I've not messed with rack and pinion before, is there any adjustment to it?
There seems to be some play where the steering shaft enters the rack and
pinion unit, I can turn the wheel a bit each way with no movement of the
wheels and have a little up and down play in the shaft. Maybe a bearing at
the top that can be replaced or are these non serviceable?
Some play is normal, and may actually be needed to allow a power steering
valve to operate properly. Often, a pressure pad presses against the rack to
reduce the effect that normal play has. This pad has adjustable pressure on
The tires will eventually cup if there is too much play and the rack is too
free to move. Mazda had this problem with early models of the MPV van. The
cupping occurred more frequently on vans with very good alignments than
those with poor alignment.
There is a Technical Service Bulletin on this condition...you may also be
noticing a slight, slight clicking on left slow turns...
Go to the dealer and ask them to perform the Technical Service Bulletin
(TSB) which involves a lubrication kit for the Intermediate Steering
Shaft...You probably need to do this about every 2 years depending on how
much driving you do...
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