Rack N Pinion Question [Archive] - GrandAmGT.com Forum


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03-03-2004, 06:09 AM
Was wondering what the rack n pinion exactly was and if it goes bad can it cause a shimmy in the steering wheel when driving? How expensive is a new one? Is there anyway to check to see if it needs replaced?


Black Z28
03-03-2004, 06:11 AM
the rack and pinion is part of your steering assembly, its at the end of the steering column and uses gearing. does the shimmy only happen when braking? if so, you have warped brake rotors, if it does it all the time, you may need an alignment or tire balancing. i've never heard of the rack and pinion causing a shimmy

03-03-2004, 09:42 AM
The shimmying occures when I am at speed of 55+mph. I have has an alignment, the wheels balanced twice, and the rimz checked. The only thing I can think of causing this is the tires.

Your thoughts?

03-03-2004, 11:20 AM
Tires, I can't see the rack causing that problem.

03-03-2004, 02:14 PM
Why does it only shimmy bad at high speeds if it is the tires?

03-03-2004, 03:20 PM
Try rotating the fronts to the back to see if it changes.

03-04-2004, 06:17 AM
It changed a little but it still shimmys.

03-04-2004, 03:40 PM
Finally, someone that is thinking the same thing with the steering rack! I think there is something wrong with the racks on some or all of these cars. I've had several sets of tires, alignments, & balances & car still shimmies. I have goodyears. What kind do you have?

03-04-2004, 05:26 PM
This thread seems like an extension of mine. With ras2002GT using different sets of tires, me using 2 different brands of tires and different wheels and getting the same problem both of us have, there's gotta be something else wrong.

Is there anything in the drive-train that could be causing such a problem. If the wheels were receiving inconsistent torque, could this cause a problem like this?

Let me know if you discover anything.


03-04-2004, 07:10 PM
Yeah it's another extension of the previous post, but if there is excessive play inside the steering rack itself, then it will "nibble" just enough to be felt through the steering wheel. When I drove with the 03 GAGT, I had my left hand at the 12 o'clock position with my index finger pointed straight out and traveling at 70mph. Same scenerio with my 02 and my finger moves like crazy. As soon as I put a load on the steering wheel (move it left/right) it stops moving. Curious?!

03-05-2004, 06:17 AM
So when you make a turn the steering wheel stops shaking?

03-05-2004, 07:43 AM
Not neccessarily a turn, just if I "jerk" the wheel to the left/right when driving straight.

03-05-2004, 10:47 AM
Weird...don't know. I've had everything checked, rimz, balanced, aligned, and nothing helps. I'm taking it to get tires on this weekend, and it better fix it! I'll tell them to check the rack and whatever else they think may be causing it. If they put on tores and it doesn't fix it, I will ask for my money back. I'll let you guys no how it went. What else do you think I should ask them to check that could be causing this?

03-05-2004, 10:50 AM
This is what happened to my cousin last nite. He was at wal-mart and he ****ed up the rack and pinion by passing thru a bump. He called me but I wasn't home. So today he taking the car to the dealer. He's all ****ed and to finalize it, his ex-chic egged his car.

03-05-2004, 10:53 AM
Well, I called 2 Pontiac dealers and it turns out that 2000-2002 GT had the same part # rack and pinion, but in 2003 it has changed to a new part #. Interesting, huh??!! I need to find out how I can get GM or Pontiac to replace mine under warranty.

03-05-2004, 01:06 PM
How much would a new one cost? How does he know he messed up the rack and not just a bent rim?

03-05-2004, 01:20 PM
I just called the dealership and they quoted me between $700 and $800!!!

03-05-2004, 01:35 PM
Yeah, I know...the dealership down here wants $1000 for it. I just went to a GM store & I know someone there...he printed me up a parts schematic of the rack and pinion. I may attempt to install a shim behind the pre-load dampner in the next couple of weeks. It'll be interesting to see if this fixes the problem. I work
with someone who used to be a field service rep for a luxury import company and he said this is what should be done.

03-05-2004, 01:57 PM
Of course, I need to find out first if the rack n pinion has a dampner to begin with. If anyone knows, let me know.

03-08-2004, 06:12 AM
Just had it checked this weekend. Turns out the tires are feathering on the outside, causing the vibration at high speeds. Sucks, cause the tires have a lot of tread left on them, but I can't take the vibrating steering wheel, so I will probably get 2 new tires for the front.

Thanks for the help everyone.

03-08-2004, 10:27 AM
I would suspect either inner or outer tie rods before the rack itself. The reason the part number changed in 2003 is that the 2003's do not have the variable effort steering anymore, not because of a quality problem.

03-08-2004, 10:41 AM
According to Pontiac, the 03 do have variable power steering still.

03-08-2004, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by ras2002GT
According to Pontiac, the 03 do have variable power steering still.

Well, they don't, at least the ones built the second half of the model year they don't. Who did you talk to at Pontiac? Or better yet, who at Delphi Saginaw Steering?

03-09-2004, 05:45 AM
This is according to specs listed on-line at several sites with Pontiac specs & at the Pontiac dealer parts department where a description of the parts are listed.

03-09-2004, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by ras2002GT
This is according to specs listed on-line at several sites with Pontiac specs & at the Pontiac dealer parts department where a description of the parts are listed.

Please post links to these sites, if my car has it, its not working.... and the omitted it from the sticker....

03-09-2004, 12:11 PM

03-10-2004, 05:14 AM

Cut & paste this in your address and go down to steering!

03-10-2004, 05:18 AM
That was for an 04 GAGT, click on this link as well for an 03 GAGT

03-10-2004, 08:56 AM
Unfortunately that data is pulled from some generic database and is not the most up to date. Show me where at the Pontiac Website it shows variable assist...

That site also says its supposed to have a trunk net, which they don't. I guess I don't even know why I am arguing, I have a 2003 and you don't.

03-12-2004, 02:14 PM
Pontiacs website is pretty generic on what they show, I'm not arguing with you, but it is ironic that two different pontiac dealerships show that part # for an 03 GAGT to have variable assist steering....