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Just wanted to post my fix to the known power steering rack "clunk".

More information can be found about the issue with the following links:

As mentioned on other posts, the steering rack has a round plunger with a "fork" shape on one end that pushes down on the steering rack to prevent slop (and clunks). The "fork" has plastic liners that wear out.

There is a "steering rack upgrade" kit you can buy from JeepPerf that costs nearly $300. It looks like a very nice and comprehensive kit and I would recommend getting it if money is no concern. I figured I'd try and solve the problem in-the-garage.

What I did was buy the following:

  • 1/8" thick sheet of UHMW (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) from Amazon for under $20.
  • Pack of small nylon screws from Home Depot for about $1

I then made my own plastic liners by cutting the UHMW (using a dremel) in the exact same shape as the factory ones. The factory liners have little "nub" on the back side that slots into a pin hole on the plunger. This prevents the liner from sliding out of the plunger. I recreated the pin by using nylon screws that snugly fit the pin hole. I drilled holes in my liners, screwed the nylon screws through the liners, and them trimmed them flush with the surface of the liner.

I'll post pictures to help illustrate. They have been in the Jeep for over a month with zero issues, zero clunks and so far the liners look like the day I put them in. As a bonus, they have way more material than the OEM ones so hopefully they will last a long time.

To remove the plunger I simply took out the two bolts holding the steering rack on. Then jack one of the front wheels off the ground. From there the entire rack can be moved around quite freely.... enough so that you can back out the plunger/puck using an E20 socket and not interfere with the cross member in the process. All in all, not very hard.

Old liners:
Hand tool Wood Gesture Tool Finger


DIY liners:

Table Wood Automotive design Desk Gadget
 

· Administrator
2008 XK Sport 4.7L V-8 QT-II 4WD 104,xxx Miles
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8,736 Posts
Just wanted to post my fix to the known power steering rack "clunk".

More information can be found about the issue with the following links:

As mentioned on other posts, the steering rack has a round plunger with a "fork" shape on one end that pushes down on the steering rack to prevent slop (and clunks). The "fork" has plastic liners that wear out.

There is a "steering rack upgrade" kit you can buy from JeepPerf that costs nearly $300. It looks like a very nice and comprehensive kit and I would recommend getting it if money is no concern. I figured I'd try and solve the problem in-the-garage.

What I did was buy the following:

  • 1/8" thick sheet of UHMW (ultra high molecular weight polyethylene) from Amazon for under $20.
  • Pack of small nylon screws from Home Depot for about $1

I then made my own plastic liners by cutting the UHMW (using a dremel) in the exact same shape as the factory ones. The factory liners have little "nub" on the back side that slots into a pin hole on the plunger. This prevents the liner from sliding out of the plunger. I recreated the pin by using nylon screws that snugly fit the pin hole. I drilled holes in my liners, screwed the nylon screws through the liners, and them trimmed them flush with the surface of the liner.

I'll post pictures to help illustrate. They have been in the Jeep for over a month with zero issues, zero clunks and so far the liners look like the day I put them in. As a bonus, they have way more material than the OEM ones so hopefully they will last a long time.

To remove the plunger I simply took out the two bolts holding the steering rack on. Then jack one of the front wheels off the ground. From there the entire rack can be moved around quite freely.... enough so that you can back out the plunger/puck using an E20 socket and not interfere with the cross member in the process. All in all, not very hard.

Old liners:

DIY liners:
Great information @neilg ; Thanks for sharing it.

That being said; Welcome to the forum;

Please read the New member Required Reading below & complete your user profile signature as directed;

Important New Member information, Forum requirements & Forum rules. | Jeep Commander Forum

Thank you.
 

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Replying to my own old thread (different account) ;)

Just an update that I'm still running my DIY UHMW liners in my steering rack during which time I've put over 30,000 KM's on my Commander. I haven't had to touch my steering rack and there is absolutely no play/slop/clunk etc. I can safely say this has been a long term steering rack fix for me.
 

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2008 XK Sport 4.7L V-8 QT-II 4WD 104,xxx Miles
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8,736 Posts
Replying to my own old thread (different account) ;)

Just an update that I'm still running my DIY UHMW liners in my steering rack during which time I've put over 30,000 KM's on my Commander. I haven't had to touch my steering rack and there is absolutely no play/slop/clunk etc. I can safely say this has been a long term steering rack fix for me.
You're only allowed one user account per the forum rules @ngrover ;

You're other account @neilg has been shut down;

DO NOT make any more duplicate accounts or you will be subject to further disciplinary action.

That being said, Thank you for the update to your old thread.
 

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Not even sure how I had a neilg account. I just logged in with Gmail one day or something. It's hard to keep on top of all my accounts especially when I make a post here once per year or so.

I have two posts in this thread and two repremands. I get it, rules and all. I mean no harm.

All that said, my Commander is listed for sale so you can shut this account down also if you'd like.

Loved the Commander. Enjoy all. Hopefully I don't regret it selling mine.
 

· Administrator
2008 XK Sport 4.7L V-8 QT-II 4WD 104,xxx Miles
Joined
·
8,736 Posts
Not even sure how I had a neilg account. I just logged in with Gmail one day or something. It's hard to keep on top of all my accounts especially when I make a post here once per year or so.

I have two posts in this thread and two repremands. I get it, rules and all. I mean no harm.

All that said, my Commander is listed for sale so you can shut this account down also if you'd like.

Loved the Commander. Enjoy all. Hopefully I don't regret it selling mine.
@ngrover ;

I only gave you 1 warning, it's all good.

I just have to make sure everybody knows the rules.

Not trying to discourage you from posting, just stick to one account.
 

· Administrator
2008 XK Sport 4.7L V-8 QT-II 4WD 104,xxx Miles
Joined
·
8,736 Posts
Not even sure how I had a neilg account. I just logged in with Gmail one day or something. It's hard to keep on top of all my accounts especially when I make a post here once per year or so.

I have two posts in this thread and two repremands. I get it, rules and all. I mean no harm.

All that said, my Commander is listed for sale so you can shut this account down also if you'd like.

Loved the Commander. Enjoy all. Hopefully I don't regret it selling mine.
@ngrover ;

I made a user profile signature for you based on the profile questions that you answered, thanks for taking the time.
 
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