steering rack bellows install

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by HermitJohn, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    May 10, 2002
    Ok, been going through little Festiva I bought recently. Replacing cv boots, bad ball joint, that sort of thing. Noticed steering rack bellows gone on drivers side of rack. Got one at parts store, didnt think anything about it. When I got home its a universal fit one. The large end however is tapered down to about 3/4 inch and I need to get it over tube about 1 1/4 diameter. I can get only one hand at time up in the little hidey hole. No way I can stretch it to fit while on my back using one hand. No real instructions on pkg except "DO NOT CUT LARGE END OF BELLOWS". The rubber is thinner behind the band at very end. I really dont want to remove whole steering rack to replace the bellows. Do I cut or not. Or is there some trick to this? I dont want to hassle special ordering proper fitting version at Ford dealer (assuming they can still get it).
     
  2. John Hill

    John Hill Grand Master

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    May 12, 2002
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    New Zealand
    No reply yet John? Maybe this will work:

    Find a piece of clock spring or some sort of metal ring or band that is about 1/4 inch greater in diameter than the metal you are trying to stretch the bellows over.

    Put this ring over the outside of the bellows and about 1/2 an inch back from the largest end.

    Fold the end of the bellows back over the ring, you will have to stretch it a bit to do this.

    Now you might be able to get this up to the end of the rack casing. Flip the folded back section over the rack end then remove the ring.

    Does this make sense?
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks JohnHill, I think I see what you are suggesting and it probably would work if I found right size ring to use. However this thread was posted was few days ago. I just went ahead and cut the thing and used a hose clamp. This may tear, I dont know, but so far, so good and better than leaving everything exposed. I did run across a better universal steering rack boot available on internet that is meant to be cut on the big end and it has lot stepup sizes rather than just big or small. Its a better mousetrap so to speak.