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Squeaky steering rack squeaks when the steering is moved/steering wheel turned

11 January 2021
Ontario, Canada
I figured there had to be a thread on this but all I could find were these, that don't seem to my issue, & some threads on rack replacement, which I hope I'm not headed to - no clicking sound that I can detect:
- similar sounding problem but the squeek is inside the interior and coming from the cable reel.
- suggests that the problem could also be the wheel bearings and tie rods or the sway bar bushings and links.
- also suggested Steering Rack Bushings, https://www.scienceofspeed.com/inde...ed-steering-rack-bushing-kit-nsx-1991-05.html

In this case, the squeaking emanates from the steering system when turning the wheel. The electric power steering seems to be working fine. I didn't check with a spring scale (SM 17-26), but there is clearly a decrease in steering effort when the engine is running.

With the car on jack stands, it's very easy to turn the steering wheel - the squeaking is quite prominent. Nothing seems to be coming from inside the cabin or from the tie rods etc. The squeak seems to be coming from the steering rack, perhaps from the leftmost and rightmost aspects of it.

Coincidentally, I was looking at lubrication points on page 4-2 for my spring prep:
Items 7, 8, & 10 are Steering gearbox, Steering boots, and Steering ball joints. Sounds about right...

SM chapter 17 shows these instructions on p 17-59, which seem to apply to #8, the steering boots:
It's further zoomed in on p 17-62. Both show silicone grease and "steering grease", as opposed to the "Multi-purpose grease" mentioned on p 4-2.
I have ShinEtsu silicone grease from Honda. Local Honda dealer says the steering grease 08733-B070E has been DC'd and they just use generic grease.
I can't figure out what to put where exactly. I understand coating the inside of the boot (how thick?) but the arrow for the silicone grease seems to point to under the tube clamp where no sliding would take place, in contrast to the wording that says "sliding surface of the rack end"? I assume that's the rod that slides back into the rack when you turn. Turn one way to get it all the way out and grease it? Can anyone be a bit more specific wrt where to apply the greases? (Same for #13, intermediate shafts at the back?)

To lubricate #7, steering box?
Can anyone weigh in with page #'s in the SM or instructions on the web? (Hey Honda, how about a grease nipple? :smile:)

Thanks, Tim
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Look at page 17-60 of the SM. The silicone grease is just applied to the small end of the boot where it slides over the rack end. Its just to help with installation as oppose to any on-going lubrication. The use of the term sliding is unfortunate. They should have written to slide into place.

The 2018 version of Honda's Recommended Materials list includes

MOLYKOTE® 111 COMPOUNDFrom Dow Corning - High-viscosity lubricant for rubber-to-metal and plastic-to-metal contact. Also used for suspension bushings and brake system seals

Power Steering Grease 08C35-B0534L - The only recommended power steering grease because of cold weather properties. Only to be used on steering racks

The 1999 version of the RM list includes:

DC 111 Silicone Paste - High-viscosity lubricant for rubber-to-metal, and plastic-to-metalcontact. Also used for suspension bushings and brake systemseals (probably the same as Molykote - just a name change)

I have no clue as to what the PS grease is for that is listed in the 2018 RM. I might be inclined to go with what your local Acura dealer suggests.

I can't open your photo files - Google asks me for a password. By ball joint, do you mean tie rod ends? If you pop the tie rod end off the knuckle you may be able to squeeze a grease needle down between the tapered shaft and the outside rubber boot to fill it with grease. However, if the noise is coming from the tie rod end I would probably be inclined to just replace it. I was going to suggest that you actually check the tie rod ends first as a source for the noise just because replacement / greasing is so much easier than getting into the rest of the rack.
The manual has changed?!?

Perplexing that my shared photos won't open. I opened them on my wife's computer fine and I didn't set any restrictions that I know of. I replaced the link to my pic of p 17-59 (your 17-60 I believe) with the page from Oddomatik's searchable 91-96 manual. I can't wait for the Prime update that will allow me to upload pictures.

Interestingly, the chart on page 4-2 of Oddomatik's 91-96 manual is different from my 1995 manual that had me so perplexed. Item 7 seems to have changed from "steering box" to "steering box (manual)". Perhaps this is only appropriate to models with manual steering? The "manual" doesn't appear to apply to manual transmissions, as the transmission-specific points 5, 6, & 11 are noted with "(M/T)" and "(A/T)", so perhaps it applies to manual steering models. So perhaps there is no lubrication I can apply at point 7 on my 1995 EPS-equipped NSX?
If there is nothing that can be done for item 7, I'll update my manual.
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So, opened up the boot & it's bone dry. Going in for an alignment on Wednesday so I'll have them repack it with whatever they suggest. If the squeak stays, I guess it's off to NSXrackrepair next winter.
Bone dry as in there never was any grease or bone dry as in the volatile / carrier portion of the grease had disappeared just leaving thickner?

This is the 17-60 that I was referring to.


Shows the silicone grease applied to the boot end presumably to aid installation and the no longer available grease presumably packed into the boot.

You could send a PM to Kaz to see if he has a specific recommendation as to a substitute grease.

I am able to up-load photos directly to the Prime server using the Go Advanced function.
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Your 17-60 is my 17-61, a zoom of 17-59. 17-59 also identifies that "grease" should be applied to the rack end, in addition to the "steering grease" coating the boot and the lithium grease to insert the rod. It's p 17-68 here:

Bone dry - don't think there was ever grease in there. I think the rack was changed 15 years ago for a previous owner.

Honda now says the replacement Power Steering Grease 08C35-B0534L is also not available. Some sort of quality control/availability issue. We'll see what Kaz says.
The 08C35-B0534L grease is currently listed by a number of US vendors. Of course, that does not mean that it is available. Price is only about $12 US$ so might be worth a try ordering it.
FWIW I recently bought this grease. It was not so easy to find a place that had it and had reasonable shipping. I bought the updated part number 08C35-B0534L from Hondapartsnow.com, grease was $12 and shipping was $12.65 to Northern California. I bought some other nonsense to make the shipping cost feel worthwhile. Pics!


Thanks Bogle, especially for the pics. OEMacura has it as well. I can spare the $25 to do it right (double that to Canada), but I'm concerned that Honda isn't selling it anymore. Both my local Honda and Acura dealers told me they could not get it due to some "withdrawal" and implied some sort of Q/C issue that either it wasn't made properly or that Honda was no longer recommending it for this application.

What seems strange is that the tube label and Honda 2018 Recommended Materials list emphasise its cold usefulness, down to -40 C (also -40 F). Who's driving an NSX below freezing? It also says not to let it get over 40 C (104 F), which seems very likely if the rad fan kicks in when it's hot out. 40 C would occur just parking in Phoenix. Hmmm.
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What were they recommending in its place? I’m no grease expert, is there an aftermarket grease similar in formulation to this “mineral oil in a lithium-type soap”? Maybe that’s just all lithium greases…..

Nsx rack repair uses a moly grease for the rack, specifically “Swepco Moly 101”. Which I would have used if there was no grease already in the rack.
The 08C35-B0534L grease is a recommended product for use on racks on a lot of Honda products. It is definitely not NSX specific so the -40C flowability has general value. Since you (and 99.9% of NSX drivers) don't drive in really cold temperatures perhaps it is safe to ignore the -40C requirement and just select a grease that is friendly to rubber. The only thing that looks like it is actually lubricated by the grease is that thing that looks like a bushing on the rack end (the arrow from the grease gun points to it on 15-59). That would be a sliding load so its not a heavy load point. Since your bone dry rack is currently free of any kind of grease at that point just about any kind of grease is going to be better than your current situation.

The +40C limit is strange. The rack on my Son's RSX is located up and behind the engine so I expect that it gets very toasty back there during stop and go traffic on a summer day. Perhaps the +40C recommendation is with respect to the storage conditions. right along side the recommendations about not eating it. The whole don't eat business used to baffle me until I ran into somebody who boasted that they had in the past intentionally consumed some STP oil treatment. My initial reaction was to ask why; but, I didn't bother because it occurred to me that the reason was going to be equally stupid.
I agree the most important aspect would be rubber compatibility, and a grease that won't run down to the bottom of the boot and sit, since the steering boot doesn't rotate. Can't see the boot putting much pressure on anything to require moly grease. Inside the steering rack though, moly would make sense, along with on the rod extended from the rack that will run on the bushing. I better make a decision before I miss this summer driving season!