I have a riddle for you, don't peek at the answer. What's long, loose, and has four balls?
My old steering rack! Okay so it wasn't clever, even slightly funny, nor made a bit of sense but I never said I had highly developed sense of humor. I do, however, have a highly developed sense of ugly and THIS is ugly!
Every ball joint is loose and all the dust boots are cracked and leaking. Fortunately, I bought a set of tie rods and a roller idler arm as part of my big OpenTracker purchase. Being the frugal person I am, however, I didn't purchase a new center link. Instead, I opted to restore my original. First I had to remove the old tie rods and idler arm.
Then I worked it over with my bench grinder wire wheel and then finished it up with my angle grinder's knotted carbon steel wire brush.
I then coated it with a self-etching primer. Additionally, I cleaned the new tie rods and idler arms with lacquer thinner and etched them as well. I decided that if I'm going to paint the center link, everything should at least match, right? I mean, I'm not metro or anything like that but my car is.
Finally, everything got 2 coats of Cast Blast. See? Looks like new don't they? Well, I KNOW most of them are new.
I couldn't help but loosely assemble them to see how they go together.
And then I couldn't help but install the assembly in the car. Hmm... something's missing. Anybody? Bueller? Right, the steering gear box is AWOL. I sent it to Stanger53, the best damned steering box rebuilder in Texas! Heck... the U.S.! Heck... the WORLD! But... he's a busy guy.
No hurry though. I've got plenty to do before I need to steer this beast. I didn't torque any of the steering rack components down yet because I've decided to await the steering box to torque it all down as a set for no particular reason. Here's the semi-completed front suspension with all components attached.