The steering in the van fees a little unresponsive and light at high speeds. I heard that replacing the steering rack bushes can make a huge difference so bought the Powerflex Steering Rack Mount Kit from Brickwerks. I asked for new nuts and bolts in case the originals get damaged and these were included for free (cheers Michael!).
First step is to jack the van up. I got to give my SGS Engineering 3 tonne jack and 12 tonne axel stands a run out for the first time. The jack lifted the van so easily and the stands are ridiculously solid, I feel really safe working under them.
The steering rack between the spare wheel carrier and fuel tank.
There are four nuts and bolts holding the steering rack in place, two each side.
I used two 13mm spanners to get the bolts off. The front ends have a large washer.
With the bolts out the steering rack will drop slightly. I’m replacing the bushes in-situ so left the steering wheel connection attached.
To get the bushes out I moved the rack slightly towards the front of the van and whacked the metal inserts with a hammer. As the bushes moved backwards out of the steering rack I then used a long screwdriver to carry on knocking them out.
I found it was easier to first cut away the rubber around the metal insert with a stanley knife. This left the insert protruding slightly ready to be hit.
The most difficult bush to remove was the one behind the steering column. The cutting/whacking technique still worked.
I cleaned the inside of the mounts with sandpaper and a scourer to remove any residue from the original bushes.
With the old bushes out and the mounts cleaned it was time to fit the Powerflex kit. It comes with a small sachet of lubrication which needs rubbing on the bushes and stainless steel inserts as they are fitted.
The bushes come in two parts so it’s a simple case of pushing a piece in each side and then sliding the insert in.
It literally took minutes to slide them in.
To secure the steering rack back onto the frame I used the original bolts and washers as they were in great condition and used the new Nyloc nuts on the rear so they don’t come undone.
I went for a test drive and the steering definitely felt more precise and cornering is more controlled.
This weekend I went on a longer journey on the motorway and the difference is amazing. The van feels much more assured, there is less wandering and vibration through the column. In the past it felt like I was battling the van, having to constantly adjust to keep it straight but now it’s solid.