Properly Maintaining Your Micro Sprint Rack & Pinion
Micro sprint racers, do you ever service your rack and pinion? If you have a Stallard Chassis Micro Sprint Rack and Pinion, part number 960002 or 960005, or one that is similar. It is good practice to service it once every 2-3 races. These rack and pinions are not sealed, unlike the axle mount style rack and pinions, so dirt and grit will inevitably get inside.
If left unattended, the abrasiveness from the dirt and grit will cause the internal parts to wear quicker. This will contribute to free play or “slop” in your steering. You will also have an increase of dirt build up that will pack into the housing on both sides of the rack. Eventually you will lose the amount of throw you have from left lock to right lock when steering both directions. To ensure you maximize the longevity of your rack and pinion, prevent slop, failures, and excessive wear, here are a few simple steps you can follow every 2-3 races:
- Uninstall rack and pinion from race car
- Disassemble rack and pinion
- Clean rack and pinion gears and housing thoroughly with parts washer or with a parts cleaning solution (Brake cleaner, marvel mystery oil, WD-40 all work well as substitutes).
- Visually inspect gears, input shaft, and housing for damage and stressed or fatigued areas
- Spread light film of grease over rack and pinion gears, and inside of housing halves (White lithium or similar light weight grease works best)
- Re-assemble rack and pinion
- Prior to re-installation, visually inspect lower U-Joint that mates with input shaft for damage or fatigue, as well as the input shaft
- Re-install rack and pinion
This is a great preventative maintenance routine that everyone should get into the habit of doing. This quick and easy process will ensure that your race car will steer properly every weekend you race and will also ensure that you do not put other racers at risk. The more thorough you make your weekly preventative maintenance routine, the more you minimize your chances for failures, and maximize your opportunities to win races. Races are won in the shop!