Classic Rolls-Royce and Bentley are known for their refined elegance. The first thing you notice is the hushed silence that envelops the cabin. An engine that purrs to life with a gentle hum, you can feel the power at your command, yet it chooses to move with dignified grace rather than brash aggression. The suspension glides over imperfections with an almost imperceptible whisper, ensuring that every journey is a journey in comfort. The steering, is a marvel of engineering, effortlessly responding to your touch with precision and grace, allowing you to navigate the narrowest streets or twisting roads with ease.

At Flying Spares, we aim to deliver components and parts that will help maintain the refinement that Rolls-Royce and Bentley are known for. This can be challenging, but we like a challenge at Flying Spares. One of our most recent was to overcome a long-standing issue we faced with reconditioned steering racks. The overall ‘feel’ wasn’t quite right and didn’t live up to the original. We had also experienced issues with a small percentage of steering racks leaking after a few months of operation. 

We tasked our Technical service department with solving this issue. They went back to the drawing board; and invested in testing equipment and training. Spent over 18 months stripping down, rebuilding, and testing racks to learn why some would leak and how to get that steering ‘feel’ right. Based on what they had discovered we then had new tools made specifically for rebuilding racks and developed new methods for the build and setup. 


The Rebuild Process

New olives and seals are fitted to the pinion housing. New bearings and sealing rings are fitted to the pinion using specially made tools. The shims, with new gaskets, are then set up and adjusted to give the correct rotational force of the pinion. New bearing rings are also fitted to the ‘rack bar’, and again, using specially made tools, the rack bar is fitted to the steering rack body. The teeth on the pinion and rack bar are coated in manual-specific grease.

The pinion assembly is then aligned with the ‘rack bar’ in the rack to ‘dead centre’, and the rotational force is again checked, and adjusted, if necessary. All bolts/nuts are torque-tightened to manual spec. Rotational forces are also measured to manual spec.

Some racks have external shims or an adjuster, which are set up to manual spec. New bellows, centre block seal, O-rings, and end caps are fitted to the rack. The ‘feet’ are then aligned, and the end cap is torque-tightened.

The rack will then go through a series of bench tests. The test machine replicates the condition in which the rack would be on the car. The rack is assessed for leaks and smoothness. After testing, the rack is cleaned, prepped for paint, and painted in our spray booth. Finally, the rack is bagged and boxed up ready for the customer.

The final stage was a 2000-mile test on our Silver Spirit development car which finished with a road trip to Essex to get the seal of approval from the UK’s most prestigious Rolls-Royce and Bentley heritage dealer. We are so confident with the quality of our steering racks that each comes with our 3-year Flying Spares Warranty, so you can shop and drive with confidence.

Our in-house steering racks are currently available for LHD & RHD  Silver Shadow II & Bentley T2 variants, and also Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit and  Bentley SZ variants