Split or perished gators are now an MOT failure item as damage to their integrity can allow water to seep into the sealed unit and cause corrosion which will result in excessive wear on the toothed steering rack and lead to an unacceptable amount of play in the steering which becomes a safety issue on a vehicle.
To gain access to the gator requires the track rod to be detached from the suspension – this was explained last month and involves loosening the locking but on the track rod where it attaches to the steering arm and releasing the ball joint that unites them.
Once this is free the gator can be removed from its position around the steering rack by sliding it over the and off the track rod .
The existing gaiter will normally be attached either by jubilee clips which will need to be unscrewed or cable ties which will need to be cut.
With the old gator removed this is the ideal opportunity to apply a good helping of grease to the steering rack itself. Older model MGs featured a lubricating point on the rack but later models do not. With this done slide on the new gator and secure in place with jubilee clips or cable ties.
The steering track gator kit costs £7.50 plus VAT and comes with two gators – if done in isolation the replacement should take about one and a half to two hours to accomplish or just a few minutes if done at the same time as replacing the track rod ends.