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2003 CRV EX Auto 300,000km still rollin'
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2003 gen II auto has 150,000 miles on the clock and the steering has been terrible for a while (shame on me). Oh and there is a rattle when I go off paved roads (read, tracks in the woods, down on the beach, gravel roads to cabins etc.) which I do a lot, (as I live in Norway).

I replaced the outer balljoints and the lower ball joints under the hub and even one slightly suspect front bearing. I set up the tracking exactly using parallel fishing lines and the camber is within tolerances. But still it grabbed at those white lines a little.

Time to read up. There is a little bit about this here and there on various Honda forums (I'm assuming this fix works for any steering rack with such a slipper or yoke setup. My local garage barely understood what I was talking about which worries me no end (although they only do the test for me) as I wonder how many perfectly serviceable steering racks end up in the parts bin as 'worn out' when in reality they could be adjusted.

Here is what I learned...

On the backside of the rack where the steering column meets the rack body itself, usually near where the power steering pipes go into the valve body is a huge 40mm lock nut with a smaller 14mm nut in the middle.

You’ll need a special tool for the locknut as there is not enough space to swing a fly, let alone a cat. I actually made my own 40mm spanner out of a 3mm thick big washer as I struggled to find one at a reasonable price (had I known how effective this fix was going to be, I’d have paid the shipping in a heartbeat though!).

Blade Rust Metal


Admittedly I removed the support bracket at the left end of the rack and slackened the other strap to allow a little more wiggle room for my ‘not-quite-100%-great-fit’ homemade wrench.

Once you’ve got access to the locknut, usually from the left hand front wheel well. Spray everything with WD40 and go grab a beer, I mean coffee. Then, using the 40mm spanner, back off the lock nut a little (mine wasn’t super tight, even though it looked all corroded up). Then I’d spray everything with WD40 again. Next up is to tighten and back off the 14mm central slipper/ yoke adjustment nut a few times to get it nice and free running (THIS IS IMPORTANT or you'll not know exactly when the slipper bolt is all the way home and you could overtighten it). I did this by semi laying on the battery/air filter/engine bay and reaching forward and under the rack largely by feel (no one said it was going to be easy!).

Once you’re happy the adjustment bolt is running free, run it all the way in until it’s just nipped up (specs for the Honda say 4nm, which isn’t much at all, barely more than hand tight) I ran it up and then just 'tweaked' the spanner, and yes; tweaked is an official technical technique... ;-)

Then you need to back the adjustment bolt off by 20 degrees. I folded a piece of paper over and over (into a slice of pizza shape) until it was 20 degrees on my kid’s protractor. Wiggle your spanner onto the adjustment one more time and holding up the paper ‘pizza’ gauge behind your wrench with the point on the bolt head, (line the right-hand side of the guide up to the spanner), back the adjustment nut off 20 degrees by holding the paper guide still and moving the spanner over to the left-hand side of the paper guide (are you following that?)

Text Line art Organism Font Diagram


Then comes the tricky part where you need to tighten up the 40mm lock nut WITHOUT moving the 14mm adjustment nut. Oh, where’s that extra pair of hands when you need them? Not that there is room for extra hands in there! It wasn’t too tricky actually, in the end, the lock nut pulled up tight and the spanner on the adjustment nut didn’t move. There is a square on the official HONDA tool to allow you to fit a torque wrench in there if you’re super keen.

The result? Oh, man, the rattle has gone and it steers like a new car (I know because I have the mother in laws new motor on loan for comparison!). Definitely worth finding or making this tool if you’ve got an ageing Honda and the steering is a little vague at motorway speeds.

Hope that helps point you in the right direction and remember, get everything nice and free first and don’t over tighten that centre nut, your steering needs to be firm and free of play, but not tight! If it feels tight, slacken off the nut a little more. If in doubt, of course, seek advice from a local professional, this is your cars steering after all!
Cheers
Ian
 

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Everything in Moderation
2006 CR-V EX, 5MT
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12,171 Posts
Great write up, THANKS.

Got a link to the special tool (so that we don't need to make our own)?




Back in the day, before rack & pinion steering became popular among automakers, it was often necessary to adjust the end play on recirculating-ball steering boxes, especially when they developed that 'dead' area straight-ahead...
 

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Registered
2003 CRV EX Auto 300,000km still rollin'
Joined
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182 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Found an image over on a Honda Prelude forum which shows a part number... Looks like it's 07AAA-TL2A100 or I've seen 07916-SA50001 also.
Tool


Gave me the idea to search a little wider than just CRV on the basis that the proceedure is probably similar for many of the high volume Hondas... (why didn't I think of that before lol!)

http://civic-eg.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=19324 has great pics of the tool (and I wish the access on the CRV was that good!).

https://honda-tech.com/forums/honda...ssive-steering-wheel-play-2000-civic-3297694/ (has some good pics)
 
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