7) Torque. The three large bolts are 140 ft lb and the one around the donut is 100 ft lb.

8) Replace everything you removed

9) Enjoy your steering that feels so much more responsive and doesn't clunk!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You don't have to remove the rack to replace the bushings. I swapped mine out for the SuperPro poly bushings about 30k ago.

1) Raise and support the front end. This can either be ramps, jack stands or 2/4 post lift.

2) Remove radiator and engine(if equipped) skids

3) Remove the sway bar.

4) Loosen the rack mounting bolts. The three that go through the cross member are 24mm heads and 22mm nuts. The one holding the the donut bushing is 17mm or 19mm, I don't remember right off.

5) Replace bushings. I started with the two bushings at the gear box. With the bolts loose remove one bolt. Then take a pry bar or large screwdriver between the cross member and bushing and pry towards the front diff. These pop out really easy. Put new bushing in then bolt and nut loosely. Repeat for the other one at the gear box. Now remove the strap around the donut and replace that bushing.

6) Snug everything up

7) Torque. The three large bolts are 140 ft lb and the one around the donut is 100 ft lb.

8) Replace everything you removed

9) Enjoy your steering that feels so much more responsive and doesn't clunk!
Hey thanks! Did yours clunk - or was it just loose?
 

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Quick look with the daughter moving the steering wheel I couldn't find any play anywhere - truck running or not. Tomorow I pull the front wheels and take a better look. Fender washer is a good idea. I will see if I can get it or some sort of shim in there temporarily - see if it stops the clunk or not.
Instead of moving the steering wheel, jack the front up. Grab the tire in the front (while holding steering wheel steady) and try to wiggle it left and right. It should be really easy to tell if your tie rod end ball joints are busted or if the rack has left to right play. Just had to replace my tie rod ends yesterday after ~20k miles on them. I thought it was steering rack as well, but luckily just seems to be the TRE's (for now).
 

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I had a little clunk and looseness in the steering a while back. I also previously had to replace the steering rack due to it leaking, but that was 2 years prior. Installing superpro poly bushings definitely helped eliminate clunking and some of the looseness. I really liked the improvement it made to the steering feel--more firm and precise. Like was mentioned above, they are pretty straight forward to replace, mostly just have to pull the skid plates. But the bolts are holding on to the rack are very tight, so be prepared for a lot of muscle and fighting.

I've got some looseness in the steering again, and this time it's the tie rods, so those are on my list now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I got it up on jack stands and I can't find any play anywhere, so I think I will try superpro rack bushings and see if that fixes my problem. Thanks for the pointers everyone. I'll update this thread on completion, but it might be a bit, I have many balls in the air currenlty.
 

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You don't have to remove the rack to replace the bushings. I swapped mine out for the SuperPro poly bushings about 30k ago.

1) Raise and support the front end. This can either be ramps, jack stands or 2/4 post lift.

2) Remove radiator and engine(if equipped) skids

3) Remove the sway bar.

4) Loosen the rack mounting bolts. The three that go through the cross member are 24mm heads and 22mm nuts. The one holding the the donut bushing is 17mm or 19mm, I don't remember right off.

5) Replace bushings. I started with the two bushings at the gear box. With the bolts loose remove one bolt. Then take a pry bar or large screwdriver between the cross member and bushing and pry towards the front diff. These pop out really easy. Put new bushing in then bolt and nut loosely. Repeat for the other one at the gear box. Now remove the strap around the donut and replace that bushing.

6) Snug everything up

7) Torque. The three large bolts are 140 ft lb and the one around the donut is 100 ft lb.

8) Replace everything you removed

9) Enjoy your steering that feels so much more responsive and doesn't clunk!
I’m looking to replace these bushings with super pros soonish, and everything ive read on here makes it sound incredibly difficult. But you make it sound easy.
I did climb under there yesterday and it just seemed like there wasn’t enough room between the rack and differential to get the old ones out and new ones in. But sounds like you didn’t have an issue.

did your new bushings come “assembled” with the sleeve in them, or is that something you hat has to be done in the process of installation.As in, did you need to use a bolt and washer as a mini press to install them?
 

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The sleeve is separate when you receive the bushings. The superpro bushings are a three piece design, 2 half's + sleeve. You can slip on of the halves between the rack and cross member and push the rack to seat it. The metal sleeve went in pretty each, just make sure you grease it up good. I used some of the Irwin 6" bar clamps to help seat everything. They are rated for 100-150 lbs of clamp force. For reference, I had to use my 350 lb clamps for the shackle to frame bushings on the rear springs
 

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Thanks for the info. It’s helpful. I’m gonna go for it with the super pro bushings. Just have to find the right part # and supplier now.

Sounds like a lot of pressure needed for the rear shackle bushings. I’ve got new rubber ones on order now so I’ll be doing that next weekend
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I ordered the superpro bushings today.

What kind of grease are you supposed to use with Poly bushings? Silicone or something else?
 

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I ordered the superpro bushings today.

What kind of grease are you supposed to use with Poly bushings? Silicone or something else?
If I remember correctly, they came with several little packets of grease when I ordered them for myself.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I got the polypro bushings that supposedly fit - but I am wondering if these parts are correct? The bushings look right, but the metal sleeve looks too long? Its about 5/16 of an inch longer than the actual stacked bushings. I have hopefully attached some photos. Does anyone who has done this remember theirs being like this?

Also, once loose I presume the rack will drop down or move enough to get the bushing in the back and the metal sleeve in - as it looks like there is not enough room between the rack and diff. Or do I need to remove the connection to the steering column so it moves enough? How about the pressure lines - do they need to come off?

130158


IMG_4653.jpg


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hey! i replaced my rack bushing with the superpro poly ones, the blue ones. pretty sure i used some white lithium type grease, or dry lube.. liquid wrench brand. ive got a few

didnt have to remove any pressure lines. just the mounts bounts. the one of the top of the rack was PITA.

I think I also remember the metal tube seeming to be too long, but it fit.

once the roack mouting bolts are off you can move the rack just enough to get the bushing in/ out without disconnected the steering shaft or anything else. it was literally just the three bolts ( 2 driver one pass).

I was chasing "loose steering/ way off alignment( after having it done muliple times) and shaking of the steering wheel at high speed bumps.

I acutally did alot to try to fix this, multiple alignements, finally someone figured out the rack was moving around on them as they tried to align it.

I also did the tie rod ends as well.

as long as the rack isnt leaking, i wouldnt take it out before trying the bushings and tie rods.

my steering is now better than its ever felt.
 

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ok so its 4 bolts, 2 on each side. I wont lie, while pretty straightforward, this was a real PITA!

a good long flat head , or a small pry bar will help get the old bushings out.
 

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your going to reuse the metal shim that acts like double washer for the driver side bolts. and the rims on each end of the bushings are thicker than the factory ones, so it takes up that space/ gap.

i think i remember using the floor jack on breaker bar for some of the bolts..

i do remember thinking they wouldn't fit right until i actually tried it. been months now with no issues.

also i think they came with grease.

during install:
psbush1.jpg

months after install:
psbush3.jpg
 
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