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How-to: rebuilding power steering rack & pinion
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:52 am    Post subject: How-to: rebuilding power steering rack & pinion Reply with quote

Aloha!


My power steering rack and pinion cowardly failed after only 28 years of service.



Mesuring the length just in case…not needed in fact
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Before cleaning
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After cleaning.You can see the 4 or 5 years old Powerflex bushings.
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You can see the punch mark to lock the nut
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Removing the hydraulic lines with 5mm allen wrench. Hit the banjo bolts first with a brass drift.
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Unscrew the shaft that connect to the steering shaft
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Unscrew the cover on the back
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You end up with these parts
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Pull out the breather hose
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With the proper tool or a chisel, unlock the nuts
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Here is the seal kit sold in the classifieds. The blue rings replace the original teflon+o'ring set up on the distributing piston.
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The plastic ring goes in this way
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Here is the extractor I used
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This star-shaped washer goes in this way, be careful not to be in the way of the hole.
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There is a slightly raised shoulder here that makes the part a little harder to pull out. Just go for it or get it out from the other side.
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Let's go back in there and take care of that seal too
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New seal in place
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O'ring on top
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O'ring here
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Get the piston out that has a teflon backing (doesn't get replaced)
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Now take a good look in that tube for any scruff mark. If there are any, the thing is bad....
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New o'rings for the body tube part
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Now here is the fun part, everything else a child can do it.
Old rings differ and the blue rings are much tuffer since they are thicker.

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Drive the bearing out with a socket, I think I used a 17mm 1/2" drive socket for that job.
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The rings are tricky to install, so start with the top one, leave it where it belongs, then put on #2 and so on. Do not warm up or boil the rings, they will never get their shape back. They will tend to twist, so keep an eye on them, you can roll/twist them,but try not to and make sure they sit nicely when you're done: their thickness in the groove (vertically) is smaller than their thickness in depth.
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Same for that one too
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I put the distributing piston in the freezer overnight to help them get back in shape. Perfect Razz
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So here, I tried every sort of adhesive tape, pvc for packaging is best, but there is no way the teflong ring+seal assembled in the tube will go in the way they came out. So don't try this way, you're wasting your time since that side has a little oversized shaft
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You gotta remove the middle ring but there is a sharp groove you have to deal with.
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Same thing, any tape didn't work here…

The best way I found is to grease every part and put a lot in the groove. The seal will slide in over the groove filled up with grease. Just go real fast with no hesitation. Lotsa lube+no hesitation makes wonders Laughing

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Remember the star-shaped washer?Align it so the hole is not covered with one of the branch of the washer. You can always use something thin to realign it through the hole before tightening everything down.
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Grease it all and put it all back together.
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Then cover with the body ,helping the rings make their way in the cylinder.
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In fact, it's easier this way
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Put the little piston back in the ….back.
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Seal the cover with something anaerobic and that dissolves in oil like Loctite 518, Don't forget the little parts: springs etc...
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Close the damn thing while having everything aligned on a flat surface.I've put anti-seize on the threads of the big nut, so when I do it again in 30 years, it will be easier.
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New o'rings for the hydraulic lines.
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Et voilà!
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Powerflex after 4 or 5 years of abuse and a recurring leak on the face.
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Not too bad. If you want the same bad ass easy-to-install products, go to http://www.t3technique.com/suspension-bushings/pow...g-set.html
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So, to put the steering shaft coupler together with the rack & pinion splined shaft, I opted for the easy solution: didn't care at all, as long as the bolt was easy to reach to tighten it. Then when you're done with the whole job, go driving around the block and park with the wheels straight. Re-align the steering wheel on the steering shaft/column and you're done. Much easier doing so sitting in the van rather than crawling under it trying to match everything back together… Wink
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The little breather tube is barely the right length, so it's most likely it will not fit all the way in on the nipple. Just cut a piece of rubber hose to make an extension coupling and you're done.
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There you go, with some nice silicone steering boots from Alikamotorsports Laughing Laughing
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALIKA T3 wrote:
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I took apart my truck's PS rack and found those blue seals to be so much of a PITA that I just turned it in as a core on a new rack.
My son's PS rack is leaking and I have a rebuild kit to try once again so maybe freezing it will do the trick.
Thanks. Wink
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I did it is pretty easy in fact, just extend them a little bit, put one half end in the groove and pull the rest like a bicycle tire basically.Then you can re work the ring with tweezer if they don't want to un-twist easily. I had one like that, but freezing did it to it later. If they sit in the cylinder when you close everything back up, you're good Wink

You can also not replace them, I know people who have not done it Wink
Usually what matters most are the seals and o'ring along the rack shaft itself .
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insyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you.
Great post Exclamation
It should end up in the FAQs section for sure.
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OhChit
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.
I agree.
It's a Great, Well Documented Service Topic with Lots of Show me Pixs..

It shows you put a lot of effort into the Project with the pics and explanations.

It's a Keeper.. Laughing
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Forthwithtx
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write-up! Did this myself about two months back. I wish this post had been available then. It would have saved me, perhaps, half a day. The pinion assembly didn't exactly fall out, so I scratched my head a bit on how to disassemble. Good thing I had a Bentley to reassure me how it was supposed to come out.

In my case, the piston assembly was a bit rusted and it took me a good while to get it removed and the vent hole cleaned out.

Those blue rings are quite the pain to install. I was constantly in fear of permanently deforming them or outright breaking them. Inserting the pinion back into the case was a ring-by-ring finesse job.

I don't know about yours, but mine had some center punches on either end of the main tube and the housings (two on one end and three on the other) that showed which end is which. It is important. It is not a symmetrical part. I think it had been rebuilt once before, and perhaps the marks were placed there at that time? If they are not there, it might be a good idea to put something indelible on each end to get the ends back to where they belong, and even get the "clocking" the same as it was.

Thanks for posting.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello!

thank y'all for the good words Cool

No clocking necessary but I did put the end where it used to belong to.

Where do you guys usually source your seal kit?

It didn't used to be available for the public until I finally found a source a few years back and bought a batch…

I know some kits sold in Europe don't even have the rings for that distributor piston thing.

Aloha!
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Syncro transmission upgrade parts in the Classifieds.
Subaru EJ22+UN1 5 speed transmission
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=416343
Syncro http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4...num+gadget
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OhChit
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ALIKA T3 wrote:
Hello!

thank y'all for the good words Cool

No clocking necessary but I did put the end where it used to belong to.

Where do you guys usually source your seal kit?

It didn't used to be available for the public until I finally found a source a few years back and bought a batch…

I know some kits sold in Europe don't even have the rings for that distributor piston thing.

Aloha!


Good Question..
Who, or where can we get these from? Shocked
.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rockauto.com
Gates 348522
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Last edited by syncrodoka on Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Forthwithtx
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OhChit wrote:
ALIKA T3 wrote:
Hello!

thank y'all for the good words Cool

No clocking necessary but I did put the end where it used to belong to.

Where do you guys usually source your seal kit?

It didn't used to be available for the public until I finally found a source a few years back and bought a batch…

I know some kits sold in Europe don't even have the rings for that distributor piston thing.

Aloha!


Good Question..
Who, or where can we get these from? Shocked
.


Partsgeek. Made by Gates.
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warmblood58
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great writeup, thanks! Ill take this on in the summer as it is time!
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wesitarz
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info. Googled the kit. BusDepot $59.95. Beats buying a rebuild if I have the time and my arthritis in my hands allows it.
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bluebus86
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Besure to flush out the hoses and reservoir and pump before installing the rebuilt rack. best to replace or rebuild the pump at the same time. often the pump sheds metal bits which circulate to the rack, destroying the seals. the new rack I bought in order to honor the warrantee required the pump to be replaced and the hoses /reservoir flushed. I flushed by pumping new fluid thru my new pump, with the hoses at the rack connected together (bypassing the rack) and the return line at the reservoir directed to a bucket to catch the flushed fluid. the new pump, rack and hoses only saw new clean fluid this way, just keep pouring new fluid in the reservoir as it pumps the flushing fluid thru the system into the catch bucket. I think I ran a gallon or two thru the system.
I also cleaned out the reservoir before the flushing along with the hose from reservoir to pump
If you don't do this you risk recirculating metal bits that may have been the cause of the original seal failure in the rack.

so flush away!!!!!!! Laughing Cool Confused Shocked Very Happy Smile Surprised Rolling Eyes Wink Idea Idea Idea Idea Idea
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cleaned out the reservoir, replaced the filter, opened up the pump and replaced the seals after cleaning it and new lines will be fitted so it should be good with everything gone through including the rack. Wink

There are only 3 pump seals to replace.
The seal on the snout
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The o-ring seal for the case halves and the wierd 2 piece seal for the vane pump.
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The 2 piece seal- the black inner seal goes in first then the clearish/brown plastic retainer slips around the outside.
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ALIKA T3
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My rack leaked bc the CRP boot cracked on the top and I never saw it, it was wide open up there, filling up with dust Mad
The rest was failry new, rebuilt Subaru pump and flushed system.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A magnefine filter inline on the return side of the power steering of a subaru converted van will help extend the life of the rack/pump. The stock vanagon has a filter and a conversion can benefit with the same kind of coverage. The magnefine has a magnet along with filter media and bypass in case of blockage.
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They are cheap insurance at less than $20. I got some from NAPA auto after finding the part number under "power steering filter" in their online catalog.
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Syncronicity
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

double post Embarassed
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bookmarked. Thanks for taking the time to put together a great post.
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syncrodoka
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally finished this the other day.
I removed the plastic elbow fitting from the rack rather than the plastic hose from the fitting. The Gates rebuild kit has small o rings that reseal the plastic fitting to the rack.
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Rather than shoving the center tube to the right over the larger part of the serrated shaft I took off the snap rings and seals and slid it off to the left. To reinstall the center section correctly it has to be installed from the left anyhow.
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The pictures from this thread proved to be helpful since I did this project over a few days between other projects on the van.
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IdahoDoug
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 04, 2015 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's a pretty meticulous thing to overhaul. I'd screw it up....
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