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MIGClub Member
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Changing a Power Steering Rack

There are a few different types of steering racks out there so this may need to be adapted slightly. Also, due to the different sizes of engine bays, things may need to be moved, such as the plenum chamber, air filter, brake servo, washer fluid bottle etc.

If you rack starts to leak fluid from and area other than where the pipes join, you almost certainly have a problem with an internal seal. These racks are not maintainable and must be exchanged. Shop around for a good price, as I found prices for my rack ranged from £130-£300. The theory behind removing the rack is simple, but in practice, as with all maintenance, can be very difficult.

The first thing to do is to line the wheels up straight and disconnect the battery. If is important to disconnect the battery in this case as you will be working close to the starter motor and the chance of shorting out the connections with a spanner is very high.

Remove the tie bars from the rack. These are held on by two large bolts at the centre of the front of the rack. You will have to remove the safety plate to undo these. Secondly, remove the two pipes at the drivers side of the pump, that come from the power steering pump and the reservoir. Do not remove the other two pipes, as these merely transfer fluid from one part of the rack to another and will be replaced with the rest of the rack.

You will see that there are 2 brackets that hold the rack to the bulk head, these will need to be removed but the access to the bolts may be obscured by the brake servo. Removing the servo is not necessary, but you will have to undo the servo mounting bolts in order to push the servo slightly upwards. Removing the servo mounting bolts may be different on each model, they are sometime accessed through the area beneath the scuttle panel, under rubber covers.

Once the brackets are removed, you will find that you can move the rack about but I is not yet completely free. You will have to disconnect the rack from the steering shaft inside the car. If you look up inside the drivers kick well, you will see the steering mechanism. There are two pinch bolts holding this together, undo the one nearer the rack. One the bolt is undone, prise the clamp apart and push the connection apart. You may need a hand at this point to pull on he rack while you are in the foot well.

I may be very trick to maneovre the rack out of the car, some parts may need to be removed first.

Once removed, refit the new rack in place in reverse to the removal. Before fit the fluid pipes to the rack, flush them out by starting the car and catching the fluid in a bucket. Make sure you keep the fluid level topped up in the reservoir as running the pump dry will cause damage. Flush the fluid until you see the new clean fluid coming through. Reconnect the pipes and the battery, as well as any other parts that were removed to gin access.

Start the car, keeping a check on the fluid level as air pockets will be filled, dropping the fluid level.
 
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