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MG MGB GT V8 Factory Originals Technical - Argentinian Steering Racks

Thread: Argentinian Steering Racks.
Posted 12 March 2007 at 11:20:46 UK time
Kevin Jackson, Sidcup, Kent, UK
I have one of "those" replacement Argentinian racks on my 76 Rubber Bumper GT and quite frankly the steering is absolutely awful.
I have the rack alignment checked twice and it is still unacceptably stiff, and only just about self centres and the steering is incredibly heavy and spoils the whole driving experience.

I know that there are shims which tension the rack to pinion clearance, has anyone resolved the problem by adjusting the shimming and is it a thinner or thicker shim which achieves this?

I have a new refurbed crossmember with Moss coil over suspension with the B&G castor reduction kit ready to fit, but would like to cure the rack problem prior to installation so to achieve a proper solution to the problem.

Kevin Jackson.

Kevin Jackson

Kevin, you could possibly have an issue with alignment of the rack to the steering column. Should make sure that's right first. Best way I've found is to loosen all attachments for the rack and column, wiggle things around to get freest movement with wheels off the floor, and begin snugging things down whilst checking after every fastener for freedom of movement. If you get them all tight and can still shove lightly against a tire and cause the steering wheel to spin you should be there.

Jim Blackwood


Thanks for the response, I think it's a rack pre-load problem as the alignment was checked quite recently.

I am going to try adjusting the pre-load first but it will do no harm to re-check the alignment if this does not cure the problem.

Kevin Jackson


Glad to hear that I am not the only one who had a problem with those racks. The first one was so stiff that I took it back and they exchanged it without any questions. That surprised me and put the new rack on - it was better but still too tight. Complained a second time but they told me it was me and not the rack. It now sits up on a shelf and the one in my car came from my spares pile. No problems with it at all. I understand what Jim is saying and I tried all kinds of adjustments with shims etc but to no avail. I really think its integral to the rack.

Richard Woodley

Out of interest,how do I recognise an 'Argentinian'rack?It seems they should be avoided!I think the one I bought a couple of years back was a reconditioned exchange but it,too,is a little stiff.
Peter Jones

if its stiff why not try taking the cover plate off and adding a thin shim before bolting the plate back down again? If it doesnt work remove the shim. Worth a try?

JC Moulds

I found that the rack i have has the screw and lock nut in the cap to adjust the damping. I loosened it off one full turn and it has made a small improvement but nowhere near being acceptable. I will double check that the king pins are turning freely and also re-check the rack alignment but I will be surprised if that makes a difference as I'm fairly sure the problem is with the rack. I dug out my old rack and it turns from lock to lock as smooth as silk just by turning the pinion shaft by hand with no play whatsoever. It failed an MOT on wear on the outer joints but i can't feel any play in them.

I going to take the old rack to a specialist to have them check it out, and if there is any wear, see if they can fix it, although I believe there are no spares for original racks from the usual MG sources, they may be able to find parts that will fit.

I'll let you know how I get on.

Kevin Jackson

Kevin, I'm pretty sure those joints are replaceable. Sounds like a good used rack is better than a new replacement.

Jim Blackwood

I refurbished a worn Jag XK140 rack years ago by boring the ends and pressing in thin bronze bushings which were then reamed to closely fit the rack diameter. Similar could be done with the MGB rack by a competent machine shop.

Good luck
Edd Weninger

Took the old rack into the steering rack specialist today, and they did a quick strip down and confirmed that any wear was well within tolerances.

They are going to rebuild the rack for me and reset the pre-load, fit new gaiters and repaint all in for 50.00 which considering the grief I have had with the new rack and an over zealous MOT man, doesn't seem too bad.

I will now arrange to have my coil over front end with castor reduction kit fitted, fit and align the rebuilt rack at the same time, hopefully I should have greatly improved and lighter steering, probably won't happen for about a month because I'm currently fitting new trim and a set of leather seats I picked up off e-bay for 180.00 but looking forward to a much better driving experience.

Will report further when it's all fitted.


75 GTV8 Conversion
Kevin Jackson

This thread was discussed between 12/03/2007 and 20/03/2007

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