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Tedzbug August 17th 2006 16:05

Rack and Pinion Rebuild?
I thought i saw a nice breakdown with pix of someone tearing down and cleaning their rack and pinion........ I have searched and searched.

I have mine out right now and would like to freshen up everything that is going back in the car

Wally August 18th 2006 04:10

Cleaning a rack and pinion should be possible and easy. I am sure you don't need pictures for that :rolleyes:
Rebuilding the thing is 'not possible' so I heard or that is what VW lets us to believe...

wrenchnride247 August 18th 2006 12:00

The only part I found for a '79 Vert rack was the rubber boot that covers the outside. I got it from Top Line six years ago. I just cleaned everything good and packed some grease on the rack then put the new boot on.

Tedzbug August 18th 2006 17:59

I agree, i just pulled the boot today, not much there, i'm gonna flush it out and put synthetic in it....... Should be it....

Was just lookin for secret tips an tricks is all........

MattKab September 16th 2006 18:17

First time I looked, I didn't see how it came apart either ;)

I pulled my rack apart (2 actually) last week.. It can be stripped down to every last part. I scored new pinion roller bearings, the pinion ball-races were still like new. The rack bushes don't appear to wear at all. I recommend you service your rack while it out and we are here.

When I fitted my 7.5" wheels I simply pinned the rack to have stops that hit the outer ends of the opening of the housing. Rubbing wheels on full lock is a no-no, As is asymmetric steering...

Now I have screw stops to get a minimum turning-circle after I dial in my wheel alignment. I didn't take any pics but I still have 1 fully disassembled rack that I could do a how-to if anyone is interested? The modified rack in the pics may be for sale (RHD). I'll show a pic of the stops tommorrow.

The second hardest part is removing the ring-clip at the end of the housing.


The Pirate September 16th 2006 20:34

Pleas a step by step would be great. Plus some pictures of the modified rack with the why and how.


Tedzbug September 16th 2006 22:48

Yes please..... I have mine out now and hope to put it back in this week........ It is ready to be disassembled.....

MattKab September 17th 2006 17:44


Cleaning a rack and pinion should be possible and easy. I am sure you don't need pictures for that
Rebuilding the thing is 'not possible' so I heard or that is what VW lets us to believe...
Good call Wally.

Remove the passenger side mounting bracket from the housing by removing the M8 nut and bolt. Next is the second hard part..

Remove the ring-clip from the end of the housing, this may be hard to find and even harder to remove. Be carefull, it will come out.

Remove the plug that is retained by the ring-clip. This may be rusted in. If it is, drill out the centre and tap a M6 or M8 thread. Screw in a bolt and improvise a slide-hammer to pull the plug out. Don't try to push this out with the rack by turning the pinion with grips, the pinion splines are hardened but you need them in good shape!

Behind this plug is one of the foam stops, remove that also.

Remove the plate held on with 2 M8 bolts. Just leave the grub-screw and jamb-nut where they are.

Remove the coil-spring

Remove the little 'tablet' that the grub-screw bears on.

Remove the two half-bearings that hold the rack in mesh with the pinion.

Put one of the inner track-rod end bolts back into it's hole and use it to slide the rack out of the housing.

Remove the large hex headed cap, after 'un'peening the external lock washer.

Without the rack in the way, you can check the pinion shaft bearings for play.

Remove the pinion shaft complete with ball race and it's retaining nut. This nut does not need to be undone unless the bearing is shot, which is unlikely. Drive the pinion shaft out from the spline side. Don't damage it.

That's it! It will be a good idea to renew the pinion roller/needle bearing, one of mine was dry/galled. A bad design as there is no seal. I used an online bearing company:

bearing OD 24mm
shaft OD/bearing ID 18mm
length 15mm

If your bearing and shaft look good, Ace! If not, find a replacement bearing before drifting the old bearing out.

I could only find 16mm long bearings, look at the shaft and bearing bore, it may take a bearing upto 17mm long, maybe 18mm.

Note, all the steel lost from rack and pinion due to wear and tear is still suspended in that old gease, not good..

I used a molybdenum C.V. joint grease.

Like Mr. Haynes likes to say: "Reassembly is in the reverse order of dismantling" :laugh:

The hard part is reinstalling the ring-clip. Seal it with a smear of copper slip.

The pinion shaft is somewhat self installing, the large hex headed cap will press the ball-race bearing fully home as you screw it in. 're'peen that external lock washer.

When refitting the rack assembly to your car, the last bolt to be tightened is the M8 nut and bolt that goes through the passenger side mounting bracket.

__________________________________________________ __

The modification for adjustable steering limits, to prevent your expensive wide tyres from fouling the innerwings/failing your anual inspection consists of 2 screws with jamb-nuts. One each side, they push the foam buffers deeper into the housing, which will pull the wheel away from the innerwing on full-lock on the same side.

Note, my Beetle is RHD.

You will have to drill through that plug, all the way through and tap it to either M8 or M10.

The M8 nut and bolt that passes through the plug and passenger side mounting bracket will have to be omitted. Drill the holes in the bracket and the housing out to 10mm. Tap the hole in the plug that the M8 bolt goes through out to M10 and replace with two M10*15 bolts. You will need a ~60mm length of tube ID 10mm to put the jamb-nut out beyond the mounting bracket.

The drivers side requires you to remove the cap that is welded into the housing. Either grind through the weld or saw beneath the weld, only cutting the housing and not the cap. The cap will then need a hole drilling in the centre. It has to be removed to keep the swarf out of the grease. Weld an M10 deep nut to a large, thick washer and weld this into the cap so that the M10 screw will pass through it dead centre. Reinstall the cap and reweld it in.

I ground through the weld on the first rack I did, the heat destroyed the foam buffer. Before rewelding the cap back in, send the rack all the way to the passenger side and push the buffer deep down inside the housing, out of the heat. The rack will move it back to the stop. I glued M8 repair washers to the buffers and profiled the ends of the screws to suit. I used M10 studding, and cut 8mm spanner flats for the adjustment/jamb.


Tedzbug September 17th 2006 21:25

i am printing this now as my rack will be on the workbench tomorrow. Timing is perfect.

The Pirate September 18th 2006 03:07

Your written description is great. If you happen to post a few pics to that would be awsome. Ecelent job.

Tedzbug September 21st 2006 12:59

i took pics of the whole disassembly.....i will try to post them tonight.

piece of cake......

The Pirate September 22nd 2006 00:27

yes please this will be most usable.

MattKab September 22nd 2006 05:05


piece of cake......
I'll take that as a thankyou :)


I agree, i just pulled the boot today, not much there, i'm gonna flush it out and put synthetic in it....... Should be it....

Was just lookin for secret tips an tricks is all........

Tedzbug September 22nd 2006 08:49

yes, thank you for the writeup... the part it helped me understand was what to do with the grub screw plate... I will try to get pix together today or this weekend


btw.... mine feels smooth as silk now. and i thought it was smooth before :D

The Pirate September 27th 2006 12:05

Picked up an old rack for $50.00 going to try this my self as well. I have to order a new boot for it first. Now I just need a printer.......

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