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Power Steering LH Boot - tear in the boot
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Merian
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:05 pm    Post subject: Power Steering LH Boot - tear in the boot Reply with quote

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What is the risk if I drive my 2wd Van with the boot like this for a month (including about a 1,000 mile trip on paved roads)?

I'm not familiar with power steering systems and am unsure what is behind the boot.

This is something that should have been caught when I had the Van aligned a week ago, but.. Rolling Eyes

How much will it cost to have a shop replace these? I guess it needs another front end alignment afterwards(?)
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AtlasShrugged
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like the tear is because the boot is twisted..which happens when you turn the tie-rods doing an alignment, without loosening the boots on the rack first. Don't blame the shop..they didn't know better.

Personally, I would put some duct tape on the tear if you are leaving shortly for your trip. If you have time, replace the boot(s...both sides) and have the shop that did the alignment reset the toe..as the boots slide on best with the tie rod ends removed.

The boots keep debris off the steering shaft and your power steering seals...pretty important if you want to avoid leaks and a replacement power steering rack in your future.
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MayorMcCheese
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pain in the butt to replace those, I just did it yesterday. Did it without pulling the rack completely but had to really strain my fingers to get the big end of the boots seated.
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SCM
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you need to jack up the van to remove the tie rod ends? I need to replace my PS rack, pump, etc this spring and prefer not to be under the van unless all four wheels are on the ground. But, it seems like it may be easier to remove that stuff if the front wheel is free to turn.

To the OP, I agree with the duct tape or other rugged type of covering idea until your trip is over.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took it back to the alignment/repair shop today. The guy claimed there was no way that they did it because the boot is not twisted.

I pointed out that the boot was fine when I brought it in to them, and after only 65 miles of in town driving after they did the alignment, I find it torn.

The guy kept repeating it's an old car, etc. and never really responded to my point re the low mileage.

So I asked him how he thought it was damaged and he said "I think a rock hit it" - no response when I pointed out the 65 miles of in town driving again.

He did "offer" to put new boots on it if I paid - no offer of a reduction at all.
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DontBeAfraid
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recently asked for a quote for tie rod ends and steering rack boot installation at Auto Options in Berkeley, Ca for $114 for labor. I decided to do it myself.
It was not so bad with the wheel off and the tie rod removed from the hub/knuckle. I did jack the van up to get the wheel off.

Tips:
-warm the steering rack boots with a heat gun, especially the collars that you will be stretching over and onto the groove on steering rack .
-add a blob of grease onto ball and socket of naked steering rack once you remove the torn boot.
-it was only necessary for me to get under the van briefly for installation. I was able to pull the old boot off easily from next to the van (on my knees).
-spray penetrating oil onto both tie rod ends as your firs step. Both the threads underneath where the castle nut is and onto the inboard threads of the tie rod end need a spray. I also wire brushed the threads before spraying.

It was a sunny day when I did this job and the new boots had been sitting in a ziplock in the sun for several hours at the point I was ready to install them. They were nice and warm when I installed them so it was a breeze. There was some muscling, but nothing like I expected from reading others' installation stories.
All in all, it's possible that without frozen fasteners and properly warmed new boots, you can get this job done smoothly and expediently.

Sorry to hear about the mechanic. "Hit by a rock" is total BS, but when he told you "old parts", that is dead on. My original boots practically disintegrated as I pulled at them during removal. It really didn't take much force to tear them further. It's worth it to replace both sides at once, even if you have to pay for another alignment. Think of it as insurance against buying a new or rebuilt steering rack:)
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can replace the boot w/o needing a new alignment if you carefully mark the exact position of the tie rod end before and restore it to that position after.

I used to use paint but now I also take a good digital close up of the threads before I remove the end:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Afterwards I match the picture as I adjust the threads:

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A composite of the two photos verifies it is exactly as before:

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To fit that pesky boot I first stretch it over a bottle of hot water to loosen it up a bit:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Then I quickly transfer that end to a suitable plastic cap:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Then cut the cap so only a ring is left:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


That ring holds the boot open until it is over the rack fitting -- then the ring can be cut and pulled away.
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nifty trick!
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delta9007
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice tips there Ahwahnee, thank you.

In the past I've cut open a freezer ziplock and loosely taped it over the whole boot. Allows for the movement and keeps the grit out. Works for CV's too.

Change those rack mount bushings while you're under there.
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campism
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When wrestling with the big end of the boot to get it onto the rack end, a bicycle tire lever can be very helpful.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't forget, these bellows are now available made out of silicone from Samba member "Alika"...

Thread: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=605642&highlight=silicone

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insyncro
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No wrestlin' with the silly cone booties.
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vanagonjr
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
I took it back to the alignment/repair shop today. The guy claimed there was no way that they did it because the boot is not twisted.

I pointed out that the boot was fine when I brought it in to them, and after only 65 miles of in town driving after they did the alignment, I find it torn.

The guy kept repeating it's an old car, etc. and never really responded to my point re the low mileage.

So I asked him how he thought it was damaged and he said "I think a rock hit it" - no response when I pointed out the 65 miles of in town driving again.

He did "offer" to put new boots on it if I paid - no offer of a reduction at all.

I may not be popular here, but I agree with the guy. Yes, the boot might have twisted and they twisted it back and it ripped, but the problem is really age at this point. It's not uncommon that every time you touch a system on an old car, that it has a knock-on effect.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 13, 2015 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it was not age at all. I retained both boots, and tested them myself and with the help of an exuberant 80.lb Golden Retriever 'puppy' with a massive head and masseter muscles.

It was very difficult to tear them in any way. The boots were just fine. The "mechanic" made a mistake and charged me for it.

Good reason to warn others locally, which I have done.

* I am glad this thread has served to let others post various tricks and techniques for replacement.
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