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Power steering rack replacement help needed
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Jacko95
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:29 pm    Post subject: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

I really could use some help on power steering rack on vanagon. Anyone know the trick for the steering shaft unjoint. I assume I take the shaft off the disconnect on other end. And tap off joint. Can someone who knows please confirm. Also how do I get it back in same place on a new rack
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Igeo
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:56 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

Disconnect the tie rod ends at the knuckes. Hog tie the steeing wheel so it can't move. Then remove the joint pinch bolt by the rack. You might put a big screwdriver in there to spread the joint a little. Loosen and detach the hydraulic lines and the mounting bolts and it comes out easily.

Before you re-install, flush the system- I put an old pulley on a drill motor to turn the pump. Flush the lines out well, and install a new filter in the reservoir.

On the bench, measure the total length of the of the old rack/tie rods end to end. Center the new rack as best you can by counting the total number of turns you can turn the input shaft, then go back half way to find the center. I think there is a plastic indexing collar that might help. Turn the tie rod ends evenly to achieve the total length you measured from the old rack.

Consider replacing the stock rubber bushings with the urethane busings that are available for these vans. That will make a big difference in the steering precision belive it or not.

Using a common mapp gas torch, I heated (annealed) the copper washers on the hydraulic lines to soften them up so they could be re-used.

Don't forget to tighten your pinch bolt.

You can bleed the system engine off, by turning the steering wheel lock to lock a few times.

The toe in adjustment can be made pretty close in the driveway. About 1/16 inch will get you to the alignment shop.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

The original rack should have a plastic disc at the base of the steering shaft. It has a nub that is used to mark center of the rack. Youíll need to swap that to the new rack. I donít waste my time trying to match tierod length. With the suspension drooped, with the rack centered, measure from inside to inside of the rim edge and record that measurement. If you are reusing the outer tie rods, count the number of turns to unscrew each end and record that number. Swap the tie rods back on to the new rack and with the rack centered install it. To deal with the connector of the shaft to the splines, an old screwdriver tapped into the slot of the joint will expand the joint enough to slip it off the splines. With the rack installed and connected to the rims, adjust the tie rods to get the measurement you originally recorded. Be careful not to twist the rack boots adjusting toe.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

Don`t mess with trying to keep your steering wheel straight, it`s more under the van work to keep things straight and lined up: mount it as is without cqring, you have enought to deal with already, then when you`re done, loosen the nut at your steering wheel, tighten it back just enough to be safe but easily removable without moving the steering wheel`s position, drive straight for a few yards, stop straight and re-align your steering wheel. Dumb simple Wink

I sell silicone boots for the rack if you`re in need of some as well as PU boots for the tie rod ends Wink

Aloha!
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wesitarz
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:04 am    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

How does a new rack "feel". Under the van with front end on stands, I can easily turn the wheels by turning the shaft at the U-joint.(loose feel?) My original rack must have about 300,000 mi on it. By moving one wheel there seems to be some 'jumpiness' or shudder in the rack and also some 'squishy' sound when moving from lock to lock. Does a new rack feel more tight? Can this rack be fixed with a rebuild kit or is it time for a new one? There are no fluid leaks.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 am    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

I just replaced the power steering rack and u-joint on my 91 Westfalia. The new rack feels nimble and easy. I can turn the van with my pinky now.

The old rack had a more difficult feel, and was also inconsistent--more difficult to steer in the middle range, and easier out at the extremities.

kourt
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termuehlen Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

kourt wrote:
I just replaced the power steering rack and u-joint on my 91 Westfalia. The new rack feels nimble and easy. I can turn the van with my pinky now.

The old rack had a more difficult feel, and was also inconsistent--more difficult to steer in the middle range, and easier out at the extremities.

kourt


Kourt, did you install a rebuild or a new rack? I am wondering if the new rack that GoWesty sells is a good solution for me.
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kourt
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

I bought a new power steering rack from Van Cafe, still in stock, for $449.

https://www.vancafe.com/251422061-p/251422061.htm

kourt
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termuehlen Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

Perfect! Thanks, kourt.
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khughes
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Power steering rack replacement help needed Reply with quote

termuehlen wrote:
Perfect! Thanks, kourt.


Make sure to use urethane mount bushings when you replace it. Makes a great difference in steering performance and tracking for small $$. Surprisingly, I replaced my rack with a rebuilt from Autozone well over 20 years ago. Still going strong. Sometimes you get lucky Laughing
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