replacing rack and pinion assembly, short cuts? | Page 2 | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

replacing rack and pinion assembly, short cuts?

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by jmczzz, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    yea that would be a great thing to have. James
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Give me time. Im working on my 94LX wagon now, to replace the wiring bundle that goes into the rear gate, and to glue up and add bracing to the rear bumper.
  3. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    ok got the old one out by carefully following denisond3 step by step instructions,
    was easy...pleasy. with suggested tools and method.... pic sequence attached..
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  4. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Congratulations! Now I would like to know which is more fun: Replacing a rack-n-piniion assembly or having a root canal done on a molar?
  5. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    Actually it went pretty well once I got the air hammer on that pinch bolt. Now I gotta put it back together. And I am gonna reread the front end alignment with the strings post. and try to duplicate that. I'll take some pics if you want.
    thanks for your help. I'll be glad to get my pony with its 40 mpg back on the road before gas goes back up.
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  6. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The alignment specs for our Escorts are on the back cover of the service manual I think. For the toe-in its so close to zero, that I just aim for them being parallel. I do the adjustment over a period of a couple of days, because I want to give the front suspesion time to settle back to its normal - and still have those wheels parallel to each other.
    An important point is to drive the car forward, on pavement, and bring it to a stop without backing up or turning the wheel to other than straight ahead.
  7. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Yes, please!
  8. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    crapola! I live in the boonies no pavement here except the highway. and I live at the bottom of a steep hill curve. Crazy hill billies come down on 2 wheels.
    I do have a nice flat drive space can't I do it there?
    James
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, but sometime in the near future when you go to a paved flat spot I would give it another check. It should only take 5 minutes to do it, since if any adjustments are needed they can be done at your home. I go to a nearby convenience store and pull into a parking spot at one side - and check it there.
  10. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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  11. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    Ok. i'll try to take pics but today is toooo cold.

    new project: I got a no power steering no a/c belt 48 +/- inches long, but i don't see how to route it if I take the non working ac compressor off. There is an idler pulley but the current belt has it's back to that. Can I use that same pulley just run the belt on the other side (outside) of the pulley so the ribs of the belt run on the pulley? James
  12. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I imagine the smooth surface of the idler pulley will l slightly increase the wear on the grooved side of the belt, but it will likely be okay for a long time.
    I forget where I saw it, but it was a 2nd gen Escort with its a.c. compressor missing, and the side of the serpentine belt had worn a definite notch into the side of the engine accessory bracket, since it was going past in a region where the normal belt-going-around-the-compressor wouldnt have been.

    Last summer I decided to replace the bearing on the pulley of the a.c. compressor on one of my Escorts, just because the bearing was over 20 years old with over 250,000 miles on it; and there is no way to lube it. . I got the compressor off with no trouble, but getting the bearing out of the pulley involved a trip to my machinist, for him to press the old one out and the new one in.
    With another Escort I bought the $36." compressor bypass pulley" from rockauto. This is just a pulley the same size as the one on the compressor, mounted on a bracket that bolts to where the compressor went. The only thing I dont like about it, is that the pulley is made of plastic & its bearing isnt as big as the one on the compressor.

    When I get an Escort to fix up I never know how long the idler and tensioner pulleys have been on the car, so I also replace them along with a new serp. belt. This is usually at the same time as I replace the timing belt and its tensioner. And if I put 100k miles on any of my Escorts, I will replace the pulleys and belt again.
  13. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    All makes sense, thanks I read the threads about this after a search. There is some controversy as to whether it's an advantage or wasted effort. The question is does the ac clutch take any perceptible power to spin if the ac is always off? In the olden days the word was ac robs engine power, but in the 2nd gen escorts I don't know. It doesn't work in my pony and I don't miss it. So even if it is just a small amount of gas it saves i will take it off. And does the presence of the condenser coils hurt the radiator air flow? I sometimes haul a lot of my boat stuff in it (no back seat) and have even hauled 5 - 6 bales of hay in it when gas cost to much to run my truck. In mid summer it runs on the high side of normal and in town I run the fan constantly (I put it on a switch).
    Thanks, James
  14. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I have had the condenser out of several Escorts, and only put it back in two of them. In each case the amount of leaf debris trapped in the fins of the condenser and between that and the front of the radiator caused me to wonder if the cars had had overheating issues. These were cars I bought to fix up - and had little or no history from the prior owners.
    I dont think the pulley on the a.c. compressor loads the serpentine belt at all - when the a.c. system is off. But its an extra 20 lbs or so added to the car's weight at every stop and start, and still has that old ball bearing that will eventually fail if the car lasts long enough. Its not something I want on the car when zipping across the desert.
    Better I should pre-fix it in my own driveway.
  15. Egnorant

    Egnorant FEOA Member

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  16. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    Good info and pics Eg, My Pony does have the ac (not working) so If I understand correctly all I need is to take it off hoses and all, remove the condenser, get a groved pulley to replace the smooth one and get it all adjusted with the right size belt and I'm good.
    I already got a no ac, no ps belt from the rock auto close out, it is 48 In +/- will that fit? or just try it?

    I love the Pony steering feel that and the 13 in wheels make it a cornering dream. next 'll rebuild the anti sway bars and struts. Maybe go with some stiffer bars and struts springs, plus new bushings should make it make some gs in a hard corner. I also have some of those negative camber bolts that i may try. Supposed to make it come back on its own from a turn. Look out civics here we come!
    James
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2016
  17. Egnorant

    Egnorant FEOA Member

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    Swap that pulley and get the AC compressor out of the way and you are golden!
    I removed my nonfunctioning AC last year and may remove the inside stuff next heater core change.

    I also changed to poly bushings (except the rack ones...never found any!) along with a 3rd gen front sway bar. Best thing I ever did to the car ! I have a series of turns on the way to work that are fun. I used to go in at 35 mph and had a mark that I tried to hit 60 mph at coming out of the last turn. Now I can go in at just under 45 and do the rest of the turns around 60 mph and my old 60 mph mark can be an 84 mph mark but I try to avoid the police!

    Got even faster when I went to 15" wheels and a set of sticky Bridgestones. I had to replace my Pony flat drivers seat with a GT seat with better side support.

    Might be quicker still if I lowered it some, but I deliver pizza and must live in the real world.

    Bruce
  18. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    Thanks Bruce, I live in the boonies and don't know where to get the items you mentioned. Do you have sources for ordering the replacement pulley, 3rd gen sway bar, and poly bushings?
    thanks again, James
  19. jmczzz

    jmczzz FEOA Donator

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    Bruce, I found this on ebay:
    Ford Mustang 6 Rib/Groove Alternator Pulley 4.6L 1996-1998 US $24.99
    s-l1600.jpg eBay item number:111578172793

    And this one:
    JEGS Performance Products 50456 Serpentine Pulley Steel 6-Rib US $20.99
    Serpentine Pulley Steel 6-Rib 2.755" (70mm) O.D. Includes: Dust Cover
    eBay item number: 111330542698
    jegs 50456.jpg
    Which is it the right (best) one?
    thanks, James
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2016
  20. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    If the bearings aren't obviously damaged in those, I often very carefully pry off the rubber just cover, clean out the bearing in solvent, repack it with grease and call it good for another ten years.
    Parts are at least twice as expensive up here.

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