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Looking for New Steering Rack Feedback

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Moving this over from the wheels & suspension section. Didn't get any feedback there.


Posted 5 days ago

My steering rack gear has a wear spot at the center, so I get some slop in the system. Thinking about getting one of the new racks & pinions on eBay. Anyone try one of these yet? Any feedback will be appreciated.



eBay link:



Also now on amazon:

Brand New Premium Quality Manual Steering Rack & Pinion For Datsun 260Z & 280Z -

BuyAutoParts 80-70087AN New https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M3XT0M3/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_xEvBzbP5ZQZJ5

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Both of those characteristics were present in my old rack.


Got the new rack, it's very very different. Will get more info soon. I got to go to storage to get my old rack to do a comparison.


What I see so far, I think it has two right hand thread inner tie rods instead of a left and right thread on opposite ends.

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The Ebay compatibility chart says it's not compatible with a 78 Z but IS with a 77 Z so I contacted the seller on Ebay and asked him two questions.

Is this compatible with a 78 Z?

Where is the rack made?


His answer was:



This rack is manufatured in China by our House brand, Buy Auto Parts, comes with a 12 months unlimitied mile warranty.


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Forgive the delay, I'm finally feeling better after a bit of food poisoning. Here's what I have to report:


-ratio is the same as my 77 280z rack

-stroke is 1/16" more in both directions

-stock rack was 3 turns lock to lock / new rack was about 3.15 turns (probably due to slightly longer stroke)

-splines appear to be the same on input shaft.

-gear housing is cast aluminum on new rack vs cast iron on stock rack (checked with magnet)

-new rack weighs less (4.5kg vs 5.5)

-the rack gear itself on the old unit is flat on the side opposite of the gear teeth. It's round on the new unit.

-it seems like a decent product, of course I haven't installed it yet to get the "feel". I prefer the construction of the old rack, but that could be said about any new parts being produced these days. The manufacturer of this rack probably makes the racks in most of our other modern cars that we daily drive. I guess I can say that it's not a "reproduction of the original" but a "modern replacement" for better or for worse.

-oddly, it comes with one new bushing for the end that's opposite if the gear box. I thought maybe the O.D. of the tube was different, but it's the same. I just don't understand why this is, maybe the other side fell off? It's not in the box.???? Who knows. I'll just reuse my old urethane bushings anyway. They are only about 6 months old. Maybe the reason will become clear upon installation.


-more to follow got to upload pics.

Edited by Samurai7one
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Let us know what you find when you install it, I'm extremely interested as well. My rack needs replacing and I think I'd prefer a modernized replacement than to rebuild the original.


On another note, that tube on that rack looks very similar to the unit installed in my 1991 Honda. Is there a weird plastic bushing just inside the passenger end of the rack?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Would you please measure the rack gain?  To do so, perform the following:


1. Start with rack all the way against one of the end stops.

2. Turn pinion exactly one turn.

3. Measure amount of rack shaft exposed (between end stop and end of housing).


For reference, the stock 240Z would move 1.81 inches per revolution of the pinion gear, and the stock 280Z rack would move 1.59 inches per revolution of the pinion gear.


So, the 240Z rack is faster but requires more effort to turn.


I would love to see how this rack compares.



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Is it possible to bolt a 240 rack in a 280? Would you use the 280 bushings or the 240 ones? If you had the 240 rack with the short steering arms and a shorter steering wheel, you would probably have some quick steering. I also wonder if there is any plans for this guy to make 240 racks?

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Yes, you can install a 240Z rack in a 280Z.  You just have to use the 240Z bushings.  I have the standard length steering arms, but have looked into using the quick steering arms.


With the 280Z rack, I felt the steering was too slow for autocross.  So, I installed the 240Z rack and I am happy with the responsiveness of the steering.  The steering effort did increase, but I do not find it difficult even with 10 inch slicks (at least while the car is moving).   I do not try and turn the wheel with the car sitting still.  It is my opinion that if you want to have faster steering than the 240Z rack with the standard arms and also have big sticky tires, then you will need power steering.

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Rack installed. Feels good to me but my perspective is skewed because I have always had steering issues. So, I don't know what normal feels like, but this feels good to me.


-No more feeling that the steering wheel is trying to jerk out of my hand everytime I hit any slight bump.

-No more play - zero


NOW, let me add this, I found an isssue while installing the new rack. Turns out where the steering shaft coupler slips onto the steering-gear box input-shaft, the bolt was not properly torqued. I put the new rack in and felt steering, it felt exactly the same as before. I thought "great all this for nothing"! So I started inspecting the components and found what appeared too be slop in the steering gear input shaft (moved side to side and up and down a bit). Further examination revealed that the coupler was loose. I thought I tightened the bolt well when I put It together but not enough to compress the coupler tight around the input shaft. I put some torque on the bolt, and probably got another full turn out of it. Maybe that was the problem all along?!?! Anyway that was the problem now and tightening the coupler bolt solved it. I did find a dry/loose inner tie rod on the old rack so, I don't regret changing it all out.


SO, if you have these same symptoms I had;

-Loose steering with what feels like a wear spot while going straight ahead at higher speeds

-Feeling like the steering wheel is trying to break free form your grip when you hit bumps

Then climb under your car and push/pull on the coupler that slips over the input shaft and be sure there is no play. If there is try to re-torque that bolt first.

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