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Libra Steering Rack 
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Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2009 6:06 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
You shouldn't need to do anything.

You aren't depowering it as it's a manual rack with a powered column on the MGF/TF


Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:29 am
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Fitted my TF rack this evening. Not the simplest job in the world but not as bad as I feared. I had the seats out anyway as I'm doing a load of other winter upgrades. I'd certainly recommend anyone doing the rack to take the seats out. You will be lying on the floor with your shoulders under the dash and your arms stretched out with a hand poked through the access hole. Not very comfy!!
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I decided to cut away part of the inner wing to allow the rack to come out without taking the whole front off the car.
Before:
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After:
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inner wing cut for clearance.jpg
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I will fix the bit I cut out back in with a few plates as brackets - cut it out as a single piece with a padsaw.

Beware that the splined part on the rack is slightly different between the metro one and the TF one. For one thing the stub is longer on the metro rack so having measured how much wing I needed to cut away based on the TF rack it wasn't quite enough to get the Metro rack out. DOH. Also, the TF rack has a bit that is splined that needs to be flat to take the column end so I ground this flat:
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Someone on a different thread asked about the adaptation to the bottom part of the column that GTM did for customers. As this won't happen now here is a pic of the section as modified with a guide to the dims needed:
Attachment:
column bottom end.jpg
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Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:51 pm
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GTM: Libra
Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Hi,

Looking at doing the steering rack on my Libra at same time as doing the radiator...

So is it just a straight swap to the LHD MGTF rack with the exception of grinding down the spline?

I take it the longer spline makes and no difference. Any change required to the steering arms?

Thanks! Jim.


Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:50 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Its a couple of years now so reading this jogged my memory.
LHD TF rack is pretty much a straight swap. The differences I found are 1) the input shaft is about 12mm longer on the metro rack however not an issue as the female splined part still located fine on the stub and the pinch bolt is in the same place. 2) those splines on the part nearest to the rack itself - more splines on the TF rack, flat on the metro and the female end of the column extender needs it to be flat - 10 seconds with an angle grinder.

It isn't just the radiator cowling that needs to come off to get the rack in. That is why I chose to cut a bit of the inner wing. Here is the "after" pic with the hole closed back up again - just fitted the bit I cut out back in with small offcuts of grp from the radiator housing from cutting it to take the Passat rad and a few m5 stainless button heads. This pic is from 2 yrs later when I was fitting ARB's so shows the ARB bush/bracket in place
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Bush fitted.jpg
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One of the hardest parts is getting your finger tips to the U-bolt nuts inside the box section.

I can confirm, based on my car anyway, that the thread on the TF rack ends is M12x1.25 and that is what the GTM supplied rack extenders are too so a direct fit. The TREs are the same. No changes required to the steering arms or indeed anything else.

I found the steering response to be much nicer with the 2.7 turn rack and not much heavier at parking speeds. Well worth doing.


Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:05 pm
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GTM: Libra
Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Great! Thankyou so much for the rapid reply!!

That’s good news- I’ll confirm I’ve got the old rack and replace it then. Uncovered the plate at the footwell and yes- that opening to those U bolts is tight!

Is the column itself bolts and pushfit onto the spline?

That photo is good to see- I’m reading more and the ARB chat is interesting. After buying my Libra I decided against the Z-Car rear suspension and refurbed the Mk1 style as never tried it and feel that perhaps people can unfairly judge a worn out original part (although I appreciate the amount of adjustment and bedding it’ll take), but is the ARB a noticeable improvement when not ‘at limits?’. Guess it’s piece of mind with the extra stability? So many questions, sorry! I’d be interested to hear where you got the bar and bushes! (Can you tell I’m enjoying the project?!).

Jim.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 3:05 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Hi Jimbob. Glad you are enjoying your project. Details of my homemade front ARB are here http://www.gtmdrivers.com/forum/libra-and-spyder-anti-roll-bars-measurements-t3704.html?sid=ac28b65fb4551886cb305ca3bc3e115a

Fairly stiff on the front and fairly soft on the back worked best for me. A whole 2 seconds a lap of Castle Combe gained from just the ARB's so no doubt in my mind that they really make a difference to the handling. I find it better on the road too although I wasn't unhappy before and only impacts negatively on ride comfort when you hit a bump with just one wheel when you do find it feels stiffer.

Back to the rack, if you are removing it without removing the front of the car you'll need to slide it out sideways. As such, you will need to pull the rack forward enough to get the input shaft clear of the hole into the box section/bulkhead and in doing so you will have withdrawn the spline from the column end too so no need to actually remove the column end. I took mine off because I couldn't understand why it wouldn't engage and that is when I discovered the spline/flat clash. If I'd known that before it would have been much easier. The column end has a pinch bolt that slightly compresses the female spline and also is kind of like a cotter as even if loose the bolt prevent the splines separating so you need to remove the bolt completely to slide them apart.

To pull the rack forward enough to disengage from both shaft and box section you will need a rack shaped extended hole in the inner wing (or remove the inner wing!). One side only is sufficient.


Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:59 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Sanz, thanks again. Sounds good- as I’ve got the front section stripped I’m hoping I can take the bolts off and lift the next section without removing the brake lines, but will see- thanks for the heads up!

That thread on the ARB is brilliant! I’m inspired by your imagination! Will certainly get this steering rack sorted and probably want to get it on the road properly before deciding on it- be good to spread the jobs out so I feel the benefit of each!

That said, I seem to be following the same journey in upgrades though. I’m looking to do the Mike Satur SSK, but I’ll jump to another thread if I may!


Sat Apr 13, 2019 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
So after a bit of time away from this (!) finally got round to sorting and in typical Libra style: the fixing points for the rack mean that the already short replacement MGF steering rack stub end can barely reach inside the steering column attachment. Thankfully it does reach to engage the splines and allow the rack to be used, but only a small amount. So much so, that the flat central part on the stub doesn’t reach the bore of the tightening bolt...

Looks as if I have two choices: old rack or flatten the end of the stub... question is how much spline do you need to engage?!


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Sat Jun 22, 2019 3:38 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Can you not move the whole steering column assembly down towards the rack a bit to get more engagement on the splines? or maybe use longer bolts and some packing washers in the rubber universal joint thingy at the top of the lower column? I'd make sure you get the pinch bolt through the splined rack input shaft where the original flat is.
Attachment:
steering column markup.JPG
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Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:06 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
Good idea- I think I’ll have to. Loosened the 4 bolts supporting the upper steering column bar and found the bracket are joined to the bar itself so now movement. Would have to shift the holes themselves which I don’t reckon is a great idea? The joint you mentioned is shown below. I need about 5-10mm...


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Sat Jun 22, 2019 9:44 pm
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Post Re: Libra Steering Rack
sanzomat wrote:
Can you not move the whole steering column assembly down towards the rack a bit to get more engagement on the splines? or maybe use longer bolts and some packing washers in the rubber universal joint thingy at the top of the lower column? I'd make sure you get the pinch bolt through the splined rack input shaft where the original flat is.

Agree 100%. This is not something to compromise on. The original design stops the spline sliding apart even if the bolt gets loose.


Sun Jun 23, 2019 11:34 pm
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