Steering rack clamp and brace installation on the 1996 Saab 900. Parts from Taliaferro, Powerflex and MP Performance.

Tools:

  • 19 mm wrench: lower nut on the Taliaferro clamp;
  • 13 mm socket: clamp bolts;
  • 11 mm socket and wrench: brace to fender bolt;
  • car jack and stands;
  • ratchet handle.
28.06.2006
Clamp and brace

Taliaferro clamp and brace kit. The aluminium clamp eliminates the play of the steering rack, and the brace reinforces the attachment so the load is not placed on the firewall alone.
01.04.2005
Clamp and brace

An older design by MP Performance, it's not available for sale anymore. It also had some clearance problems with the brace (see below).
01.04.2005
Under the hood

Raise the car. Locate the top bolt on the steering rack clamp and remove it. In theory, the lower nut can also be removed with the front wheels on the ground, but it much easier from below (raising the car also gives you the access under the fender for the brace). Undo the lower nut and remove the clamp.
01.04.2005
Clamps

Left: a clamp from the 94-96 900. Right: a clamp from the 97-2002 900/9-3. Apparently, when the rack design changed in the 1997, Saab kept the clamp and increased the size of the bushing. As the result, newer cars have the rack attached by a piece of jelly. Below is the MP clamp for 94-96 900. The clamp for newer cars would be smaller in size and have a greater effect on reducing the play in the steering.
01.04.2005
From below

Install the new backing plate and the clamp. The steering rods and hoses on top of the rack make it difficult to insert the clamp from above, but t's quite easy from under the car. Attach the hose tie -- it used to be under the clamp, but it didn't seem to fit well under the MP clamp.
28.06.2006
Lower nut

Shown here is the Taliaferro clamp (the engine is removed on this car ;). The clamp is very thick, so it comes with an oddly shaped lower nut to accommodate a short stud under the steering rack.
01.04.2005
Rivet

Locate the top right rivet around the opening for the tie rod. If you can't just pull it out, cut it from under the fender, and the head will fall out on the engine side.
01.04.2005
Brace

Attach the brace to the clamp using the bolt that's supplied with the kit. The bolt is longer than the original to compensate for extra thickness of the brace. It also has threadlock on it. Do not tighten the bolt yet.
01.04.2005
Nut

Attach the other end of the brace to the fender and tighten the nut on it. It seems like a good idea to apply some loctite on the thread too.
28.06.2006
Brace installed

Tighten the clamp to 18 ft-lbs. This picture also demonstrates how the Taliaferro brace is designed for extra clearance above the steering rod. The following two images show what happens if there is not enough clearance.
03.07.2005
Bent brace

If the brace is straight, it cuts right across the steering rod window. A couple of months after installing my first brace, I discovered that the rod was hitting the brace in sharp turns. The brace had a major clearance issue.
13.09.2005
Bent brace

Here's the brace off the car. You can see that it's visibly bent and seriously scuffed.
28.06.2006
Clamp

If you want to further firm up the steering, you can replace the driver side steering rack bushing. It's located right next to the steering column at the firewall, under the fuse box.
28.06.2006
Lower nut

If your car is not all apart like mine, you might find it easier to access the bolts through the steering rod opening.
28.06.2006
Rubber bushing

Once the clamp is off, pull the rubber bushing that wraps around the steerng rack.
28.06.2006
Powerflex

Powerflex makes a nice polyurethane replacement for this bushing, catalog part PFF66-412 ("Steering rack mounting - flat bottom").
28.06.2006
Installed

Apply the grease supplied in the kit and put the bushing on.
28.06.2006
Clamp

Tighten the clamp to 18 ft-lbs. If you removed BOTH clamps, attach the driver side first.

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