Steering Rack Adjustment Screw

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  #1  
Old 09-25-14, 08:10 AM
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Steering Rack Adjustment Screw

I was reading through the FSM for my '08 Acura MDX and there's a screw on the back of the rack called the "Rack Guide Screw". The procedure says to aim the front wheels straight ahead, remove the screw, apply new sealant, and re-install the screw with the socket 15 degrees from vertical. Apparently this screw requires adjustment as the vehicle ages to tighten things up. Other Honda/Acura owners have adjusted this screw to fix loose steering and instability at high speeds and bump steer--exactly what my issue is. Has anyone done this on their vehicle?
 
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Old 12-23-14, 10:48 AM
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I removed the screw over the weekend, cleaned the piston and spring, re-lubed everything, and tightened it to manufacturer specs. It feels like the steering is a little more stable now, but not much difference. I think I'm going to tighten it a tad more to see if that stiffens things up. I'll post back with the results. BTW, I'm surprised, no one has any experience in this arena???
 
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Old 12-23-14, 01:25 PM
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I don't know about rack and pinion but on steering boxes there is a nut/screw that you can adjust to compensate for wear although the adjustment screw can only do so much. I've adjusted the steering box on a lot of old vehicles throughout the years.
 
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Old 12-24-14, 09:19 AM
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I found a good cross-sectional diagram of the control valve of a rack and pinion steering system from a Lexus, which shows the rack guide screw I am referring to. The screw presses against a spring, which presses against the rack guide, which presses against the horizontal rack. The rack guide applies force to the horizontal rack and depending on how tight the screw is determines how tight the steering will be. Since my steering feels too sensitive, I would want to tighten this guide, which is accomplished by tightening the guide screw. Seems pretty straightforward. I'm curious as to why there is so little information available on this topic.

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Old 12-24-14, 10:32 AM
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I wonder if today's rack and pinion is less prone to wear than the old standard steering gear box set up. I've probably adjusted the gear box on half or more of the vehicles I've owned with more than 100k miles. My wife's merc has 180k but the steering is still tight.
 
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Old 12-26-14, 10:29 AM
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Tires make a huge difference in steering sensitivity as well. I had all-terrain tires on my Tundra for about a year and stability and straight-line tracking was great. As soon as I put some Michelin all-seasons on there, I feel every little road imperfection.
 
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