View Full Version : Ford escort steering

27-04-2010, 06:50 PM
Hi all.

I have got a ford escort mk2 steering rack that im trying to strip down to shorten it. But got a little problem. How do I remove 1 of the ends of the rack to get it out of the housing.

This is it.

How do you remove this part off. dont no its name what is it called?


Photos of it close up. I no its threaded but is there sumthing I have to do 1st and also whats best way to remove them. The 2 holes or what ever they are dont go all the way to the other side of the part.



Al shops in chch that mite no or be able to remove them for me?


27-04-2010, 07:04 PM
on piccy 2278 there is hole can you put a punch in there and try whacking the round thing undone try both ways after removing peened locking pin in piccy 2279.
I am only guessing never seen one before

27-04-2010, 07:16 PM
You have to drill out the "X" to remove a lock pin (or possibly a ball, depending on model) that's placed in there to stop vibration loosening anything up - you can see the top of the pin in the middle of the "X". Make sure you use a centre punch and drill straight down, not to the side of it. Once that has been done, you should use a "C" spanner to remove the locking collar with the other side held securely in a vice - using a punch can be a bit dicey as it has a tendency to roll over and destroy the hole required for the "C" spanner, unless it is an exact fit. If you're going to replace the bearings in the pinion .... there's a trick to it and happy to advise you later.

27-04-2010, 07:24 PM
Having had another look at the photo provided, I suggest there's a ball rather than a pin - use a very small centre punch to try and pry it out. it should be a lot harder than the surrounding metal and not able to be drilled.

27-04-2010, 07:40 PM
Hi thanks SP8's. Yeh think is a ball bearing in it. Dont have a C clamp to go in the hole.

Not replacing bearings just going to shorten the rack to 210mm long. :)

27-04-2010, 07:45 PM
Last time I did this I think I used a ramset nail to get the ball out. Vice and pipe wrenches work, but messy !

Good luck.

27-04-2010, 08:41 PM
You could make your own C spanner mark out the diameter on some say 12mm steel plate and cut thread/braze in high tensile bolt as a peg.
I guess the ball would be a pig to get out and as SP says its hardened so you would have to attack the steel peened around the ball. Could try whacking the ball with a hardened punch or ball pein hammer it might shatter the ball.

sam m
28-04-2010, 05:29 PM
I would think that the bottom ring is just a locking ring so hammer it with punch anti clockwise. This should release the lock to the main ball joint which should allow it to unwind off.

Curious why you would want to shorten it.

28-04-2010, 05:50 PM
I think the ball actually locks the locking ring I suppose you cant be too careful when designing steering racks.

28-04-2010, 06:19 PM
Give the ball a friendly nudge with a disk grinder and a narrow cut-off disk. Damn the expense, use a new ball for re-assembly.

28-04-2010, 07:18 PM
I agree R2 bugger the expense, can buy singular ball bearings at bearing places in milimeter sizes.

28-04-2010, 07:42 PM
ok. just waiting for email from a steering shop in chch. also been on a ford escort forum asking about best way to remove them. Dont want to just go and grind or cut things. :)

Phil B
28-04-2010, 07:42 PM
How are you going to shorten the rack if you don't know how to take it apart. Do you mean shorten the rack ends?
Where do you live? Nowhere near me I hope

28-04-2010, 08:03 PM
Making the rack only 210mm long normal size is about 450mm.

Have got plans on how to shorten it but no plans or workshop manual on how to strip it I have got most parts off it apart from the 2 inner tie rod ends.

Live in Rangiora just out of Christchurch.

Phil B
28-04-2010, 08:05 PM
Is it for some sort of cart?

28-04-2010, 08:18 PM
Yeh a Edge products Piranha offroader.

Like this.



Phil B
28-04-2010, 08:45 PM
It's a while since I've done an old ford, but if my memory serves me well, there is a pin that's driven into the thread to jam it up after the rack end has been fitted. I think I held both the ring & the rack end with big swan neck pliers & undid the rack end without moving the lock ring. You can then get at the lock pin & get it out. When refitting ( I fitted new rack ends ) I locked them together again & used medium loctite on the threads & didn't worry about the pin.

29-04-2010, 06:28 AM
I've personally done this very same job on my own escort, about a decade ago!

From memory, that bit you are trying to drill out is actually a lead pin. You'll have to get a replacement one, and basically gently pound it into the hole, where it deforms to essentially do the role of a rivet.

Its only purpose is to keep the two halves of the ball joint together. Once the pin is out the two halves just unscrew.

Take care though! You only want to drill the soft lead. If you start drilling hard steel, then you've gone too deep!

From memory, once you're inside there's a white plastic seating face against the ball which reduces slop in the joint (which I think is what had forced me to do this job - to replace the worn plastic bit).

29-04-2010, 09:48 PM
Thanks for all that help.

Paul.Cov your the man. Thanks. Got the Lead pin drilled out and used a nail punch to tap the lock ring undone and then removed the ball joint. Yeh there is a white plastic part thats got a washer and spring behind it that pushes on the ball. There is a slot cut in the rack for the pin to go into.



30-04-2010, 08:53 AM
What an amazing forum! There is no end to the talents and experiences of those who post here. Amazing!! :thumbs:

30-04-2010, 09:25 AM
What an amazing forum! There is no end to the talents and experiences of those who post here. Amazing!! :thumbs:

You make a good point. No one person knows everything but as a collective group we get close.

30-04-2010, 09:40 AM
Nicest thing you have said for awhile Sweep. I congratulate you.

30-04-2010, 11:35 AM
I'm so glad I joined this forum, every day I learn something.:)

30-04-2010, 12:31 PM
Yeh. Thanks. :) Is nice to just go into the shed and work on sumthing apart from custom pc's.

30-04-2010, 08:18 PM
What an amazing forum! There is no end to the talents and experiences of those who post here. Amazing!! :thumbs:

Heh, being an old bugger, and a tight bugger sure helped me in gaining that knowledge!

Currently not old enuf it seems to know the answers to configuring my XP network settings, and getting Steam to stop crashing at startup... sigh.

Actually, the network seems sorted (after hours of pain), but Steam is still useless.

01-05-2010, 03:02 PM
Paul.Cov. Do you no if a mk1 rack is shorter then a mk2?

01-05-2010, 08:22 PM
Paul.Cov. Do you no if a mk1 rack is shorter then a mk2?


Not a clue!
If it helps, our local public library has many car manuals in the reference section, and each chapter starts of with technical specs / dimensions etc for the components. You might perhaps maybe find your answer in your own library, in the Haines automotive manuals.

Alternativley, the microfich / computer files the Ford parts dept use seems to be very detailed, so maybe they could tell you.

I don't have the escort any more, so can't nip outside and run a tape measure along the rack for you.

Phil B
01-05-2010, 08:54 PM
You could use a rack from a euro car. Some of the audi vw & opel racks are very short. All you'd have to do is alter the length of the rack ends

02-05-2010, 08:34 AM
You could use a rack from a euro car. Some of the audi vw & opel racks are very short. All you'd have to do is alter the length of the rack ends

Can ya just rethread the rods? Is it easy to make a left hand thread? or can you just use 2 with normal thread?

02-05-2010, 11:24 AM
Thing i cant just shorten it and then re thread it as its on the rack gear.

I have emailed a couple of people about the mk1 rack to see whats differant on it. I no 1 differant parts is a block of steel on the side of 1 of that mounts, only no this from looking at photos of racks.


This is the rack it gets sortened to 205mm from the ball joints.

this is the block of steel on the rack. The right side gets cut off leaving 6mm of this block and the tube for the rack. A new bush gets made to go inside the end to support the rack.

08-05-2010, 11:12 PM
Time to start making it shorter.


The housing. has to be shortened to 6mm from the left plate where the ruler is.

The rack has to be shortened to 205. Ends up being cut on the rack gear.

I got another for escort rack today. mk1 model. Have stripped it already and cleaned it up. Took 1/2 the time it did for the 1st rack now that i no how to strip 1.

here is a photo of the 2nd rack i just got.

Here is both of the housing's side by side. mk2 on top mk1 on bottom.

This is the only differant part i can see sofar on them.

Going to be starting to shorten it this weekend. Got sumone with a lathe thats going to make me the metal bush's to go in the end and also help me shorten the housing's. Going to make both of them shorter.

Got both rack housings shortened today. Now I just have to get sum steel to make a bush for each one.


11-05-2010, 09:30 PM
Brought a new tool toy tonight a Mig welder. A Mitech 160s inverter. :)

So i have a:
Mitech 160 arc/tic inverter welder

Mitech 160s mig inverter welder. This is the one im getting on saturday got to pickup from shop.


Now I just need a trolly or build one to hold them both and learn to weld more. :) Should be both good to learn with. Both are gas/gasless models. Going to be using gasless.

31-05-2010, 09:59 PM
Anyone no what oil/greese is used in a ford escort mk1 or mk2 rack?

01-06-2010, 06:45 AM
Knowing early Fords, just about what ever crap they had lying around unused at the time

01-06-2010, 07:05 AM
Ohh, just remembered how the rubber sterring boots had a tendency to be too short to handle full lock... and consequently break open almost from new.

I would suggest you aim for a grease that can accommodate water and dirt, and won't readily liquify if it gets a little warm... and be prepared to repack it with fresh grease regularly.

01-06-2010, 08:15 PM
Yeh was thinking wheel bearing greese I have sum stuff thats a no melt and is like butter.

04-06-2010, 10:28 PM
Got it all back together.





Like new.



Working on the front hubs and steering this weekend.

05-06-2010, 10:40 PM
What's going to power this? I hope not more Ford gear :-p

05-06-2010, 11:33 PM
LOL hell no its got a suzuki GSX750 behind it. :)