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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I love these cars, but i'm about to just torch this stupid Intrepid and just be done with it!!! After sinking close to $3,000 into the front end this past February, my steering still sucks! I damn near have to turn the wheel full clock just to go around a corner. What's up with that? I put new inner tie rod bushings on it, new outter tie rod ends, new struts and springs all the way around, new sway bar end links, new sway bar bushings, new cradle bushings, new motor mounts, the rack bushings were replaced about a year and a half ago. I've notived that when i'm going down the high way i have to constantly go back and forth with the steering wheel just to keep the car straight, and god help me if i hit a bump! I've also just very recently noticed that my steering wheel no longer locks after I park the car. I need serious help here, i don't feel like dying as of yet. Is there something in the steering column that I myself can tighten up. As well I'm sure my hubs up front are probably beat as well but that doesn't explain the way too excessive free play in the steering wheel. Help me intrepid fans....you're my only hope!!!!!
 

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Since your seem to have covered all the tie rod ends, I'd bet your rack is just shot. Have someone move the steering wheel inside the car, while you look at the rack, just to make sure everthing is nice and tight.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have done that Strongt, the rack moves slightly when you move the wheel back and forth but a shot rack doesn't explain why my wheel no longer locks.....it used to lock. That and i just had the entire system flushed and refilled. It seemed to work for about a week or 2 but then got real bad real fast. Is there a coupler in the steering shaft?
 

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Yes, there is a coupler in the steering shaft. # 3 in the pic:



It cost $100.00 MSRP
As for the steering wheel lock ,thats part of the key lock.
 

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unseenspirit2000 said:
I have done that Strongt, the rack moves slightly when you move the wheel back and forth but a shot rack doesn't explain why my wheel no longer locks.....it used to lock. That and i just had the entire system flushed and refilled. It seemed to work for about a week or 2 but then got real bad real fast. Is there a coupler in the steering shaft?
You are looking for movement at the rack bushings. I think what Strongt was trying to tell you when he suggested that your rack is shot, was the rack is worn out internally, too much slop between the rack and the pinion. Also if your wheel bearings are worn out, they could be contributing to the sloppy steering.
 

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jedgxe said:
You are looking for movement at the rack bushings. I think what Strongt was trying to tell you when he suggested that your rack is shot, was the rack is worn out internally, too much slop between the rack and the pinion. Also if your wheel bearings are worn out, they could be contributing to the sloppy steering.
Yes, thats what I was saying !!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow that's crazy! I'll have a new car by the time everything is said and done, so how much does a new rack cost + labor, it's a regular steering rack, it's not the speed proportional kind. The hubs aren't to much of a pain to do so i'll get that out of the way as soon as I can. The lock of the wheel is a part of the ignition? No kidding, so does that mean my ignition switch is worn out as well, good god when these cars decide to crap out does it have to be everything all at the sametime?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Griffinzein, dude all of that was done alignment the works, it's beyond any alignment issues, it's about turning the wheel half way and still going straight! Dig?
 

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i can dig, most people call me griff, and if the alignment is off bad enough it will cause that problem, because both sides of the front are fighting themselves. does it have does the wheel turn freely (no tension) halfway then catch?
 

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unseenspirit2000 said:
Griffinzein, dude all of that was done alignment the works, it's beyond any alignment issues, it's about turning the wheel half way and still going straight! Dig?
Yep, it's the rack. I wouldn't worry to much about the lock yet until you get that steer fixed. You can get a Reman Rack at a place like Checkers for around $156. A new one from the Dealer is $890. I'd put in the Reman one anyday.
 

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My steering wheel doesn't lock either on my Trep but the steering in mine is great so there is definately no link to the 2 problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hmm......completely annoying, another symptom I've noticed is that after accellerating from a dead stop, like from a stop light, while accelerating the steering feels completely loose like it's hitting a dead spotand while i'm driving on the highway i can move the wheel back and forth with no movement of the tires so it's almost like i have to plan my turns ahead of time. I'm so pissed because I spent the bulk of my tax returns to fix the steering and suspension and it's even worse now then it was before.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wildman said:
My steering wheel doesn't lock either on my Trep but the steering in mine is great so there is definately no link to the 2 problems.
Thanks Wildman, that at least sets my mind at ease, I really could careless about the locking of the steering wheel, but i did think it was odd that I can't lock the wheel anymore and that my steering is completely terrible. so hey.....thanxs guy!
 

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Get the friggin car aligned - mine did the same thing after I completed the same front end work. The toe was not tracking properly and caused the steering to feel real goofy. To check if therack is bad, with the car off and the ignition unlocked, have someone move the steering wheel back and forth while you are feeling if the wheel moves. Watch how far the steering wheel moves before you feel the tire move. Then check the inner and outer tie rods for slop, also the rack bushings. Even if they were replaced, check to make sure something didn't come loose. Were the metal sleeves replaced when the inner tie rod bushings were replaced?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Big3 all that crap was replaced, tie rods, bushings, and yes i did the inner tie rod bushings myself and yes I replaced the metal sleeves. i've had the car aligned, over and over again. everything is tight and torqued to spec and checked and re figgin checked. Rides like **** still. Going to take it to the dealership and get it all re-done.
 

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I think the problem is that you replaced a bunch of stuff that probably wasnt the problem anyway. Change the RACK and your steering probelms will be fixed. Since youve already sone the bushings you shouldnt have a problem doing the rack. I would at least give yourself 4-5 hours to get it done. Sorry and good luck

On a side note: If you jack the car up and shake the wheels is there play at the rack? There probably is and this will convince you that the rack needs to be changed. And like Strongt said get a reman; I think autozone will give lifetime replacement so you wont have to buy one again!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll be damned if i'm doing a steering rack myself....hell no! Thats way out of my range as far as general mechanics go ....like i said, I'll take it to the dealership. The car only has to last another 3 years until i'm through with school. Not that there's any money left to fix it as of right now, so i'm just taking it nice and easy and hoping for the best.
 
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