View Full Version : EPS Steering rack removal and overhaul

04-14-2015, 02:46 PM
This thread is to serve as the end all be all for the removal and overhaul of your steering rack. Really, all the overhaul is is replacing the accordion-like boot covering your rack and a bushing that sandwiches in between the steering rack slider and the inner tie rod bracket. After hours of searching online I found no good DIYs and decided to make one myself. I've seen this discussed on UK CTR owner forums but never in depth on US forums. Hopefully this helps someone in the future.

10mm socket*
12mm socket*
17mm socket*
19mm socket*
Torque wrench
Medium size punch
Large crescent wrench
Needle nose pliers
Snap ring pliers
Multipurpose grease
High temp grease
Tie rod end puller (I rented the tool from O'Reilly's, part number 67008)

*Pick your poison. This can be done with wrenches but find yourself a nice 6 point socket set dammit, you'll be glad you did.

BOOT KIT 53603-S5A-J01
SLIDER 53605-S5A-003
LOCK SCREW 53457-S5A-003
SNAP RING 53455-S5A-003

Before we begin, you should know that the cost of replacing an entire steering rack is upwards of $900. The job is pretty hard, but worth it in light of that new-part price tag. It's definitely not a project for the faint of heart or inexperienced mechanic.

As with any time you're working on your car, at the least unplug your negative battery terminal and let it sit for ten minutes unplugged before messing with anything electrical. You'll be removing steering components and there is (albeit an infinitesimally small) chance that you could set off your airbag. In the service manual, Honda suggests removing your steering wheel and airbag. If you feel the need to do this, go for it. I didn't and have no desire to, but if you do, there are plenty of DIYs out there explaining how to do so.

As always, make sure you organize your parts so they're easy to find and put back on your car. I use the method of "remove bolt, put bolt back in where it will go later." It saves you the headache and question of ever wondering where a particular bolt goes, or having to find it once it's time for reassembly.

The one thing I did not do that I regret not doing prior to removing my steering rack was removing my inner tie rods. Once the rack is off your car it's incredibly difficult to get those suckers off. IMHO, at least loosen them before you pull the rack off.

Let's begin.

1. Go inside your car and on the driver's side, remove the plastic cover that covers up all the odds and ends up in there. Remove the two 10mm bolts coupling the u joint to your steering column and steering rack.


2. Remove your tie rod ends from their perches. Pull out the cotter pin with your needle nose pliers and use your 19mm socket to pull off your castle nut.

Many say to replace the cotter pin, many say they don't. It's your car and your life, I won't tell you how to live.

Use your puller to get your tie rod out.

Repeat for the other side.

3. I did this before pulling my tie rods, but next, use your 10mm socket to remove two bolts holding the exhaust heat shield to your chassis stiffening bar. It runs parallel to the tie rods and looks like this:
After you've removed those bolts, use your 12mm socket and remove the 4 bolts attaching the bar to the chassis. It will slide out either side of your car.

4. Now to the steering rack itself:

Unplug both of these connectors
Take off these two bolts that hold this bracket on (17mm)
And then take these two bolts off as well. (17mm)
Your steering rack will now be freed from its bondage! But we're only getting started!

5. Twist the steering rack so the EPS motor is pointing towards the front of the car.


If either your engine/transmission are in your car, this is the part of the job that can start to get very tricky. You might have noticed from the pictures that I had my transmission out for a rebuild/clutch job while I did this. As far as I know it isn't impossible to squeeze the rack out of the car with your engine/trans in, but having one or both out makes it a hell of a lot easier.

With your steering rack twisted, remove the two bolts that hold on your EPS motor. They're 12mm and here:

And also here

If you haven't done so already, there's a connector that goes into the rack and the EPS motor, disconnect that now and pry the motor off of the rack. It's the connector to the right/up of the bolt I just pointed to in the above pic.

6. Now, with the rack free and your EPS motor off, angle the passenger side of the rack upwards towards your passenger strut tower. You've got heater hoses and all sorts of doodads that will prevent you from freeing the steering rack easily. Remove what you need to, though I only undid a couple of clips and removed a few brackets. With a bit of wiggling and a buddy you can make pretty quick work of it.

As much as you want it to, it will NOT fit out of the little window where your tie rods go. Trust me, don't try it. You don't want to risk messing up the teeth on any of the components here.

Finally, after you've worked it free, hurrah! Your steering rack is out!


7. Now with your steering rack out, remove your inner tie rods. First, bend the lock washers off of the tie rods and, using your crescent wrench, loosen them. I recommend doing this while everything is still on your car but I just tossed the thing in my vice and they pop right off. Fortunately this is one of those spots on the car that, try as it might, rust can't get to.

With your tie rod off, remove the two 17mm bolts holding the inner tie rod bracket.
There will be an annoying and sharp lock washer on one of the bolts, just rip it off with your needle nose. A replacement one comes with your boot kit.

Take a screwdriver and pry up the rings holding the ends of the boot to the rack, like so.

Getting these off can be tricky so I ended up using tin snips to get them off. Again, your boot kit comes with replacements.

8. With the tie rod bracket off, and the fasteners that hold the boot on, the big black boot should be free to slide around and do it's thing. Pull your boot back and secure it so you can get to everything inside the rack.

Next, take the punch (or if you like spending money you don't need to, PM me, or order Honda tool #07ZAA-S5A0100) and hit it against the lock screw to loosen it.
^ Here you can see the lock screw loosened enough for the slider to disengage.

Right behind the lock screw is the snap ring you'll be replacing. Remove it now and your lock screw will slide right off.

Now, take the two halves apart. If your rack is like mine, that grease is pretty disgusting. Since we're in here, I took brake cleaner and cleaned up both the slider and slider housing and regreased with this stuff.
Just don't get it on the boot.

Slap your new boot on and push it up enough for you to be able to see where your new slider is going to go.

Install your new lock screw and snap ring*

*If you somehow managed to not completely thrash your lock screw you would be fine not replacing it, but it's been my experience that there's almost no way around mauling it beyond recognition without the special tool.

9. Now, here's the meat of why we're changing our slider bushing out.

As you can see here, there are shafts for the bolts securing your tie rod bracket to the slider itself, but the rest of it is made out of plastic. (top is new, bottom is old)
Over time the plastic wears out and off, it's just inevitable. For some people it happens faster than for others but it will inevitably happen if you do more than drive straight.

Here's the difference



Clearly there's a difference. It's small but it's clearly measurable. The old one still had grease and gunk on it so I'm sure there's even more wear there.

But I digress.

Slap that new slider bushing in, making damn sure to grease the sections of it that will be making contact with the rack assembly.

Now, take your boot and align it with the holes on your tie rod bracket.

10. Install new o-rings on your tie rod bracket bolts and spray them with white lithium or any other multipurpose grease you've got lying around.
Install and torque to 17lbs.

Now tighten the lock screw on your rack. Again, I judged used a punch. It's supposed to be torqued to 119lbs but I just did it until I felt comfortable.

Go back to your bracket bolts and tighten them again to 54lbs. This double-torquing method is per Honda, FYI.

Next, install the new lock washer that came with your boot kit. They can be tricky to slide on so I just took my 19mm socket and pushed it on with a couple taps. Make sure the tabs on the lock washer are on the flat part of your bolt or else you're going to have a bad time.

Install the new boot clamps and make sure to pinch then so they won't come undone. I used a cutting tool but it worked perfectly.

Reinstall your tie rod ends and mash down the lock nuts so there's no funny business after you reinstall your rack.

Now your rack is reassembled and ready to throw back in the car! Do the reverse of installation and you're good to go! I won't post torque specs because the service manual is stickied at the top of the DIY/How-To section.

If you have any questions feel free to PM me or post them below. I'll try to monitor the thread as best I can!

Good luck!

04-14-2015, 04:54 PM
sweet. Did you replace your inner/outer tie rods?

04-15-2015, 11:31 AM
Just outer tie rods for now, might need to do inners as well. I still have to finish this thread lol

Eddie Murphy
04-15-2015, 12:21 PM
Great DIY :mbiggrin:
Very informative. U da man bud...

04-15-2015, 10:00 PM
Still haven't finished the DIY yet, I'm in the process of doing it all ATM, just updating as I go along

04-17-2015, 02:04 PM
Nice write up! We've come a long way since the first of us started noticing rack creak back in the day. I'm glad someone finally took the time to chronicle the repair. Thank you...