PDA

View Full Version : Power Steering Rack Installation



DrFishbone
11-03-2008, 02:06 PM
I just finished instaling a new power steering rack in my wife's SC and just wanted to document these thoughts...maybe someone else can add to them even. Next time I do it, I'll probably look up this post! ;)

First of all...if you're an impatient person, don't try to do it all from underneath the car with the engine completely assembled! You'll break something! (ex: ps fittings, knuckles, windows, drywall) If you plan on taking the engine out...then would be a good time to replace the stinking thing! :D

I've read a few posts where people had a hard time getting the rack out and a worse time getting it in - how true! If I had it to do over again I would:

1. Clean everything very well before removal or at least before installation
2. Plan on changing at least the oil filter and possibly flushing the coolant
3. Disconnect everything in the vicinity of the fittings

After much struggle removing the dumb thing, I removed the oil filter and unscrewed (but didn't remove) the oil cooler...then the rack came out with some wriggling

After much more struggle getting the rack in, I found everywhere that I could loosen something in the oil filter area to give myself room to work. I didn't want to remove the IC, etc, but I think this may make the job a good deal easier. After getting the PS lines under the oil pan and the wiring harnesses pulled out of the way, and doing a little bending on the tubing to the fitting, I finally safely got the fitting screwed into the rack. (it took me 2.5 hours just to get the highpressure line screwed into the rack!!)

Another idea - with the sway bar removed, this may be easier (if you have small hands) You may be able to reach into the hole where the sway bar passes through.

TbirdSCFan
11-03-2008, 11:00 PM
I didn't want to remove the IC, etc, but I think this may make the job a good deal easier. Everything on the car is easier to work on with the IC and tubes removed.. With me its just automatic.

(it took me 2.5 hours just to get the highpressure line screwed into the rack!!) Thats not too bad at all :D

frdlvr30
11-03-2008, 11:06 PM
Dropping the K-member is the only way to go when doing this with the drivetrain still installed. Sorry you had to go through all of that man....2.5hrs for the hp fitting alone!!! I would have gone out back and shot myself in the foot or something so i'd feel better....

DrFishbone
11-04-2008, 08:26 AM
Now I'll just try to forget about it...;)

Looks like I need to change the power steering pump too... it's a good bit better, but still doesn't feel quite right...at least I tried the hard one first!:D

DrFishbone
11-11-2008, 05:00 PM
Alright, I've now also replaced the power steering pump and EVO actuator with assumed good used ones. The car is still hard to turn after all this... power steering pump was a little noisy for awhile, but quieted down now. My wife complained that it was very hard to turn when in the driveway. Would new inner tie rod ends make it very hard to turn in parking lot scenarios? Has anyone else installed a new PS pump and steering rack on an SC? If so, what were the short and long term results?

I've read about the reman'd racks being bad out of the box....is this a possiblity?

S_Mazza
11-11-2008, 05:20 PM
You could have a binding ball joint.

KMT
11-11-2008, 05:27 PM
>Would new inner tie rod ends make it very hard to turn in parking lot scenarios?

Did you make an effort to index anything...?

DrFishbone
11-12-2008, 07:47 PM
>Would new inner tie rod ends make it very hard to turn in parking lot scenarios?

Did you make an effort to index anything...?

Index as in check outer tie-rod end locations? -Yes, unless you mean something else.

The ball joints all look and feel good and I replaced the uppers a couple of weeks ago, although they were fine except torn boots (still tight anyway)

I'm thinking the used pump put in was bad. It makes a good deal of noise when trying to turn the steering wheel. I've had the fluid go low often in one of my other cars and know what they sound and feel like with the fluid low, and this is different. With the fluid low in the other car, when turning sharp in the parking lot, it would bog the engine down and get slightly harder to turn. With this car, it bogs the engine down, gets very very difficult to turn and the pump makes a noisy whirring sound. Fluid level is just right. So anyway, I'm going to try buying a reman'd pump tonight and see what happens. That pump I put on had been in storage for several years and was a reman'd itself...so maybe some seals or something tried up while in storage.

KMT
11-12-2008, 08:13 PM
>Index as in check outer tie-rod end locations? -Yes, unless you mean something else.

Did you confirm that the tie-rod ends were indexed/aligned in a neutral/centered position when the steering wheel and front wheels were centered and pointed straight ahead... This also means that both tie-rod ball joints were relaxed and flat with each other at the mid-point of their allowable pivot range. It sounds like you did that.

Your description of the problem now indicates to me that something else is binding, and the pump is just complaining about having too much work to do.

What happens when you try to turn the steering wheel with the engine running, suspension loaded and the front wheels off the ground?

What happens with the engine off? Be careful trying this as I believe the pump will puke fluid when this is done...

DrFishbone
11-13-2008, 09:44 AM
;What happens when you try to turn the steering wheel with the engine running, suspension loaded and the front wheels off the ground?

What happens with the engine off? Be careful trying this as I believe the pump will puke fluid when this is done...

The pump makes the loud whirring with the wheels off the ground too. I don't think I've tried it with the wheels off the ground with the engine off since I swapped PS pumps, so I'll try that when I get it back in the garage. And yes - it does puke with the engine off :eek::rolleyes::D

If it is difficult to turn with the wheels off the ground, I assume the next step is to detach the tie rod ends and try to turn again?

I don't know, but I'm still thinking that the pump is the problem. The noise it makes is different than any properly working SC that I've had...even with the fluid low. I bought a reman'd one last night, but I'm thinking about saving it for my most specialist SC and putting a known-working pump on it. Since I'll have the other car apart anyway, I guess I might as well save the new, lifetime warranty stuff to the car I'm going to keep for a lifetime...:rolleyes:

Does anyone know if/ where you can buy the teflon seals that you're supposed to replace on the fittings/actuator?

Ira R.
12-03-2008, 10:29 AM
May I ask how this project is coming....??

Ira

DrFishbone
12-03-2008, 01:48 PM
I need to get back on it...I don't think I have any updates since I last posted.

My wife has been driving it and not complaining, but when I drive it, the hard steering when not in motion bothers me. I bought a new PS pump, but haven't installed it yet. I also need to grease the outer tie rod ends...that might help a little, but I'm sure that's not the problem. With the car jacked up, it's not as easy to turn as it should be either...I'm pretty sure nothing is binding up. :confused:

DrFishbone
12-10-2008, 01:58 PM
Alright, I think I'm getting closer on this..

KMT's advice reminded me that I forgot to grease the outer tie-rod ends...when they started squeaking...I was reminded a little more harshly. :D So I greased those last night and it steers much better at parking lot speeds now...however I still believe the pump I put on there isn't in 100% shape, as it still sounds like it really struggles whenever the steering wheel is turned with the wheels on the ground. It acts like it's low on fluid, even though it's not. It was, however, low on fluid when I checked it the other day...so now I get to look for a leak. Maybe there is a leak that constantly lets air into the pump?

Delaware SC
07-02-2011, 10:36 PM
Everything on the car is easier to work on with the IC and tubes removed.. With me its just automatic.
Thats not too bad at all :D

Agreed. Manual says to drop rack enough to disconnect lines. I don't know how anyone does that. The two ninety degree fittings are underneath the engine mount and due to this the obvious place to disconnect lines would be infront of the engine mount. I removed alternator, ps pump, accessory bracket, IC, and both tubes. PS lines are easily disconnected from ninety degree fittings and makes removal & installation of rack possible.

My biggest frustration was that I didn't replace rack while engine was out. That would have been easier. The car sat for six years and as soon as I finished installing remanufactured engine the rack started pissing fluid everywhere. The seals were shot after car sat idle for so long. If anyone is replacing engine on a high mileage SC I recommend replacing rack while engine is out.