|Originally posted by Bloozberry:|
Perhaps the preload isn't correct on the pinion, causing it to bind or even skip a tooth... in either case it would be very dangerous to drive with it like that. It might also be that the roller bearing that guides the pinion is worn out, or perhaps even one of the two U joints on the intermediate steering shaft is worn out. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, just say so and I can post some schematics.
I thought I set the preload correctly according to the manual, but I agree that I think it's either the preload or the bearing. It was doing the same things before I took the rack out, and I disconnected the lock bolt inside the car when I removed the rack so I've had a good look at the U joints. If the U joints failed I would think that it would be pretty obvious when I took them out.
I'm probably going to have to take my car to a shop. All of my tools are 2 hours of one lane highway driving away, and I'm sure as hell not driving that with my car in this condition!