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PRG Delrin steering rack bushings

 
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 412
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:17 pm    Post subject: PRG Delrin steering rack bushings Reply with quote

Replaced my stock rubber steering bushings with PRG Delrin bushings for the Frontier/XTerra/Pathfinder this week. There are polyurethane options that are the same softness as stock but will last longer. Delrin is stiffer so will sharpen your steering yet more. My truck was wandering quite a bit on the highway - even when I got it in 2009 - but no more.

The picture below shows the old bushings on the top, and the new ones on the bottom. Aside from material changes, the difference in shape tells a lot about how much play each is going to allow.



If you Google around you'll find that some people find these easy, and some people have trouble getting theirs out. Mine were pretty tough but I figured out some tricks to pass on. Also, I am going to explain how I would do this if I did it a second time. Could probably do it in a couple hours by myself; hard to say how long it took me this time since it was coupled with replacing my radiator and oil cooler seal.

You will need a 22mm and 24mm socket, and since they're torqued to 140 ft lbs you will need either an impact wrench or a decent breaker bar and at least 28" of extension to clear the front bumper if you're on the ground. (Alternatively you could take out the fan shroud and engine driven fan, but it was easier to use the extension for me.)

To start, you have to remove your skid plate and front sway bar. If you have the truck up on a rack you could probably leave the end links connected, but if not it'll just be in your way later when you are trying to get the new bushings in.

When it's out of the way, these three bolts are what hold the steering rack to the frame:



The four empty bolt holes on either side are for the sway bar brackets, so you can see it definitely has to come out.

And from the top since I had the radiator out:



All three have to come out, the two on the right are where the bushings to be replaced are. When you take them all out, a metal backing plate from the nut side (aft end) and a couple plastic seals will drop off the rack. You won't need the plastic seals again, but the backing plate will go back and maybe help press the new bushings in.

My bushings did not pop out easily. What ended up working very quickly was pushing the steering rack away from the frame, then putting the bolt back in the frame with the castellated nut reverse threaded back on between the frame and the rack. Hitting the bushing a few times with a 3lb hammer knocked the bushings right out the back side (no pictures as this was mostly by feel at this point).

The new bushings are a tight fit. I squared them up and got them started as best I could, then used the bolt again to pull them in. I used the backing plate against the back to press in the forward bushings, and then the bolt by itself to pull in the rear bushings.

Important note here for 4x4's: [b] if you put in the passenger side / right side rear bushing without the steel crush sleeve, there won't be enough clearance to get it in after the bushings are in place. So push the front bushing in, then insert the crush sleeve from the rear, then press in the rear side bushing. I didn't the first time and had to pry it out.

Now comes the fun part...torquing everything back into place. Reinstall all three bolts through the steering rack. The collar on the Delrin bushings takes up the function of the OEM plastic covers, but you do need to install the steel backing plate before the nuts go back on.

If your truck is up on a rack, you might have an easier time with this than I did since you could use both hands for torquing. I didn't and let a wrench brace up against the engine, but the 22mm I had was impossible to break free when the nut was torqued. So I had to alternate torquing, breaking loose, then walking the torque back up from 100 ft lbs to 140 ft lbs with my wrench until I had all three bolts at 140.

Once it's complete, reinstall the front sway bar, skid plate, and enjoy! It didn't transform my truck into a sedan, but it did remove the wandering and the road feel is *much* improved. Since polyurethane will be softer I would recommend these over that.
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2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4x4: XTP Intake Manifold Spacer, PRG motor mounts, Moog springs, Bilstein shocks, Air Lift 1000, PRG Delrin steering rack bushings, CSF all aluminum radiator.
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kevinthefro



Joined: 27 Aug 2013
Posts: 84
Location: Torrance, CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice. I've replaced all control arms but still haven't got the handling back to when the car was younger. The steering rack bushings are the only other part I can think of that might be the culprit. Now I'll give them a try.
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palmerwmd
Site Admin


Joined: 31 Jan 2017
Posts: 485
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this!
Am a big fan of polyurethane bushings but have not put any in this rig yet.
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"Rifle first, Rifle last, Rifle always"

2012 V6 4WD, in Grey over Grey
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 152
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for clarification and uncertainity, removing the 3 bolts won't cause the steering rack to drop down? Not afraid of tackling this, just don't want to create a big issue out of something that was originally supposed to be a small fix.
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2011 SV V6 - BF Goodrich KO2 LT265/75 17-C, StopTech slotted rotors (934.42044), AEM DryFlow drop-in air filter (28-20286), free air box mod, Xtreme Truck Performance IMS (http://extremetruckperformance.com/?page_id=6), Bilstein 4600's (F-24-197427 / R-24-197434), Moog springs (F-81280 / R-81119 ), CSF aluminum radiator (7029)
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ShipFixer



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 412
Location: Bremerton, WA

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

underworld1001 wrote:
Just for clarification and uncertainity, removing the 3 bolts won't cause the steering rack to drop down? Not afraid of tackling this, just don't want to create a big issue out of something that was originally supposed to be a small fix.


Nope, it won't drop. It's still connected at each end to your spindles at the tie rods. Matter of fact you kind of have to push it out of place to get the front side bushings in.

I left out all of my experimental intermediate steps, pretty sure I could do this in under two hours including removing the skid plate if I did it all over again. Since I left out the details, the last PITA was lifting the sway bar into place by myself and bolting in. Would have been easier overhead on a rack. On the ground what worked best was getting the end links on first, then lifting the sway bar up into place for the frame mounts and bolting in place. Trying to do the frame mounts first was tough,
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2005 Nissan Pathfinder SE 4x4: XTP Intake Manifold Spacer, PRG motor mounts, Moog springs, Bilstein shocks, Air Lift 1000, PRG Delrin steering rack bushings, CSF all aluminum radiator.
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underworld1001



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 152
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@ShipFixer, thanks for that. I realized about a day later that the steering rack is still connected at the sides. I'll probably tackle this sooner than later. Thanks again.
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2011 SV V6 - BF Goodrich KO2 LT265/75 17-C, StopTech slotted rotors (934.42044), AEM DryFlow drop-in air filter (28-20286), free air box mod, Xtreme Truck Performance IMS (http://extremetruckperformance.com/?page_id=6), Bilstein 4600's (F-24-197427 / R-24-197434), Moog springs (F-81280 / R-81119 ), CSF aluminum radiator (7029)
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