Jump to content

Spitfire steering rack


Recommended Posts

I have considerable steering wheel play on my Spitfire mk3. I had to remove 4 shims from the damper to set the gap according to the WM which made the steering wheel play disappear but the steering became so stiff it makes the car unusable 

Im wondering whether the previous owner added shims to mask a rack problem

Tyre pressures are good, trunnions are well oiled and ball joints are new. The steering coupling is the new type without the earth strap 

any thoughts?

Thanks Julian 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Im afraid you have a worn rack and as usual the teeth are loose in the straight ahead position as thats where its been most used but not at the ends. Now you either have it right in one place or the other but not both without replacing it.

However are you sure all the play is in the rack as it can be deceptive and it could be combined with wear in the rack ball joints, the track rod ball joints or even suspension components?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I set the damper shims up from scratch which solved the steering wheel play problem but made steering very heavy

Is it dangerous to use the car with steering wheel play?

I presume the whole rack will need replacing as opposed to doing a diy rebuild

is there a good supplier of steering racks?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

just be aware some refurbished racks just get a clean spray of paint 

there are two ratio on for 4 cyl and lower ratio for 6 cyl  ( due to engine weight ) 

6 cyl rack should have a  double groove  in the input shaft spline to identify it is a different ratio

if they say they are all the same steer well clear they certainly are not

you can reset the sperical ball joints and replace the idler brgs  and re shim the damper slipper  by 

carefull DIY    you cant easilly replace the outer n/s tube bush  if its worn 

most recons will never see a new rack 




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

I’ve come back to my spitfire steering rack problem and before I order a replacement I had another look at the shims, plunger etc

Taking off the cap and under the yellow spring I found a flat washer which isn’t supposed to be there, presumably put in to compensate for a worn or incorrect spring 

when the cap is screwed in the spring doesn’t seem to provide much resistance even with the washer, should I replace the spring?

any thoughts?




Link to comment
Share on other sites

The clearance in the manual between the plunger (31) and cap nut (27) is 4 thou so if you set this in the straight ahead position but the rack is worn or distorted more than that along its length it will bind as you turn the steering wheel. I suspect the PO encountered this so set the gap bigger and then used the washer to keep the same spring pressure. Im afraid it was a bodge and the only way to do it properly is with a replacement rack...


  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...