Sign in to follow this  
Ian747

Knock when release steering wheel - MK7 2011

Recommended Posts

When turning the wheel there's no knocking noise at all and no play in the steering, but when release the wheel or turn it back to centre there's an audible dull knock noise (sometimes one, sometimes two) and feel it through the steering wheel. 

From what I've seen elsewhere, this could be the EPAS under the steering wheel, or one of the CV joints at top or bottom of the steering column (re-grease or replace), or the splines in the column (re-grease) or the steering rack itself, or even possibly top strut joint or track rods.

Garage says it's the steering rack, and because that's electronic in the Mk7 its an expensive repair (quoted £1,100) , euro car parts website has a steering rack for the Mk7 listed for £250 or £150 so wonder if they mean the EPAS unit at top of the steering column rather than the steering rack, a site that sells refurb EPAS units says it's the steering column frequently fails and causes the symptoms, but most posts I see are either the steering column needing re-greased, replace its CV joints or the steering rack itself.

Had a look to see if could DIY it but there's an airbag in the cover in front of the steering column.

115k miles on the clock.

It's already had clutch & water pump, timing belt, wishbones & track rod, front brake discs + brakes, bushes & suspension springs replaced in the last year, so there isn't much left to replace.

Is the steering rack in the Mk7 electronic and a ~£1,000 part or is it the EPAS under the steering wheel that's the electronic part?

I don't really want to spend £1,100 to replace the steering rack to find out it's the EPAS unit that costs another £1,000, especially not if it's a £50 fix.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

has the steering column  shaft been lubricated with a bit of grease? 9/10 times thats all it is. 5 minute job, lock steering so it doesnt move, undo lower pinchbolt in footwell that links column shaft to steering rack. slide off, then pull the shaft down( no more than 60mm aparently)  apply a little grease to the shaft where it slides inside each other. work the shaft up and down  few times to get the grease in. refit and try it. cost you nothing and it may fix your issue. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, iantt said:

has the steering column  shaft been lubricated with a bit of grease? 9/10 times thats all it is. 5 minute job, lock steering so it doesnt move, undo lower pinchbolt in footwell that links column shaft to steering rack. slide off, then pull the shaft down( no more than 60mm aparently)  apply a little grease to the shaft where it slides inside each other. work the shaft up and down  few times to get the grease in. refit and try it. cost you nothing and it may fix your issue. 

Yeah spot on in my case, had mine in at the Ford dealer and even they could not solve the issue. I cleaned all the old grease away and put in some new stuff for piece of mind. The old stuff was full of visible metal filings. The bottom pinch bolt on the UJ was also loose! 

It's just as easy and more accessible to remove the column in its entirety to perform the operation. Just make the sure the steering lock is on before you remove for obvious reasons 😂 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cheers Ian / Nick, will post an update once it’s working ok and what it took to sort it. I suspect it’s the lower union joint that’s siezing up so greasing the whole lot definately worth a shot.

A few sites say that need to replace the pinch bolt and not re-use it for safety reasons, bolts HB1 (top of shaft) and HB2 (bottom of shaft) don’t seem to be easily available, a site in the US and one in Europe sell them though. HB1 is apparently M12 x 65mm (though a video said this bolt requires a torx bit to remove), a parts site in Europe said HB2 was M12 x 110mm but that doesn’t sound right.

I had a look at prices on the fordparts site which has offical ford parts, so it looks like the garage just made a mistake and quoted for a complete steering *column* assembly ($800) rather than a steering *rack* which they and the mechanic said i needed ($400 dropping to $250 if return part, or £125/250 for aftermarket part from eurocarparts). Steering shaft on the ford parts site is less than $100. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Ian747 said:

Cheers Ian / Nick, will post an update once it’s working ok and what it took to sort it. I suspect it’s the lower union joint that’s siezing up so greasing the whole lot definately worth a shot.

A few sites say that need to replace the pinch bolt and not re-use it for safety reasons, bolts HB1 (top of shaft) and HB2 (bottom of shaft) don’t seem to be easily available, a site in the US and one in Europe sell them though. HB1 is apparently M12 x 65mm (though a video said this bolt requires a torx bit to remove), a parts site in Europe said HB2 was M12 x 110mm but that doesn’t sound right.

I had a look at prices on the fordparts site which has offical ford parts, so it looks like the garage just made a mistake and quoted for a complete steering *column* assembly ($800) rather than a steering *rack* which they and the mechanic said i needed ($400 dropping to $250 if return part, or £125/250 for aftermarket part from eurocarparts). Steering shaft on the ford parts site is less than $100. 

going to try it and use some medium strength loctite threadlocker, if it fixes it, will look at getting the shaft replaced before replacing the more expensive steering rack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ford state changing the bolt, the new one comes with a threadlock already applied, so your basicaly doing the same thing. like we used to years ago, having a bottle of threadlock on hand using our initiative to apply the right amount. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Removed the lower pinch bolt, but the lower union joint isn't going anywhere, either the shaft is completely seized for up / down movement, seized onto the steering rack, or need more brute force to move it. Will remove the top bolt and try pulling it down from the top in a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Ian747 said:

Removed the lower pinch bolt, but the lower union joint isn't going anywhere, either the shaft is completely seized for up / down movement, seized onto the steering rack, or need more brute force to move it. Will remove the top bolt and try pulling it down from the top in a bit.

Covered the hole in the hole in the floor all around the joint with some thick paper towels then sprayed a tiny bit of WD40 penetrating grease on the front of the joint, left it for 10 minutes then pulled off easily.

Now onto the top bolt, which looks like it needs a low width wratchet / socket..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I normally leave the top one on. And work the grease in the slide working it in and out 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, iantt said:

I normally leave the top one on. And work the grease in the slide working it in and out 

That's what I did too, I did try and remove it but couldn't get the socket to go onto the bolt as socket / wrench too wide for the space.

I didn't need to though as it's fixed it, no more knocking, so cheers Guys, you're awesome!!

What I did:

Put paper towels from halfords round the joint so the bolt doesn't fall down into the steering rack.

Removed bottom joint with a normal wrench and 12 hex socket.

Pulled off UJ (tiny bit of penetrating wd40 required first, left for 5-10m, possibly not required, may just have needed more brute force)

Applied silicon grease to shaft (gel not spray) and covered it all round and 6cm length of bottom of shaft, pulling down no more than 6cm, moved shaft all the way up, then no more then 6cm down, multiple times, cleaned it off when saw the grease turning a bit black, then repeated this 3 or 4 times.

Cleaned the removed bolt, applied medium strength threadlocker to 3 or 4 threads, where original threadlocker was the next two threads below it.

Cleaned the union joint, sprayed on a bit of silicon spray, checked it had free movement.

Put the joint back on the steering rack (took a bit of time but got there, push it down so spine is level with top of joint you'll know if it's far enough down as the screw won't go in otherwise)

Put the screw back on, hand tighten then spanner then socket, then torque wrench set to 34nm.

Took it for a test drive to a quiet area, turned wheel at low speeds, no knocking.

I'll take it to a steering / wheel place to get all the alignment checked etc so it gets a professional once over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thats saved you how much!!! lol 

something so minor can cause such a horrible noise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this