MGB Rack & Pinion Steering Parts
The original rack & pinion steering unit was made in England. The original item is no longer available. I suspect that the company that made them has closed.
There are Argentinian made replacement steering racks available and they’ve been around for a while now.
I have not installed a replacement rack personally. However, I know that there can be serious issues getting the pinion shaft properly aligned with steering column shaft in the car.
If you look at an original rack and compare it to a new replacement, there are obvious differences.
Most steering rack woes begin with torn gaiters. Once a rubber gaiter splits open, lubricant leaks out and road dirt leaks in! This plays havoc with the pinion bearing, the rack bushing, and the inner tie rods.
If your original steering rack isn’t too badly worn, repairing it is often feasible.
I believe that you can obtain the pinion shaft ball bearing from most local bearing supply houses.
We have the inner tie rod ball pins as well as the rubber gaiter sets in stock.
Steering rack removal can be a tough job in two ways:
You’ll have to remove four bolts that secure the rack housing onto the front suspension cross member.
The nuts and bolts usually unscrew easily enough. The problem occurs if the rack housing has “grown” a bunch of white coloured corrosion inside the bolt holes. This can make removal extremely difficult.
Careful tapping with a hammer and application of a good penetrant will help. Don’t just beat on it with a hammer as you stand a good chance of breaking the steering rack casting!
Here is the most troublesome partthe Ujoint.
Separating the splined shaft from each end of the universal joint can be an awful job!
The Ujoint is located underneath the rear carburetor (on chrome bumper cars) and a little behind and below the Stromberg carb on rubber bumper models.
The other issue is separating the steering column universal joint at the firewall.
You can easily enough undo the two nuts and bolts that secure everything. Often the shaft splines are rusted and seized.
The universal joint has slots in either end. You can hammer a chisel into the slots, while trying to separate the shaft ends. Hammering a chisel into each slot will help expand the ujoint housing ever so slightly. This will usually allow the joint ends and each shaft end to come apart.
Should the parts be unmercifully seized, you can cut the ujoint off with a grinder and replace it…
If necessary, you can unbolt the steering column inside the car for more clearancebut it is awkward.
First you’ll need to remove three 5/16” bolts that secure the column flange to the pedal panel. These bolts are accessible inside the car, above the brake pedal. Then you can remove three 3/8” bolts under the dash that secure the upper end of the column. This will allow the whole steering column to droop down a few inches and may allow enough movement to assist with separating the ujoint at the firewall.
Best if you can avoid this!
A lot of MGB steering rack problems become apparent when the steering gets very stiff. This can be caused by a “dry” steering rack, after the oil leaks out because the boots are torn.
The other big problem is worn inner tie rods that have become loose. It causes severe tire wear. It is often found when a car goes for safety check and it won’t pass.
I think it is easier to install new inner tie rods onto your existing steering rack as compared to screwing around with alignment problems on a replacement steering rack.
Below are listed the most commonly needed repair parts:
MGB Outer Tie Rod End Boots
If your outer tie rod ends are still good, but the boots are perished, here’s a cheap solution.
Installing new boots is easy but you will need to unbolt and remove the tie rod stud from the steering arm first.
Fits any MGB. 2 needed