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So I still have a problem with my steering. I took my car to a reasonable auto shop to get a quote on fixing my car. First my symptoms, for those of you that don't know. My steering wheel feels a bit loose, and the drivers side front wheel clicks on slow, tight turns.

The mechanic says that my rack and pinion is a bit loose, but nothing dangerous, and my front strut bearing is the reason for my clicking while turning the wheel. That doesnt quite make sense to me... but I have never really worked on the suspension.

The auto shop quoted me 1500 dollars for parts and labor of replacing the rack and pinion and replacing the struts on my car.

That is WAY out of my price range right now, so I have moved on and desided that I am going to have to do this myself. I dont even know if this is even posible for me to do. I have all the tools I need, and a Hanyes Manual. That is if my friend let me use his stuff. Otherwise I will have to rent some things. I don't see anything on replacing the rack and pinion in the manual. The only thing I see is how to replace the steering gear. I am hoping that is the same thing.

So if anyone that reads this could tell me how to replace a rack in pinion on a 2nd Gen LS or what page to refer to on the Haynes manual, then I will shower you will karma.

I dont think that the click noise would come from the strut bearing. If this is possible then please tell me. Or if you have any other suggestions I would be so glad to read it.

Thanks,
Jake
 

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The clicking is likely the strut bearing, if it happens when you are stilling still and turning the steering wheel. If the clicking is happeneing while you are moving slowly with the steering wheel already turned, then it's likely a clicking from your CV joint.

Strut bearing is a plastic bearing in the top of the strut, under the strut mount. This allows the strut to turn with the wheels, and it will click when it gets old and worn. It's a cheap part, at about $30, and you will need 2 - one for each side.

It certainly is advisable to replace the struts during this process, since they need to be taken out anyway. My guess is that your struts are the factory originals, which are likely shot by now. KYB GR2s make good stock-valved struts, and are pretty cheap to get too. Of course, you probably should replace all 4 at once when doing this.

If you plan to do any suspension upgrades, then you may want to do them now, ideally, but since money is tight, then you probably don't have the funds to do it right anyway, much less get started on it right now either.

On the other had, the ticking is not a major problem to get worried about either. There is no need to rush into replacement for that, as it will only make noise and could (in theory) make it harder to turn the wheel, but I have never heard of this happening. However, replacing your struts is still a very good idea, if they are totally shot... bad struts = bad handling and braking = unsafe car.

As for the rack, I am not sure why it needs replacing. You may want to find out why the shop is recommending replacement and let us know what they say. Often, a loose steering is because of bad tie rods, in which case you don't need to replace the rack completely.... you can just replace the tie rods. Much cheaper to do this instead of the whole rack.
 
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