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08-22-2007, 10:07 PM #1
Creaking/Squeaking steering wheel when turning fix
Some mustangs of various years have a creaking/squeak when you turn the steering wheel. This is very prevalent on the 03-04 Cobras.
There is a TSB that identifies and fixes this problem: # TSB 05-14-3
This TSB supposedly covers 2002-2004 Mustangs, but there was a previous one that covered 2000-2001 models with a same procedure and applies to all the models through these years and might also be a fix on all 96-04's.
If your car is out of warranty, you can pick these sleeves up from FORD at a price of $4.25 each. (you need 2 of them). I did this job last night on my GF's 04 Cobra (still under warranty) mainly since we did not want to hassle with some of Ford's incompetent techs and the long amount of time they had quoted us it would take by leaving her car with them all day...risks etc.
It's ALOT easier and much quicker if you have a drive-on ramp.
$20-25 at most autozone/pep-boys/kragen etc...or make your own.
E5DZ-3K620-A (Sleeves that you will be replacing the original ones with)
PROTHANE Part # 6-703 or any rack and pinion bushings made of urethane (Hard rubber)
18mm Deep socket
15mm Deep socket
Flat head screw driver
Penetrating oil/WD-40/Liquid wrench/Silicone spray etc..
NOTE: If you're considering aluminum rack bushings, it will move your rack 1/4" to the back and this will affect your toe setting of alignment. Be aware that you will need to get the car realigned if you do upgrade to the aliminum bushings. There are additional modifications needed that can be found here: http://www.miracerros.com/mustang/rack.htm
OPTIONAL but highly recommended FIX: As an additional step to the fix mentioned below. Grind about 1mm off the front of the new metal sleeves. The creaking noise is caused by the sleeves rubbing against the large metal washer at the front. Creating a space to avoid contact will resolve the issue. Having stiffer bushings also helps fix the problem, but as the front nut is tightened, the front washer is bound to make contact with the sleeve and cause this noise again. I highly recommend grinding out about 1mm off the front of the sleeves to avoid future contact with the washer.
Now onto the fix:
Drive stang onto ramp. Set parking brake. Also have a jackstand placed underneath somewhere strategic for additional safety.
1. Spray the long bolt and nut that is screwed onto it with some penetrating oil.
2. Unscrew the long bolt and remove it as shown. Rear (head of bolt) is a 15mm, front one is 18mm. Here is the nut, bolt and washer removed.
3. Remove the steering rack bushing. (Flathead screw driver)
4. Use pliers to pry the damn thing out
5. Comparo..OLD sleeve versus NEW sleeve
If you're replacing the bushings with new ones, you HAVE TO unbolt the steering wheel shaft where it bolts up to the rack and pinion.
It is a small 12mm or 13mm bolt that you have to remove first in order for the rack and pinion to move forward far enough to remove the bushings from the rear of the rack.
I suggest using some lock-tite (thread locker) on the screw's threads when you put that linkage back and bolt it up.
6. Slide the new sleeve in
7. All the way in
8. Install Steering rack bushing..I put new stock ones in and they still made some noise, I then had to re-do the job with PROTHANE (Urethane) bushings and it solved all issues. $15-20 for a set. Prothane part # 6-703 are recommended very highly
9. (A) Slide bolt back into the sleeve from the rear as shown
9. (B) *This step is optional, but HIGHLY recommended: Using a grinder or a file type of tool, Grind out 1mm from the front of the sleeve.
10. Install the big washer and nut to complete the process..
11. Bolted up and done...
Onto the next one..
(I took both sleeves out at the same time and used the jack stand placed under the steering rack to give it some extra support and to angle the rack properly in the extrication of the sleeves)
Should take about an hour or less depending on lighting and what tools you have available. Power tools will turn this job into a 25-35 min job from start to finish.
Last edited by 006; 08-15-2012 at 11:44 AM.
*BRAND NEW 2000 4.6L DOHC COBRA MOTOR w/ T45* 294.18 rwhp and 295.96 rwtq
*MAC catback*H&R Springs*Front Bilsteins, w/ Tokico rear illuminas*8.8 w/ 3.55's*MM CC plates*Subframes*Cobra F&R Brakes*
08-22-2007, 10:56 PM #2
Thanks for the write up, ill try this to see if my creek goes away"When Passing More Wind Is A Good Thing"
MGW Orange Handle, IRS Brace, MAC CB, JLT RAI, LFP H/E,....more to come
09-05-2007, 11:20 AM #3
Ahhh, I have that problem. Sweet, excellent writeup, many thanks.
Ack2003 White Cobra Convertible (Black top...tan sucks...white is inconceivable), #2384
Several rwhp/Much tq
1 of 108.
Proud Member of the Mid-Atlantic Cobra Association
09-05-2007, 11:37 AM #4
Parts are in stock. Any idea the TQ spec on those bolts? I'm lazy, I know, I know...
09-06-2007, 05:36 PM #5
Thanks for the write up, that makes me feel much more comfortable doing it.
09-14-2007, 03:02 PM #6
sweet this write is going to help me after I change my oil this weekend!!04 RedFire Cobra
#594 of 3768
10-05-2007, 09:23 PM #7
006, thank you sooo much for posting this up. My annoying creaking noise is now GONE after taking your advice and following your write up! Thanks again.1993 Vibrant Red Mustang Cobra
2003 DSG Terminator Coupe -- SOLD
Proud Member of the Mid-Atlantic Cobra Association
10-06-2007, 08:21 PM #8
Thanks! I've been dealing with this creak for a year - hopefully this solves it.
10-10-2007, 11:50 AM #9
You can also get the MM aluminum steering rack bushing kit and never have to repair that pos again..........it is like 60 bucks and it stiffens up the steering. Good writeup either way!2004 Black Cobra Vert gone but not forgotten, will be buying another one this year....
3.0 pulley, vrs offroad x pipe, mac 3 inch cb, jlt cai, MM rack bushings, H&R race springs, MM Irs subframe bushings, MM diff. bushings, Billetflow IRS brace, UPR quadrant and adjuster, MM FLSFC, MM shifter bushings, dynotuned SCT Xcal2
New Best Time 9-2-07: 1.81 60' 12.06 @ 117.3 Mph
455 rwhp/ 458 rwtq Tuned by Mustang Magic
2008 Trailblazer SS AWD Silverstone - JBA catback, IEATSRT8 intake, Efans, Vector Tune, 22" chrome replica wheels, KBEE coilovers, Addeco Rear Sway Bar 13.85 @ 101 mph!
11-19-2007, 10:36 PM #10
Sweet!!! Once again, this site gives me the knowlege I need. Thanks 006!
11-18-2009, 01:03 PM #11
11-18-2009, 10:35 PM #12
I actually just had this done by the dealer this past week. It still creaks, jsut not as bad as before. Definitely going to go with the MM aluminum rack bushing. How the hell do they consider it a fix if it still makes noie??
11-19-2009, 12:11 AM #13
11-28-2009, 01:28 PM #14
So should I get the sleeves AND the aluminum bushings or just the bushings? Car is going in storage tomorrow, but I'll buy the parts and do it first thing in the spring.
11-28-2009, 04:50 PM #15
11-29-2009, 01:20 AM #16
Yeah it's pointless to get new sleeves if you're doing the alum bushings because they will get cut anyway.
01-18-2010, 11:54 AM #17
- Join Date
- October 2009
- Katy, TX
FYI: For any of you with an aftermarket K member the aluminum may not be an option. I talked to MM a few days ago and they said due to the design of my UPR K member (and many others), I'm really limited to the rubber or polyurethane bushings unless I want to cut the rack mounting crush tubes off the front of the K. Hopefully this helps some people in their decision. I'll be going with the poly bushings and hoping it takes care of this annoying creak.
01-21-2010, 06:07 PM #18
The real problem is that the crush tubes move around after a while. The alum bushings pin them securely into the k-member but another way to resolve this is to weld them in place.
01-31-2010, 09:43 AM #19
Have done this mod before and fortunately while being very easy, it's also VERY curative. Time will tell how long the "cure" lasts....!
Last edited by whiplash306; 01-31-2010 at 09:52 AM.CURRENT CARS
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02-06-2010, 12:15 PM #20
I have been annoyed by this pop creak sound since I got the car - 25 bucks and an hour or two and the sound is gone completely. I wish i knew before how easy it was, I wouldnt have put up with it for so long! Thanks!!
03 Redfire Convertible Cobra - 434hp/466tq
Flowmaster 40 Delta Flow catback,
Maximum Motorsports IRS bushings (no more clunk!)
MGW orange shifter
LFP Dual Pass Heat Exchanger
LFP 2.8 Upper Pulley
Custom tune by Amazon Tuning Solutions
more to come...
99 Black/Tan Cobra Vert- Sold!
02-09-2010, 03:23 PM #21
- Join Date
- July 2004
More info all over
I just did mine last week, and I ground off about 3/8 off the original rack mounting pins, and used new urethane bushings. Big HUGE improvement.
I compared the new and old pins from Ford and could not see a difference. So I returned for credit.
Also if you get the tires off the ground you don't have to disconnect the rack from the steering wheel.
I did get my alignment done before and it was out after this mod, so save the money and your tires, check you alignment checked afterwards.
I also did the frame sway bar bushings, they were cracked, and the end links
I would forget the MM solid Aluminum ones, who need more noise.
Last edited by huben94; 02-09-2010 at 03:25 PM.2004 Cobra
Bassani X pipe
FR 500 Cat back
K & N FIPK
1994 Cobra Stolen
1985 LX 5.0 Sold
02-12-2010, 05:26 PM #22
I'm gonna have to try this cuz I have the same noise. Thanks for the write up, 006.Flowmaster Amer. Thunder cat-back, 18" Roush chrome wheels, 4:30 FRPP gears, Mac LT's, Mac o/r H-pipe, Steeda X2 balljoints, MM cc plates, MM alum rack bushings, forged bottom end: Manley rods, Diamond pistons.
02-14-2010, 07:19 PM #23
When looking up part#6-703 I found these two different parts. Which ones are the correct ones? Red or black?
Maximum Motorsports :: The Leader In Mustang Performance Suspension
Last edited by edswhite99; 02-14-2010 at 07:24 PM.
03-19-2010, 12:43 PM #24
I just installed the Prothane bushings while I was doing my oil change. I had a bit of a hard time with pretty much every step, but I assume that's because my car is not sparkly clean. I ended up not changing the rear bushing on the driver side because I couldn't pull the rack far enough forward, because I gave up trying to remove the sleeve, and because I didn't want to disconnect a ton of other parts.
I also had to thread the nuts onto the bolts a couple times each to get the bushings in all the way, because they don't just slide in and out like the stock rubber ones. In the end, I guess it wasn't all that hard. I was working in the driveway with the car up on jackstands. I haven't driven it yet to see what difference it made, so I'll share that next time.
03-19-2010, 12:45 PM #25